- Do I need to have a computer to have a web site?
- No, you do not have to have a computer to own a web site.
You will need to have access to one with internet access to
view your site though. You can go to your public library to
have access in most cases.
- What good is a web site without a computer?
- Mostly advertising. Most of your competitors have one by now,
more than likely, and you need to able to be seen by somebody
looking for a similar service on the internet.
- Why do I need a web site?
- Well, it can serve many purposes. Advertising aid, time saving tool
or simply to be more competitive.
It can simply be an internet presence for your company or it can
serve to answer a lot of questions you get asked a lot (which can save
valueable office hours). "What are your hours?", "Where are you located?",
"What areas do you service?", and "How much do you charge?" -
a more informed customer is more willing to pay you for your services.
It can also give people information about you they often don't feel right
about asking. Things like "Where did you learn?" "How long have you been
doing this?" "Does that come with french fries?"
- Why do some sites load faster than others?
- File size. Simply put, all web pages are made up of files that all
have to be downloaded to be seen in your computer. It can be thought of
in terms of "how much ink would it take to print it?" Large pictures (or
many pictures) would take a good bit more ink than smaller images. Yet too
much text can take up a bunch of ink as well. The sites that would take a
lot of ink are the slow ones. Images, sound, and even the text of the web
page itself all have a file size listed in terms of KB or Kilobytes ... your
internet connection speed tells you have fast you can download those files.
A slower connection can make surfing take a long time if file sizes are large.
Try to keep the file sizes small and you will have fairly fast loading pages.
- What should be included in my web site?
- The things you will want to include in your web site are the things that
make your business distinctive. This is going to be somewhat different for
everybody but in general you will want to include things like - your location and
maybe directions for people to be able to find you, a service area map if you
have a service area, summary of services provided, pricing for them if you feel
that your prices are competitive, hours, contact information, company background
information, and pretty much anything else you feel would help people feel as
though they know you before they even meet you. A web site will be some
customers first impression of you and a straight forward - "here we are"
approach that gives you a sense of "real people" is the one that will generally work best.
- What do you mean when you say "page"?
- The term "page" has 2 meanings in this business. There is a page of text
such as if you were to print the page from a word processor with normal sized font.
There is also "web page" which is (like you are looking at right now) a
single file for viewing in a web browser. The largest difference is that
printed documents are of a particular size and can be measured. Whereas
web pages can be scrolled down or up seemingly endlessly. In terms of
designing a site the question "How many pages?" would refer to the web
pages themselves plus the additional pages that make up the rest of each web page. Simply put -
printed pages of the entire web site. Some web pages can be printed on a single page
and others may take several pages.
- How much can I put on one page?
- In general I would say no more than 2-3 printed pages of text.
Search engines prefer a word count of 200-300 words which is far less than that.
People don't normally scroll down a web page unless something catches
their eye so as a rule of thumb - keep it brief. Pictures - 6-10 small
pictures are the most you would want or for larger images, generally speaking,
no more than 4. Specific needs may tell you more images are needed but load-time
could become an issue.
- I am not sure how it should look, can you help?
- Of course, that is why we are here. Start up businesses sometimes
don't have a logo yet but ones that do only need to provide a logo a bit
of text and maybe an idea of a color scheme. The more you provide the more
we can be sure it will match your company's image. We built a website once
from nothing more than a business card and 4 photos.
- I already have hosting - is that ok?
- Absolutely. We can host your site for you to help consolidadte internet
billing. We do not require your site to be hosted on our server.
- I have a website started, can you finish it?
- Yes, however, we should look at what you already have. Some programs such
as Frontpage have a tendancy to "over-code" the page files. Excessive redundant
code could make it cheaper and faster to rebuild rather than repair. Keep this
in mind though; the bigger the site gets the more involved it will be to repair.
We can take on finishing the site for you and would recommend any changes we feel
would improve traffic or the visitor's experience.
- I just need to make some changes, do you do that?
- We can handle changes to your website, sure. Let us know the changes you want to make and it is usually done within 48 hours.
- How long does it take to build a web site?
- Probably the best way to answer this will be (based on a 5 page site)- about a week after
the desicions have been made in terms of getting the layout just so,
the colors just right, the logo the right size, the right style text,...
Over all about 2-3 weeks from the time we get all the content
ready to be used in the creation process. If you send everything in
electronic formats like .doc and .jpg either on disk or in the email
it will go rather quickly and can be done in about a week for you to look at.
After having seen it any changes that are requested will be taken
care of and the rest of the site assembled.
- How soon after it's done can it be seen by visitors?
- It is ready for visitors as soon as you say you like it and it gets
transfered to the host server. It can then be seen by anybody typing
in your domain name (or sub-domain if you went that way)
- How long does it take to show up on search engines?
- Search engines are a tricky sort. They claim to have you up in a short
time but most want you to pay them to put you up quicker. So how quick
is a matter of how much you are willing to pay them to get your site
listed. Some do still have free listings but those can take up to 3
months to get listed on. Paying for listings can be anywhere from $149
for 8 weeks or $299 for 48 hours at Looksmart. In general it is is about
$300/year for a listing on Yahoo which is about 6 weeks. The average times to
get listed on search engines then would be 2-3 months of course with some
coming in a good deal faster than that.
- What do I need to do to get a web site?
- First, figure out what your site is going to do. Is it going to be selling anything?
Just be an "internet brochure"? Provide information for customers or offer specials?...
Once you know how you want your site to be seen by visitors it is simply a matter of putting
together the images and text for the pages (content). You can send content to us by email or
snail-mail and we can create your website to your needs. Custom graphics can be
created as they are needed. If all you have is a basic idea of what you want, we can work
with you to create and design a website that will represent your company in just the right way.
Our job is to make it easy on you... your vision and our creativity will produce
a website you will be prowd of.
- How can I make changes to a site you have designed?
- Depending on your computer skills - there are several ways. The easiest way is to email
changes to us and know they will be handled correctly. With frequently changed portions of
pages (such as daily specials) we can create some programming to utilize "Word" documents
to make the changes yourself. We can provide a way to upload a word document to your site
and as soon as it is sent, the changes have been made. OR - if you have some basic knowledge
of HTML programming, making changes to your site is very easy with the control panel features
we offer with all our hosting packages.
- I am outside the US - can you still design my site?
- Yes, however, we require payment in USD before the work can be performed. History has shown us
some companies use international borders to try to escape payment. It it bad for some to mess
it up for everybody but rest assured, anything paid for will be done to your satisfaction.
- Do you do sites with adult content?
- To a degree - yes. We WILL NOT do sites that charge for password access, that
have obscene language, or explicit images or otherwise explicit content. As a rule,
we will not design any site anybody's 12 year old daughter cannot visit.
- How long have you been doing this?
- Just over 11 years. Most of what is being done on the net today is stuff
you could not do 6 years ago so all web designers have been doing current programming a
very short time. With the ever evolving world of cyberspace, there is a constant
need for learning. What everybody knew 6 years ago is obsolete now so even
seasoned veterans are learning new stuff today.
- Did you go to school to learn this?
- Not formally, no. It is pretty much self taught but there are many
publications in stores and online that are very technical teaching tools. There
are also mentor companies willing to help promising visionaries get started
on the right foot. I have just been blessed with the ability to learn at a fast
pace and the luck of finding solid teaching.