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Frequently Asked Questions

How much will my website cost?

This is probably the question I get asked most often and is also the hardest to answer because it depends on many variables.

Most small, 1-5 page, information-only sites cost in the $250-400 range, depending on the type of content. If it's straight text and a few graphics, it's faster to set up and format. If it has tabled content, such as price lists, statistics or information, or needs a form to collect information, it takes a bit longer.

The cost of a site that includes a shopping cart also depends on different factors. If you have more than a handful (1-10) of items to sell, your money would be better spent on a database-driven cart, such as X-Cart, Ecwid, Zen Cart or OSCommerce. This gives the site owner control of their products, enabling them to add & manage the items without the help of the webmaster. If you opt instead for a code-based cart, such as PayPal or Mal's e-commerce, every change or addition would need to be handled by someone familiar with HTML. That's why I usually recommend the use of those carts for sites selling only a handful of items. An e-commerce site can cost $500 and up.

Because I charge for time taken and not a per-job fee, the more work done by the site owner, the less the site will cost them. I can do as much or as little as you want.

Do you design logos?

I don't develop logos or custom graphics. There are many companies and individuals available who specialize in these services. I do work with graphics, I just don't design from scratch.

Do you develop or customize Flash?

I do not design or customize Flash elements. While there are many companies and individuals available who specialize in these services, I generally try to steer my clients away from anything more that small Flash accents. Most search engines don't like and don't index Flash - not all the search engines can crawl and index the content of Flash, and if they do, it's not free of errors. They won't be able to direct the visitors to the proper page.

Do you supply search engine optimization?

I am not a trained SEO specialist. I include basic search engine optimization in my site designs, mostly using title and description tags and site content, along with good, clean code.

Good search engine optimization happens on many different levels. A well-designed site with good code and navigation that loads quickly and has good content (text) is the best way to start. Your content must have your keyword phrases included or the search engines won't find it.

In addition to page content, the title tag and meta tags should be used. I recommend using a different title tag and description tag for every page, if possible. The keyword tag is not as important, but can be included. Here are some good explanations of these elements:
What are Meta Tags?
How To Use HTML Meta Tags

The leading search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Bing, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. I usually place a link to new sites I've designed on my portfolio page, which has been well crawled for many years. This supplies the first step to being listed in the engines.

There are companies that offer SEO services, but approach these with caution. I have had customers who have wasted thousands of dollars on these services, only to get, at best, slight improvement in their rankings and, at worst, banned by engines for trying to trick them into giving the site a better ranking.

Do you work on adult sites?

No, I don't work on adult sites. I reserve the right to turn away sites featuring explicit sexual content, hate-expousing material or sites that contain illegal content of any kind.

How will I get my information to you?

Page content and graphics can usually be emailed to me, either as part of the email or as attachments.

Do you use PC or Mac?

I use a PC. That doesn't keep me from using Mac files, for the most part, they just need to be saved a certain way.