Maybe You Were Too Nervous to Ask…

Recently, we had a prospective client come to us to inquire about a website redesign. She had some fairly basic questions, but we quickly realized that behind the questions was a general lack of awareness around how the website design process works, what parts of the work she would come to “own,” and how long things take to get done. After we’d sent the email back to her with our responses, we thought — hey! this might be helpful to a whole bunch of people out there! So here you are — a few common questions about website redesign, development and SEO, and their answers, below.

Do you use templates or build custom websites?

This depends on the client and the budget. Typically, we start with a basic template that provides minimal functionality, and then we build up from there. So for most clients, the sound of the word “template” leads to concerns over an out-of-the-box looking site. But because we use our own front end designs as per the client’s specs, and develop additional coding in the backend, we end up with the best of both worlds. The sites always look unique, but we don’t have to spend excess hours developing code from scratch, and passing those costs along to the client. This should read: custom-coded site $10-$50K depending on complexity; versus starting with a template and building the design from that, $3500-$10,000 depending on complexity.

How long does a typical website project take?

Anywhere from 5 weeks to 3 months, depending on complexity, availability of the client to offer feedback, etc. Most 4-6 page websites with minimal complexity take between 1 and 2 months from start to finish.

When the website is complete, will we own it or will you?

You will own your website entirely. If we host it for you, then we are just providing hosting, and are not in ownership of any part of your site.

How much do you charge for hosting? How much are updates once the website is launched?

This depends on how much server space your site takes up, and tends to range between 5 and 15$ per month, usually averaging right around 8-10$.

Updates are separate charges, and this depends on the nature of the update. Content based changes typically run $25/hour and you are not charged for the full hour if it’s not used. Programming changes can run between $45-$100 depending on complexity. Rush charges will be added if we’re extra busy and you need something asap, but we’re reasonable people.

Will we be able to update the website ourselves?

This depends on what you are going to update and how savvy you are in the backend of WordPress. I can offer you a quick tutorial, and if you pick it up quickly, changing content on pages or uploading your own blog posts shouldn’t be too much of an issue. WordPress is incredibly intuitive and easy to use.

Can you help with SEO?

Yes. This is our background, and we’ve been working in the world of SEO since 2006. We can help out with local search, social media, the basics of SEO site architecture, etc.

How are conversions made?

What are you looking to convert? If you’re looking to convert a customer to a sale, and you want shopping cart functionality on your site, this tends to run at the higher end of the projections above. We can integrate with Paypal, or use a simple e-commerce plugin.

Can the website grow as the business grows?

Yes. New pages, additional functionality, etc. can all be added in down the road when you are ready to grow.

What happens if you move out of town/leave the business/etc.?

If you are hosting the website on your own server (such as with GoDaddy, for example), then nothing — as long as you continue to renew the domain name and to pay for hosting, the site will live on in perpetuity. We have no plans to move out of town as such, and own our own home here in Portland. If we host the website for you, then as long as you pay for hosting, the site will continue to live on our servers until you no longer want it to. If we should ever dissolve the business, we are very accountable people and will take very measure necessary to ensure that your site stays live and that you are offered affordable hosting elsewhere.

Will the website be mobile-friendly?

Yes. All websites are designed to work on multiple browsers (firefox, safari, chrome, etc.) and on multiple platforms (desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet).

[Photo Via: photobucket]

Published by Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency. Fiction writer, editor, content development specialist, lover of the written word and more, Byloos has worked in SEO and web development since 2006. He's written about every kind of subject under the sun, for clients both large and small. Together with his partner Carrie Seitzinger, he publishes NAILED Magazine from Portland.