Frequently Asked Questions about the Web Design Process
Similar questions frequently arise as we begin a new Website design project so to be “proactive” and save you from having to ask, here are the answers to the questions we hear the most frequently.
What does a website cost?
Is the #1 question we are asked. Unfortunately, since each website we build is custom built for each client that's a difficult question to answer. Each project is unique and is tailored to that specific client's need. While our minimum project fee is $2,000 some projects have exceeded $50,000. Your goals and desires for your website will determine the dollars necessary to complete the project. Bigger and complex sites obviously require a larger budget than a simple “online brochure” site. For most projects we provide a free estimate that will detail the tasks to be performed and the number of hours we estimate it will take to complete prior to starting your website design project.
How long does it take to build a website?
Is the 2nd most frequently asked question. Again, this depends on how large and complex your site will be as well as our current work load. Both of these factors will affect the time required to build your website. Simple projects often take two months, complex projects rarely are completed in under three months. Of course the most frequent delay is that we have to wait on content such as text and photos from the client when we aren't developing it for them. We’re pretty good about nagging to get it, but sometimes clients can't give it to us in a timely manner.
How long before search engines rank my site?
Much like getting a new phone number and waiting for the phone books to print the new directory with the number listed, search engines need time to “publish” a new database that includes your site. Due to our successful tactics for marketing your site, the dominant search engines, Google, bing! and Yahoo will normally pick up a site in a few weeks now. The site will likely not rank highly in the beginning, but can generally be found for your company name. Ranking at the top of the search engine results can take over a year depending on the search engine and whether or not a monthly SEO Campaign has been implemented. Google in particular seems to have a strange approach to rankings. We have documented them ranking a site on the first page of the results as quickly as two months, only to have them push the site back to page three or four for the remainder of a year. Google also appears to favor older domains, seemingly penalizing newly registered domains. While the number of inbound links to a site often affects the rankings, these delays seem to go over and above that.
Is there a monthly or annual fee for having a website?
Yes, the annual fee covers the hosting of your website. Website hosting can be easily compared to telephone service. You pay AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or CenturyLink so if someone calls your phone it rings and connects the call. Website hosting is similar... when a prospective site visitor searches Google and clicks on a search result, or even types in your URL (domain name) into their Web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) it’s the website hosting service that connects the site visitor to our Web servers where we deliver the requested page to them. Your monthly or annual fees also pay for nightly off-site backups of the site, reports of traffic and visitors to your site, storage space (in Gigabytes) the site takes up on the server and the monthly bandwidth (Internet traffic) the site uses.
How do I know if anyone came to my website?
Every day we analyze the logs from the web server (that record every visitor to the site and which pages they view) and produce a detailed HTML report (apx. 40 pages) of the sites activity. It includes the number of both normal (people) visitors as wells as search spiders, the pages that were viewed, which order the pages were most commonly viewed in (paths through the site), which search engines drove traffic to the site, and so much more. These reports can be viewed with your password protected login.
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