Websites 101

The Basics: Starting a Web Project

How do I start a web project?

Are you looking for a website redesign to breathe life into your website? Or are you ready to streamline your business processes with a web application? Sometimes the best way to figure out what you need is to present a problem to a web company. Then they can determine the most cost-effective, elegant solution to meet your needs.

How long does it take to design and develop a website?

The length of a project is based on the size of the project, the schedule of the web company and the approval process on the client’s end. A timeline should be provided to the client at the beginning of every project.

What will my site look like?

Knowing exactly what your website will look like is not possible. However, every designer and web company has a style. Review a company’s portfolio to get a feel for their work. Does the website draw you in? Do you want to explore a site based on its design? Viewing a company’s portfolio will give you the best sense of their work.

How much does a website cost?

The cost of a website or application is based on a number of factors. The size of the website, the intricacy of the design and any special functionality can all affect the project cost. The cost of a project should be presented to the client at the beginning of a project so there are no surprises.

Are there ongoing or hidden costs involved with creating a website?

A good web company is able to assign specific prices to the projects they work on. There should never be any hidden costs. One ongoing cost to consider is the cost of hosting. Hosting plans vary by provider, and can range anywhere from free to $1,000+ a year. At Christine Galvin Design our hosting plan starts at $300 a year. This fee covers the cost of server maintenance and software updates, and guarantees 100% uptime.

Another potential ongoing cost is the price of updates to the website. If you think you’ll have a lot of updates it may be worthwhile to discuss the benefits of investing in a CMS.

What does CMS stand for and what is it?

CMS stands for content management system. A CMS is a tool developed into your website that allows for limitless content updates in live time. We recommend CMS integration for a lot of our projects because it allows clients to control the content of their website. Our CMS was designed and developed in-house with our clients’ specific needs in mind. Text, pictures, links, PDFs, maps and more can be added or edited through our custom CMS. Although a CMS is an upfront investment, it saves our clients a significant amount of money in the long run.

How do I know if a web company is a good fit for my project?

We recommend you evaluate a potential web company on three major factors: people, technology and communication.

People - Who are the people who will be working on your website? Does everyone work on site? Do they make you feel valued when you call or meet to discuss ideas? People are the core of any company. You should feel comfortable with the people working on your project.

Technology - Ask questions about HOW your website will be developed. Do not let anyone disregard you or attempt to speak above you. Web development is complicated, but a good company will want to help you understand their methodologies. There are a lot of different ways to build a website. Be sure that the company you choose is an expert in web technologies, standards and best practices.

Communication - Who answers the phone when you call? How quickly does the company respond to your emails? Communication is key. Making your website vision into a reality is a big job, and part of that job is listening. Choosing a web company who is responsive to your ideas will guarantee that your website exceeds your expectations.

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