Frequently Asked Questions


I've got a site already, why do I need a new one?

You may not. Everything might be fine. But if that were the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this, right?

Now, there could be a hundred reasons why updating your current site would be a good thing to do. But you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, either.

Is your current website directly producing sales? (How do you know?) Why are you thinking about an update? What is it you want to improve?

The simplest thing to do is give me a call or shoot me an email. I’ll take a look at your site — for free and without obligation — and give you my honest feedback. If there’s no need to change anything, I’ll tell you so.

I think I only need a basic website. What should I do?

Give me a call. You may well be right… so there’s no point paying for stuff you don’t need.

Will the website design be uniquely mine?

No. The designs are templates. That’s what massively reduces the cost to you.

For most small business owners, not having a completely unique design is not an issue. (Do a quick check: Are any of your competitors using the same design you’ve got your eyes on? Didn’t think so.)

You can always customise your website, too.

Plus, by adding your own images and tailoring other things to your liking, really you don’t need to worry because the design will become “yours” very quickly.

I'm a tech dunce! How difficult will it be to manage?

Not hard at all. Your website will be set up in a way that’s child’s play once you get the hang of it. Besides, I’ll give you full training so there’s no need to be concerned.

If you can use email, you can do this.

Is there any ongoing maintenance required?

It depends what type of site you need. But in most cases, the answer is “Yes”. You’ll need to update the core software that powers your website from time to time (irrespective of whether you edit or add to your site). This means you’ll need a “webmaster”.

Don’t let that alarm you, though. That could be as simple as a tech-savvy university student with some website management experience to check over your site every few weeks and make sure everything is up to date.

I can help you find someone to do this.

Can you work as my webmaster?

In most cases, no. Sorry. I’m happy to help where I can but I can’t be your full-time webmaster.

Firstly, I’d never have any time to concentrate on helping small business owners increase their bottom line by getting online or giving their site a makeover.

And secondly, it wouldn’t be cost-effective for you. You can hire a casual webmaster to look after your site for about a third my hourly rate and that’s all you need.

We can discuss this and I’ll point you in the right direction. I’ll even help you find a webmaster. How about that?

What is a CMS?

The short answer is that it stands for “Content Management System” but you’re better off reading this.

How does a CMS work?

There are two main areas to the site:

1. The public “face” of the site. This is what everyone sees when they visit your site.

2. The “back end”. This is the Administration area. This is NOT public. Think of it like the back office where clients never go.

You log in to your Admin area to create new pages, edit content, add images or videos, and so on.

Which CMS platform will my site be built on and why?

I use WordPress almost exclusively. Simple static sites are not built on a CMS.

There are lots reasons I use WordPress:

  • easy for the end-user
  • scalable: basic to advanced
  • enormous online support community
  • plenty of extendable functionality
  • huge library of beautiful designs

The two most comparable CMS platforms to WordPress are Joomla and Drupal. Both are excellent. However… I find Drupal considerably too “techy” for most people. It’s nowhere near as intuitive as WordPress and has the distinct feeling of being written by developers for developers.

Joomla is a very close comparison to WordPress in many ways and is superb for things like local community portals. However… I find Joomla a bit too overwhelming for the average user. It’s really powerful and can do lots of cool stuff but the average small business owner simply doesn’t need all those bells’n'whistles. The result? Too confusing to actually use.

WordPress, on the other hand, has a very small learning curve and has an extremely intuitive user interface, meaning you can learn how to use most of what you need in just a couple of hours!

So... What is WordPress, anyway?

It’s an open-source CMS which allows anybody to create beautiful and robust database-driven websites that are easy to use.

Be sure not to confuse it with the free online blogging platform (www.wordpress.com). A lot of people start blogging using WordPress.com or Blogger.com

The open-source version is different. It allows you to install the software on your own site and do whatever you want. Remember: a wordpress.com blog is not your property. It’s not on your server, there are lots of restrictions on what you can and can’t do, and it could literally disappear overnight at their whim!

What I’ll be doing is creating a site built on the WordPress platform which is entirely yours to keep, edit, control, and do whatever you like with… forever.

I heard WordPress is free... So what am I paying for?

That’s correct: WordPress is open-source software, which means anyone can take the code, use it in any way, improve on it, do whatever they please – free of charge. There is a lot of software that works in this way.

What you’re paying for, therefore, is my expertise in working out what you need, securely installing the software (to guard against hackers), installing key “plugins” which add functionality to the site, configuring the look of the site, and writing the central pages of text to get you started (Homepage, About Us, Products/Services).

For a very reasonable fee, you’re getting a completely out-of-the-box website solution that – quite simply – will add more money to your business.

I heard it's possible to install WordPress in 5 minutes. So what am I paying for?

Even the good folks at WordPress perpetrate this (kind of) myth. Technically, you can install it in 5 minutes, but I’m not sure you’d want to. Installing it that way leaves the door wide open for hackers!

