Frequently Asked Questions — And Their Answers
Below is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that we get all the time, and the answers to them. If you still have any questions, about websites, or marketing in general, don’t hesitate to contact us on our contact form and we will do our best to answer them for you.
Why do I even need a website for my business?
Because the majority of us spend a lot of our time on the internet. And whether its a good thing or not, we tend to judge a book by its cover (and your cover is your website).
We tend to think a company is more trustworthy when they have a professional looking and functional website. Google recently said that over 60% of all offline purchases now begin with an online search. I know for me personally, even if a friend refers me to a service, I always look them up online first before I use their services.
So as a business, you need a professional presence on the internet. It’s an investment in your business, and one that will definitely pay off in terms of increased business. After all, if your potential customers go online looking for your services and they can’t find your business online, they will find your competitors!
How much will a website cost?
How long is a piece of string?
The cost will vary depending on what sort of site you’re looking for. Most basic small business websites will cost about $2,000. Which includes design, building, and any basic features that you need, like contact forms and signup forms. If you want more features, like complex forms, online bookings, membership etc, you’ll be looking at spending more money because all of these extras take more time to set up, and time is money.
You can fill in our quote form to give us more information on what you’re looking for and we can give you a clear idea of the price range you’ll be looking at. We are committed to providing a quality of service that is value for money! We don’t pretend to be the cheapest, your fourteen year old niece would probably be the cheapest option, but we offer value for money, professional, functional websites which will make you money, not cost you money.
What are the ongoing costs of a website?
All websites have ongoing costs and don’t just maintain themselves. But never fear, we can help you out with that. We do provide a fully maintained website hosting plan for your website if you prefer that. Here’s what is needed:
This is an annual cost all websites have to cover. If you buy a domain name like yourbusinessname.com or yourbusinessname.net, they can be renewed annually, or paid for in advance for any period from 1-10 years, but an Australian domain name, like yourbusinessname.com.au needs to be renewed every two years. Think of the domain name as the online equivalent of your business name.
All of your website’s files and folders have to be stored on a hard drive somewhere so that they are available to viewers at all times. This is known as website hosting, and is usually a monthly cost, although we offer substantial discounts for annual payment.
Regular Website Updates
Websites need to stay updated. There are plenty of bad people out there who want to gain access to your site so that they can use the resources for their own use (its not about you specifically most of the time, it is just about them accessing as many resource as they can so that they can sell Viagara, or try to hack into much bigger websites). To make sure that doesn’t happen it is important that the back-end stays updated. So we suggest that you login daily and make sure that everything is updated. It is normally just a matter of clicking a couple of links, but it is vital that it is done regularly. The only cost is your time, unless you elect to get us to do it for you as part of your website hosting plan.
Daily or Weekly Backups
You should make sure that your site is updated each week and the backup stored for up to 30 days. If anything goes wrong with your site, or even if you accidentally muck up something when making changes, you can revert your site to a previous update. Our fully maintained website hosting plan takes care of this, or we can include a backup plugin for you at time of building the website if you prefer. Again, the only cost involved is your time unless you elect to get us to do it for you.
We set up your site so that it is secure, monitor it continually and block out the bad guys. If they somehow get through the defence (very unlikely) we will revert your site to the previous day’s backup. Again, no cost involved.
As a part of your package we will be available for technical support. You get 3 hours of support, but most questions are able to be dealt with in 5-15 minutes, so most people won’t need more time than this. We like to equip our clients with the skills to be able to update their own content, so we might send you a video of how you can do what you’re trying to do. Of course we are also more than willing to perform the task for you (for a modest fee). If you run out of support time (we will let you know when you’re running out of time) you can purchase more time at a discounted rate of $75 per hour.
What is the process involved in buying a website?
Research and Design
We will send you a questionnaire for you to fill out to find out more about you and your proposed site. We will then follow that up with a phone call, coffee meeting or Skype meeting to make sure that we are clear on what you are looking to gain from your site. We believe that the research and design phase is the most important part of the process and we like to spend time on it, mostly because we think that it’s vital to get the look, feel and flow of your website right. We will come up with two different designs for you to choose from. You can pick one and ask for edits to that design.
We will then work on the actual build of the site. This is the technical phase, where we will be needing all of your content and images (if you’re providing them). For the geeks out there who like to ‘peek under the hood’, all of our websites are built using the WordPress platform, because it is the biggest and best platform out there, and has the best level of customization. The other big benefit is that it is open source, which means that if for any reason you decide to take your website somewhere else, there are literally thousands of other people who can work on your website for you, which doesn’t apply to websites built using closed platforms which lock you into continuing to use the builder’s services whether you want to or not.
