Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much do you charge to design a website?
A. There are many types of websites and a variety of things to consider in order to answer this question. For most purposes a website is a marketing tool. Therefore above all you have to understand what your target audience expects from your website. If you're selling widgets the design aspect will not be so important. If you're selling fashionwear it clearly will be. If you're selling to a budget-driven market, high-end design is unnecessary. On the other hand, if you're trying to appeal to high-value customers, high-end design is non-negotiable. These are matters which we will discuss in your initial free consultation. Knowing who it is that you are addressing with your website is a much more important consideration affecting the cost of the site than the number of pages that it will have. We take the time to understand your business aims and advise you accordingly so that you maximize the likelihood of getting a timely return on your investment . It is then a case of achieving the graphic style appropriate to your business within the budget you have.
After you have established the style of your website, you then need to factor in its size, and what features you want. Most importantly, you need to understand what your prospective customers expect from your website. This may not be the same as what you want to put on it. Once again, getting correct advice is all important in order to get a prompt return on your investment.
Q. I / a friend / a relative have some website-building software. Could we use that to make our website?
A.Anyone in theory can make their own website. It is however often a false economy because:
(a) the website, lacking professional graphic design skills, will look amateurish and fail to bring you the business you want;
(b) the time spent trying to use your program would be better spent on developing your own business; and lastly
(c) a good web design business will be aware of such things as search engine friendliness, usability and compliance issues, all of which will affect your return on investment of money and time.
Q. What is the difference between web design and web development?
A. Web design refers to the graphic look and structural layout of a website. Web development is a broad term that describes the work of taking that look making it viewable on the internet. It covers a broad range of websites from a simple static site with only a few pages of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications such as e-commerce and social network sites. Although some businesses choose to develop the graphic look separately In most cases the design and development stages are done by the same provider.
We use the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) open source system and WYSIWYG web-development software. This means that, unlike some businesses, we deliver to you a fully portable website that you own and can host on any server of your choice. Some website developers use proprietary software that only they can host and support. This means that you will be locked into an ongoing financial obligation to them and if for any reason you wish or need to discontinue this, you will not be able to take your website with you.
Q. What is a Content Management System?
A. The web has developed greatly in the past few years and we recommend that everyone wanting to develop a new website build their site using a Content Management System. This enables all website owners to maintain their own websites, big or small. Even if this does not seem to be relevant to you at the moment, the nature of the web is that it will inevitably become so. Successful websites are dynamic and interactive. Whether you have a 5 page site or a 500 page site, being able to maintain your own website not only keeps it up-to-date but in the long run will save and make you money.
Depending on your needs we can use a variety of open-source Content Management Systems such as ModX, Joomla, Drupal or a blog application such as WordPress. We can also provide simple and cheap shopping cart solutions.
Q. What are search engine friendliness, usability and compliance issues?
A. A web site needs to balance attractive graphic design with search engine friendliness. It does not matter how good your site looks if it does not rank in the search engines. It also does not matter how good your site looks if users cannot find the information they want (usability) or the site does not display correctly on a variety of browsers, operating systems and monitors (web compliance). Because it takes time to incorporate these considerations, they all affect the value and cost of a website. So make sure that when getting quotes for your website that you are comparing apples with apples. Many web designers do not consider these matters to be their concern, meaning that website owners have to spend more money to get their websites brought into line with web (W3C) standards, which in turn means that the total cost of their website ends up being greater than if it had been built correctly from the outset, not to mention the time wasted waiting for a return on a non-performing website.
Q. Are there any other considerations affecting the cost of a website?
A. In general cost is also affected by how well-developed your web site design brief is and how much you can provide to the web designer ready to use. That means knowing what the content of your site is, how many pages there are, what their names are, and so on. The more you understand what you want your website to look like and have the material for your website organized, the easier it is for a web designer has to convert your ideas into reality.
If you have a logo, decided on your colours, have images ready to use, these things will all affect the final cost. Spend some time looking at other websites and make a note of what you like and don't like about them. This will make it much easier for us to create a website that matches your expectations. If you are starting completely form scratch and want us to create your brand image, including designing your logo we can do that.
If you are new to the web you will also need web hosting and domain name registration. Devolution can provide both of these at very cost-effective rates. It is a very good idea to secure your domain name before you start planning your website as you want to be sure that the name is available.
For more information on domain name registration go here: https://secure.devolution.com.au/registration.html
To find some more information on domain hosting go here: http://www.devolution.com.au/web_hosting
Q. What is a domain name?
A. A domain name is how people will find your website. Domain names are purchased by registration with the option to renew at the end of the registration period. The minimum registration period is 12 months. .com.au names can only be registered for 24 months. Ideally you will be able to get the name you want. If not try something that is close to it. Say you want to purchase www.mybusiness.com.au - if it is already taken, consider a variant such as www.mybusiness.com, www.mybusiness.biz or www.my-business.com.au
Q. What is web hosting?
A. Web hosting is a monthly fee that you pay to have your site accessible on the Internet. For information on domain hosting go here: http://www.devolution.com.au/web_hosting.htm
With Devolution Web Hosting there is no contract and, in most cases, no set-up fees. We charge you only for the bandwidth you use. Some web hosting companies may offer you large amounts of bandwidth that may look irresistible but in the vast majority of cases this bandwidth will not be used. Most small business websites use 200-500 MB per month. There is thus no point in paying for an account that provides 5000 MB. Such web companies expect that you will NOT use that amount, which is why they offer it.
Q. Can I choose Devolution Web Design to design my web site and use my own web hosting?
A..Yes. We can upload your website to the the server of your choice or provide the website as a zip file.
Q. How long does it take to have a web site designed?
A. The average time is 2-3 weeks for a standard brochure site. The time frame is affected by how well-developed your brief is, the size of your web site, the features you require and how quickly you respond to any requests for information or stage approvals during the development process.
Q. What is site maintenance?
A. Maintenance is a fee paid to your web designer or web host to update your web site with content that you provide. If you are only going to be doing this 2 or 3 times a year this is usually the most cost-effective option for keeping your site up-to-date. If these are only small updates and your web site is hosted by us, we will do these at no charge as part of your hosting package.
If you intend to update your web site or individual web pages regularly then we recomment that we install a Content Management System for you. This is a very affordable option these days and in the long run you will benfit from both the money you save and the greater involvement that you will have with your own website..
We will advise you on the most cost-effective course of action during your free initial consultation.