1. Why should you choose me over other web designers?
If you know what you want, and you are able to pay whatever it takes, then getting the site up and running can probably be done just as well by any experienced web designer. The important thing that I can offer you though is that I will still be around after your site is finished. I can answer your questions, make minor changes, make major changes, add pages, renew your hosting and domain registration, help you with your email, give you IT support, whatever you need. All of the sites you see on my portfolio are customers that I am still in contact with and I regularly speak to them and make changes to their sites.
2. Can you design it so I can update the site myself?
Yes, I am proficient with Wordpress, but we will talk about it because you might prefer me not to. People often think they want to be able to update their own sites because it will be so much easier and quicker. When a business is in its infancy, you may have lots of time to devote to your website, but in my experience, only the very computer literate carry on wanting to maintain their own site once the business takes off, however easy it may be to do. Most of my customers simply send me an email when they want a change.. and if its urgent, I will do it straight away. Much cheaper .. and much easier.. and of course your site can then be really flexible and evolve with your business.
3. How much does it all cost?
You need to pay for 3 things - registering the domain, hosting and my design time. The domain and hosting are fixed costs (see later questions), and my time is £40 per hour. How many hours design time is really up to you .. we can do a very simple site for as little as £250, yet they can end up being nearer £750. The best thing to do is to talk to me about what you want and I can explain how much of that we can achieve within your budget.
4. What is domain registration?
This means choosing a name (for example www.charlotteduff.co.uk) and registering it in your name. I can organise this for you.
5. What is hosting?
This means paying for somewhere to put your website files on the internet. I can organise this for you so you don't have to worry about it - it costs about £25 per year.
6. I have a website already but want to make changes?
If you have the ftp username and password for your site and they are small changes, then this is easy. If however they are more complex changes or a complete redesign, it is likely to be more cost effective to start again from scratch as it often takes longer to pick apart someone else's HTML code. But don't worry, this won't take long and is unlikely to be expensive.
7. I had a website but have lost my web designer?
If the domain and hosting are in your name, then I can sort this out for you. If however it is all in the web designer's name and they have disappeared, then its probably easiest if we start again from scratch with a new name.
8. I haven't really thought about my company logo yet - is this something you can do too?
I am not a graphic designer, but I do create simple graphics. If you have a rough idea, I can create it for you.. or sometimes a logo will evolve as we embark on the design process. If you want something more complex, or if you need someone to help you with ideas, its best to go to a specialist graphic designer. But do talk to me first and I will explain your options.. and most importantly where the designer's job ends and mine starts so you are clear about what to ask for.
9. I'm finding it really hard to write the text for my site - can you help with this?
I certainly can .. although I'm not a copywriter, I have had lots of experience and may be able to help you fine-tune your ideas and can advise you on how to best to structure your content. However, if we can't get it right, I have freelance copywriters that we can subcontract to.
10. How long will the website take to create?
It takes about a day for the domain name registration and hosting to get set up (not my paid time, just time you have to wait for it to be set up by the hosting company). Once set-up, we can get a temporary holding page up and running in a matter of minutes, enabling you to start using the site address straight away. If you are clear with your ideas, there is no reason why the whole site couldn't be up and running within a week. In practice, however, most sites tend to take place over a period of 1-2 months, involving emails going to and fro as we refine the design and make changes as the site evolves.
11. What happens if I don't like your design?
In most cases, this can't happen because we design it together. But anyway, the design is a 2-way process and I will try to never do too much in one go without showing you and checking we are thinking along the same lines.
12. Can you help me get a good ranking on search engines?
Yes and no! I can help you improve your chances and talk to you about your particular business and give you pointers in the right direction. But I do NOT offer a guaranteed high ranking. Be wary of those who do.
13. Can my site have a blog?
It certainly can .. and its very easy. You (or I) just design one using one of the various free options around and we link to it from your site.
14. Can I put video or sound clips on my website?
15. Can I sell on-line using my site?
Although technically this is easy, I am a freelancer working on my own and I am not prepared to take on the level of responsibility for your business that allowing you to do this would entail. However, some of my sites do have downloadable booking forms, email enquiry forms and paypal buttons. Also, I can link to Amazon or another retailer if you like .. lots of options as long as I am not holding responsibility for the buying process.
Charlotte Duff , 2013