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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q. How much will my website cost?

Web Ascend overheads are kept low and we pass on the savings to you, our customer.

The cost can be quite modest in the case of a simple small website, namely in the hundreds of dollars.

In the case of a larger website with more extensive design and functional requirements, the cost grows into the thousands of dollars.

To explain further, the cost depends on three main factors:

  • How much design time is required
  • How many pages of content are needed
  • What special functions have been specified

Generally the more design time that can be included in your budget, the more attention can be spent on all the design elements and the better your website will look in the end.

It should also be fairly clear that a website with 100 pages of content is more expensive to plan, assemble and build than a website with only 8 pages of content.

Websites with special functions such as custom shopping carts, online payment facilities, customer login facilities and backend databases will generally cost more to implement.

You may need to weigh up the business benefits versus the costs. Business benefits can include:

  • higher sales figures
  • increased market share
  • improved customer retention and follow-on sales
  • greater efficiencies and lower administration costs
  • better market exposure and enhanced corporate image

Contact us for a free quote - it might be less than you think!

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Q. How long will it take?

A very basic website can be up and running in less than a week.

The larger and more complex websites can take some number of weeks or months to complete, depending upon the complexity of the requirements and on how quickly you, our client, is able to provide the required content for the website. On average, you should probably allow one and two months for us to complete the website, once we have received all the required inputs.

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Q. What are the initial steps?

Most websites proceed as follows:

  • We hold initial discussions to understand what you need and what the underlying business requirements are.
  • Often one or two telephone conversations are sufficient for this, or else we can meet at your offices or at some other convenient location.
  • You might have some documents covering your requirements to send to us.
  • We prepare a written quotation for your consideration.
  • Assuming the quotation is agreed and initial payment has been made, we prepare an initial design and menu system for your approval.
  • Once this is approved, which usually takes one or two iterations, we incorporate the image and textual content into the website.
  • We also design and build any special functions required for your website.
  • We update a special staging location so that you can regularly view the website progress.
  • Once the work is complete and you have approved the staging website, we can then publicly launch it at the proper web address.

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Q. What about domain names and hosting?

We can assist you with obtaining your web address(es) - also called domain names - and arranging the hosting for your website. We generally prefer that these be in your name, so that you have clear ownership of these and so that there is no double-handling when it comes time to renew.

Web addresses are very economical to register nowadays - costing less than $50 for 2 years registration with a reputable domain name registrar.

We recommend that you think carefully about choosing your domain name. This is because search engine visibility can be enhanced by using a domain name that includes one or more keywords that your clients are likely to be searching for.

The cost of hosting varies depending upon the degree of reliability and support required by your website, as well as likely database, size and traffic requirements. Of course you can get free hosting, but the quality and level of support is very low. Generally a reasonable hosting package costs upwards of around $200 pa.

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Q. Do you build websites for iPhones, Androids and other mobile platforms?

Yes, we do. More and more people are now using a small-screen mobile device to browse websites, instead of a laptop or desktop computer .

We can provide an automatically switching page that will redirect the user to a look-and-feel that is more suited to their platform. That way people using iPhones, Android phones, Blackberry devices etc can interact with a version of your website that is touchscreen-friendly, fast and uncluttered.

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Q. What business needs can you help with?

We can help you with all of the following business needs:

  • Financial Goals
    • increased sales
    • higher profits
    • follow-on orders
  • Company Goals
    • recruiting higher quality people
    • a more professional corporate image
    • company growth and brand awareness
  • Market Positioning Goals
    • greater market share
    • higher customer retention rates
  • Efficiency Goals
    • more streamlined order processing
    • improved administration efficiencies

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Q. Do you provide Shopping Carts and Online Payment?

Yes.

We generally customise the shopping cart for your website, so that the shopping cart has the same look-and-feel as the rest of your website. That way, it doesn't look like it has been "tacked on", as is the case with some other providers.

We design websites to accept credit cards via a secure online payment gateway. In order to protect your customer's security, we generally do not capture or store the credit card details ourselves, but instead use the trusted facilities of dedicated providers such as Paypal and the major banks. That way the credit card transactions are carried out under the latest SSL security, with the added benefit that you can login at any time to generate your own financial reports and direct your income stream the way you want to.

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Q. What about optimising my website for search engines like Google?

During the course of your project, we can advise on the best ways to attain high ranking search results with search engines like Google. This usually includes:

  • you providing keywords that you think best describe your business - these are the kinds of words that people will be typing into Google in order to find businesses such as yours
  • we customise the page metadata such as page title, description and keywords to reflect these
  • providing a clear navigation system for search engines to follow, or else a sitemap in those cases where the navigation is complex and detailed

It is generally the case that the best way to attain high rankings on search engines such as Google, is to have clearly written, comprehensive, interesting and appropriate textual content on the pages you want listed. Your web address should also include one or two of the top keywords describing your business if possible. Finally, search engines also take into consideration how many other reputable websites have links to yours - in other words the popularity of your website.

