Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started?
Simply contact us, and we'll ask a few questions to help us understand the scope of your project, your needs, and offer a more accurate recommendation and estimate of work.
Please contact us by email so that we can gather a bit of information, evaluate your project and make sure we're a good fit for your needs. This will also allow us to give you a more accurate estimate of cost. To save time and money (which are both important!), we do not consult over the phone until we are further along in the process and have made sure we're able to help you with your project.
Then, we'll prepare a Statement of Work (SOW) for your review, and upon approval - we'll get started. Half payment is due to begin work, and the remainder is due when the files are live. Sometimes, there might be small adjustments needed to your design - and we're happy to take care of these even after final payment is made. Typically we'll make adjustments within 30 days of completion. Your first payment to us secures our services and confirms your acceptance of the general agreement.
What is your design process?
Once we are hired, we will poke around a bit, ask some more questions - and try to get a good idea to what colors, styles, fonts, layouts and arrangements will meet your needs and vision for your website. It's important to be as specific as possible during our discovery period as to what you are wanting for the look of your website. Our design process is simple: learn, create, refine. We'll learn what your needs are, we'll create some ideas for your review and make suggestions, and then we'll refine the designs to get it where you want it to be.
We try to put as much of your vision and inspiration into the very first design so that we save time, money and get your new website online faster. If we're off the mark with the first concept, we'll do another one - but we need YOUR FEEDBACK to make your site one that you love. Tell us what you like and what you don't like and why, and tell us what you'd like to see.
How long does it all take?
You can expect to see project ideas (logo, graphics, or website design ideas) within a week after the agreement is accepted and the first payment is made. We pride ourselves on working quickly, and depending on how quickly you respond to our revisions and fine-tuning - we could be finished with a project in as little as 2 weeks. Sometimes, it does take longer - depending on the project, but you won't find better communicators than us! One of the biggest complaints we hear from our clients about other experiences with website design - is that other web desigers don't respond quickly, or communicate in a timely manner. We try very hard to overcome this industry perception by always trying to communicate with you quickly, efficiently and in an effort to get as much information as we can in the time we have allocated on the project. Because of the amount of time involved, we do not schedule phone consultations until we have worked with you by email and confirmed the potential that we're a good fit for your project.
Why is professional web design so important?
Nine times out of ten, your web site design is your potential customer's first look at your business. How your business is perceived is directly related to the design elements, efficiency and appearance of your web site. Frustrated users may leave your site before viewing your products or reading more about what you do.
They need to know who you are, what you sell or do - and be given simple choices to navigate your website - the INSTANT THEY HIT YOUR WEBPAGE. We'll walk you through the process and offer our suggestions, feedback and support along the way when we can.
My printer is asking for vector files. What are vector files?
Logo and print work sometimes requires 'vector files'. These are scalable, high resolution images typically used for print. We will provide your new logo in several formats, including a high-resolution vector (EPS) file of your logo, and as needed, high-resolution files in PDF, JPG or web graphic format.
I can’t open some of these crazy files? What’s the deal?
Don't fret! You won’t be able to open the many of the files we work with unless you have the software (such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator). Send them to your printer, they'll have better luck!
Hey! Who owns all these images and websites once a project is completed?
After you've made final payment per our agreement, and received your files (print work is sent in a zipped folder, or via email or a large file email service, websites are uploaded to your server), YOU have full ownership of the work. It's YOURS. You may copyright it, trademark it, use it to brand your company as you wish. Then, we'll typically add your site to our website and logo design portfolio as well, blog about you and 'Facebook' it to try to help put the word out that you're on the web!
What are Joomla! and WordPress?
Joomla! and WordPress are content management systems (CMS) that we can use to build your website. Both are Open Source projects developed under General Public License (GPL). That means, it's free for us to use and configure on certain hosting accounts. What's in it for you? Self management. You'll get a login and control panel to your website so that you may manage your content. Joomla! is very robust and is the management system for many large organizations and companies. For most of our clients, we recommend WordPress, because it's very flexible and easy to use. It's the blog that's not just for blogging - it can house your entire website and give you the power to manage your own website.
Where should I host and register my domain name?
