Frequently Asked Questions

Most people don't understand the complexities of building a professionally designed web site: the user friendly navigation, what are the different phases of buildinga website, the browser sweet-spots, search engine optimization, how it's priced, what the process is for getting a site designed and developed, what they need to do to save money, etc. We created this list of frequently asked questions to help people understand...

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PRICING: Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most Frequently Asked Questions is: "How much?" Occasionally followed by "Why so much?"

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PRICING: FAQs Q: How much does a new web site cost?

A: It all gets down to "How much?" It would be great if one price fit all, but unfortunately, every project is as unique as you and your company are. Each project is priced on a custom basis. Once Metheney Consulting has met with you and assessed your needs, we can provide an estimate or proposal that details our suggested solutions. This proposal is a starting point for discussing how we can jointly decide the best economy of technology and service for your company. Once the scope has been determined in a signed proposal, a contract will be provided. Standard terms are 50% down and the balance upon completion of the project.

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PRICING: FAQs Q: What does a Mobile Device Web site cost?

A: Mobile friendly web sites have become nearly mandatory since April 21st, 2015, when Google changed their policy to penalize in rankings (even on computer web browser) any web sites not classified as "mobile friendly" by their standards. We custom price every project since they are all custom built. The good news is that ALL our projects (from now on) are now mobile friendly.

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PRICING: FAQs Q: Can you give me ANY idea on pricing?

A: Yes... but... it's like saying you want a house built. How many windows? How many rooms? How many doors? Do you want central air? One story or two? How many bays for your garage? Do you want a pool? You get the idea. With sites now requiring to be mobile friendly, this requires more testing. Testing means time and time is... well, you know. You can probably look for a basic web site, mobile friendly, to be in the several thousand to ten thousand dollar range. It depends on functionality and size. We seen sites that costs millions of dollars. Metheney Consulting hasn't done any, but let's just prices vary widely.

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PRICING: FAQs Q: How do you estimate my web site costs?

A: All work is performed on a time and materials basis. If any project begins to "creep" beyond the scope listed in the contract, you will be immediately notified with a change order. Proper project management keeps you informed and involved. Once we receive your preliminary info, we will contact you to find out a few details or to set up a time to talk in person and then we can provide you with a free estimate of what it would take to develop your project. Some projects may be so complex that they require a Discovery Phase prior to estimating the scope of your project.

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PRICING: FAQs - GUARANTEES Q: Do you offer any guarantees?

A: We DO guarantee that if you absolutely HATE all 3 initial designs and do not want any part of them, that we will refund your deposit and we can part friends. We will even suggest other web designers you may contact. This could mean that we are not on the same page as to the branding direction you want to go with your company. We can say that it has never happened in 20+ years. By the time we get to the Design Phase, we have a pretty good idea what you are looking for. We do NOT warranty any results you can expect. We only guarantee that you will like the design we come up with. We also do NOT guarantee any specific amount of traffic or revenue.

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PROCESS: Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions involve: What are the different phases in the process?

PROCESS: FAQs Q: What steps are involved in building a web site?

A: Just as in nearly every project management process, there are usually about 5 steps:
  • Discovery Phase - Learn everything we can to provide the best recommendations and design options.
  • Design Phase - Plan and design mockups for approval.
  • Development Phase - Slice the graphics into HTML and develop the web site.
  • Deploy Phase - Put it up on web server somewhere for you test it. Then "Go Live" by making available to the public.
  • Support Phase - If contract to, we can make any necessary updates or maintain the site.

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PROCESS: FAQs Q: What's involved in this Discovery Phase?

A: The Discovery Phase is where we talk to the stakeholders, the users (if possible), and learn as much as we can about...
  • Needs Assessment - Interview internal resources to find out your business goals, internal processes, and design needs.
  • Analyze Traffic - If you have any kind of data or Analytics to show information about traffic and viewers.
  • Brand Analysis - We review existing collateral and discuss how you want your company to be perceived on the web after/during someone is visiting your online presence.
  • Technical Requirements - Learn what mechanical issues we need to address in design: browsers, devices (mobile?), screen resolutions, operating systems, etc.

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PROCESS: FAQs Q: What's involved in the Design Phase?

A: The Design Phase is where we plan out not just the look and feel of the project, but also plan the flow of information, content, technical needs (such as hosting requirements), and set expectations in terms of "success" metrics.

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PROCESS: FAQs Q: What's involved in the Development Phase?

A: In the Development Phase, we take everything we learned (that we haven't done already in the Design Phase) and implement it. We slice up your prototype mockup layouts and cut them up and optimize the graphics so they fit into an HTML page. In essence we build your web site.

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PROCESS: FAQs Q: What's involved in the Deploy Phase?

A: In the Deployment Phase, we put the site on a server so that you can test it for bad links or technical isues. If we wrote the content, you will also check for typos. In that case, we Correct them at no cost. If you supplied the content and find typos, then we can still correct them, but the "clock is running" for any "changes" to the originally supplied material. Once the site is tested by you and approved, we put it up ona public web server and make it "Go Live".

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PROCESS: FAQs Q: What's involved in the Support Phase?

A: If contracted, in the Support Phase we can perform any maintenance and updates on an as-needed basis. Unless specifically contracted to do so, web sites are provided as-is (once you have tested an approved them).

