Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a website?
As of November 30, 2015, 3,366,261,156 people worldwide have access to the Internet. No matter what your business is, you can’t ignore over 3 billion people.
Sooner or later, someone will type your name or business into a search engine. What do you want them to find? Nothing, or worse yet, your competition?
A Website will allow your business or organization to be “open” 24/7. Every business should have a website. BUT, here’s the exception to my rule: It’s actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad.
Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, “Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!” or it screams, “Hey, look, I let my 10-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!”
Whatever you’re advertising, whether it be services, products or yourself, a website is an easy and inexpensive way to promote yourself. Every other kind of advertising will cost a premium.
Websites are like brochures that are free to reproduce, interactive, and quickly distributed to people who are already looking for them. No advertising medium even comes close to the ease-of-use and effectiveness of a Website.
At a minimum, you should have a website that gives the basic information — phone number, address, a list of your products or services, pricing, an “about us” page and a contact page.
You should also make sure that people can actually find it in the search engines and directories, so a little professional help to get that done would be imperative.
Your website is one of the most important parts of your business. Make sure you treat it as such.
Thank you Entrepreneur.com for statistics.
Why should I hire you to design and build my website?
- I speak to you in terms you understand. No intimidating technical talk. This is a vital aspect of my customer service.
- Attention to detail borders on obsessive compulsive. Seriously though, I have a real eye for detail.
- My trustworthiness is proven by the hundreds of logins, passwords, and credit card information I have to deal with in this line of work. Your information is secure.
- I have strong communication skills and require that any pertinent information is emailed between my client and myself so there is always a paper trail.
- I design to your unique needs and style, not mine. Many designer’s egos can be a very difficult and sensitive. You will never have that problem with me. Your website is all about YOU.
- I do not require you to use me in the future to make changes to your website. If you have a nephew or cousin that knows WordPress or HTML, I am more than happy to give them access to your site.
- Your domain name and website belong to you, not me the designer. (Many website designers purchase your domain name in their name in order to hold your business “hostage”)
- I have been a graphic artist since 1985 in Hollywood, working with the movie industry on movie poster and billboard art. I was provided opportunities to work with companies such as Lucas Films, Warner Brothers, Disney, Columbia, Sony, Universal Studios and the American Film Institute. I also worked within the art departments of the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles, Disney Consumer Products, and the McDonald’s Corporation. Since 2006, I have taken the out-of-the-box creative styles required by companies of their caliber and applied them to website design.
What is a Responsive Website.....and why do I need it?
Because mobile Internet usage is increasing steadily, it’s extremely important that your website is friendly for any size device on which it is viewed.
Remember in years past, you would bring up a website on your cell phone and it would be a tiny version of the actual website you would see on a desktop? Then you’d have to “pinch and spread” you fingers to get it bigger and then use your pointer finger to move around and try to find what you want? Those were the years of resizing, panning and scrolling to find what you want. What a pain!
Then came the concept that you would have a website built for desktop users and another site specifically developed for mobile users — Two websites, twice the cost, twice the maintenance. Another pain!
Thus the development of Responsive Design – a design that can handle both types of users. With a responsive website design, you don’t have to have worry about having different websites for various devices or making sure that your site runs properly on a mobile device. Responsive Web Design was born. (Yeah, and the angels sang!)
With responsive web design, your website in built in compartments and columns that can easy stack when the browser window gets smaller, like for an iPad, notebook, cell phone, etc. All of the content stays large so that you can easily read it without the “pinch, spread and search” method that frustrated us for years.
Type stays large, while items such as photos and videos resize to screen width for easy viewing. This new type of responsive website is built on the concept of percentages rather than pixels and points.
Did you know that 74% of the people who visit websites on their mobile phone will give up if it takes more than 5 seconds to load?1 Back in 2013, mobile phones out-numbered PCs as the most common web access devices worldwide.2 It’s amazing how so many websites are still not optimized for mobile. If you’re not “mobile friendly”, you are losing business!
Here are 3 top reasons “mobile friendly” websites are a must for small businesses:
- There are 6.8 billion people on the planet at present. 4 billion own mobile phones.3 (But only 3.5 million use a toothbrush….which is a whole other story.) 25% of Americans use only mobile devices to access the Internet.4 There are 5x as many cell phones in the world as PCs.5 In the US alone, 82 percent of adults own a cellphone. Are you getting the point? The world is changing and if you don’t change the way your business is represented on the internet, you will be left behind.
