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frequently asked questions about website design

 

 
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE TO DESIGN A WEBSITE?

our site design fees are tailored to each individual's web site requirements and are typically priced as a whole design project rather than billed hourly. small web sites typically start at $1750, depending upon web page functionality, depth, and other factors. however we do offer hourly design rates for web sites that are large in size, require continued design support, or have other special site functionalities. in general, most of our web site design quotes are project-based and are helpful in providing you with an overall cost to see if it meets your site's budget. for a free design estimate, simply email kim at and tell us about your website needs. helpful things for us to know: do you want a simple online brochure type of website? many web pages or just a few? do you want a video playing on your website's home page? do you need a message board for your site visitors? let us know whatever details you can and we'll get back to you with a price.

 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FINISH A WEBSITE DESIGN?

each website design project is different and requires varying lengths of time to complete, however an average website can take 4 to 8 weeks. the website process goes faster when our clients respond fairly promptly to our website inquiries, design sketches, and other emails. also it is a very good idea to have your website materials prepared in advance, such as text, images, and even the names of web pages you wish to have in your site (such as home, services, about us, contact us, etc.). a good rule of thumb -- the more prepared you are with your website materials, the faster the design process is completed.

  
WHAT IS A WEBSITE DOMAIN NAME?

a domain name is your website address such as www.your-name.com or www.your-name.net. domain names can be purchased through various online companies like network solutions. many companies offer domain name purchases as well as website hosting plans.

something great thing about domain names — you can have more than one domain that sends people to your website. it's like having aliases of your own name and all of them point to you. want to see how it works? here's a list of domain names that each send visitors on the web to skyhand design. go ahead, click on them:

skyhand.net
skyhanddesign.com
skyhandwebsitedesign.com
website-design-seattle.com
website-design-seattle.net
website-design-seattle.org
seattle-website-design.net
seattle-website-design.org
kimtyburski.com
kimtyburski.net

 
WHAT IS WEBSITE HOSTING AND DO I NEED IT FOR MY SITE?
 
website hosting is required for having a website online for the world to view. think of it as a house for your web pages. website hosting companies have computers called servers that contain your web pages and give visitors to access them. there is a multitude of website hosting businesses and site packages out there and choosing the right one is important. skyhand design can help you choose a website host that matches your needs well.

 
HOW DO I GET MY WEBSITE TO SHOW UP AT THE TOP OF SEARCH ENGINES LIKE GOOGLE OR YAHOO?

 
while we don't want to give away our website search engine secrets here, there are many ways that a website design can be optimized to rank better in web page searches. companies do not necessarily have to pay search engines to be listed at the top of their website searches. excellent site optimization and other steps can help your website's odds in obtaining free, high rankings. getting to the top of web searches does not happen overnight though and there are never any guarantees. regarding paid site placement however, there are sponsored listings and google "adwords" and other fee-based services that can all be considered if necessary. skyhand design will fill you in the details once we begin designing your new website. also, as a part of our design services we submit your website to major search engines so they add you to their web database.

 

WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED FROM ME TO DESIGN A WEBSITE?
 
we require the same general batch of materials from each new website design client: a deposit to begin designing (50% of the website estimate we give you), photos, text for each web page, thoughts you may have on your website design, and your web likes and dislikes. colors, for instance -- if you despise blue, modern websites or love orange, vintage sites, tell us. any of your website loves and dislikes are helpful in leading us down the correct design path and will help us create the website design of your dreams.

 
DO I HAVE TO HELP WITH THE WEBSITE DESIGN PROCESS?

absolutely not. that's our job as website designers to alleviate the design work from your shoulders. all that we ask is that you tell us what you love about websites you've seen and also what you dislike about sites. do you enjoy fancy animations or prefer a clean and simple web page? do you love organic and richly colored websites or wish for a classic, black and white web presence? it's all according to your likes and dislikes and we'll do the design work to match your wishes. of course, if you're an artist at heart and would love to offer design input for your site, then we're all ears and open to your web ideas.

