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Fast and Affordable Web Site Design - Specializing in Small Business Web Site Design and Redesign



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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

About Small Business Web Site Design and Redesign

If you have questions not answered below, send me an email:  info@e-vantages.com


What is a Domain Name?


The domain name is what people type to get to your new web site.  It is very much like your home and its address, or your business and its address, but instead of a physical location, it is a virtual location. 


Where do I search for a Domain Name?


You can go to Register.com to "Find a Domain Name."  They have a convenient little search box you can use to find out if the Domain Name you want is available.  You can use their search to find a name, but you do NOT need to purchase from them.


How do I decide on a Domain Name?


The Domain Name can work for you IF you can get a name that contains words involving the services you provide.  For example, if you have a photography store, you would want the word photo or photography in your Domain Name.  It should also be easy for people to remember and type, when possible.


How do I buy a Domain Name?


There are many, many places that sell Domain Names.  Purchase is simple and depending on the company you buy from, administering the domain can be easy as well.


How much does is cost for a Domain Name?


There is a wide range of prices for Domain Names, from $6.95 up to $45 and even higher.  If you need name forwarding, you may need to purchase from a provider that affords you that capability.  The provider I recommend is Sonic.net, charges $9.95.  The fee is annual.  NOTE: If you don't pay the annual fee on time, you lose your domain name and it goes up for sale.


How do I find an ISP (Internet Service Provider) to host my web site?


If you don't have an existing web site, you will need an ISP, which is an Internet Service Provider.  That is the company that will "host' your web site.  Your site will physically reside on their servers.  It is very, very important that you choose a reputable and reliable company.  If you choose one of the bargain companies, you will find that you get what you pay for.  If you have a problem, it will be nearly impossible to get help.  Reputable and reliable doesn't cost more.


What do ISP's charge for web site hosting?


Again, I recommend Sonic.net as an ISP.  I have worked with them for over 10 years and they are both reliable and reputable. They are also very reasonable and charge $9.95 per month for a Value Account.  The Value Account is fine for most web sites.  If you have a lot of graphics, photos and content (more than 50 GB), you may need a Basic account, which is $19.95 per month.


What information do I need to provide for the web site?


You need to provide as much information as possible for your web site.  The information you provide is the same information you would use to "sell a client" if you were talking to them.  You know your business best, and the more information you provide, the better your site will be when it comes to selling the client.  You need to provide information about yourself and your staff.  Information about the services you provide, and your location. 


Does it matter how the information is written?


YES.  You need to use words descriptive of your products/services as much as possible within the text.  You need to reinforce the page, title and subject with the words on that page.  If you have a business that deals with photography, mention photos and photography many times in the titles, subtitles and text.  And, remember you are selling yourself and your business!


How do I send information for the web site?


The information can be sent in emails, and attachments.  Text information is best sent/received in word documents or pdf's.  Information sent in this way can easily be copied and pasted in the appropriate places.


What is an FAQ page and why should I have one?


An FAQ page is a page where you can answer Frequently Asked Questions.  This page is an important means by which you can answer questions that keep the potential clients from taking the next step.  If you effectively answer the most common questions, the potential client is much more likely to feel comfortable and willing to consider the service or product you provide.


What are links and what is a links page?


Links is short for "hyperlinks." A hyperlink is a word, phrase, or image that you can click on to jump to a new document or a new section within the current document.  The document or image 'jumped to' can be on your site or someone else's site.  Links do many things.  They engage the reader, they make your site more interactive, the provide useful information, and most important, they help search engine ranking.  


What is a links page?


Besides links within your site, you can have a "Links Page" which has links to useful information for your clients and potential clients, and helps your search engine ranking.  For example, if you were a Bed & Breakfast Inn, you might provide links to area attractions for your potential clients.


Do I need to provide photos?


