North Country Web Solutions - Q & A

Making the decision to put your business on the internet can fill your head with lots of questions. Do I need a website? Will it cost a lot of money? Where do I even begin?

I've tried to anticipate most of them here, but please don't hesitate to contact me if there are any others you may have.

Click here for a printable version of this Q&A

Definitions

Domain or URL: This refers to your web address (ie; www.mywebsite.com) and will be registered with an accredited Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) company as your property.

Host/Hosting: In order for your site to be accessible via the World Wide Web it must be placed on a server (or computer) that has 24/7 connectivity to the internet. Internet Hosting Services provide its’ clients with space on their systems for this purpose.

Search Engines: This is a tool used to search for information of any kind on the internet. Some examples are Yahoo! and Google.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What can a web site do for my business?
A. No matter what your business is, a web presence can help to put you at the top of the list when customers are searching for a product or service. Think about it – how often these days do we really open the phone book or consult the Yellow Pages when we’re looking for a business? In today’s high tech world, so many people reach for the internet first. A Yellow Page ad can cost you over $1,000 per year, where a basic web site will cost a one time fee of less than $500 plus an annual hosting fee of about $60 - and it’s totally customizable and changes to suit your business needs!

Q. How much will it cost to maintain the site once it’s completed?
A. The domain registration costs $15 per year and site hosting packages start at $5 per month. **see next Q&A for more detail**

Q. How do I know which hosting package is right for me?
A. I am currently partnered with A Small Orange for hosting services. They have hosting packages that start at $5 per month which provide you with ample space and unlimited email addresses.

Q. Who will maintain and update my site once it’s completed?
A. Once your site is complete, I will provide you with update services (within reason) for 1 year. After that I bill $25 per hour for updates/changes you may need. If your site requires monthly updates (ie, Newsletter or Event postings) I can work out an annual fee with you to suit your budget. If you would like to be able to maintain the site on your own and are willing to invest in the software I would be more than happy to provide you with basic training to do so.

Q. About how long will it take to have my site up and running?
A. Site development can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few month’s depending on the amount of content and how quickly the information can be provided to me.

Q. I already have a site, but I'd like it updated, will you do that for me?
A. Yes, I am more than willing to update or rework your current web site.

Q. How do I know if the “.com” I want is available?
A. I can certainly look that up for you, but if you would like to check for yourself, you can simply go to www.ASmallOrange.com and type in your desired domain (without using the www or .com) - once you hit the search button you'll get a pop up letting you know if your choice is available.

Q. I don’t live in New Hampshire, can I still have you create my site?
A. Yes, in today’s “e” world it is more than feasible to communicate all necessary information via phone and email.

Q. Will I be able to have custom email addresses with my website?
A. Yes, the domain host allows for multiple email addresses to be set up (ie MSmith@mysite.com). I will set up any email address you would like and will assist in getting them set up in your email program. This service is included in my fee.

Q. What are your payment terms?
A. Payment in full is required once you are satisfied with your completed site. I accept cash, checks and paypal.

Q. How involved will I be in the development of my website?
A. This is your site and I want you to be happy with it. During the design and development phase I will be asking for your feedback and I would appreciate your brutally honest opinion. From the colors, to the layout, to the content – if you see something you’d like done differently, please by all means tell me!

Q. Do you charge by the hour? Or a flat rate?
A. I charge a flat rate because I’m extremely picky (maybe even obsessive/compulsive) and strive for perfection – so I may take a little more time to get it just right then some others might. If I charged by the hour your site would cost much more than I quote you! Also, I feel it’s good to have an up front, agreed upon price before we start – that way there are no hidden costs or surprises for you.

Q. How do you determine how much to charge?
A. There are many factors involved in determining cost. Since my primary focus is small business, non-profit and personal web sites my standard fee is $500. The amount I charge is based on the complexity of your site, the number of pages you require and how the content is provided to me. If you are an established business with a logo, company colors and the information to be posted has already been gathered my standard fee would apply. If you are a new company and need all these things developed from scratch there will be more time involved and therefore the fee will need to reflect that.

Q. Do you ‘barter’ for your services?
A. Absolutely! I think bartering is a fantastic way for people to get products and services they each need. I’m willing to entertain (almost) any offer you may have!

Q. Will my site be picked up by Yahoo! and Google?
A. Yes, I will register your site with both of these search engines once the site is completed. Once you submit a site, it will take 2-3 weeks for it to appear as a search result.

Q. What will I need to provide for you to get my site up and running?
A. A business logo is the best place to start for site design. If you have brochures, business cards or even a company truck that’s been lettered for your business it will give me a very good idea of the look you may want to convey in your web site. Also, if you take a look at my NCWS Information Request Form (click here) that will give you a good idea of what I will be looking for as far as site content.

Q. What steps are involved in setting my web site up?
A. See the table below:

Action
Description
Responsibility
Establish domain name
Decide what you would like your web address to be. Client
Verify availability of domain name
Make sure the name you’ve selected is not currently being used. Client or NCWS
Set up hosting account
Set up account and billing for your site. I currently recommend A Small Orange and Yahoo! for this. Setting the account up is easy, I will provide you with a link and you will find step by step instructions. Once you complete your account set up you will receive an email confirmation – I will need a copy of this email so that I can log into your web space in order to upload the pages of your website. Client
Complete NCWS Info Sheet
My information request form will give me a better idea of what your needs are and will help to establish a price quote for you. Client
Information gathering meeting
In order to provide you with a price quote for your site, I will need to gather information from you. I will be asking you questions based on the information you provided on the information request form. Client and NCWS
Establish Price Quote
At this point, based on the information gathered I will provided you with a firm quote for your web site. You will now have the option to accept or decline with no obligation to me at all. NCWS
Post temporary marker page
Once you’ve accepted my quote and agreed to have me develop your site, I will post a temporary marker page to let the world know your site is under construction and coming soon.  
Establish site design
The first step in the design of your site is to develop the look and feel of it. Based on the info you’ve provided, I will set up several test Home pages for you to choose from. I will have you look them over and tell me what you like and/or dislike about each. This step is very critical as the final version of the Home page will drive the look and feel of the rest of the site. Client and NCWS
Create and develop site
Site pages and content are created and uploaded. NCWS
Client approval of finished product
I’m not happy until you’re happy! Client and NCWS