Don’t be alarmed: WordPress is a very secure and safe platform with literally millions of users who are quick to report any problems, for which a patch or update is always rapidly issued.

But why would you want to do the stock-standard installation when with a bit more effort, you could install it securely in the first place?

The real danger to your business, though, is unscrupulous web consultants and designers who’ll charge you anywhere from $500 to $2000+ to do one of these “five minute installations” without telling you that’s what they’re doing!

By contrast, I employ a rigorous 94-point checklist for every site-build, starting with a complete system scan of my computer using three different antivirus and malware utilities. Why? Because if the installation is compromised, then all the security precautions are for nothing.

Once that’s done, I systematically work my way through the remaining 90+ steps. And then test everything and perform a full back-up for you.

I can assure it takes considerably more than 5 minutes to do it properly!

Do you provide any other services?

Why are your prices so cheap?

I think they’re competitive; not too cheap and not too expensive. Compared to what some pirates will charge you for the same thing, I guess it might seem cheap.

I prefer to sleep easy at night.

Why are your prices so expensive?

I think they’re competitive; not too cheap and not too expensive.

There are, without a doubt, cheaper website design firms out there. That’s because they work on volume: designing gorgeous websites is what they do all day every day. But…

… do they understand how to actually get your website producing a return on investment for you?

Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that web designers understand online marketing. They’re basically in the same arena, yeah? They do this stuff for a living; they must know all about it, right?

Wrong.

Plenty of designers will tell you they understand marketing when they don’t. If you find a website design company that truly does understand marketing and they’re cheaper… go with them. If the lowest price is the primary consideration for your website, no problem. Go with the other guys.

Having a website — or giving your website a new lease on life — is just the first step. It’s the most basic pre-requisite for harnessing the power of the internet to get you more sales. Buying a basic website is easy. Getting it to add real money to your business is a completely different kettle of fish.

Are there any hidden fees or charges?

No. But just for peace of mind — and to make sure we’re both on the same page — I recommend you read this. It goes over the following costs that are part of having a website and are in addition to the cost of the actual website:

  • Domain Name Registration
  • Website Hosting
  • Webmaster
  • Images

Do I need a mobile version of my website?

In most cases, I’d say “Yes”; statistics from business monitoring services all agree: More and more people are browsing — and, importantly, shopping — using their smartphones.

And with tablet pcs (iPad, Xoom, etc.) becoming increasingly popular, that’s only going to keep going up.

But… in some cases, it may not be necessary. If you think that’s the case, let’s talk about it.

I’m certainly not going to try and sell you anything you don’t need. Simple as that. I’m in the business of helping you make more money. When you make more money, I make more money.

Do I need a Google Places page?

Again… maybe; maybe not. It depends on the nature of your business.

For example, I work out of my home so it’s not really a big deal for me. (At the time of writing this, I still don’t have a Google Places page and I’ll get to it when I get to it.)

On the other hand, if you have a traditional “shopfront” store or an office or workshop that clients and customers visit in person, then yes you need one.

What about business directories like True Local or HotFrog... Aren't they enough?

You should consider whether paying for the premium versions of these listings is a good business decision. Until I know more about your business, I have no idea whether they’re good for you or not.

The one thing I do know, though, is that those pages are not your property. You “rent” a page on their site. That’s all.

It’s not a substitute for having your own site.

Can't I just buy a cheap website and get someone to do the other stuff?

Sure. But as I said above, the primary area of competence of designers is – unsurprisingly – design. Typically, their strong suite doesn’t include marketing, conversion testing and analysis, copywriting, etc.

A designer will create you a website that looks beautiful. But is it going to convert to sales? Is it easy to navigate? Is it structured for maximum SEO benefit? Are there security issues that need to be fixed? et cetera…

What if I want a custom design?

No problem. Let’s work together to find a designer (if you don’t already have one) who can do what you want.

I’m happy to consult for you so the designer doesn’t do things you’re just having to correct later on.

Fees are dependent on exactly what’s involved. Just give me a call.

I can't find a design in the gallery I like! What now?

I’m constantly looking for awesome designs that can be licensed for my gallery. However, if you’ve looked through everything there and nothing’s tickling your fancy, just give me a call.

There are plenty of other places to look for beautiful site designs that won’t cost you a fortune. Or we can get you something custom-designed.

What if my site gets hacked?

Don’t panic. Your entire business is not going to collapse, obviously.

There is never any 100% guarantee against hackers. Even NASA has been hacked!

The good news is that your site — as a small business owner — is highly, highly unlikely to be targetted for an attack.

More good news: Most hacks are either carried out or started by “bots” which scour the internet looking for vulnerabilities. The way I’ll set up your site reduces the chances of these “scouts” ever finding anything in the first place.

Again — very important that I stress this — I can’t provide any guarantees. All I can say is that doing it my way makes the risk very, very low.

You (or your webmaster) still need to keep your CMS up to date. Plus, I’m happy to recommend the same top-notch (and inexpensive) monitoring, back-up and disaster-recovery service that I use.

 

Contact Me