Of course, you can always reach the top of the Sponsored Listings in a search engine, provided you are prepared to pay enough for each click-through. You can also pay to advertise on other websites. But most people want to achieve good search results in the free listings and we can advise on ways to help with this.

This might surprise some people but is often a good idea to augment your online exposure with small advertisements in the more traditional media - such as newspapers, radio and trade magazines. Since your website has all the details about who you are and what you offer, you don't need a big advertisement. One or two sentences to catch people's attention followed by your web address is often very economical and surprisingly effective.

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Q. How do I monitor the number of visitors to my site?

Most reputable host providers will give you online access to detailed visitor statistics for your website. These statistics often reveal a wealth of information, including:

  • the number of hits and visitors to your website
  • how these figures are trending over time
  • which pages they visit the most
  • which websites they came from in order to reach your website
  • what search phrases and search engines they used to find your website
  • graphs showing what time of day, day of the week and day of the month people visit your website
  • pie charts showing which countries they came from
  • your top 50 visitors by IP address
  • and much more besides

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Q. I want a Customer Database - can you provide one?

Yes, we can. It is often very useful to have the website automatically capture the details people enter into web forms (as well as sending you an email with that information).

Once the information is being stored in your online Customer Database, it is straightforward to take a snapshot of the information into Excel on your PC or into any Email programme that accepts CSV formatted data. This makes it easy to send out regular E-newsletters, Special Offers or Christmas cards.

You can send this information to all customers that have ticked the box saying that they are prepared to receive occasional updates from you.

Alternatively you can send this information to only those people that have indicated interest in a particular product or service.

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Q. Will I be able to update the website myself?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that there is a whole range of self-edit solutions available, covering many different situations including:

  • Fully functional Content Management Systems, to cover situations where many different people from different departments and varying skill levels will be editing your website on a day-to-day basis
  • Page-specific content management, to cover situations where there are particular pages that you will need to update regularly - such as news, events or positions-vacant pages for example
  • Products List self edit, when you mainly need to keep your products list up-to-date and where the other website pages do not need to be edited very often

Many of our clients update their products list themselves in less than 60 seconds using our secure Self-Update administration facility. The Self-Update facility puts you in complete control of your online products display - you can make changes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with instant effect.

For pages that only require editing once in a while and by the same one or two people, it often makes sense to invest in an HTML tool such as Adobe Dreamweaver. It is surprisingly quick and easy to learn how to edit text and images using such a tool. It usually only takes 1-2 hours instruction for someone with no HTML knowledge at all to learn how to do this.

This tends to be much quicker and easier than learning to use a full-blown Content Management System, which are often quite complex and can only be justified in the case of having to cope with many different content contributors from different departments within a large organisation.

Finally, some of our customers have websites that require only occasional changes and they do not consider it worth spending their valuable time doing this. Instead they send the updated information to us by email and we do the updates on their behalf. Every once in a while, we send a detailed worklog for their approval, to be invoiced at hourly rates.

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Q. Can I have Animation / Flash on my website?

Yes, we can provide animated images, flash effects and flash movies.

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Q. What about video clips?

Yes, we can incorporate video clips into your website.

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Q. Can my website integrate with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media?

Yes, we integrate Twitter feeds, YouTube links, Facebook links and other social media with customer websites to help keep the website fresh and to increase website traffic to the site.

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Q. Can I have a Message Board or Blog with my website?

Yes, we can custom build a Message Board/Forum or Blog for your website. More usually, we make use of an existing Message Board/Forum or Blog and incorporate or link it with your website. This saves reinventing the wheel and saves you money.

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Q. Can I have a customer login facility?

Yes, we can provide a login facility for customers or distributors. They can then get access to additional information or features not available to the general public.

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Q. Can you help me with an Intranet?

Yes, we build both extranets and intranets.

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Q. What kinds of websites have you built in the past?

We have built more than 60 websites, ranging from small personal websites to large corporate websites with complex backend database requirements. Please see our Portfolio for some examples or else contact us for more information on this.

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Q. What kind of support do you provide after launch?

Many of our clients ask us to perform minor changes and enhancements on an hourly rates basis after launch. We usually rectify any agreed defects free of charge. We will usually provide a written quote if a major enhancement or addition is required.

Except in the case of very unusual requirements, our websites are generally built using standard HTML, standard scripting languages and standard open-source database tools that are readily available and easily maintained - should you choose to go elsewhere for your post-launch support.

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Q. Do you provide consulting services?

Yes. Discussions about website requirements sometimes uncover deeper questions about the business and how to make best use of the internet in a particular situation. If required, we can provide consulting services to assist with bridging the gap between your business and the web.

Possible objectives:

  • Closer alignment between your existing business processes and your new online presence
  • Establish clear business objectives for your new or revamped website
  • Identify extra revenue and profit opportunities for your business
  • Quantify measurable returns on investment (payback, irr, npv)

Resulting actions:

  • Undertake a Review or Audit
  • Assist with your Business/Online Strategy planning
  • Provide a summary or detailed Business Plan for your online presence

Contact us to find out more.

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