FAQ questions about Web Design

  • What is a Domain Name and where do I get one?

    A domain name is an address linked to your new website - for example, www.pineapplelily.co.uk is the domain name for this site.

    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 will help you set up the registration of your domain in your name.

  • What is Website Hosting? Why do I need it?

    To keep it simple - the files used to create your website are stored in a central place which is accessible to the public through your website domain name address (www.yourdomainname.co.uk) Your site files are stored on a Web Host. Without a Web Host, your website will sit on your computer and no-one will see it!

    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. If there is ever a problem with the host or your website, it is me who raises the support tickets with the necessary technical departments and developers. It is a fact of life that websites do go wrong, software goes out of date, browsers are updating continuously, and this sometimes affects the way websites function. Sites are also vulnerable to security issues (hence the need to keep on top of all the updates!).

    I offer:
    - no long-term fixed contracts.
    - no fees transferring your domain out to another host 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:

    • Everything that needs setting up with the Host provider to make sure your website works.
    • Submission of your website to the search engines.
    • Basic Google Analytics if required.
    • Dealings with the host on your behalf to ensure maximum uptime on your website.
    • Set up of emails (yourname@yourdomain.co.uk) and provision of settings for IMAP, if required.
    • Daily backups of your website.
    • Security fixes and updates.
    • Priority support and maintenance for any technical issues.
    • Full restoration of your website in the event of server failure.
    • Pay monthly or annually.
    • No termination charges.

    I do not support websites that are hosted externally.

  • How long will it take you to build me a new website?

    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 one to two weeks. Larger sites and projects with more advanced editing capabilities may take longer.

    Changes to requirements, once the project commences also have an impact on timescales.

    Your main project build will start once I have all of the content needed to complete it. I will then work on your project, full time, where possible.

  • Will my site look the same on different Browsers?

    The latest web building software used needs to be able to cope with the modern browser platforms which are continuously updated. Problems can be experienced with old platforms which become obsolete over time, as newer versions replace them. I only test my sites on the latest versions of the most popular browsers including:

    IE 11 *
    Firefox OS-X
    Firefox Windows

    For security and performance reasons I no longer build my websites to support obsolete browsers (specifically old versions of IE).

    If you use IE 11 or less, you could consider changing your browser to an alternative such as Chrome or Firefox. Microsoft will be dropping support for Internet Explorer (including IE 11 - the latest and final version) in 2021.

    Browsers are updated for security reasons. It is essential that you protect your hardware with regular updates, anti-virus software and firewalls.

  • Will my site display on a tablet or smart phone?

    iPads are 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 - they will move on to the next website. Users come to your site to find information, and they want to see it easily. Without the aid of a magnifying glass!

    To expect the same 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! It requires careful planning. I build my sites with full-size desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones in mind. Hence the popular phrase 'mobile first'.

    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 its design, then Google will list other sites (that are not so static) above it.

    From 2015 all of my websites are mobile responsive.

  • What will make my website look really great?

    Great quality images. I cannot stress this enough - pictures will make or break the quality of your website. Newer technologies demand high-resolution photos for the most optimum visual experience for the user. If other sites have great pictures, and yours 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 pictures, make sure they are either professional photographs or at least taken with a good quality camera. I would recommend a minimum of 8 megapixels. The images will need to be compressed and optimised for the web, which I will do this end.

  • Can you write my content for me?

    I am not you, and I am not your business - so it wouldn't be right for me to 'blindly' write the content for you. However, I will give you advice on the best way to approach writing content for your business that will attract not only your customers but the search engines as well. Once you have your content, we can review it together, and I will help you with any suggested changes to ensure maximum Google love!

    I will 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.

    Please note that all content needs to be original and not ‘borrowed’ from someone else’s website!

  • Can I be on the 1st page of Google?

    I will explain how Google indexes your site and what YOU can do to help when it comes to choosing your domain name and writing your content. All of my websites come with standard SEO as part of my service. Many of my sites do very well, with many appearing on Page 1 of Google locally.

    There are additional things that can be done, outside of your website build, that will help with your rankings. For example, social media campaigning and Facebook and GoogleAds.

  • Can I run an on-line shop on my website?

    A cost-effective solution, for a small business, would be to integrate a shopping cart solution with either Paypal or Stripe. Neither of these payment gateways requires a Merchant business bank account and are ideal for the smaller business who wants to sell items, physical or digital, within their website. Providing your customer with a professional shopping cart experience, rather than just a Paypal button, helps build trust.

    Some Shopping carts require an additional monthly payment to a 3rd party. Shopping carts vary in complexity. We can chat about the best online solution for your particular needs.

    The shopping carts that I build/use are integrated into your website. If you are looking for an e-commerce solution only, i.e. a stand-alone online shop, then I wouldn't be the right designer for you. I would recommend finding someone who specialises in building and maintaining e-commerce platforms.

  • I live outside of Cumbria, can you still build me a website?

    Absolutely, after an initial chat on the phone, we can ascertain whether this would be the best option for you.

    Establishing a rapport is essential. That is why I would suggest an initial chat on the phone. 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 I have done websites for customers further afield, 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!

  • Will you need me to do anything?

    Building a quality website is a collaborative experience. I will be working with you, to achieve a result in a timely manner. As a self-employed website designer, I have to be on top of organising my time efficiently.

    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 building stage of the project. I have clear Terms of Agreement which outline each of our roles within the project, and I am happy to answer any questions about this for the sake of clarity!

  • Will I be trapped into a contract with you forever?

    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 transfer 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.

  • I already have a website, it's old, and I want a new one, can you help?

    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, where it is hosted, and when the domain is up for renewal. 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 initial advice is free - Get in touch for a chat.

  • I am interested in you building me a website, what do I do now?

    Contact me! I will usually respond within two working days. We can have a free, friendly and no-obligation chat on the phone and then take it from there!