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Here are some basic questions regarding setting up a new website for your business. 

If you have a question or are still unsure about where to go from here, please feel free to contact us at any time!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to set up a website?

Have a website questions?

 

Contact us if you have a question

Questions

Why do I need a website?

What do I need to begin the process of setting up a website?

How do I choose a Web Designer? Can't I just hire my nephew who took an HTML class and is great with computers?

We already have a website, but it doesn't seem to be working...What's wrong?

We aren't located anywhere near you...Can you still design a website for us?

Will I have pop-ups and banner ads on my site?

Can I do my own updates to my site?

What operating systems will my websites work on?

How will my site work with Search Engines?

Is it OK to copy material from another website to use on mine?

I need updates made to my website, but I don't know how to get it and my web designer won't answer my calls.  What can I do?

 

Why do I need a website?

There are many reasons to have a website for your business. These are just a few:

  • Establish A Presence. It's not what you know, it's who you know! Your website has the potential to make that critical connection with potential clients and partners. The majority of Internet users are referring to the web and are using company’s websites to make major decisions when they need a specialized service. A website can validate the existence of your business, provide some information about you and, suddenly, you're no longer a complete stranger.

  • Make Your Business Information Available. How much information can you include in an ad in the Yellow Pages? Your website could provide all that information and much, much more. Think of how much you pay now for advertising and printing of your brochures? A website is easier, cheaper and quicker and you can update changes in price, product or personnel any time! Show people what you do and how to contact you if they need your services...24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Present a Professional Image. When surfing the web, do you find that there are some websites that appeal to you and there are those that don't? First impressions are so important! A properly designed website can tell a lot about you and also reflect how you conduct your business. If you don't have a website or have a poor one, there is that possibility that your business may not even be viewed as a valid business.

What do I need to set up a website?

  • Gather all your company information together - logos, brochures, preferred colors, etc. (see our Design Layout services for more details) and think about what you would like your website to look like and who your target audience will be.  Use our Website Design Information Checklist to help guide you through the process.

  • Choose a Web Designer. Here's where we come in. Choosing a web designer is like choosing an interior designer for your home. You will want to choose someone who can produce a look that best represents you.  Take a look at their portfolio or find out if the designer can and is willing to create a website with what you’re looking for.  After all, it is YOUR site!

  • Register a Domain Name. This is the address or "URL" that people will type into their browser to reach your website. An example of a domain name would be "www.yourcompanyname.com". You must register the name for a designated period of time, 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.  The actual name you choose is up to you (unless it’s already taken).  Choose something that isn’t too long and is relatively easy to remember.

  • Set up a Web Host Service. A host is the "server" (computer) online where your website files are stored and accessed. There are a variety of hosts and plans out there and prices will vary from host to host.

  • We provide web hosting and domain name registration, through reliable third-party companies and can certainly help you to get set up with a domain name and host should you need it.

How do I choose a Web Designer? Can't I just hire my nephew who took an HTML class and is great with computers?

Beware of anyone who claims that they will give you what you need without really finding out what you want. Also, although you may know of someone who may be technically capable of putting together a website, the person may not have a clue as to all the other things he/she has to know. An inexperienced designer may also want so badly to impress his client with how clever he is with the "latest" technology that the website may be end up being a showcase covered with animated GIFs, flash and scrolling text, rather than the client's business. These additions have their place, but only if the site requires them.

Being technically adept is not enough. A "cool looking" site that ignores the importance of reliable and appealing design principles and following some standard conventions will end up as a website that looks cool, but doesn't work and may end up ousting a large portion of your target audience.  An example would be that many sites created by an inexperienced designer are missing basic items which are key to search engines being able to find your website - if you use one of the large search engines such as Bing™, Google™ or Yahoo!®, can you find your business by simply typing in the name of your business? If it does, what does it say?

We already have a website, but it doesn't seem to be working... What's wrong?

Many websites have the best of intentions, but through either inexperience or incomplete layout/content, they just don't flourish. What is needed would be an in-depth analysis of your existing site, and discussions with you regarding a partial or total "makeover." Call us for a free analysis of your existing website. If we find anything, you can choose to contract with us to have us fix it, or you can simply give the list to your current web designer and ask them to fix it for you.

We aren't located anywhere near you...Can you still design a website for us?

Of course! Although we prefer to meet with you face-to-face, the internet, e-mail, telephone, US Postal Service®, FedEx® and UPS™, can take care of all communication and delivery issues that occur during the developmental stage. Some people prefer to make the "human connection" with their designers, in which case a meeting can be arranged.

Can I do my own updates to my site?

If you or someone you work closely with has a basic grasp of HTML, then the answer is "probably." If you don't have the right tools or resources for making changes, then you are better off letting someone who understands how websites work handle the changes for you.

We can take care of regular updates for you, and work out a maintenance contract for a monthly fee or we can work with specific change requests billable at $80.00 per hour or negotiated by contract. Updates to you are as simple as sending an e-mail.

We can also program small portions of your website where you can change the content on your own, for example, regular events or announcements.

Our philosophy on website maintenance is that you've got your own business to run.  Let us take care of it so you don't have to!

Will I have pop-ups and banner ads on my site?

We do not sell space on the pages created for you which would result in banner ads or unwanted pop-ups for viewers of your site.  You do have the option for small pop-up windows which may be executed by clicking on a button or link, e.g., to get more details about a specific subject, but they will not just automatically pop open when a page is opened.

What operating systems will my websites work on?

All of our websites are created to work on both Windows® and Macintosh® systems.  We do periodic reviews of the metrics from our sites to help determine the most optimal design parameters to use when creating a site.  These parameters are based on the operating systems, connection speeds, display resolutions and browsers and search engines used to view our sites.  If you are interested in some of these statistics you can view them at www.w3schools.com.

How will my website work with Search Engines?

Search Engines are a tool that enables users to locate information on the World Wide Web. Search engines use keywords entered by users to find Web sites which contain the information sought. Your site can be optimized with key phrases and wording so that there is a good chance that your web pages will appear at the top of search engine queries for your selected keywords and keyword phrases, but remember, your website will be competing with over a million other sites offering the same product or service as you do. Beware of anyone who can claim to guarantee a #1 ranking with the search engines. Let's discuss your options during our consultation.

Is it OK to copy material from another website to use on mine?

Not unless you've received permission from the author.  You may be violating the copyright of the person who developed the website, even if there is no copyright notice or symbol associated with it.  Downloading images from a website without expressed permission of the owner is also a copyright infringement. It would be best for you to use what you find on other sites just as a guide, and avoid any inference of plagiarism.

I need updates made to my website, but I don't know how to do it and my web designer won't answer my calls.  What can I do?

Access to your host server and domain registrar is key to being able to make changes to your website.  With a little help from you, we can assist in retrieving your logins and passwords and then making the changes you need.

You'll want to keep the information on file in a safe place. You should know where your domain name is registered, where your files are being hosted, and have the login and password access to both locations.  Even if you don’t know what to do with the information, if you ever need to change designers, your new designer will surely appreciate that you have it.

 

If you have a question or are still unsure about where to go from here, please feel free to contact us at any time!

 

Interested in some small business tool, tips and reminders? >>

 

 

Providing web site design and development services throughout Western Washington and beyond, including:
Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Woodinville, Duvall, Bothell, Lynnwood, Everett, Sammamish, Issaquah, Auburn, Kent, Renton, Seattle