Because all of our sites are mobile friendly this stage is really important. You get to check that you’re happy with everything, but we also do bug checks on all major devices to make sure your site looks beautiful everywhere, on any device. Only when you are absolutely delighted do we ‘hand over the keys’ to your bright shiny new website, and show you how to ‘drive it’.
How long will it take to build the website?
We are generally booked out 1-2 months in advance, but contact us to see how we are going at the time.
Once we are ready to work on your site it usually takes 2-4 weeks to build the site. This time frame varies depending on how complex your site is and if you have everything ready to go when we need it (content being provided by clients is often the biggest hold up with sites being finished in time).
We will give you a clear timeline when we quote you and after we have researched the scope of the job. And we always stick to the timeline at our end. So as long as you provide what is needed when it is needed, usually all of the content and images we need for the site, your site will go live at the time we agree to.
What do I need to provide for my website build?
You will need to provide all of the content (text) for the initial build of the website. We are able to source images, but if you have specific ones that you want used, then you will need to provide those also. Photos of you and your staff, premises, products, etc, are all handy.
If you feel nervous about writing your own content you can hire a copywriter. We highly recommend this if you are not confident or if you feel a little unclear about what you are actually selling. You will have the best results with your site if you have a clear message of who you are, why your services are great, and why someone should use you or buy from you. So it can be well worth the money to hire someone to help you make that part clear and punchy.
That is also the reason that we stress this in our website submission form questions. If you need help, let us know and we can have the content written for you by our US-based writers, or we can suggest some very good writers on Fiverr if you don’t know anyone local who can help.
Will I be able to update my website myself after it's built?
Absolutely yes! We build all our sites using WordPress for that very reason. Our sites have a really user-friendly back-end, which will mean that you will be able to update your own content and images and even write and update your blog.
And if you need help with the day to day running of the website, your fourteen year old niece will probably know more about WordPress websites than you do, and possibly more than we do. If that is the case, tell her to contact us, we are hiring!
What if I need help after my site is built?
We will provide training for you after your site is built, either in person or on Skype. We will show you through the back-end of your site and also provide links to videos to show you how to update your site if you forget after our training.
We are here for you! If you have any questions, just send us an email and we will get back to you within 24 hours. We will either resolve the issue or point you to a video of how you can fix the issue yourself. Our goal is to enable you, so that you will know how to do simple updates yourself.
As a part of your package you have 3 hours of technical support, and most questions can be answered in 5-15 minutes, so there’s plenty of question time available. Of course if you’d prefer to pay us to do those updates we are happy to do that also.
We will let you know when your 3 hours is getting low and you can choose to add some more support time at a discounted rate, or use our website hosting and full maintenance plan.
Where are you based?
We are based in the lovely coastal Port Macquarie area, in New South Wales, Australia. So if you’re local we’d love to meet with you in person and share a coffee at our unofficial office, Crema Espresso.
However, if you are elsewhere we can still have a coffee during a Skype meeting or we can just use email if you prefer. We have worked with clients in Sydney, Melbourne, and even America, Europe and the UK. So don’t let distance be a concern. We are always just an email or Skype call away. And every page on our website has a prominent ‘Contact’ button, you can’t miss it! 🙂
Do you do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with the website?
We set up basic SEO on your site. Which means that we will build it with the search engines in mind as well as your potential customers. We will put in place Google Analytics and make sure that Google is regularly looking at your site and indexing its contents.
However, we don’t do ‘major SEO’, meaning that we won’t guarantee you a top 10 ranking based on keywords. You are more than welcome to hire someone else to do that for you.
But bear in mind that regardless of what some of these people will tell you, nobody can guarantee you a certain spot in the search rankings because the rankings are owned and managed by the search engines themselves and it is impossible to buy a certain ranking, or trick the search engines into giving you a particular ranking.
The tricky part about SEO is that we can do all the work in the world to set up your site so that it is Google-friendly, and we do, but it’s more about what you do after your site is live that really matters. Making sure that there are healthy links coming in and out of your site, not spammy links, having regular new content (like a regularly updated blog) which uses words people would Google to find you, and on and on it goes.
So if that is what is really important to you we highly recommend using a company like Melbourne SEO Services, they even run workshops so you can learn how it all works, and have DIY plans to help you. Tell Dave I sent you, and tell him I said to look after you! 🙂