FAQs

FAQs

Most of the common FAQs are answered below.
If you have any other questions at all, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

How long before my website is up and running?

For a standard 5 page website, I guarantee to have the first draft of your website to you within 10 working days from the date that I receive all the content from you.
If you need a quicker turnaround time than this, then please don't hesitate to get in touch and we can discuss your exact requirements.  The beauty of running my own business is that I can be flexible to suit the needs of my clients.
For more complex builds, a time scale will be discussed with you.

I can't see a package that offers what I want

No problem!  The packages are just a guide to give you an idea of costs and what is included.  Many businesses don't fit perfectly into a package.  Simply get in touch and we can discuss your website requirements.

Are your web design prices really fixed?

Yes!  Before I accept your project we will discuss exactly what you need from your website.  From there I will know exactly how many pages your website will have and if any extra functions need to be added which may cost more (for example you may need a custom booking system).

I will send you the price in writing and this price is guaranteed not to change.  If you decide that you want extra pages or extra design work, then I will tell you what any extra costs would be before I start the extra work.  You can then decide whether to proceed or not.

Can I edit my own website?

Yes, of course.  Most of our packages include a Content Management System (CMS) and if it doesn't you have the option to purchase this add on for just £35.  The CMS allows you to access and edit your own website if you so wish.  You will receive training on this and I am always available to help, should you need it.

I was one of the first web designers to positively encourage my clients to have an active part in updating and maintaining their websites (if they wanted to).  This was partly due to the number of clients who came to me who already had a website, but were unable to access it.  They were either unable to get in touch with their web designer, or were being charged large sums of money for simple updates.  I strongly believe that it is your website and that you should be able to access it if you want to.

When did you start your web design business?

I started my own web design business in 2008 and I still have some clients who have been with me from the very start. Time really does fly when you are doing something that you enjoy!

What do you need from me?

I need the copy (text) for your website and any relevant images that you want included.  These can be sent via email.  If you are struggling creating the content for your website then just let me know and I can recommend a copywriter.  However I find that most small businesses do a great job of writing their own content, as they know their business inside out and can write from the heart.  Plus don't forget it doesn't need to be perfect.  With the CMS you can always go in and tweak what you've written once the site is up and running.

Do I pay anything upfront?

Yes, as with most web designers 50% is paid once we have decided to work together and 50% upon completion.  The final payment isn't due until you are 100% happy with your site.

How can I pay?

I usually ask for payment via BACS.  However if you prefer to pay by PayPal or credit or debit card, this isn't a problem.  Just let me know.  You may however incur an extra fee paying this way.

Are there any ongoing costs?

Every year your domain name and your website hosting will need renewing.  The domain name costs £20 a year and the hosting £60 a year.

If I have used any paid plugins to add extra functionality to your website then these may also need renewing every year.  You will be informed of these in your initial quote, so there will never be any unpleasant surprises.

Are there any costs not listed here?

Possibly.  Some websites might require a plugin to add an extra function (please see above Jargon Busting FAQs to find out what a plugin is).  Many plugins are free and I use these whenever possible, but sometimes it is necessary to buy a plugin.

An example of a paid plugin could be on a hotel website.  You might want to accept online bookings and want your customers to pay at the time of booking.  This can be done by using a plugin.  Plugins range in price from around £18 upwards.

Before I design your website, I will always give you a fixed price and this will include the cost of any plugins, which will be listed in the quote.  You will always know what the price is before I start work.  The only time this will ever change is if you decide you want extras added on, after the initial brief has already been decided.

Many websites don't require any plugins at all, except the security plugins and these are included in the cost of the hosting each year.

Where are you based?

I live in the North West of England in Blackpool.  However, the beauty of being a web designer is that location isn't important.  I have had clients as far afield as the US, France and Scandinavia, as well as throughout the UK of course.

Communication can be via email, phone or Skype - whichever you prefer.

Jargon Busting FAQs

Does something sound like gobbedly gook?
I'm anti-jargon so hopefully you can find some answers below.

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website is a website that literally responds to the size of device that you're viewing it on.  A website needs to look great, whether you're viewing the site on a desktop PC, Mac, laptop, tablet or phone.

All the websites I create are responsive and are tested across all major browsers and various different sized devices before going live.

What is hosting and why do I need it?

In the same way that you need to store your clothes and belongings in wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, your website also needs to be stored somewhere.  In the case of a website, it's stored on a server.  This means that when somebody is looking for your website, it can be found.

Hosting is included for 12 months on most of our packages and the renewal is £60 a year if paid annually, or £72 a year if paid monthly (£6 a month).  This price includes ensuring that your website is properly backed up, has all the necessary security in place and is optimised for speed.

You are more than welcome to provide your own hosting if you prefer to, and are happy maintaining security, back ups and speed yourself.

What is ecommerce?

Ecommerce is just another way of saying that your website accepts payments online.  This might range from just a simple PayPal button to a fully functioning store with 100's or 1000's of items for sale.

