Frequently Asked Questions
Having been in business since 1997, Tammy has been asked tens of thousands of questions relating to website design, hosting, marketing, and the Internet in general. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for you below... if you have a question, it very well could be answered here!
Select a category of Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about how Virtualtech can help get results from your website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to hire a professional Web designer?
You most likely know a friend or relative that ’knows something about computers’ or ’knows HTML’, who could design a website. So why hire a professional? Here are some reasons why:
The Relationship: If you hire your niece or your best friend’s son to design your site. You later decide that you are not happy with the results and want to hire someone else. Feelings may get hurt.
Hiring the kid next door: You may find a high school or college student who has taken an HTML course and who could design a Website. However, what happens when they move on to college or begin their working career?
Time: None of us have enough time now, so why take time away from your business and personal life to learn how to design and market a Website? If you think you have the time, here is a partial list of what you will need to know:
- Learn how to use prepackaged HTML software. (Macromedia Dreamweaver, an online site builder)
- Learn how to write and understand HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP - even if you are using one of the programs above, you still need to understand the code
- Learn a graphic design program that allows you to:
- Scan graphics
- Create custom graphics
- Create custom animations
- Optimize graphics
- Understand Web design rules - fast downloading pages, being both user and search engine friendly
- How to secure and maintain a domain name
- How to secure a Web server
- Understand what a Web server is
- How to upload your pages to a Web server
- Have several different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, AOL) to test your pages in. (Not all browsers view pages the same way)
- Learn how to make sound, animation, and other features work in all browsers
- Learn what search engines are important to be listed on and how to get them to list your site.
Money: You may think you will save money by designing your own site, but will you really? You will need to purchase the necessary programs and books. This alone will cost you $300 or more. Now, figure out how much your time is worth. Multiply that amount with the number of hours it will take you to learn what you need to know, and then to design your site. Now figure you spent the same number of hours running your business. How much business would you generate? Which number is higher?
Experience: A professional website designer comes with years of design experience. You will have the benefit of their many hours of designing and marketing sites. They have already learned what works and what doesn’t. They should also be able to help you organize your thoughts, and make suggestions as to what should and should not be included on your site.
How much of my time is required to put together a website?
The amount of time your spend putting together your website is up to you. You will need to provide Virtualtech with all the necessary information, but not necessarily properly written. Most companies will give us an idea of what they want the pages to be, what colors they prefer, and how to arrange the information. Virtualtech will then lay out the pages, do the copy work, and find the appropriate graphics and backgrounds. Once we have decided on a background and some graphics, we ask that you look at it and say ’yeah, I like it keep going’, or ’no, lets try again.’ We continue this process all throughout the design phase. Under normal circumstances the client will view the website three to four times before it is completed.
How often should my website be updated?
How often will be determined by the type of business you have and your target market. For example, a home builder whose visitors tend to visit the site once or twice would not need to update as often as someone with a constantly changing inventory or product line. People who buy office supplies will tend to visit a site once or twice a month and will want to see different products being featured or specials. Virtualtech can take care of updating your site, and by using our scheduled maintenance services you won’t even have to think about it as updates will be done automatically.
If sections of your site require updates daily or weekly, Virtualtech can create an admin section for you to log into and make your own changes.
If I have Virtualtech design my site, can I update my site myself?
Because we design our sites from a marketing perspective, we find that most of our clients prefer to have us do all updates. This ensures that the professional appearance of the site you paid us to design is maintained, and that the text of the site is written in such a way that search engines will find it ’relevant’ to the search terms specific to your site.
Typically, we get asked this question for one of three reasons:
- Because the client wants to save money
- Because the client wants to have control over the site content
- Because the site content needs to change on a regular basis
If the reason is to save money, we have found that the extra cost in setting up the site so that you can update it yourself may exceed the cost of having us do the updates. You may find it less expensive to have us do the updates over the long run. If you are realistically not going to update it more than once a month, it probably makes more financial sense to have us handle the updates.
If the reason is to have more control over the site content, then we take a careful look at what you will want to update and make sure that you are properly qualified to make updates that will maintain your site in a professional manner. In the past, the client’s temptation to ’play’ with the site has historically been damaging to the search engine results.
If a specific area of the site needs to change on a regular basis, then typically we will ’isolate’ the areas that need to be updated so that you can make your text updates in an easy and efficient manner, while maintaining the professional appearance and search engine relevance of the site.
What do you mean by ’design’? Will you create the whole site, or do I need to have someone else create the graphics, etc.?
Virtualtech is a ’full service’ website design company. We can create all site content for you, including all graphics, multimedia, and text-based content. Using these elements and various scripting languages (HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP, etc. ) we will create a website that achieves the functionality you are looking for. Our sites have ranged from the client providing all text and graphics to the client scribbling a paragraph on a napkin and telling us ’make a ten-page site out of that’.
How long will it take Virtualtech to make updates to my site?
Virtualtech strives to be as responsive as possible to our clients’ needs. Because our focus is strictly on website design and Internet marketing, we have the flexibility to respond as quickly as necessary. You can expect that minor updates and changes will be completed quickly... in most cases within 1 business day, and often while we are on the phone with you.
For more complex changes, we will either be able to complete then within a 72 hour time frame, or provide you with an estimate of when it will be completed.
How long will it take Virtualtech to design my website?
Obviously, it will depend on what is involved with your site design. On average, projects generally are completed within 6 to 8 weeks from the date of receipt of deposit and a signed contract. The biggest variable is your response time... the quicker you respond to our correspondence, the faster your site will be completed.
Is it expensive to have Virtualtech update my site?
Virtualtech believes in the old saying ’an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work’. It is our policy to only charge you for the actual time spent working on your site. If it takes us 15 minutes to make a requested change, you will be charged for 15 minutes at our hourly rate... and honestly, often we find it more trouble than it’s worth to invoice you for a 5 minute change There is never a minimum charge.
How to Select a Website Designer
- Visit their website. Do you like their look? Does the site load quickly?
- Request information. How long does it take for them to respond? If they don’t respond to a new client quickly, how long will you have to wait once you are a client?
- Call them on the phone. Do you like they way they answered your questions? Did they make you feel comfortable?
- View their portfolio. Do you like their work? Do they have experience working with businesses, not just non-profit groups?
- Ask for references or better yet, call the clients included in their portfolio. Find out how the company was to work with. Did they listen to concerns and suggestions and follow through or do their own thing? How is their response time to changes?
- How do they charge for updating a site? Is there a minimum fee just to open the site?
- Do they know how to market a site? A website is a marketing tool and should be designed as one. Your website is not the place for a computer "geek" to showcase the new technology they just learned. The objective of your site is to SELL your product or service.
- Meet with the designer. Is their appearance and manner professional? Are they able to explain the process in terms you understand?
- Keep in mind the saying "you get what you pay for". Sure your niece could design a website for you, but will it reflect the business image you want? It may cost you more in the end to have a site redesigned, or in lost revenue.
What are the steps to an effective website?
Step 1 - Registering a domain name
This will be your address on the web. Try to use your business name, as a .com. If that is not available, then use your tag line or a catchy phrase. Be sure your domain name should be easy to remember and spell.
Step 2 - Designing the website
You need to either design a site yourself or hire a website designer. Virtualtech custom designs every website we create. We do not use templates or prepackaged software. This allows us to create and design the perfect site, just for your business.
Step 3 - Hosting your website
Think of hosting as renting space on a computer that is connected to the Internet. Virtualtech offers several hosting packages to fit any need.
Step 4 - Marketing your website
You may have the best looking website on the Web, however, if no one sees it, what good is it? Marketing your site could include traditional methods, along with online marketing.