YES.  YES.  YES.  A picture really is worth a thousand words!  Also, it gives your site interest and life.  It breaks up the text, and makes a visual impression on your visitor.  You can never have too many photos.  The better the quality, the better it represents you, and the better the impression you make on your visitors.  Up to 10 photos per page with no extra charge - thumbnails that click to enlarge.


How do I send photos and what size should they be?


Photos can be sent as attachments to email.  They can also be sent via a CD or even a thumb/flash drive.  If the pictures are large in size (MB) they can not be sent via email unless they are sent one at a time.


What if I don't have digital photos, but only have prints or slides?


If you only have prints or slides, you can do one of two things.  You can pay to have them scanned (transferred to digital format) by any number of companies.  Some on the web are fairly cheap, but you risk losing your photos because you have to send them off by mail.  OR, I can scan them for you.  I have the ability to scan both photos and slides.  My charge would be $35 per hour and I can do about 12 photos per hour.


I want to have a slideshow of my photos, can that be done?


Yes.  I can create a slideshow in various methods.   Slideshow creation is not included in the $100 per page fee, and would be charged at $35 per hour.  An estimate not to exceed would be provided.


I want to collect names for an e-list, can that be done?


Yes.  I can create a form for users to sign up for your e-list.  Depending on your business, this can be an important method to stay connected to your clients and potential clients.  It can be very useful to gaining repeat business.


I want to have rotating photos, can that be done, does it cost extra?


If you want to have a series of photos that automatically change within one spot on your page, that can be done.  It does not cost extra for 8 photos or less on a page.  If you have more than 8 photos, the page charge goes up to $150.


Do visitors to my site have need Flash installed to see rotating photos?


I do not use Flash for the web sites I build.  Flash is "flashy" alright, but it hurts your web site search engine ranking.  The use of Flash also requires that visitors to your site have Flash installed, or they will not be able to view your site as designed.  And, visitors to your site would get that annoying popup asking them to install Flash.  I use JavaScript instead of Flash.


What are Search Engines, Robots and Spiders?


Search Engines are entities that rely on automated software agents called spiders, crawlers, robots and bots. These bots are the seekers of content on the Internet, and from within individual web pages. They traverse the web (crawl)looking for, identifying and ranking information.  They use their results to return responses to search queries.  If you "Google" a question, the results you are show and the order in which they are shown is the result of Search Engines and how they identified and ranked the information they found. 


What is Search Engine ranking?


Search Engines work to find, identify and rank all the information on the web.  Google, MSN Live, and Yahoo are three of the major Search Engines.  They crawl (visit) sites on the web, and then categorize and rank the information they find.  Their goal is to return information to search queries in order of relevance.  The better job they do, they better they are at answering your queries.  They categorize and rank the information based on a multitude of criteria that has been refined over the years.  The criteria is the equivalent of a report card or score card.  The more marks you have (criteria you meet) the higher you rise in relevance.


How do I get my site to have better search engine ranking?


There are many components to increasing Search Engine ranking. KeyWords and descriptions (hidden to the user, but seen by the robots) are one major factor.  Another factor is that the page titles, subtitles, text, and photo captions are all relevant to the subject.  Is the Domain Name on the site relevant?  Each of these count as points that increase your score in the subject at hand.  The more points, the higher you score.  You need a robots.txt file.  Your site needs to be registered with the major Search Engines.  When I design a web site, all of these things are included in the design!


How can I get information about who is visiting my site?


For those who are interested and plan to continue to improve their site, I can code the pages with Google-Analytics.  You will be able to see where your visitors are coming from and how long they stay, and what pages they visit most. You will also be able to see what search words they used to get to your site.  Over a period of time, you can have changes made to your site that will capitalize on what is learned from Google-Anaytics. There is no extra charge!


If I need changes to my site, how long does it take and what is the cost?


There is no minimum time or charge.  Works is billed at an hourly rate of $35.  Changing or adding a photo, adding some text or link takes just minutes and you will only be charged for time spent.  If you need changes regularly, you will be billed once a month for time spent.


1754 Sanders Rd, Windsor, CA  95492