Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a website?

No. But then you don’t need a mobile phone either. People ran businesses long before Alexander Graham Bell was even born.

Will a website make my business a success?

A website is a world wide advert. It’s a web-shop or on-line office, and having one can certainly help potential customers looking for your goods or services to find you.

Having a website can impart a degree of professionalism; your credentials, qualifications, and work can be showcased – along with any affiliations, endorsement, and reviews. These can all be linked so a potential customer may come to your website through them or can choose you because of them.

So, having a website can certainly help make your business a success.

How much should a website cost?

That depends on your expectations and your budget.

You can make and even host your own website if you have the time and are so inclined. You could also file your own accounts and service your own vehicle but this isn’t always the most efficient use of your time.

There are any number of ‘free’ website building hosts out there – Wix, 1-to1, Squarespace etc. Take your time out of the equation, add the add-ons that you will need or want eg. Domain name (your website name), SSL certificate (Google etc. will not allow non SSL websites to be viewed as standard policy), White-labelling (removal of the hosts name and their third party adverts), email & email White-labelling etc. There are many little catches and extras along the way. Then there can be speed, space, and bandwidth issues that may require an upgrade of the free package.

The next tier of website cost are the website designer newbies, students, and part-timers, that use Wix, 1-to-1, Squarespace etc. Their prices are low because their overheads are low. Many of these are on a journey of discovery. They, and their customers, soon realise that while the actual website may look ok, a simple analysis will show many problems that will rank the site badly in Google’s search ranking (SEO) and, that they have grossly underestimated their skill level, experience, and the time necessary to afford them a decent living. Most of these newbies aren’t around for long and often your site will be left unfinished or broken.

Wix etc. are fine in themselves. I have built and have fixed sites on their platforms but I find they are too restrictive in design and too constrained in their business model.

The third tier are people like me. A small business or sole trader, with solid business sense, a solid business model, and with a good mix of expertise and experience. We’ll come back to me.

The forth tier are agencies. Small or large there should be no doubting their skill and portfolio of customers. There will be quite a range of prices between different agencies depending on their costs, business models and so on. Most will also offer different packages from templates put together by their juniors or full bespoke branding packages with lots of coding.

The fifth tier is affording your own website design and development department. This maybe just one person or in the case of the corporates, hundreds of people.

So, tier three is why you here, still reading… me and my contemporaries. But first, I must confess that I was running this company part-time until I was in a position to take it to full-time. Also, despite previous years of IT experience, a number of recent years moonlighting in web-design and web-hosting, and having become proficient in a number of website coding languages, I am somewhat of a newbie compared to many other small business website designers out there. I am going nowhere however. My immediate job prior to and while doing this was in the construction industry – it was a physical role that my age and a long-time back injury meant I needed to do something less physical for the long-term and I have found website design to be more of a vocation than a job. For my back story please read more in the about me section.

Anyhow, I use the same software and coding languages that most of tier 3, 4, and 5 use. While I may not be as highly skilled or as greatly experienced as some of them, I am sure my business ethic and attention to detail is at least equal to them.

What is the timeframe for you to build me a website?

Again, this is dependant on you. If you have a firm idea of what want and have readily available content, then from instruction to completion should be around 4 to 6 weeks.

 If you require further services, such as graphic design for a company logo, written and media content, or other bespoke services, this timeframe could double.

Ecommece and other large database websites, such as a photographer with many portfolios, will take considerably more time – hence these and other bespoke websites can only be estimated for time and price with a detailed proposal.

What types of website do you build?

I predominately use and recommend WordPress. I am happy to consider building your site on another platform, such as Wix, Square Space etc. if that is your preference. All such website companies are credible and can offer good results at advertised budget prices however, bear in mind these platforms are aimed at customers who want to build their own websites and are consequently limited to budget resources, services, and support. They will all offer more professional packages and add-ons at greater costs.

 Depending on your project and your budget I can build you a website from scratch. No WordPress, no templates, just a blank page of a text editor document (I use Brackets). Building from scratch isn’t the most efficient way to build a website though, and whilst I would be open to discuss such a project ordinarily, WordPress is best.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source CMS website building program.  CMS stands for Content Management System and in the realms of the World Wide Web it is a software program that enables websites to be built and managed from a base template rather than from scratch.

Open-source means it is free! Free to be shared for the benefit of a common purpose and a greater good. There is a lot of stuff for free on the web. Indeed, the very foundation of the internet and the World Wide Web were not patented by the inventors for this very reason and this ethos continues ever stronger to this day.

WordPress was born in 2003 and is licenced under the General Public Licence (GPL) meaning it’s free to use, free to study, free to modify and free to redistribute.

Like the World Wide Web Foundation, WordPress is also run by a charitable organisation, the WordPress Foundation. The WPF was founded in 2010 to steer and ensure continual development and expansion.

Many of the worlds top 500 companies use WordPress for there websites and also contribute to the foundation, these include BBC America, CBS, CNN, Disney, Facebook Newsroom, Microsoft Newsroom, The New York Times & The New York Post, The Observer, Sony Music & Sony Playstaion, Spotify, Time Magazine, The White House and many many more.

WordPress currently powers 42.9% of all websites in the world (Wix is 1.5%) and 65.1% of all CMS websites. These percentages equate to 835 million WordPress websites, in 160 languages, that receive an average 409 million views a month (data from 2021).

I first worked on a WordPress site in 2013. The company and its website still exist; it is still runs on WordPress and although it has been updated and revamped this is an example of WP’s longevity.

When I first started building websites I invested time and money in learning Macromedia’s Dreamweaver & Microsoft’s Frontpage – Frontpage is long defunct and Dreamweaver was bought and changed by Adobe. I then began using Adobe’s Muse, which again became defunct. I have also used and appraised Wix and Squarespace, and two other CMS programs, Joomula and Drupal, and am firmly of the opinion that WordPress is the best.

What should my expectations be?

If you hire me to build and host a new website at my standard rates, then take a look at Sylvia’s website. Her site is fast and functional

My own site is naturally a flagship site for me to advertise my services hence, there is much coding and many more hours spent crafting it.

Are you the right web designer for me?

Whilst I am open to discuss all sorts of different projects and arrangements, the bulk of my business is producing and maintaining brochure style websites for small businesses, sole-traders, and individuals.

 I am professional and ethical, respectful and affable. As a website designer and developer, I am diligent, methodical and passionate about my work.

What is the difference between web design and web development?

Web-design is planning the style and functionality of a website.

Web-development is the creation of the design.

How much input do you need from me?

As much or as little as you like. However, if I am chasing up content or decisions for you it will delay the project.

What is website hosting?

Hosting is renting space on a specifically designed internet server (big computer) for your website to reside.

There are many things to consider with choosing a hosting company and many of the big names who advertise on TV offer cheap prices for poor service. The type of service, server, software, CPU, memory, disc space, bandwidth, hit-count, support, security, back-up/restore and so-on. These are big players for their profits not their ethics. Their marketing and advertising budgets are most likely far greater than their support budget, their business strategy most likely loss-leading offers to get you signed-up, and the mark-up being the money they make on your upgrades and extras.

Still Have Questions? Get In Touch!

You are welcome to call or message me for help or advice on your ideas or project and whether my services will be right for you.

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