We can work with almost any hosting company, so you are free to secure your hosting wherever you like. We do recommend certain companies for certain projects if you don't already have a hosting account or domain name, so please contact us for more information! We've worked a long time with Host Assured for hosting services and domain registration. For great prices and superior customer support - Host Assured is highly recommended.
How do you accept payment?
We can accept checks and money orders by mail, as well as PayPal online. With PayPal, you can pay us with a major credit card, or a PayPal account. You do not have to have a PayPal account to pay us by credit card via PayPal.
Are your websites 'Compliant and Accessible'? Do you do SEO?
We do try to create all standard websites so that they are compliant and accessible (according to W3C Standards). However, the addition of scripts and Flash elements, coupled with ever-changing standards and guidelines - there might be errors in the markup as these standards change, or if your website is built around programming such as Joomla, WordPress, Core Commerce, Volusion or similar. But - to answer the question, yes - before we get fancy with websites, we try to ensure they pass W3C Standards. In addition, we do try to ensure that all sites are optimized naturally for SEO - with proper META data, ALT tag descriptions, and proper link titles. We're not perfect, and we are not experts in SEO. We do not guarantee rankings. But we are constantly learning more about how to make your search engine optimized, accessible and compliant to ever-changing standards in web design - and that's a good thing!
Do you recommend an E-Commerce solution?
We do make recommendations based on your needs. How many products will you sell? What form of payments will you accept? How will you market it? What will your monthly budget be? Do you already have hosting, or are you needing a hosted solution? These are a few of the questions we will ask to better assist you in making a decision about a shopping cart that will work for you. We do highly recommend Volusion for E-Commerce, due to great support, great reporting, reliability and a easy-to-use format and interface - at a great price. There might be another solution that would be better for your needs - and there are many that we have worked with also offer good support and service. Other shopping carts we have experience with are Core Commerce and Big Commerce. We are familiar with the template structure and management to be able to provide quality Volusion Store Design, Core Commerce Design and Big Commerce Store Design at a great price.
Do you put in my products and content into my website for me?
On an informational website, we do populate your pages with your content, based on what you provide us. However - please keep in mind - we are the designers. YOU are the site owner, the store owner - and you know your product or service better than anyone! As far as product population/inventory, we are happy to assist you with inventory management or data imports, arrangement of content and more for our administrative/support hourly fee. However, please be advised that product entry or content writing are not included with a design packages for e-commerce and Joomla and will be billed separately at an hourly rate.
What is your satisfaction policy?
If at any time you are not happy with our service, or the samples you've received, you may stop the process and request a refund. Depending on where we are in the process, and how much time we have invested, we will review the situation and provide a refund. We are happy to refund your account what you have paid, less a service fee of your total project estimate (subject to the terms of service and amount of work/time invested per your original statement of work) and remove the files we created for your project. Your statement of work will outline a non-refundable fee, which is a portion of your agreement when you contract with us to work on a project. It is basically used to cover our time spent on a project, in the event you decide not to continue working with us.
Will you call me? I have a question.
We do wish that we could help everyone - and we do wish there were time to personally chat with each and every client. But we are in the internet business, and we do most of our work online and by email. We no longer offer phone consultations prior to our being hired for your project. We only offer phone consults with clients who have retained our services because we have found that calling potential clients takes significant time and cost and this is time and effort that could have been dedicated to a client who has already paid us to support their online efforts. In any case, please send your questions and feedback via e-mail when possible - it helps us document your project and keep things in order. If you require a pre-hire phone consultation, we do charge a consultation fee of $50.00, billed prior to phone call, and credited to the total of your project should you decide to hire us.
Will you blog for me? I don't have time...
Absolutely! Blogging should be a very important part of your SEO strategy - for any type of site. It accomplishes a few things - most importantly, it's great for providing necessary backlinks to your website and products and services, as well as content building for your site. This content acts as a part of the 'funnel' of external internet marketing resources that 'funnel' your readers direclty back to your website. It also is a great outlet for you to use for news, articles, updates, product reviews and more. We charge an hourly rate, and will prepare a SOW (Statement of Work) separately for our blogging and social media services depending on the frequency you'd like to post. Think of your blogging and social networking as resources to drive traffic to your website - which, in turn - will eventually increase your rankings on search engines, and result in more sales, more visitors and more success. It' all about exposure - and blogs, Facebook and similar social media outlets are a great way to funnel more traffic - organically - to your site.