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FAQs – common questions about websites

Why do I need a website?

A website is a showcase for your business. Looked at another way, it is an online shop window for your business and as such can attract new customers and bring you increased business. Potential customers can read about your company, see and read about what you offer, and read about what your customers say about you.

Even if you currently have enough business to cope with, don’t dismiss the idea of having a website because that may not always be the case.

A website demonstrate that you are a  forward thinking company and not simply stuck in the past. 

How much does a website cost?

Cost will vary depending on the type and size of the website you require. For a small business website that will showcase what you do and give some typical client results, expect to pay around £600 for a professional looking site. You will pay more if you want an advanced design or you want advanced features on the site.

An eCommerce site which will allow you to sell a range of products will cost from around £1,000 depending on the number of products you want your web designer to add for you. You will be able to add products to the site yourself and this is a way to keep costs down.

Will my website appear on Google?

Your website will almost certainly appear in the Google listings. The question is, what position will it appear? The answer to that depends on your type of business – are there many competitors in your field? For example, a weight loss business will have many more competitors than, say, a company that sells wood stoves. So, the weight loss site will need considerable search engine optimization work if you want to see it on the first page of Google.

It also depends on the area you do business in. A company that does business in a local area – the wood stove business in our example above – can be optimized to show up for search terms that contain key words specific to the local area – “wood stoves Bristol” for example. There will be a lot less competition than searched using the term without any area specific keywords  – “wood stove” to use the same example.

When we develop a website we make it “search engine friendly”. In other words we do all the necessary work to ensure that search engines pick up the sites pages and list them. We don’t give any guarantee as to the position the pages will appear because we can’t for the reasons given above. We can, however, perform more advanced search engine optimization at additional cost.

What is web hosting?

Your website resides on a web server. A web server is just a computer configured for running websites. Web servers are usually situated in data centres run by web hosting companies. Hence the term “web hosting”. Web hosting companies have their web servers connected to the Internet by very high speed connections.

Whenever someone reads a web page, from wherever they are in the world,  a connection is routed through the relevant web server and the web page is sent to back to that person’s computer.

Why does my website have to be maintained?

It doesn’t matter what kind of website you have; whether you’re a large corporation, or a small business, or a community or charity website, or whether or not you take online payments. It does not matter. These days, so-called hackers are breaking into website and causing mischief and damage.

Hacks can take many forms. In some cases simple links to other site, some being pornographic, are inserted. In the worst case scenarios, your site could be taken down completely. 

The problem extends beyond the site being hacked. A hacked, or infected, site can be blacklisted by Google. In the worst case the entire server that that the site resides on can be blacklisted. Finding and removing the hack or infection can sometimes take weeks or months.

So you can see that it is imperative that we try insulate our sites from hack and infections. The way we do this is to update WordPress, the theme, all plugins, and the tools, to ensure that they are up to date.are up to date. 

All our hosting now comes with a maintenance package to keep you site up to date and ensure, as best we can, that the site won;t be hacked. At the some time we make regular backups of the site so that, if the worst happens, the site can be quickly restored to its working state.

How much should I pay for web hosting?

The cost depends on how much maintenance you require. The basic cost for hosting, together with regular updates and backups, is £25 per month. Other packages are available that include content update as well.

Will I be able to change the site myself?

Yes providing the site has been developed using a content management system. Most web developers are using content management systems these days, the most popular one being WordPress. Other content management systems include Joomla and Drupal. When you sign up with a developer, make sure that the site is being developed with a content management system.

We use content management systems for all the websites we develop. Most sites are developed with WordPress and occasionally, for larger sites, Joomla.

What is Pay-per-click and should I use it?

Pay-per-click is a way to get your web pages listed on search engines by paying instead of waiting the get them picked up and listed for free (organically listed is the term that’s used for this). In Google, pay-per-click results are listed on the right hand side of the page under the title “Sponsored Listings”.

Pay-per-click can be a very effective way of getting your site listed quickly, and getting traffic, after a site has been launched and until the organic listings show up. How much you need to pay though depends on your type of business and the keywords you want to pay for. Some keywords can run into a number of £s per click!

Pay-per-click advertising can burn money very quickly if you don;t know what you’re doing. We have run a number of pay-per-click campaigns for our clients and can advise on whether it would be suitable for you.

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