 
WHAT ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GETTING A NEW WEBSITE?

first, you need a professional website designer to create your web pages in a clean, streamlined manner. make a strong impression with your web visitors and help their time at your site be a positive one. skyhand design has over 13 years of design time and knows how to build effective websites.

second, you'll need to acquire a website domain name  (www.your-website-address.com) which we can help you obtain through a website company like network solutions. domain names are important as they are essentially your website address – it's what people type into their web browser to visit your site. so you'll want to choose something easy to remember, relatively short, and is related to your website content if possible. you might want to obtain more than one website name to increase the chances of visitors finding your web pages online. for instance, your-website.com and your-website.net could both be purchased if they're available. there are millions of websites online all with their own domain names, so it does happen where the name you want is already attached to someone else's web page. to check for domain name availability, visit network solutions and use their domain search tool. if a website already has it, then try alternate web names – for example instead of www.website-design.com you can try: website-design.net, website-design.biz, website-design.info, website-design.us or possibbly even website-design.org.

third, an important step in your website checklist is to obtain a web hosting package. skyhand design can help you find the right hosting company and package for your pages. these companies have computers called website servers that store your web pages for the world to view. there are many factors to consider in choosing the right website hosting plan, such as estimated monthly website traffic, video streaming, website mailing lists, message boards, e-commerce solutions, website statistics software, and much more. all of these are important options that we consider when recommending a hosting plan for your web pages.

lastly, search engine optimization is very important when approaching a new website and getting the most out of it online. now is a good time to think about the main focus of your website – for instance ours is website design seattle. much of our business stems from designing websites based out of seattle. so our search engine focus is "website design seattle." do you have a main focus? the more fine-tuned your website is, the more focused it is, the better your chances of appearing higher up in search engine rankings. if you have many outlets to your website, then it is thought to be more "watered down" and might not rank as highly in any of those outlets. at skyhand design, we build your web pages with search engines in mind. meta tags, key word placement, proper descriptions, search engine submission and many other site factors are critical steps that we review with you when beginning your new website design.

 

CAN I HAVE MY OWN WEBSITE EMAIL ADDRESS, AND IF SO HOW DO I CHECK IT?

you can typically have anything-you-want@your-website.com and most website hosting companies allow for the creation of several email accounts. most web companies also permit access to your website email account on the web – you simply visit a special password-protected web page to manage your mail. it works similar to hotmail, gmail, yahoo mail and other email-based websites. while at home or otherwise on your personal computer, your website email address can be checked with your regular software like applemail, outlook, entourage, eudora or others. skyhand design can help guide you in setting up your software.


HOW DO I MAKE UPDATES TO MY WEBSITE?  DO YOU OFFER MAINTENANCE SERVICES?

skyhand design offers a couple of methods for updating your website:

1. we can do website maintenance for you based on hourly rates on an as-neeeded basis. many web design companies charge monthly maintenance fees but honestly that doesn't seem honest to us. if we haven't done any website edits in the past couple of months, why would we charge you? so beware of website designers who charge monthly fees. it's a way for them to make money off of your website when they shouldn't be.

2. we can design your website in a way that allows you to make edits yourself. this involves special web programming and incurs a separate, one-time fee, however it pays for itself in saving you from having to pay website maintenance fees. how does it work? using a certain website programming language, we can design specified pages of your new website to take advantage of this useful technology so that you can visit a special web page, enter your unique username and password, and then make website edits as needed, as often as you wish. you can change text, add or delete images, upload documents like PDFs, and so on. do you need to know website code like html or have website software on your computer? no, you simply need a working computer with an internet connection. very basic html knowledge can be helpful in some circumstances however it is not necessary.