PayPal is often a preferred way to take payment, but you are not limited to this.  Other examples of payment gateways include SagePay, Worldpay, Stripe etc

There are strict regulations about selling online and we will guide you through these effortlessly.  Setting up ecommerce on your website can be simple, painless and also easy on your wallet!

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics and Webmaster are two free tools from Google that allow you to access data about your website visitors.  This includes information such as where in the world your site visitors are located, how long they spend on each page of your site, how they found your website, what type of device they are using to view your site and so much more.

Google Analytics and Webmaster are included in most of our packages and I would always encourage my clients to log in at least once every month and have a look at their stats.  You can find all kinds of information to help make your website a better experience for your site visitors, which in turn can help your site rank better in Google.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is basically the address of your website, for example www.yourwebsite.com.  Most of our packages include a domain name as standard but if not we can buy one on your behalf for £20.  If you already own a domain name, then we will deduct £20 from the cost of your website.

If you haven't already bought a domain name, then I would strongly advise talking to a web designer before doing so.  They can help guide you as to what would be the best domain name for your business.  Domain names can be very important tools in helping rank your website in Google, so it's an important decision.

What is a professional email address?

I'm sure you already know what an email address is, but what exactly is a "professional" email address?  A professional email address would be one that is set up and linked to your domain name.  For example if your domain name is www.yoursite.com, then you might choose the email addresses john@yoursite.com, sales@yoursite.com, contact@yoursite.com etc.

The reason that this is so important is because it shows the world that you are a professional business.  A Gmail or Hotmail email address listed on your website gives the wrong impression and you could lose customers.

What is a CMS?

A CMS is a Content Management System.  This is a system that allows you to log into your website and make changes, add pages, add and update products etc.

Don't worry if this sounds daunting.  Our CMS is really easy to use and you will receive 1 hour of training with me via Skype, plus lots of videos to refer to.  This allows me to see your screen and I can therefore watch and guide you through the training.  And don't worry, you can't "break" your website.  If you do something wrong, it's simple to undo.

Most of my clients love being able to update their own website whenever they wish.  However if you feel that it's not something you want to do, then I can of course carry out any updates for you.

What CMS do you use?

The main CMS we use is WordPress.  With over 25% of all websites now powered by WordPress, it is the largest platform used to build websites globally.  In fact over 74 million websites are built using WordPress.

If you've ever tried to use WordPress yourself in the past and struggled, then don't worry.  We use a special add on, which makes editing your own website really easy.

Don't want to use WordPress?  No problem.  I have experience with most Content Management Systems, so just let me know which is your CMS of choice and I will accommodate if possible.

What is a WordPress "theme"?

Really good question.  A theme is basically a template.  There are 1000's of designs to choose from and they are great for browsing to get inspiration for your website.  Themes can be free or paid for.

If you've seen a theme that you love, just let me know.  I always build websites from scratch so I can design the site you want, based on the theme you love.  This means that you don't incur the extra cost of paying for a theme, nor the restrictions that many pre-designed themes have. I build the website around your content, rather than trying to squeeze your content into a template, but I'm very happy to design the site based on a theme you have seen elsewhere.

What is a WordPress "plugin"?

A plugin is something which will add an extra function or design element to your website.  Some plugins are free and some are paid for.

An example of where a plug in has been used on this website is on the Pricing page.  The pricing table was designed using a plug in, as this allows me to add more functions to it.

There are also plugins used on the website that you can't see, but which are vitally important.  These are used to ensure that the website is secure, is being backed up regularly and loads as fast as possible.

Plugins are an essential part of designing a website with WordPress.

How long is a web "page"?

That's a really good question.  From a designer's point of view a "page" is approximately what you can see on the screen at any one time, or approximately an A4 sheet in Word.

Our packages all include a certain number of pages.  If one of your pages is very long, then it may be classed at 2 or more pages.  A page with 10,000 words is going to take much longer to design than a standard page containing 500 words and so the price will of course be higher.  Once I have seen the content of your website then I can give you a fixed price, so you know exactly what you're paying.

What support do I get?

Regardless of whether your website has 1 page or 100 pages, I support you fully for the first 3 months after your website has gone live.  So what exactly does that mean?  It means that I am here to answer any questions you have about your site.  This might be how to do something more complex in the CMS that we didn't cover, what you can do to help your rankings in Google, helping you understand what your Google Analytics stats mean etc. The support doesn't include me making changes to your website, as all requested revisions are made before the site goes live.

After the 3 months I am still more than happy to help and this will be charged at my standard fee of £25 per hour (minimum one hour). If the work I do for you only takes 15 minutes for example, then any remaining minutes are carried forward and can be used at any time. Unlike other designers, there is no limit on when these need to be used and they never expire.

If you ever have any kind of question, query or worry about your website, don't hesitate to reach out to me.  My services don't stop when your website is finished.  I am always here to help.

I have a question that's not been covered.

If you still don't find what you're looking for, then please don't hesitate to contact me.

Let's Get Started on Your Project