The following are the most frequently asked questions about website development that have come from my clients. If you have a question about website development that is not answered here, please submit your question.
I started my IT career as a software programmer. In the late 90’s I began to explore website programming and design and shortly after obtaining a designer certification I began my website development company in 2001. My favorite part of my business is meeting my clients and helping them create the website they want and best reflects their business goals.
In order to have a basic website available for view on the internet, you need a domain name and a web host. The domain name is the address for your website that is entered into a browser in order to view the website. A web host is a company that holds the files that make up your website. The domain name ‘points’ to the web host and the web host sends the files necessary for the browser to display the website. I can work with your existing domain name registrar and web host or assist in purchasing what you need through companies I trust.
My best answer to that question is … it depends on what kind of website you want me to create. The two main variables that affect my pricing are the number of pages needed and special functionality (ex. membership, ecommerce, photo gallery, custom database interaction, etc). I have some packages for small business websites that include a certain number of pages and basic functionality. Pricing often begins with those packages then adjustments are made based on your specific requirements. Estimates are given after a free initial consultation and will be priced to include everything needed to get your website up and running the way you want.
No, I do not host websites myself. I specialize in designing, developing and maintaining websites. If you are looking for a web host, I recommend InMotion Hosting. They are employee-owned, very knowledgeable and their customer service is great. I host my own website with them and have not experienced any server problems or security breaches with them.
Yes. I have done quite a few shopping cart/ecommerce websites. In addition to the typical domain name and web host, you will need to purchase an SSL certificate, license an ecommerce software product and have a merchant account set up at a gateway. The gateway is where credit cards are processed when they are submitted through a website. A gateway is not the same as your bank; however, many banks have their own gateways they prefer you use. I will review the different options during your free initial consultation.
Most of the time, yes. I am able to work with any website developed using HTML or PHP. This includes WordPress, Drupal, and custom written websites. The only types of websites I cannot maintain are those written in ASP and I will not work with a site-builder. Site-builders are typically offered by a web host as a simple way to put together a website (ex. Website Tonight, Weebly, etc). I will be glad, though, to move your website out of a site-builder into a WordPress platform.
WordPress is a PHP platform with the capability to be highly-functional. I like to develop websites in WordPress because it is easy to customize, has many plugins available to increase functionality and has a user-friendly administrative area to allow easy page content editing for my clients who want to do their own website maintenance. WordPress is also continually being updated to add new features and security improvements to keep one step ahead of the hackers.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the term used to describe the use of keywords, linking and other actions to help your website rank well in the search engine result pages. There are many facets to SEO and the variables affecting ‘rankings’ change all the time. I focus on the part of SEO that involves optimizing your website for good organic rankings. This involves keyword research and placement in the different areas of your website to help the search engines know how to index your website into their database. Each page on your website can be optimized for a different keyword thus giving multiple access points into your website.