Web design FAQs

Frequently asked questions…

What do you mean by “basic” websites? What can and can’t you do?
A basic website is basically an online brochure – it has few interactive elements. Rather, it’s about letting your customers and prospects know what you do, and make it easy for them to contact you.

  • A basic website can have: words, pictures, YouTube videos, contact forms, newsletter sign-up forms, photo galleries, Google maps, Google analytics, links to your social media profiles.
  • Things I can’t do: e-commerce websites (at this stage, but that might change); membership/subscription sites; forums; content that is password protected; fancy animations or scrolling effects; pop ups; calculators and other interactive tools. If you think that you might want some of these features in the future, I recommend that you use a website company that can do this for you.
How secure are Weebly websites?
I contacted Weebly support to ask them this, and here’s their response (as at 2 October 2014):

We guarantee higher than 99.9% uptime for our servers, and your site is stored both on servers in San Francisco and in Las Vegas to ensure everything will continue running smoothly in case of a catastrophe. Our operations team monitors this server activity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This is currently the only public detail and information we make available regarding our servers.

The only people who could ever “hack” your site are people to whom you’ve provided the password. There is no direct connection / backdoor to your account via your site, so anyone who wanted to get access would need to go to Weebly.com, guess your username and then try to break your password over and over again (they would be stopped automatically by our system after roughly ten attempts).

The only other way to access your account would be if you had used a shared computer to log-in and did not log-out (or had saved the password on the shared computer), or if you are using a PC that is infected by malware (such as a key-logger), and your keystrokes were recorded.

Beyond that, none of your CC info is visible in your account (or even to anyone who works here, including me) so even if someone somehow broke into your account via some amazing guesswork there wouldn’t even be any information there for them to steal.

If you think that your computer or email account was compromised I would recommend that you (and anyone else who has access to your log-in information) run a virus/malware scan on your computer.  You will want to scan specifically for things like key-loggers.  Once you have done this, I would recommend changing your password again, just to be safe.

How secure are WordPress websites?
WordPress websites are vulnerable to being hacked, as is most open-source (free) software. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to take measures to prevent the most common hacking attacks. I would recommend:

  • Taking regular backups of your website. Plugins such as BackupBuddy make this automatic, so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself. That way, if your site does get hacked, you can restore it relatively easily.
  • Installing plugins that block the most common types of hacking attacks.
  • Updating the WordPress software and plugins whenever udpates are made. A good quality website host will often take care of this for you.
  • Choose good quality hosting – not only will they help you with updates, but they’ll help you if things do go wrong.
Can I use a different (cheaper) hosting company for my WordPress website?
If you don’t want to use Quokka Creative for your hosting, I can certainly use another host, but the price for the First Page would increase to $1,195 (instead of $895). This is to cover the time it will take to deal with their Customer Support in setting up the site. (WordPress installations with hosting companies you’ve never worked with are always problematic. As I’ve mentioned before, not all hosting companies and services are created equally, and many are terrible to deal with… but you don’t know that till you’ve paid them!)Note: if you don’t use Quokka Creative for your hosting, you will also need to make other arrangements for backing up your website, and for installing software updates.
What’s wrong with cheap website hosting?
Website hosting is pretty technical… and because most of us don’t understand the technical ins-and-outs, we compare it on a factor we do understand – i.e. price.But the website hosting is what actually drives your website – a bit like the tyres on the car. And just like cheap (secondhand) tyres are dangerous and likely to blow out, likewise, cheap website hosting is likely to give you a bumpy ride. Whereas decent tyres will cost a bit more, but give you better performance and safety. Likewise, really awesome website hosting will make your whole website experience much much better.Do I get an email address and email services with Websites By Cornelia?
No, but you can use Google Apps with your domain name – that’s what I use myself, too. It costs around US$5 a month per email address, and one of the advantages is that you can access your emails on any internet-connected computer – you’re not reliant on using Outlook Express, say. (Though you can use Outlook if you want too.) Plus it’s easy-peasy to set up your Google Apps email on your smart phone or tablet, too. I got Jason at TurboWebs to set up my Google Apps for me. If you’ve got a Weebly website, here are instructions on how to set up your Google Apps email address with them: http://hc.weebly.com/hc/en-us/articles/201207506-Create-an-Email-Address-

If my website is brand new, how long will it take to show up on Google?
Google “crawls” websites on a 3-monthly cycle… depending on where your website is at in that cycle, it could take a number of months for your site to show up. This is completely outside of my control.
Are there any guarantees with regard to Google rankings?
In short, no, there aren’t any guarantees. This is because Google rankings are completely out of my control. How your website will rank depends on a number of factors:

  • How competitive your industry is for your chosen keywords (and how much money your competitors are investing in SEO on an on-going basis). This is something neither you nor I have control over.
  • How much time and resources you’re willing to invest in your own SEO on an on-going basis. You see, Google loves information-rich websites that are updated regularly: consistency, quality and uniqueness are rewarded. So if you’re in a competitive industry it will mean a regular investment in content to achieve and maintain good search engine rankings and visibility.
  • Google’s algorithms: these are updated constantly, sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much. Seeing as Google’s main focus is to get advertising revnue via Google AdWords, this can sometimes be at odds with organic SEO objectives.

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Websites By Cornelia will do our best to get your website ranked well on search engines.
What kind of results should I see in my business overall once my website is live?
A good website will help to build trust and entice more prospects to contact you. (This is known as “conversion”.)There are many factors affecting a website’s conversion rate, which includes (but is not limited to):

  • Website design
  • Speed at which the website loads
  • If the website is mobile responsive (vital if people are looking at your site on a smart phone)… and yes, my sites are mobile responsive.
  • Colour schemes
  • Logo
  • Photography
  • Design and layout elements
  • Calls-to-action
  • Offering a White Paper (free eBook) for sign-ups – especially for people in research mode (e.g. for high value purchases).

The website design and content I’ll create for you will be heavily focused on conversion, but as you can see there are many factors at play.

I’d like some changes made to my site after it’s gone live – how does that work?
Once I have received your final payment in full, you will receive login details to access the backend of the website. So you’ll have full control of your website, and will be able to update anything you wish. I’ll also email you some links to training videos to help you.Alternatively, I’ll be happy to help you with any updates. Just let me know what you need, and I’ll give you an indicative price. (Or if you would like regular help, you might want to consider engaging me on a Retainer basis, as that’ll save you money and the fixed monthly amount helps with cash flow management.)

Got any other questions?

Please do contact me if you have any questions I haven’t answered here.

Or are you ready to get started and organise your briefing meeting? Then great, please get in touch!

Cornelia

Cornelia Luethi  BSc (Hons) DipM
Copywriter, marketing consultant and maker of websites, Northland and Auckland, NZ