 
DO YOU CREATE FLASH OR OTHER WEBSITE ANIMATIONS?


we create flash animations as well as other animated imagery for the web. there are advantages and disadvantages of having such animations on your web pages. advantages: motion with or without audio on a web page makes the site appear more lively and active, visually stimulating a web surfer and making their trip to your site a more fun experience. disadvantages: longer download times – visitors surfing the web with a dial-up connection often get frustrated over Flash-intensive websites; special "plug-ins" (web browser files) are required for Flash to play properly on the web and some visitors are not able to install them onto their computers... thus making your website not appear properly. so, while website animations can add flare and visual entertainment for specific pages, it does present some issues that should be considered before implementing them into your website design. do you mind longer loading times for your website? does it matter if some web surfers cannot view an animation on your web page?

another important note about flash:  skyhand design does not recommended designing your entire website in flash as it can severely hinder search engine rankings and listings for your website. quality search engine optimization is best accomplished through non-flash web pages. if rankings are important to you, that is if you hope to gain new website vistors or clients by their finding you on the web, but you want animations, then have your website design created regularly but spiced up with isolated animations.

lastly, a website design containing flash will be more expensive than a non-flash website due to the amount of extra work involved in designing elements within flash. flash-enhanced website design prices are available upon request.

 
CAN YOU HELP ME CREATE A MAILING LIST FOR MY WEBSITE?

yes. skyhand design can recommend website hosting companies that offer mailing list services and we can set-up the mailing list for use. most companies make it possible for you to manage your website mailing list through an administative web page that is password protected. you can add, delete and otherwise manage subscriber information and other details. mailing lists are great tools for keeping people informed of your business or simply to promote the latest news on your website.

 
CAN I HAVE A QUESTIONNAIRE PAGE ON MY WEBSITE?

absolutely. we can design a web page for your questionnaire. we would need a list of questions for your website viewers and an email address to where the results should be submitted.

 
CAN I HAVE A WEBSITE COUNTER TO TRACK HITS ON A WEB PAGE?

you can have a website counter that tracks website hits. we can create a simple counter for quick and easy reference or use a website hosting company that offers detailed website visitor statistics, such as:  keywords used in search engines to find your website, the number of new visitors your website received hourly/daily/monthly, number of repeat visitors each web page receives, addresses of websites that link to your site, and much more. such detailed website statistics are a strong tool for learning about visits to your site, telling you which of your web pages are most popular and which website sends you the most traffic.

 
I ALREADY HAVE A WEBSITE AND JUST WANT TO CHANGE THE GRAPHICS – CAN YOU DO THIS?

websites are a bit more complicated and usually cannot be modified solely by new web graphics. banner ads or other images that stand separate on a web page can easily be updated. however websites can be like puzzle pieces where the text and graphics are placed very precisely on the web page. the website code typically needs modification when updating the overall look and in the end it saves time and money to start a web design from scratch. the new site would generate solid, efficient web pages that adhere to your updated appearance requirements. starting a website from scratch is also best because we can oversee the site from beginning to end to make sure it is optimized for fastest download times, best viewing across macs and pc computers, as well as performance in various web browsers.


DO YOU DESIGN E-COMMERCE WEBSITES / ONLINE STORES?

skyhand design offers e-commerce websites / online shopping services. we are available to discuss the various web stores out there and which one is best suited for your website sales requirements. some e-commerce packages offer in-depth purchase, inventory and customer databases for a large company wanting to sell many products on their website. other online stores are less in-depth and might be more suitable for the individual or small business owner looking to sell just a handful of items. fill us in on your e-commerce website thoughts and we'll help you decide which online store is best for you.


CAN I HAVE A WEBSITE DESIGNED WITH AUDIO OR VIDEO CLIPS?

audio and video can both be implemented into your website design. it can be done with quicktime, flash or windows media files embedded into the web page. we can discuss the various advantages of each and which might be best suited for your website.

 
CAN I HAVE A MESSAGE BOARD OR GUESTBOOK ON MY WEBSITE?

website message boards and guestbooks are available through many website hosting companies as a part of their website hosting package. skyhand design can help set one up for you when we design your new website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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