Q: How much will this cost?
Unfortunately, that is a lot like asking a car salesman how much a car will cost? Do you want a Honda Civic, Minivan, Corvette, SUV, or Mercedes? It all depends on what your specific needs are. Large web sites that are completely customized down to every detail with complex database driven backends and functionality are going to require a larger investment than a basic lead generation site.
Our projects are based on either upfront and known project costs or monthly retainers, which are also known up front. We believe that being as open and honest about what we can deliver and what you can expect is the best policy.
We have no incentive to sell you unrealistic expectations that can’t possibly be met. Our business growth depends on providing long term value to clients that are satisfied, can measure the value we provide, and will provide referrals to us.
Q: How long will this take?
Every project is different. Large complex sites with a lot of back end programming will take much longer to complete than web sites with less content or programming needs. A good guideline is smaller projects are about 4 weeks to complete and large complex projects can take much longer.
Once we create a project scope we can deliver a solid time estimate to complete the work. A project timeline will come with the initial proposal. Because we have a lot of experience with a talented team, our timelines are typically shorter than other developers and our estimates of time to complete are more accurate.
Q: Do you have a warranty on work completed?
Yes, we provide a warranty on any work completed for 60 days after the web site goes live. After 60 days anything that needs to be fixed or changed is billed at our hourly rate. Please note any requested changes, even within the warranty period, that are outside of the scope of the original project will be billed at our hourly rate. If we can estimate the repair time in advance we will, but often times we have to chase down an issue and that takes time. Once we have identified the problem we can fix it. You can certainly give us a limit on how much time to spend to fix or research an issue upfront and if we can solve the problem quicker, we will. Again, our purpose is not to make as much money off unfortunate events as possible. Our business model very much depends on satisfied clients that continue to work with us and refer their colleagues to us.
Q: Why don’t you fix my web site for free forever?
Some people ask why we don’t fix a web site we built for as long as you own it at no cost to you. We simply can’t offer such a service because technology is always changing. Updates to browsers, plugins, WordPress, hackers attacking a site, etc. and anyone of these updates or events can cause a web site that was working to suddenly stop working and require research and repair. Because we can’t know what possible technology changes or events will occur in the future we cannot guarantee that your site won’t experience a breakdown in the future. An analogy we use is that if you are sick and go to your doctor and ask them to make you well once that job is done you wouldn’t ask your doctor to guarantee you stay well forever and if you get sick again you expect the doctor to provide their services for free since you had originally paid them before to make you well. The human body gets viruses, ages, changes, etc. and those things can and do cause you to get sick occasionally. It is no different with a web site or any piece of software for that matter.
One exception to this rule is clients that are on our monthly retainer program. Almost all of our retainers include maintenance and support, which includes fixing a web site that breaks down for any reason. If you are interested in constant protection against future issues we suggest you look into our retainer programs. Our retainers provide considerable value and many services to keep your web site and business moving forward and leaving the technology issues to us so you can focus on running your business.
Q: How do we get started with this?
Here are the basic steps:
Q: Will I be able to update my web site or will I have to call you every time I need something changed?
If you choose a monthly retainer plan there will be a plan level where changes to your web site are included.
However, for the DIY business or the business not on any type of monthly retainer; many of our sites are built on a CMS platform (Content Management System) that will allow you to login to your web site and with just a little training, make updates on your own. Both options are available depending on your needs.
Q: Can you guarantee that my web site will never get hacked?
Unfortunately, we cannot. The software we use is always being updated and while those updates are often done to fix security flaws they invariably create new ones in the process or fail to find others that may already exist. However having said that there are some definite common sense steps every web site owner should do to make their web site as secure as possible. It starts with a proper set up of the web site in the first place and continues by keeping software patched and current, running protective programs, using reliable hosting companies and other strategies. Defending against hackers is an ongoing battle that everyone from national governments down to individual small business web sites must do. Hackers never stop trying to find and exploit weaknesses and we never stop working to keep them at bay. So while we can’t guarantee you will never get hacked and nobody else can either we provide a lot of products and services to minimize your risk as much as possible.
Q: I know I need web site and I went out and got 3 quotes with 3 totally different prices, shouldn’t I just go with the cheapest quote?
Building a web site isn’t like fixing a car or installing a furnace or fixing a leaky pipe. With those types of activities, the quotes are generally close and there are only a couple of ways of doing the job. Not so with web development. In web development, there are many ways to get “a” web site. That doesn’t mean you are getting the best web site for your needs. You could also make some critical mistakes because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and end up costing yourself considerably more money in the long run to re-develop a site the right way.
The value in working with an expert in web development with a lot of experience and a talented team is that they can help you through the process of figuring out not only what you need, but the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches and solutions.
As an example, if you decided you wanted an e-Commerce web site and you received 3 quotes of differing amounts. One quote says they will do it in Magento. One quote says they will do it in WordPress. One quote says they will set it up in Shopify. Beyond simply choosing the one that may be the cheapest do you know which of these 3 options is the best and what you should choose? Do you know why you should choose one over the other? We do.
A good design firm can answer the questions you didn’t know to ask and create the solution you didn’t know you even needed and be able to tell you why. They can provide marketing, quality design and a web site that will not only grow your business, but save you money in the long run.
Q: If I choose your monthly retainer plan will I ever “own” my web site?
Depending on the complexity of the site you need will determine the length of the retainer agreement we will need you to sign, but after that agreement time frame is up you are free to leave and take your web site with you. You will “own” it and can do with it as you please. This is completely different from Wix, Go Daddy, etc. where the minute you stop paying your fee your site and anything you had on it is gone, no matter how long you have been paying it for.
We want to earn your business and hope to continue to provide additional value in maintenance, hosting and marketing services as well as continual improvements to your site over the contract period. We believe you will see value in continuing the contract and less of your web site as piece of property that you “own”.
A web site, regardless of who “owns” it, is only valuable because it brings in new customers and adds value to your business. If it doesn’t do those basic things then it really doesn’t matter who “owns” it because you aren’t getting anything out of it anyway. It would be akin to owning a car without the engine. You might “own” the car, but you aren’t using it to go anywhere.
Q: What technology or platforms do you use for creating web sites?
We use a variety of technologies depending on the needs of the client. We use Microsoft SQL, .NET, PHP, MySQL, WordPress and many other tools and technologies. We are not married to any one way of building a web site. One of our strengths is our diverse team and almost 2 decades of experience that gives us a large tool box and a variety of approaches to use.
Too many firms or individuals that call themselves “web developers” are one trick ponies and can only build sites in WordPress with 3 different themes for example. We can build anything you need on any platform available. We have a very talented team of developers, designers and consultants that can give you the exact solution you want.
Q: What shopping carts and eCommerce software do you use?
We use a variety of packages depending on the specific project. If the project is WordPress we will use WooCommerce. If the web site is built on some other system we will generally build a custom cart to accommodate the specific requests of the customer and their processes.
Regarding the payment gateway or processors, we can use almost anyone. We have used Stripe, Pay Pal, Authorize.net and others. The choice here is more dependent on the customer and their needs.
Q: I don’t have time to create all the content I need for my web site, what should I do?
We provide a full portfolio of content creation services. We can create well written copy, images, animation and/or video content depending on your needs and budget. There are some resource requirements on your part to help us develop this content as you know your business and customers best. We would need access to someone to help guide us in creating that content, but we do the heavy lifting by actually creating it.
Q: My budget is only “X” dollars can you still work with me?
Because we have such a diverse set of technologies, we can work with a variety of budgets to build you a solution. We have flexibility in how we can structure a solution and are confident that if we can sit down and discuss your needs that we can find a way to work together.