- Mobile users have different objectives than desktop users. They want information quickly, in easily digestible bites. 80 percent of shoppers admit that mobile purchases are impulse-driven and they are far more likely to purchase from a mobile friendly site. Statistics show that mobile users spend more money per purchase than customers do on desktop websites. These are your customers…these are the young and upcoming “spenders” in the world. Know your clientele and give them what they need.
- Content that looks great on a desktop might be unreadable on a mobile device. Shoppers will not stay on your site if they have to pinch and zoom or squint at illegible type. Desktop websites in mobile browsers are ineffective at converting visitors into buyers. Calls to action (CTAs) are often obscured, links are difficult to click, and contact pages are buried in awkward menus. Mobile shoppers have little patience for an unwieldy website and one-third of them will leave a transaction if the site isn’t optimized for mobile. By providing mobile visitors with an appropriate and intuitive user experience you will obviously engage visitors longer and drive more of them to purchase or enquire about your business.
1 (Source: Compuware.com) 2 (Source: Gartner.com) 3 (Source: 60SecondMarketer.com) 4 (Source: GoMoNews.com) 5 (Source: ImpigoMobile)
How much does a website cost?
It’s usually the elephant in the room. Cost is definitely a concern when it comes to taking the plunge and finally building your website. As with everything else you purchase, the phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true in the world of web design and development. If you begin to cut costs solely for saving a dollar now, you may not reap as much value in the long-term when it comes to delivering results.
Think of it this way. A full page color ad in the local phone directory will cost you thousands of dollars. And that’s per year. And the only people who see it are the ones who still walk across the house, find the phone directory, put on their reading glasses, and then go to the phone and dial your phone number.
The world is changing, and the way people find their information is changing too. The good ol’ Yellow Pages is now YP.com, giving people contact information over the internet worldwide….still costs you thousands for a premium ad, but at least it’s online. But even a one page Yellow Pages ad doesn’t give the 3 dimensional aspect of a website. Unlimited pages, information, photos, videos, links and social networking. And after the main cost of initial design and set-up, it’s yours years after year, unlike a yellow pages ad which you have to re-pay for every year.
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Is it cheaper to start with a very simple website and add more later?
Here’s the dilemma. It doesn’t matter so much if a website has one page or ten. The main costs are in the set-up.
A one bedroom house doesn’t cost that much less than a three bedroom house when you consider you still have to have a foundation, plumbing, electrical, front door, living room, kitchen, etc.
Adding pages only costs $50 per page plus any fancy modules on it. But it’s the design and set-up as a custom responsive website that is the base of your costs, and that all comes up front, which is $1898. But at that point, the foundation of the website is built, so it doesn’t cost that much more to build onto it from there in the future.
How long does it take to build a website?
This depends on the size and complexity of the website. Most of the time, the delay is in gathering the information and elements from the clients. If you are organized, and do your part as far as sending photos and information we need, the average website takes between 3-4 weeks from the time I am scheduled to start until it is built, edited, proofed, tested and live on the internet.
What does the process involve?
“We truly love what we do and love working with clients who are as enthusiastic about their business as we are about design.”
We start every web design project by doing our homework to understand your business, your brand and your audience. Let’s talk. That’s how every project begins. Getting to know our clients on not only a professional level but a personal one as well is extremely important to us. We feel that those initial conversations are the most important step in the creative process. Let’s face it, if we don’t understand what you want. We can’t create it. Understanding the problem is often harder than designing a solution for solving it.
Planning is where the rubber hits the road. What might look like a bunch of random sketches in a notebook to most people soon turns into a precise plan of action. This significant step in our process of defining hierarchy and balancing content ensures a pleasing, intuitive user experience. The rough sketches then get defined into presentable designs for your approval.
We deliver unique, user focused designs built on a responsive foundation supported with clean, semantic code that follows strict industry guidelines. We build websites using WordPress, which is one of the best content management system (CMS) on the planet. This means our services provide well designed content.
