Hi there! Welcome to our FAQ page.
As a web site design firm, we have faced changes in the market, technology and a growing sense of the importance of being online. We have satisfied a wide variety of clients, and have faced many unusual questions from them. This body of experience is one big reason why people come to us. Some questions that people ask frequently are:
Does my business need a web site?
Ask yourself, "Does my business need 24-hour exposure 7 days a week, 365 days a year?" The answer is obvious. Does any other medium allow you to expose all the benefits of your business to your target market at their convenience and provide a source of direct correspondence from them to you? The benefits of a web site are innumerable.
What can a web site do for me?
The answer to this question is neither short nor easy. With a little research and thought, you can find hundreds of reasons, but there are a few general statements that may help you realize your needs. First a web site can reach millions of people that might not otherwise be available. Second, customers can view products, services or whatever you want to share from the comfort of their own home. No matter what type of business you are in, there are ways to grow and make money on the web for you.
I don't think a web site will do anything for me. Am I right?
No. Many people overlook the various products, services or business processes they can include on a web site. Any communication or interaction that happen within your business can be made easier and more efficient by the web. Your business will save money and time while appealing to a much greater global audience.
Why does it matter how my web site looks as long as it works?
When visitors come to your site, they will instantly perceive the quality of your services or products. The first impression a customer or potential customer gets depends on the appearance of your web site. A visitor will be interested and explore your site if it is appealing and easy to navigate. You are marketing yourself and your business to the world over the Internet and it is important to show your best.
I would like you to design my site. What do I need to do now?
If you wish to use the services of Aceonics, all you need to do is inform us of the domain name you would like to use and send us a brief idea of your requirements. We will then purchase the domain in your name, purchase the right hosting package for your project and then based on your guidance, design an initial web page for you. This will then be refined/changed in consultation with you until a satisfactory design has been reached. After this, we will need you to forward content and images for your site and start to design the web site for you.
The three easy steps we provide below will guide you in the direction of a professionally designed and developed web site.
Step One: Domain Name (URL) Registration -- This is the address, people will use to access your Web site (www.yourcompany.com). Once you have determined that the URL you wish to use is available, the cost to register a name is anywhere from $8.00 to $35.00 per year. A domain name needs to be renewed every year.
Step Two: Design of the Web Site -- This is where the look, feel and content of the web site are determined and created.
Step Three: Hosting Your Web Site on a Web Server -- This is basically where you rent space on a computer that is always connected to the Internet. Price will vary, depending on the amount of disk space you will have and the connection to the Internet.
How much does a web site cost?
There are quite a few factors that are going to affect the ultimate cost of your web site. These factors include how many pages you are going to have, if you will sell products on your web site, the graphic work involved, and how interactive your future web site will be. You will also need web hosting and domain name registration.
How long does it take for a design to be completed?
The time frame is determined by the size of your web site, the complexity of your site design and our current client design schedule. If you have a deadline in mind we will endeavor to meet it for you. The most common delay in the creation of a site is waiting for content (text/images) to be sent to us by the client.
Do I need to hire a "local" web site designer?
We create web sites for clients who are local as well as out of state. By using the Internet, email and the telephone, it is possible to communicate effectively with clients based in any location.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a monthly fee that you pay to have your site accessible on the Internet. We can provide web hosting for our clients.
Can I choose you to design my site and use my own web hosting?
What is a protosite?
A "protosite" is just a preliminary drawing of your future web site. It helps both you and Aceonics establish the way your web site will look. Elements such as colors, page layout, item position, navigation etc. can be mocked up to speed the design process. If changes (colors, text, images, moving things around the page layout etc.) are needed, they can be made before we begin the actual coding. Once you approve your protosite, we move forward and code the protosite you approved into your new web site.
How many pages do I need?
This all depends on how much content you have. Every business web site should have an 'About Us' page (or something similarly titled) to tell your visitors about your business. After that, it depends on what type of business you have. A good rule of thumb is not to overwhelm your audience with too much information on each page. Disperse the information and break it up into visually appealing "reader friendly" pages and paragraphs. Long pages of text tend to overwhelm the reader. So, break your total content to get your audience's attention.
Why validated code is important to design a web site?
There's a lot of competition to get good spots in the search engines for some specific keywords or key-phrases. Proper HTML syntax and a clean code help to get better rankings. Let's say we have two competing sites, both are suitable for the top spot and the search engine has a tough time deciding which one to put first. Chances are that the validated site with proper syntax will be the winner. Validation of the HTML code on your site alone will certainly not guarantee or secure you a high rating, but this combined with other things will help and might even be the contributing factor to get you across the line.
Do I need to edit my web site myself?
Though it is not always necessary, but yes, you should. As technology changes fast these days, its not common to have validated web sites with clean code using frontpage extensions to update content on a web site. There are a few new tools to help you edit some content on your web site. However, you must be sure that the WYSIWYG editor you will use to edit content directly supports the new standards to update content on your web site. We at Aceonics also offer some good online tools (add ons) to help you with content and picture changes on your web site. You might ask for more details if you're planning to update your web site yourself. If you're getting a e-commerce or database solution from us, those tools give you a back-end where you can define and update content on your web site easily.
