FAQ / Design Q&AQuality, Affordable Web Development for Small Business and Ministry
I am a web designer and you are probably not. That’s OK! There may be some things you don’t understand about the website design process or web sites in general. Let me give you some info that may be useful!
The process for building a website generally goes like this:
- We talk about the project, how many pages you need, any special functions, etc.
- I give you a price.
- You give me some examples of how you want the project to look.
- I start working on a general design.
- We work back and forth until we finalize the design.
- I build out all the pages based on the content you feed me.
- The site gets finished and all is well with the world!
- I come back later, if needed, and do changes and updates (based on a separate maintenance plan.)
I am professional web designer so I know the design side of things really well. However I do not know your subject matter…you are the expert there. So when we are building this website together, I am going to focus on the design and I need you to focus on the content. Don’t worry if you are “not so good with the words”, I am a seasoned writer and can help you present your thoughts clearly and in a way that is appropriate for the web, but the thoughts need to be yours.
We Are Working Together
In the beginning a lot of people think, “Great! I’m hiring this guy to do my website, now all I have to do is sit back and wait for him to do it.” Sorry, but that isn’t reasonable. This is a partnership. In addition to offering up the content (mentioned above) you will need to give input on the design process, you will need to give content, you will need to proof for accuracy and you will need to work with me to create the best website possible.
Not Everything Works
Sometimes you may have seen something on a website that you liked and you want that on your own website. Sometimes we can do that, sometimes we cannot. There are many reasons why we might not be able to incorporate something into your website. It may be outdated or unreliable programming that looks neat but will ultimately hurt your site. It may be something that you have to buy to install into your site that is way too expensive. It may be something that works great for another type of website but doesn’t make good sense for your site. Or it may be something that is pretty but doesn’t really add value to your website. There are a thousand other reasons as well.
If you see something you like, lets discuss it. Maybe it will work, maybe it wont. Let’s have an open dialog and see what happens.
Site Up Today, #1 on Google Tomorrow…Um, No.
A good website design is a good STARTING POINT to getting good search engine ranking. But it’s just a starting point. Getting ranked well will take a few important things including TIME and WORK ON YOUR PART. My job is to build you a solid website. You can build a great business out in the middle of a field but if you never tell people to come, your business just sits there.
Once your site is live I will let Google know its time to look at it, and they will…but it may be a few days to a month before they do. And even when they do it doesn’t mean much. Google will see it and go “OK, here’s a new site” and you will be SOMEWHERE in the listings. But what Google and all of the other search engines care about MUCH more are when they find a link to YOUR website on other high quality web sites. When a search engine sees a link to your site on another great website it sits up and takes notice….when it finds a link to your site from a lot of other good (not questionable) web sites it says, “Now this site is important…lets move it up the list!”
So how do you get on other sites? You do some leg work. You go on other web sites. and you give real, helpful info that is relevant to the same people you want to come to your site. Don’t go out on other “help” sites and just advertise. It doesn’t work. Be a valued member of the web community. Give real help. If you are an expert in home repair, get on some home repair forums and offer advice. Offer to write articles for other web sites that have a lot of great advice, and once you’ve done that then be sure to include a link to your site. Write an ongoing blog that is truly helpful that links to your site. Not only will the search engines like this but people will see that you are writing quality, helpful stuff and they will come check you out.
It’s great to also be on Facebook, Twitter and other similar social networks and if you can afford it online advertising like Google Adwords is good too…but this really helpful stuff mentioned above will go a long, long way for your company or ministry!
Speed is Largely Up To You
I’ve had several people ask me “how quick can you have this up”. Well, it’s not going to happen overnight if you want it done properly, but a lot of how quickly it goes up is how quickly you offer feedback and content for the website. Tight deadlines are never fun and often bring errors as things are hastily worked through, but things can move surprisingly quickly when we work together and communicate effectively.
Game Changers Change The Game
As stated above, the design process is finished first. If we are 75% through the project, which means we are well into the content phase, and you decide to change how things look or function, then that is going to cause some work stoppage and possibly some extra cost. Get all of your feedback about each phase and let’s get it nailed down before we move on.
I know, I know…sometimes “the boss” or someone else insists something be changed. It’s no problem, we will make it happen. But if we can, let’s get it finalized up front so we can keep rolling on!
I have worked with Chris for more than 14 years on many, many web projects! Chris is ultra-smart and completely trustworthy. He handles all of our clients with integrity and a sincere desire to serve. I could not recommend him more!Kirk Bates