Beautiful graphics is an important element to any business that wants to have a good impact. This is why we create graphic design using some of the industry’s best leading design software. Design is a critical strategic asset that is most effective when employed early in the plans, not as a decorative finality.
This is just the beginning. We’re here for the long haul. Once your project is complete, most places are like “see ya later alligator!” We’re not that kind of shop. We value the lasting relationship we have with our clients and work very hard to make sure that relationship continues to grow over time as our clients’ needs evolve.
WordPress is used by some of the most widely recognized brands in the world such as CNN, CBS New York, Harvard Business Review, Boise State University, New York Times, Dole, Glad, Mercedes-Benz and Vogue. Boom.
Think of it this way: If WordPress is good enough for the Library of Congress, government sites in the U.S. and Great Britain, and the U.S. military, it’s probably robust enough for your needs, too.
As of August 2015, WordPress powers nearly one in four sites on the Web – and of all sites that use a CMS, WordPress is the choice of more than 80%. In 2014, WordPress remained the fastest-growing CMS for the fifth year straight.
What is Branding...and why do I need it?
Branding is your identity. Your logo is an important part of your business and the design process. Branding is much more than just a great logo. It is the “look” of your company, the “personality” of your product. Our branding and marketing services can help you make a statement that defines your brand, the unique look that is you. A branded logo is one of the most critical aspect of business marketing. It is the graphical representation that anchors a company’s brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the company within a target market. For this reason, a well-designed logo is an essential part of any company’s overall marketing strategy.
What is Social Media Marketing...and why do I need it?
It is a rapidly growing force set to be the future of marketing. At this rate digital marketing is likely to soon replace more traditional forms of marketing altogether. This is due to the rapid increase in mobile technology. While older generations will no doubt lament the demise of paper-based newspapers, books, communication methods and traditional TV and radio broadcasts, those who have grown up with the internet and mobile phones as a God-given right are already embracing the brave new world of digital consumption. The facts are that digital methods of communication and marketing are faster, more versatile, practical and streamlined. This is why we provide our clients with tools to give their business a marketing edge.
What is Blogging?
Most new start-up companies have no idea what this is and are wondering why so many websites are including this page. Blogging is all about writing articles of interest consistently to give search engines like Google the content they crave (SEO).
Consistent and regular blogging requires a commitment which is ongoing. You don’t want this task to become a drudgery. The blogging fee is well worth it if you feel this will take more of your time than you are willing to offer. It will also save your precious time for a more profitable endeavor such as running and growing your business.
Blogging cannot be ignored if you are expecting to grow and keep a permanent flow of traffic to your website. Social media alone will not get the job done. Competition is fierce and the top sites stay current with blogging techniques.
How do I Blog on my new website?
If you are a creative writer or familiar with article writing, you can write Blog Articles yourself, but will still need to learn the rules for publishing content on the web and how to operate the software.
This is one question you need to ask yourself – Do I really have the time required to develop a well thought out and interesting article each week or each month? If your answer is “no” …you may want to consider hiring a professional blog writer. If writing is your passion, go ahead and take on the task yourself!
Download these instructions to access the back end of your website and START BLOGGING!
Can I have any domain name (or URL) I want for my new web site?
Yes, you can have any domain name you wish, but obviously only if it is available. Domain name choice is critical as it is an important element of how you are represented.
If you do not already have a domain name, research, but don’t buy it yet. Contact me when you find the one you want (which isn’t already taken) and I will purchase it for you so that your domain, email and website are all hosted together on Bluehost. You can research available domain names on Bluehost, but to be honest, GoDaddy’s domain search page is much more fun. Just don’t buy it there or it will be a bit more complicated in setting up your website.
Some of the common domain name endings are .com, .net, .org, .biz, or .info.
.COM, .NET and .ORG are unrestricted open domains or individuals or businesses.
.INFO for a strictly informational website.
.BIZ is just for businesses.
Recently, a huge list of domain name extensions have been released. See list.
Can I have an email address with my domain name on it?
Yes, in fact I recommend always having a domain name at the end of your email, rather than gmail, yahoo, aol, or any other. It looks more professional and gives your email some dignity. I will set up as many emails as you need for just $5 per year each. Cheap, eh? Your email can be checked at Bluehost, or you can have it automatically sent to your Gmail or at whichever account you normally check your email.
