The Process

Preparations

I'm not really sure what I need. Can you help me?

    Yes. If you are struggling to figure out what you’re going to need on or for your website, you might be surprised at how easily we can help you. We have worked with a lot of clients with whom we maintain long-term relationships and have learned a lot about what is most effective and beneficial.

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How much does a custom-designed website cost?

    The price for what you want will depend on factors that include how large a site you want, how uniquely-designed you want your website to be, and what features you would like to be included. When you request a quote, it is good to provide as much information as you can.

    In addition to full custom web design, we now offer a template-based site for artists on a low budget (and this template is customizable).

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Do you have an artist website template?

    Yes. Most of the websites we have developed have been custom-designed. However, as web technology has evolved with social media, mobile devices, etc, the cost of custom design has increased and we now offer a starter template site for artists. Unlike most template websites, ours is fully customizable.

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Will the price be fixed?

    We can provide a fixed quote or work to an estimate (where the final price may be more or less than the estimate). If you wish to have a fixed quote, you need to be very clear about what you want and we will create a document of understanding of what work will be covered for the price before beginning work.

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How many design drafts do you do? What's the process here?

    Our design process begins with a discussion with you about what you need for your site and what you do and don’t like about other sites that’s worth knowing. Depending on the design brief, we may also undergo extensive design research before beginning a draft design for you.

    Based on the consultation process, we will prepare a first draft (which we will send as jpegs) for your feedback. Occasionally the first draft will miss the mark altogether and we’ll prepare a completely different second draft (sometimes even a third), based on your feedback. More often, the feedback/revision process involves tweaking a design that is working well but needs adjustments.

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Will my site be optimized for all devices?

    Yes. All our new design is fully responsive so that your site will look good on every device people use to view it. This is good not only to meet user expectations but also because Google penalizes sites that are not optimized for mobile devices.

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Will my site appear in search results?

    We will build your site in a way that Google and other search engines can easily index and they will include it in their search results. You will not immediately appear on the first page of results for every query you’d like to be found for (the competition is great) but we can work with you to gain increasingly better search results over time.

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Can you include social media links?

    Yes. We can add both social sharing links (Facebook “Like”, Share on Google+ or LinkedIn, pin to Pinterest, etc) as well as social follow links (to your Facebook, Google+, etc pages if you have them).

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How will I get the content for my website to you?

    Usually what we do is create a Dropbox folder into which you can upload your content (texts, images, mp3 files, mp4 files and pdfs) and from which we can download it.

    If you prefer to use Google Docs, that works too.

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When and how do I pay you?

    For full website design and development, we customarily request a 1/3 payment to begin designing, with second and third payments following at approximate 1/3 and 2/3 progress points. The proportions and timing vary according to the size of project but this is the most typical arrangement. Please inquire if you need an extended payment plan.

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How do I buy a domain name and web hosting?

    Domain registration and hosting do not need to be purchased through the same company, so you may like to shop around for domain registration, as prices vary. However, our top recommendation for a hosting company — bluehost.com — offer one free domain name registration with each hosting account, so that is our recommendation.

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Questions that come up during development

Can you set up a donation page for me?

    Yes. The simplest and least expensive method is to embed a Paypal donate button on your site (does not need to be the generic Paypal-looking button). We can do this for you entirely as long as you have a Paypal account and give us a user login — or you can create the button in Paypal yourself (follow their instructions) and just give us the button code they’ll give you.

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Can you set up email for me?

    Yes. We can set up domain-based email for you as soon as you have purchased your domain name and hosting space (eg from bluehost.com).

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How to transfer a domain name?

    It’s often the case that people will purchase their desired domain before they even begin the website design process or purchase a hosting plan. If you wish to have your website hosted with a company like bluehost.com (recommended) and the domain name is registered elsewhere, you can either point the domain name to the host company’s servers (e.g. ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com) and keep your registration where it is — or you can transfer the domain registration to the new hosting company.

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Once the website is launched

How do I update my website?

    Unless you have specifically requested a static html site, we will develop your website in a content management system with a user interface that does not require knowledge of code to use.

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Can I check how many people are visiting my site?

    Yes you can. We can set you up with a Google Analytics account and you’ll be able to see not only how many people are visiting but also much more.

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What just happened to my site? It's down/messed up!

    If your site disappeared completely, it is most likely that you missed a payment for domain name registration or hosting. If you set up auto-pay, check that your credit card had not expired. Unless a long time has elapsed since your site went down, it should be an easy matter to get it restored. Another possibility would be if you fail to respond to requests to keep your registration contact details up to date.

    If your site is not displaying properly or has error messages, there could be other issues. Sometimes clearing your browser’s cache as well as the content management system’s cache can clear up minor problems.

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I forgot my login/password! What do I do?

    If it’s the password to your content management system you’ve forgotten, click the “Forgot password?” link on the login window and you’ll be sent first one and then another email to get a new password. You can change it to one you prefer later.

    If it’s the password to your hosting or domain registration account you’ve forgotten, the process will be similar. As long as you’re the person who pays the bill and your email is on the billing record, you’re the only person who will get the reset password request and it should be pretty easy to follow the instructions.

What happens if I erase everything accidentally?

    That would be extremely unlikely but even if you did, your website is backed up every night at midnight and can be restored from back-up.

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