F.A.Q. –

I believe that information is power, so I have compiled the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, to empower you to make the best decisions regarding your website.
Click on the questions to see the answers.

General information

[togglegroup][toggle title=”How much will a website cost me?”]

Not surprisingly, this is one of the most common questions I get asked. The answer to that question is – “it depends”.

You wouldn’t ask “How much does a car cost?”, not without specifying what size you want, what you are going to be using it for, what your budget is – any number of things.

The same goes for a websbite – each custom site is priced according to the requirements set out by the client.

That said, I do offer set-priced packages that can be quite cost-effective for clients on a smaller budget or with limited time constraints for getting a site up and running.

Click HERE or use the link in the top left menu to read about the packages I offer.


[toggle title=”What domain name should I choose?”]

This depends on how you are going to use it.

If you are going to be telling people over the phone, choose one that is easy to say and spell out loud.

Above all, try to choose one that is memorable and not confusing. Often it is a good idea to use your company name, or some variation of it.


[toggle title=”What restrictions are there on choosing a domain name?”]

There are certain words, phrases, and characters that cannot be used.

It must not already be registered. Although in some cases you can purchase a domain name from the existing owner, this is often an expensive endeavor.

I will be glad to help you with this decision.


[toggle title=”What about hosting?”]

There are several things to look for in choosing a host for your web site.

(I know this can get fairly technical, so if you just want to skip down to the bottom of this section, and check out the hosting I offer, that’s quite all right!)

Reliability and speed of access – Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime.

Data Transfer (Bandwidth) – To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that are not software archives or the like use less than 3 GB of bandwiph per month.
Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well-known, so you will need to also check their policy for overages: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth?

Disk space – Most sites need less than 10 MB of web space, unless they are offering large files (e.g. software) for download.
If you are offered more space than you need, be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let it be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing web hosts.

Technical support – Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around?
You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times.

Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support.
Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond.

FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .htaccess, telnet, SSH, MySQL, crontabs – If you are paying for hosting, you really should make sure you have all of these.
Note that some commercial hosts do not allow you to install PHP or Perl scripts without their approval. This is not desirable since it means that you have to wait for them before you can implement a feature on your site.

ServerIs the type of operating system and server important?

Whether you think so or not on the theoretical level, there are a few practical reasons for looking out for the type of server.

In general, if you want to use things like ASP, you have no choice but to look for a Windows NT/2000/XP machine for your server.
Since many of the sites I create involve dynamically generated pages that can access databases (as in a CMS), and since I use PHP as my server-side language, I prefer to use the often more stable and feature-laden Unix systems running the Apache server.

Another reason I prefer Linux-based web hosts using the Apache web server is that these servers allow me to configure a lot of facilities that are typically needed on a site (error pages, protecting your images, blocking email harvesters, blocking IP addresses, etc) without having to ask the web host to implement them.

I am proud to partner with SITEGROUND.COM to offer all my clients a robust, .

SITEGROUND.COM meets – indeed exceeds – all of the above requirements, and has by far the best customer service I have encountered in any of my over 10 years of dealings with hosting companies. Click here to sign up with SITEGROUND.COM 


[toggle title=”What if I want to host the site somewhere else?”]

You are free to host your site wherever you choose, and I will help in whatever way I can.

However, I may not be able to offer support in certain instances, as each hosting service has their own way of setting up certain applications.


What about Design?

[togglegroup][toggle title=”Why is good design so important?”]

The purpose of web design is to facilitate communication between user and content.

If the user cannot find what he is looking for, you lose him. If the site is hard to navigate, difficult to read, or even just ugly to look at, you will lose your visitor.


[toggle title=”How do you decide on a design?”]

In order for any web site to be really effective, the designer has to balance the conflicting demands of usability and attractiveness.

I will consult with you to determine their goals for the site, and then create a design that presents the information in a logical, functional, and attractive manner.

The final approval of the design rests always with you.


[toggle title=”How long does it take?”]

The timescale of a website design project is often dictated by outside influences.

If you have a deadline in mind I will endeavour to meet it for you.

The most common delay in the creation and completion of a new website is waiting for content (text/images) to be sent to me by the client.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”What software do you use?”]

The simple answer is that I use whatever software I need to get the job done.
I am always on the lookout for new and useful applications, but I definitely have a few favourites…

Notepad++ – This is the most-used program by far. Notepad++ is a text editor for HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, Javascript, PHP…
Every piece of code, no matter where it originates, is cleaned up, checked, double-checked, and optimized by hand in HTML-kit before it goes online. A partial list of others that I use includes:

  • Dreamweaver
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Flash
  • PaintShop Pro
  • Edge Diagrammer
  • Cfont Pro
  • Audacity

I am always trying out new software, and fresh ways of doing things.



[togglegroup][toggle title=”What is the difference between a static and a dynamic site?”]

A static site is one that is written in HTML only. Each page is a separate document and there is no database that it draws on.

What this means functionally is that the only way to edit the site is to go into each page and edit the HTML – so either the client will have to do it, using a webpage editor and FTP of some kind, or pay someone to go in and edit the site each time they wanted something changed.

A dynamic site is written using more complex code, and it can do a lot more. For instance, there can be an area where the client can log in and change various parts of the site, such as adding or removing products, or changing information. This is possible because each page is constructed based on the information in a database, and the information in that database can be changed via an interface.

Another benefit of dynamic sites is that they allow changes only to the content of the site and not the design, so it will not be possible to accidentally break the visual style of the site. Dynamic sites also have benefits when sites start to get very large, as they make data management much more efficient and the site more easily expandable.

While dynamic sites can reduce ongoing maintenance costs for clients who either don’t want to or haven’t got the skills to change things with a webpage editor or with the HTML, they usually cost more to develop, as they require more complex coding and a content management utility needs to be developed to help the client manage the website information.

Many clients prefer to use a combination of the two types of coding, having some dynamic areas such as a product catalog where they have to change information or pictures regularly, and leaving other pages such as contact information as static pages.


[toggle title=”What kinds of web applications do you offer?”]

There as many possibilities as there are clients.

For example – Blogs, e-commerce sites, employee time-tracking, webmail, wikis… I can design an application as a stand-alone site, or include it as a part of a larger site.

I will be glad to discuss your needs, and help you determine how to meet them.


Maintenance / S.E.O.

[togglegroup][toggle title=”What happens once the site is completed?”]

I provide full design and development support for any website I design and am always available should you
encounter any problems or require any enhancements.

Any sites hosted with HOSTMONSTER.COM through me will automatically receive full technical support as well.

To keep the content current, I offer reasonably-priced web site maintenance and updating, so that the website need never get out of date.

S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization) is generally included as part of the original quote. Yearly updates of up to two hours are included as well.

Additional S.E.O. updates can be arranged to be completed on an agreed-upon schedule, at a nominal charge.