A domain name is the address that is linked to your new website - for example www.pineapplelily.co.uk is the domain name for this website.
If you haven't already got a domain name I will help check for availability of your preferred name. I will explain the advantages of different types of domain names and I will help set up the registration of your domain name.
To keep it simple - the files used to create your website have to be stored in a central place which is accessible to the public through your website domain name address (www.yourdomainname.co.uk) Your files are stored with a Web Host. Without a Web Host your files will sit on your computer and no-one will see them!
For your convenience I provide a Managed Hosting Service. I organise and manage the hosting of your website through a hosting company of my choice. This means, if there is ever a problem with the host or your website, it is me who raises the support tickets with the necessary technical peeps and developers. It is a fact of life that website do go wrong, software goes out of date, browsers are updating continuously and this sometimes affects the way websites function. Websites are also vulnerable to security issues (hence the need to keep on top of all the updates!). This was no so much of an issue 10 years ago - much has changed since I started on this career path.
- no long term fixed contracts.
- no fees on transferring your site should our contract be terminated by either party.
- no sales gimmicks and no free offers = no surprises further on down the line.
What you see is what you get.
Managed Hosting benefits:
The platforms that I use to build websites are not the same as the ones I originally started with. The development of web software has moved on bonkers quick! The software used needs to be able to cope with the modern browser platforms which are being continuously updated. Problems can be experienced with very old platforms which become obsolete over time, as they are replaced by newer versions. I only test my sites on the latest versions of the most popular browsers including:
IE 9 + *
I do not support obsolete browsers.
* Windows XP users are not able to upgrade to above IE8, and this can cause problems for the newer, responsive, designs on websites. If this is an important factor for you, for an extra charge, you can have a simple version your site in a static design and old browsers will be redirected to this site. Alternatively you can have a message on the site which will come up for old browser users recommending they upgrade.
iPads are becoming a standard business tool. If your potential client or customer is coming to your site for the first time, from an iPad, and it looks naff - chances are they will move on to the next site. Users come to your site to find information and they want to find it easily. Without the aid of a magnifying glass! What looks amazing on a 27" desktop can look completely different on a smaller screen and vice versa. I build my sites with full size desktops, laptops and iPads in mind.
Smart phones are also accommodated. To expect a website to display equally well on a 27" screen and a mobile is just not practical. It just won't work. It is a size thing! In April 2015, Google changed the way it searches for websites on mobile devices and it now ranks them in order of mobile friendliness. If your website is static in it’s design then Google will rank other sites (that are not static) above it.
From 2015 all of my websites are mobile responsive.
Great quality images. I cannot stress this enough - pictures will make or break the quality of your website. Newer technologies demand high resolution images for the most optimum visual experience for the user. If other websites have great pictures, and your are pixelated and low quality your customer may think that this is a reflection of the type of service you offer. I can give you advice on where you can source images that will make your site shine. If you are providing your own images, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure they are either professional photographs or at least taken with a good quality camera. I would recommend, if possible, a minimum 8 megapixels. The images will need to be compressed and optimised for the web, which I will do this end.
My prices do not include copywriting services, but I can give you lots of advice on the best way to put together your content.
You would need to provide me with the text and images to go on your website. I can help source images for you if required. Good quality images can make or break a website. Again, I can give you lots of advice on this.
All content needs to be original and not ‘borrowed’ from someone else’s website!
I have written a basic guide to how Google finds your site and what YOU can do to help when it comes to choosing your domain name and writing your content. I provide basic SEO as part of my service.
If you are aiming to appear on the 1st page on Google, for a UK (and/or international) search in your new business, then you may consider using a full-time specialist in SEO. I would recommend that you thoroughly explore your options, expectations and budget before you start.
Where you will appear will be dependant on factors such as your domain name, size of website, quality of content and just as importantly, where you are likely to be placed within the existing (and established) market, how big an area you would like to cover and what your competition is doing.
There are additional things that you can do, outside of your website, that will help with your rankings as well, for example with the use of social media and paying for your website to appear on Google with GoogleAds - I can help give advice on this.
Having said all of the above, many of my sites do very well, with many appearing on Page 1 of Google locally.
A cost effective solution for a small business is to seamlessly integrate a shopping cart solution with your Paypal account. You can have all the functionality of a shopping cart which keeps your customers on your website until they are ready to pay, where they are then directed to Paypal to pay either from a Paypal account or with a credit card - customers do not need a Paypal account to buy from your shop.
I offer two types of shopping cart, one Basic and one Pro. Contact me for more information.
Absolutely, after an initial chat on the phone we can ascertain whether this would be the best option for you.
It is important to establish a rapport. That is why I would suggest an initial chat on the phone, or over Skype. After that any content, artwork, photos etc can all be sorted out via email. I provide website design for the small to medium sized business in Cumbria. If you are further afield, it may make for more peace of mind having someone who is logistically closer to your business. Saying that though, one of my customers is in Hampshire and I have done websites for customers in Lancaster also, so I am always open to having a chat about it.
Please note that I DO NOT DO SITE VISITS, as I need to be on my computer building websites!
Building a quality website is a collaborative experience. I will be working with you, to achieve an end result in a timely manner. As a self-employed website designer I have to be on top of organising my time effectively.
Regular communication is key. I put aside time for your project, and would expect to work on it full time until it is complete. This does require some commitment from your side, for feedback and testing, during the build project. I have very clear Terms of Agreement and will happily explain what each of us is responsible for!
That very much depends on the size and complexity of your website. I aim to turn smaller (up to 5 page) websites, with basic CMS, around within two weeks. Larger projects, and projects with more advanced editing functionality take longer.
Changes to requirements, once the project commences also have an impact on timescales.
I wouldn't start until I had all of the content needed to complete it. I would then allocate time to commit to working on your project, full time, where possible.
No! If you choose, at a later date, to have a new website built by another website designer that is perfectly fine. I will help you move your domain to your new host, there is no fee for this. Once your domain has transferred to your new host, our agreement will automatically terminate.
The first step here is for you to contact me. I will have a look at your existing site and give you the best advice I can, based on the information available to me. I will be able to confirm who owns the domain name, and where it is hosted, and when the domain is up for renewal. Often I get enquiries from individuals who have an old website hosted somewhere else (they don't always know where!) and they feel trapped, not sure if they can have a new website built by someone else. I can help give advice on all of this. This advice is free - Get in touch for a chat.