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: What is the first step for me?

A: The first step is to give us a call and meet with us. Once we learn more about your company, business goals, web objectives and technical requirements, we can custom tailor an estimate for your needs.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: What can I bring to first the meeting?

A: This one is easy. You can send these in advance in a single email to save time if you like...
  • A list of your business objectives in priority.
  • A list of site URLs you love and hate and why.
  • A list of pages you would like to see on the site.
  • A list of technical requirements for interactivity for your site.
  • Any content you may already have written or photos in digital format.
  • Your logo in electronic format (preferably EPS).
  • Any collateral material (brochures, pamphlets, flyers, postcards etc.) you have already developed.
  • Any logins for your domain name (Network Solutions, etc.) or your login for your existing hosting.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: Can I use digital photography from my camera?

A: Yes, of course, this is your web site and one way to save money is to do the photography yourself. Keep in mind that for some shots, professional photography will be better lighted, framed, and generally give a more professional appearance. Sometimes professional stock photography or custom photography is the BEST solution, but shooting your own may be a more affordable solution.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: Can I provide the content or do I need a copywriter?

A: Absolutely you can write your own text for the site. After all, who knows your business better than you? That said, client-supplied content for the web site is the single toughest area we encounter when developing a site. The problem is that everyone has a full time job in their day to day lives and web site copywriter is not usually it. So in general, we always end up waiting for the content while working on a site and delays usually end up costing more. Professional copywriters can write from an objective viewpoint, aiming the content toward the intended goal you want to achieve with the reader, while you may be too close to the subject matter. A professional WEB copywriter will understand the importance of how content affects rankings in search engine optimization. At the very least, you should consider having a professional edit your content for SEO and marketing impact. As in photography, writing your own content is the most affordable way to create it, but hiring a professional may be the best way to do it.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: How can I save money on a project?

A: Besides providing your photography and content, There are a number of ways to keep the scope of the project from getting out of control...
  • Supply your content and photography all at one time. This means we don't have to spend time keeping track of multiple emails, CDs, files and anything that saves us time, saves you money. This will also make the delivery of your web site quicker if we have all the pieces we need right in the beginning.
  • Keep meetings to a minimum. In the professional services world, time literally is money.
  • Keep emails and communication to a minimum. This is not to say don't communicate, but compile lists of questions and issues (especially final punch lists for issues at the end of the project) and ask them all at one time. That way we can address one email instead of stopping work to address 50. Multiple phone calls to ask questions stop us from whatever billable project we are on to change gears to discuss your issues and we have to bill for that, other wise, we would be on the phone all days answering questions for free instead of building web sites.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: What about my e-commerce product list?

A: We can provide you with an Excel template that you can either import your products into (if you are using software such as QuickBooks to control your products) or you can enter the products directly in the spreadsheet and we will import this data into the e-commerce database and populate your store with products. You may still have to go in and edit products manually, but this will make product entry much easier.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: Can I watch as my site is being built?

A: Unfortunately, no. This is to save you money. While a site is being built, it will be partially constructed and will not work properly and this causes clients to ask questions that take time for us to answer which slows us from working only our site and costs you money as we take time to answer your questions. You will see what the home page and a sample content pages will look like from the Design Phase approvals. Your finished site will look almost exactly like that. Usually sites are built so quickly that once we start development, it is only a matter of a week or so until the finished site is ready for testing. Until then, we usually work on a private development server.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: Why does my site look one way on one computer and different on another?

A: There are hundreds of factors why the same web page may look different on two different computers or even on the same computer. Different monitors have different settings for color, brightness, contrast, etc. so colors WILL be completely different from one computer to the next. Also HTML is a dynamic format and is not "frozen" such as a PDF and the HTML code will translate differently from browser version to browser version. One computer may be using Internet Explorer 8.0 and one maybe using Internet Explorer 7.0. One may be using Firefox and one may be using Safari. They may be both using the same version and brand, but the screen resolution may be set higher or lower allowing for more screen real estate. Depending on how your browser is set for fonts, your fonts sizes may be completely different from one machine to the next and the text may wrap differently. So no web page is guaranteed to be exactly a certain way. The goal is to provide the information in a way that is GENERALLY consistent with your branding and obtains the best business results.

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WHAT CAN I DO?: FAQs Q: Why isn't my site design preview click-able?

A: The initial design is just a flat graphic, or a very detailed sketch, of what your web site will look like. We use this like an architectural rendering to develop the site to look as much like that as possible. Once we slice and dice the graphic into HTML elements, then it will click-able in to final web site. Until then this is just a picture of a web site.

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Paul Metheney, president of Metheney Consulting, LLC, an SEO, web design, digital marketing, online, advertising agency
Contact Metheney Consulting on web site design, developing your online marketing, social media marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising), email campaigns, pay-per-click advertising strategies, web site maintenance and development, blog development, and traditional marketing consulting on a project-by-project basis or Our Marketing Group about how they can assist you monthly as a part-time marketing department, SEO specialist, PPC experts, and web designers without the full time cost. Our Marketing Group provides digital marketing services for a fraction of the cost via monthly retainers and sliding scale hourly contracts. Call or email us at
 

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