FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Should I design my own website?
Yes, If you have all three of the following: spare time, creativity and patience.
Or I could do all the technical stuff, design a smart, mobile responsive website in half the time, and then hand you over the reigns from there? It's a bit of a no brainer really.
Starting from £150, I will build you a ready to go, responsive website, that appears on search engines, and is linked to your social media pages. For a little more, I can add extra pages, a blog or bespoke logo, write copy, and put your business on Google Maps.
Web design can be addictive (read time consuming) to those that like their i's dotted and t's crossed, and so if you know that this is you, stop, send me a message, and put your feet up, because you probably haven't done that in a while, am I right?
How much do websites cost to run?
Once designed, websites require two basic costs. A domain name which you pay for annually, and web hosting which is priced per month, but generally paid for annually. See my pricing page for more detail.
Many domain names are free for the first year, and are then around £10 per year thereafter.
Wix hosting costs from under £100 per year, or £170 (plus VAT) if you want to take commission free online payments. Custom email addresses using Google start from £4 per month. There are free alternatives too.
I highly recommend using Wix, for a more professional, secure and customisable website. I have done the maths, and Wix is always best value for money. The real saving however is to your patience and admin time, plus you need no technical skill to make changes.
Regularly updated websites and blogs feature higher on search engines, so the ability for you to be able to update your own site easily is key to your success.
Why use Wix?
Wix allows its users to create and manage flawless, professional websites, that are search-engine friendly, fully-responsive across phones and tablets, and you do not need to worry about security updates.
Their Combi package costs £6 + vat per month, and their Business package costs £13 + vat per month, which allows your clients to make payments. You can always start on one package, and upgrading as you need.
I am not on any commission from Wix! I just know how to make the most of their software, and from experience of all of the main web builders, I would recommend it every time. So do most of the online comparisons. I have in the past, considered switching to WordPress or SquareSpace, but whenever I try them out, I quickly remember that Wix just works so well.
Take it from me, Wix is the way forward for a stress-free, amazing looking site that does not break the bank.
What about Wordpress or SquareSpace?
WordPress.org is an open-source content management system, that allows you to build websites. You then pay a separate hosting company to host and secure your site. (Wordpress.com is an all-in-one package, but is more restricted.) The possibilities are endless with WordPress, however this can make it over-complicated and frustrating, and unlike using Wix, you need to do your own security updates.
WordPress is popular with coders and developers, who pay for themes such as Divi (add an extra £70 per year), offering a more user-friendly interface. WordPress fans write reviews about how easy it is to use, and determined beginners can make a pretty decent website, but be prepared to invest a lot more time.
On the contrary, the likes of Squarespace and Weebly are pretty easy to use, but are just not as swept up as Wix in my opinion, plus they cost a bit more, like-for-like. Free web builders that come with your domain or hosting package are not as well supported, and you pay for all the same costs as you would with any other web builder!
In short, I find Wordpress to be too flexible (read overwhelming) and SquareSpace to be a little too inflexible. Finally, if you ever need help with Wix, their support centre and tutorials are excellent.
How long will my website take to build?
Depending on your requirements, from a few days up to two weeks, once you have provided all the content that you wish to be included. I also offer an express turnaround if you need something quick. You will get two rounds of edits, which take a couple of days, depending how much you want to tweak.
Getting your business on Google Maps requires a unique code to be posted to your business address, so please allow time for this to arrive.
Do I need a logo?
Brand identity is really important, but you do not need to spend loads paying a graphic designer. More and more businesses are using their name, and a colour scheme, font or standard icon, to represent their brand. This is then repeated across their social media, business cards and other marketing. I design clean, simple logos which I can provide to you as a PDF for use across your marketing material.
How important is social media?
Social media is an excellent way of reaching wider audiences, and sharing news, updates, articles and blog posts. It is worth ensuring that your website, social media, profile picture and cover photo all appear professional and consistent. A lot of people will find you via social media posts, mentions and recommendations and will then want to check out your website, so linking the two is vital.
I can set up from scratch, or 'renovate,' your existing social media accounts or Wix website, in order to present a professional and consistent identity.
What do I need to do before you design my website?
As much or as little as you like. Fill in the design brief here, and we can go from there.
If time is of the essence, or you have no idea where to start, but you need a professional-looking website to get your business up and running, thats fine. After the first draft, I offer two rounds of edits, to make any changes. After that, you can manage the site easily yourself, or book some extra sessions with me if required.
Alternatively, you might have drafted all of the text for your website, selected images that you want to use, and found a few websites that you like. Just remember, I create clean, simple sites that make it easy for clients to navigate, in order to reduce their screen time, bandwidth, energy consumption and stress.
I have access to thousands of royalty-free, professional images, so please do not spend hours trawling the web for the perfect image.
Can websites be eco-friendly?
Yes. While pixels might appear more eco-friendly than print, the internet has a lot to answer for when it comes to power consumption, fast-fashion, mental health, and time spent in front of screens.
If the internet was a country, it would rank sixth largest for energy use, so choosing a web designer that uses a green energy provider, like I do, is one way to offset this. Websites should be designed to be clean, concise and relevant, reducing the amount of time the reader has to spend searching for information.
Lighter colour schemes, and appropriately sized images help reduce the amount of power your site and screen require, while avoiding animations that run in the background, and paid adverts, also contribute towards a more responsible and environmentally-friendly web.