What does CSS mean?
That's an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS allows web designers to attach styles (fonts, colors, size, margins, etc.) to HTML documents. It works like a template allowing web developers to define a style for an HTML element and then apply it to as many web pages as they want/need. We can also use styles to display different elements for different media (screen, printers). It simplifies web site maintenance and also helps the way a page displays content for Search Engine robots on the Internet (and that's a good thing!).
How frequently do I need to update my web site?
It depends on what you're doing with your web site, but we definitely recommend you a plan for this. Content is critical for optimization and "fresh" or new content is an important factor for ranking. If you have a small business brochure web site, you might probably want to update twice a year some pages on your web site. You might also have a page to display the latest news on your web site where you can add a couple of notes once a month or every two months, if you want. For e-commerce or database web sites, you might update or add content more frequently as those kind of web sites are build to have frequent changes, as and when needed. In any case, if you're doing optimization, you might want to talk with our optimization people about the importance of getting new information on your web site and the best way to do it without having problems with the code and content of your web site.
What does web site usability mean?
It means the ease with which users can perform the tasks associated with your web site. Think of it as the quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system. When we're developing or creating a web site, we try to keep things simple for your clients/prospects. If we keep it simple for them, it will become a good web site and invite people to contact you. Simple doesn't mean low quality, it means doing all that is possible to make it better and understandable.
Can your company build a web site to sell my products?
Yes, we've built many e-commerce solutions for our clients. We'll give you many different options - from very affordable to highly functional, database-driven online stores.
What are my options for e-commerce or online donations?
You can take payments online in a number of ways.
The first is PayPal - this an inexpensive way to start taking payments quickly, especially if you don't have a merchant account. With PayPal, your visitors can pay you with a credit card or by sending a payment from their checking account (echeck). PayPal provides a shopping cart and many other free services that are helpful to sites that are starting out. The downsides are that PayPal is not a very customizable solution, and it can have a "start-up" feel. However, this is changing and many mainstream sites are now accepting PayPal as more and more people have PayPal accounts. PayPal is inexpensive as there are no merchant accounts of payment gateway fees. It also saves cost because PayPal provides a very easy way to integrate their shopping cart into your site, which reduces development time.
There is the option of creating a full e-commerce solution. This involves many different components - a merchant account from a bank, a payment gateway service that allows you to accept payments into your merchant account from your web site (this is often bundled with the merchant account), a shopping cart or payment script that integrates with your payment gateway, and certain elements of the server environment like having an SSL certificate and a static IP. A custom payment script can be developed that exactly matches your needs. Full e-commerce is much more expensive and time-consuming to develop than PayPal, but it can be integrated into your site for a truly seamless payment experience. It can also save you money in the long run if you are doing a high volume of sales.
What is the difference between a "static" and a "dynamic" site?
A static site is one that is written in HTML only. Each page is a separate document and there is no database that it draws on. What this means functionally is that the only way to edit the site is to go into each page and edit the HTML - so you'd either have to do it yourself using a webpage editor like FrontPage or pay us at Aceonics to go in and edit the site each time you wanted something changed.
A dynamic site is written using more complex code and can do a lot more. For instance, we can make an area where you can log in and change various parts of the site, such as adding information or products. This is because each page is constructed based on the information in a database and the information in that database can be changed via another interface.
Dynamic sites can reduce ongoing maintenance costs if you don't want to change things yourself with a webpage editor or with the HTML. They usually cost more to develop, as they require more complex coding and a content management utility to help you manage your web site information.
Another benefit of dynamic sites is that they allow you to change only the content of the site and not the design. So, you will not be able to accidentally break the visual style of the site. They have other benefits when sites start to get very large, as they make data management much more efficient and your site more expandable.
Many clients do a combination, having some dynamic areas such as a product catalog where they have to change information or pictures regularly, and leave other pages such as contact information as static pages.
What about payment gateway and shipping integration on e-commerce web sites?
We can integrate the most common methods on our e-commerce web sites. However, you might have a specific request and it might take some time to study that specific case. We're open to talk with you and help you during the integration process but we must work together during the process. It may impact the amount of time we initially defined at the start of the project. So, keep that in mind and try to keep shipping instructions simple and use common payment gateways providers. Common things make life easier. .
How do I get my web site listed on search engines, especially Google?
Modern search engines like to find your site naturally through links to your site from other sites. Google especially relies on your incoming links to determine your popularity and relevance.
How do I get more traffic from search engines?
Search engine positioning is a long-term strategy, and there are no quick-fix solutions in this area. To be really effective with search engine marketing, your site needs to be focused around the right keywords and keyword phrases. If you want to boost your traffic quickly, we at Aceonics would suggest checking out Google AdWords or other paid advertisement options.
I've made my decision - I want you to design my web site. Now what do I do?
Simply contact us to start the process.