How would I access my email on Bluehost?
Go to: https://login.bluehost.com/hosting/webmail
Type in your username and password. If you don’t know your username and/or password, contact Robyn.
You will be given 3 choices of programs in which to open your mail. I recommend RoundCube.
How do I pull my Bluehost email to my personal email account?
What are those weird numbers or letters at the bottom of my Contact Page? What is a Captcha?
CAPTCHA: Telling Humans and Computers Apart Automatically
A CAPTCHA is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text as the one shown below, but current computer programs can’t:
The term CAPTCHA (for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas Hopper and John Langford of Carnegie Mellon University.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
These are techniques and information added to the code of a website to help drive traffic to a website by improving visibility and relevance to major search engines.
Do you back up my website regularly?
- Downloaded .ZIP Archives of files to my hard drive – For further security, a backup of your files are downloaded to my hard drive; this allows for instant, offline access to your files.
- Automatic Backups – Site Backup and Restore tool automatically makes a daily backup copy of your site to help protect you from data loss.
- Daily, Weekly & Monthly – Recover files from long, medium, and short term backup archives, giving you a greater chance of finding the version you are looking for, instead of multiple copies of the same version.
- Restore – Restore files automatically by replacing current files with the backed up versions. Browse or search to find exactly the files you want to restore.
- Restore Databases and Tables! – Restore MySQL databases. You can even select individual tables to restore. Sleep better at night knowing you can recover your database in an emergency.
- Recover Single or Multiple Files – Quickly select individual files or groups of files and folders you want to recover. Why replace your entire site when you only need to restore a few specific files?
Why should I host my website on Bluehost?
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosts, starting in 1996, and has become the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting. They are an official “WordPress” recommended hosting provider. They have US based support 24/7.
I am on a High Speed Cloud Based Pro Plan. Under my account, you can get this high speed plan plus maintenance on your website for just $20.00 per month, charged on a yearly basis.
Is my website secure from hackers?
YES! Your website is secure.
- iThemes Security
- Bullet Proof Security
On top of that, Bluehost integrates powerful SiteLock features so you’re set from day one:
- SiteLock Security
- Advanced CDN
- SiteLock WAF
Can we still work together if we live in different states or countries?
Websites by Robyn is located in Monument, Colorado. But we can build your site no matter where you live in the world. Your location doesn’t matter. Most communication and file sharing, even with local customers, is done electronically. Business is simply conducted via email, phone and video chat as needed. If you are in the Monument Colorado area, then it would be great to meet.
When can we get started?
I only take on 2-4 website builds per month to ensure that each client gets their deserved attention. Please message me via my contact page or call me (719-216-4421) and I we can coordinate my availability with yours.
How do you accept payment?
I request a 50% down payment as soon as an estimate is approved. I accept payments via bank transfer, PayPal, or check. The exact details and terms will be provided in my proposal. The final 50% will be paid on completion of the project, prior to releasing the final artwork.
Do you do all of the work?
I do all of the design work and content management, which means when you hire me, you will work directly with me. I have an incredible team of technicians who are the real brains behind the code. Because many of my designs are designed outside-the-box, I challenge even my smartest website coder to make them happen….and he does.
Glossary of Website Terms
Here is an incredible Glossary of Website Terms
We’ve compiled some great resources for you to help you be successful on the Internet.
Great Free, Helpful Software
Awesome Screenshots – This is my go-to screenshot program. It has a plugin for most browsers.
Lastpass – I cannot live without this! This is a way to generate and securely store all your passwords. The Pro version lets you use it on your phone & tablet too.
PDFill Free PDF & Image Writer – this is my go-to PDF maker
Goodsync – Keep the files on two or more computers synchronized. Fast and easy. The Pro version is worth the small price.
Dropbox – For online file sharing and syncing. Great for sending me large or many files!
Evernote – I use OneNote because it came with my MS Office, but Evernote is a great, free alternative! Keep all your notes in one searchable location, with categories, images, and web-clipping capabilities.
Tweetdeck – For managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoogleBuzz, MySpace and Foursquare social media posts on your desktop computer or mobile device.
Stock Photo Resources
Trademark & Copyright Info
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
USPTO – FREE Searchable Patent Database
The Library of Congress – U.S. Copyright Office