Frequently Asked Questions

Questions that I’ve been asked about life, the universe and everything website-related

I just need a simple website, how much will it cost?

Websites are not simple to create. They can be simple to navigate, or simple to understand. But creating a website comes with a weighty load of considerations. Even a one-page website can have a host of complications. There are hundreds of combinations of modes of browsing, browsers, screen sizes, screen types and operating systems. They all need to be accounted for and tested. There is no simple way to accomplish that.

Also, some things that seem simple to create, might actually be really complicated. And some things that seem complicated, may turn out to be simple.

First, let go of your expectations.
Next, consider your budget and your needs.
Then, contact me to discuss these considerations.

We can work together to arrive at a solution that works within your budget and meets your needs.

But regardless, the solution will not be simple and that’s okay. If it fits within your budget and meets your needs, what else about the investment really matters?

Read more about website development costs here

Do you offer website hosting, yourself?

I do not offer website hosting for two main reasons:

  1. If your website is hosted by a third party, and if anything ever happens to me, you will still have access to all of your website files and databases.
  2. Website development involves an extensive amount of skill and knowledge in a field that is always changing. Website hosting also involves a different extensive set of skills and knowledge in a different field that’s also always changing. It makes the most sense (and is far less exhausting for me) to let others be experts in hosting. Then I can focus my energy on keeping my development and design skills current and well tuned.

What I can do, is recommend some excellent website hosting options that offer fantastic performance, high security and excellent support.

The SEO on my site is fine. How much will a site cost to update, without changing the SEO?

SEO never ever simply remains fine and steady. The method that search engines use to rank sites is a process that changes. So, if you have a website that you’ve set up and left alone, the search engine ranking will have already changed, on its own.

Making changes to your website will affect the SEO. Any new blog posts or basic content updates will affect the ranking. Not making any changes will affect ranking. Changes to performance will affect ranking. Changing the SEO is not something that is avoidable.

Ranking sites involves arranging sites in order of which are most relevant to the search. Since new sites are being created all the time, that can also affect the overall ranking.

In order to know what exactly SEO is even doing, it needs regular monitoring. If you’re already regularly monitoring and adjusting your SEO to account for the changes mentioned above, then the SEO is changing anyway.

SEO can be a great marketing tool but it’s also helpful in understanding how visitors are interacting and responding to your content and messaging. It always important to keep under consideration while building a website.

If you are tempted to ask a developer this question, it makes me wonder why?

If you are asking to omit SEO, hoping to save some money on website development, that may not be the best way to do that. Instead, talk to your developer about you budget limits and your business needs. You can work together to create a complete solution that works within your limits.

If you’re concerned about increased traffic, that’s really a separate concern that isn’t controlled by SEO alone. We should discuss it and sort out what barriers are stopping you from positive growth.

I have marketing opportunities coming up soon. How fast can you put a site together?

I recommend putting the brakes on. Websites require care, planning and thought. If you have marketing opportunities coming up soon, maybe consider creating a simple “coming soon” splash page with a newsletter sign up form. That way, you can collect leads generated from the marketing opportunity while also taking the time and care required to build a fantastic solution that helps your business thrive.

I can just maintain the site myself after launch, will you show me how?

I can, but creating walk-throughs that help you to maintain the site yourself take a lot of time. That will cost the same as the first two months of a care plan. Also, there are some gotchas that can mess up your website if you’re not extremely careful.

I can only provide a general overview of the main maintenance tasks. I can’t make you a web developer. I will only be able to cover the basics in any documentation I provide.

Almost every client I’ve had, that didn’t sign up for a care plan and left to maintain the site themselves, has been hacked at some point. Most often it’s because they didn’t keep up with running WordPress and Plugin updates on a regular basis or they used insecure passwords or shared their passwords.

Maintaining a website yourself is risky and difficult. You probably don’t need that stress in your life. Take a minute to check out the package I offer, and see what’s included and then, if you still want to maintain the site yourself, let’s chat.

I've signed up for cheap, local website hosting. Will you create a site for me there or do I have to switch?

Website hosting is difficult to do well. It can’t be done for less than the cost of a cup of coffee/month. When hosts charge less, it’s not because they’re offering less in the way of “fancy features”. They tend to cut corners on security, performance, tech support and stability.

If it was a car, it would be like choosing a car without breaks or door locks, with bad wheel alignment, and that mechanics don’t know how to fix. And choosing it only because it’s $4/month and because it’s located nearby.

Some things are worth spending money on.

Read more about website hosting here

Can I call you?

Of course!

That said, by a long, long way, my preferred method of communication is email. It is the best method for creating websites. Website creation is so complicated and is always changing, so when you have questions, I will need to put in some thought and do some research. That way I can be sure that my replies are the most accurate, current and carefully-considered.

Sometimes, something someone said is misheard in meetings or over the phone, whereas text can be directly copy-and-pasted. Also, when there is a phone call or a meeting, it means I need to drop what I might be in the middle of, to discuss something immediately. It can disrupt my focus.

It is possible to schedule phone calls and meetings with me. Meetings and phone calls can be a good way to meet for the first time and have very general discussions so we’re all on the same page. But the fewer the better. I’ve had weeks with so many meetings scheduled that the time I had left to actually get work done was seriously limited.

For regular back-and-forth, please email and limit phone calls and meetings to only times where it’s absolutely unavoidable.

Still want to chat? Book a call →

I love the design you've created for me but can you make the logo bigger?

When visitors come to your website, the logo can help them know that they’re in the right place. But, the logo isn’t the reason they’re browsing your website. Visitors are there for the content. So, instead of thinking about what you want to show to people, try to put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. What would you want to see when you arrive at a website like yours?

Your logo is like the avatar or signature of your business. Imagine Twitter changed its design, so the avatars were huge and the tweets were tiny. It doesn’t make much sense, does it? It’s helpful to know who tweeted something, but you’re there to read what they have to say. Not to see their avatar.

Or, instead, imagine someone wrote you a letter and kept the main paragraphs small but made their signature take up ½ of the page. Again, I’m sure you’re glad to know who wrote to you but that’s not why you’re reading the letter.

It’s the same for logos. Logos should be clear and easy to read, but should not be over-shadowing the information visitors are actually looking for. Even if your logo is stunning!