Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I need a website?
An individual might want to create a blog about a hobby or about family travels. Using WordPress as a content management system gives individuals the ability to easily publish online. Having a blog allows you a place to express your opinion on any topic you choose. A website is also perfect for an artist wanting to create an online portfolio of their work, or a writer to publish their work online. A website allows you to take pride in your work, and easily share it with others.
For a business owner, online marketing is very important in today's world. If you don't have an online presence, you will likely lose business to your competitors who have websites to advertise their business. Think of your business website as an online brochure - one that is easily updated with new products and services. In addition a good website will:
- make a positive first impression
- reach more potential customers
- educate your customers about your products, services, and yourself
- allows you to easily and inexpensively communicate with your customers
What kind of website do I need?
There are several platforms you can use to build a website. My favorite is a content management system called WordPress. (See here to read more about WordPress.) Another option is a website builder such as Squarespace. A website builder provides an easy solution to get a website up and running quickly. However, you will have much more control of all the website details using WordPress. With WordPress you will have control over both the front-end (what users will see) and the back-end (the code that runs on the server - including the database.)
What is the process of building a website?
- First we'll set up an initial meeting so I can get an idea of what you want.
- Then I'll create a proposal with estimated timeline and cost.
- If we agree to go forward, I'll need a deposit of half the cost of the site.
- Next I'll need content from you: written content, images, and optionally a logo
- Then I'll put everything together - you can expect regular communication about the progress of the site.
- The final payment is due when we launch the website.
What do I need to build a website?
- You need to have a domain name and a web host. If you don't have this, I can help you set it up.
- For each page, we need written content and images.
- You need to have a general idea of what you want your website to look like - ideally show me several other websites you like.
How much does a website cost?
There are four main costs for building and running a website:
- The cost of developing the website - For sites I develop, this ranges from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand.
- The cost of the domain name - I recommend hover.com for registering your domain name, which costs about $12/year.
- The cost of hosting - I recommend siteground.com, which costs about $48/year for one site. (The host is the server where the files to display your website are stored.)
- The cost of maintenance - this will vary depending on your needs. If you are comfortable logging into your website and learning the WordPress dashboard, I can show you how to update the software as needed. I can also show you how to make changes to your website. If you'd rather, I'll be happy to do this for you for a nominal charge. You can read more about maintenance here.
Can you help me with an existing website?
I'm happy to talk to you about moving your existing website to WordPress and updating the design, layout, and possibly the content of your existing site. Sometimes a fresh look is all an older website needs. However, if your website is not mobile-friendly, it's important to update it for SEO reasons.
What is WordPress and why do you use it?
My preference is to build your website on WordPress with the Genesis framework. Why? Wordpress is the most popular content management system with good reasons. It's written in PHP (a programming language widely used for website development) and is:
- Easy to use
- Easy to customize the design
- Easy to customize the functionality
- Easy for the site owner to maintain
- Easy to add blog posts
- Easy to update content
- WordPress is frequently updated to provide better security for your website
Also I love the mission of WordPress: to democratize publishing. Wordpress makes it easy for individuals and businesses to have an online presence and a simple way to publish online.
I also almost exclusively use Genesis with WordPress. Genesis is a framework that runs on WordPress which gives me the tools to build a website. I like to use the Genesis framework because Genesis is fast, secure, and SEO friendly right out of the box. Many themes are bulky and slow. Genesis and the Genesis child themes have the cleanest code compared with other themes. With Genesis I can add only the features you need so there's not a lot of excess code to slow down your website.
What happens after the website is built?
The type of maintenance that's needed will depend on your website. At the very least, you should keep you website updated with the latest version of WordPress. The reason for this is that web "bots" are continually trying to hack into websites. Wordpress tries to stay ahead of the game by releasing several updates a year which plug new security holes. It's also a good idea to backup your website files so if anything unexpected happens, it's easy to restore and rebuild.
Other types of maintenance that may be needed are changes to the content of your site - updating the text or images of your site - or even adding pages.
Updating the WordPress software and making regular backups is fairly easy, and I can teach you how to do this yourself. Updating the content is usually more involved, depending on the type of update.
If you'd prefer, I'm happy to do the maintenance for you. See more about maintenance pricing here.