Our team has more than a century's worth of combined experience developing software. We've been building business applications since the mid-1980s and web-based products since the earliest days of the Internet in the 1990s. We are pros at what we do and have accumulated a vast array of knowledge and expertise serving clients in a wide-ranging scope of industries. So on this page, we've pulled together the answers to many of the frequently asked questions posed along the way.
How does this whole web development thing work?
There's nothing to be afraid of, that's why we're here. We'll guide you through every aspect of your project. But first, please take the time to learn more about our process.
How much does it cost to put up a business website?
The cost of a website can vary depending on a multitude of factors, just like the option packages you choose when considering a new vehicle. Are you shopping for a basic car with roll-up windows or do you want a luxury model with all the bells and whistles? We're a premium software development house that produces world-class products. If you want the basic roll-up model or anything less than world-class, we're very happy to refer you to another lot.
Business projects generally start around $10k and range upward depending on your unique needs. When we work together, we bring multiple staff resources to the project. At a minimum, you'll have a project manager, digital strategist, business analyst or strategist, and one or more developers.
How long does it take to build a business website?
The time depends on the size and complexity of your project and the quality of the content you have ready to go. If all the ducks are in a row, a basic project can be completed in 4 weeks from beginning to end.
If you have an existing website built the old-fashioned way using static pages connected by hyperlinks, it could take a lot longer if you want to keep your existing content. Content from old websites, or sites built with proprietary freebie tools like Wix, have to be transferred either by a manual cut and paste process or completely rewritten to modern standards. In many cases, images from old sites may not be salvageable and have to be supplied anew.
Do I need my own domain name and web hosting?
Yes, you do. We are not a web host, but can help you find a host and get a domain name. If you already have a hosting provider, we're happy to work with them.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website's name. It is the address where Internet users can find your site. For example, if your company is called "I Sell Widgets", then a good domain name might be isellwidgets.com.
What is web hosting?
A Web Host is a business that rents space on the Internet for websites. Web hosting services work by storing your website files on high-powered computers called web servers that are connected to a very fast network.
Can you design our logo?
We focus on what we excel at: digital business strategy, website, and software development. We're very happy to refer you to a graphic designer within our network. Some of our clients have also reported satisfaction with 99designs.com where designers compete for your business.
What is a Content Management System?
A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. It is a tool that allows you to maintain your website's content yourself, without the need for any technical skills. You'll be able to add and edit pages or blog posts, images, or products. No additional software is required—all you need is a web browser and an internet connection.
Do you do eCommerce/online store sites?
Absolutely! Wanna buy something?
Isn't website and software development the same thing?
Kind of, but not really. Software development encompasses a broad range of products such as business applications, software as a service, themes, plugins, mobile apps, and more. Website development is a focused discipline of software development. Software as a service products often include website and theme development as part of the project.
Do you provide training?
Yes. Depending on the project, we have video or custom training available. We make sure you know how to use and maintain the software we create for you. Onsite training can also be baked into your project.
What happens after the website is launched?
Once your project goes live, we provide 30-days of support to make sure any undiscovered bugs have been squashed and that you are confident using your new website. After this, you'll need to subscribe to one of our ongoing Care Plans to make sure your website stays maintained and continues to function as new.
Responsiveness, Accessibility, & Compliance
Will my website work on mobile devices?
Yes! Statistics show that as much as 70% of all website traffic comes from some sort of mobile device, such as a smart phone, tablet, or laptop. Even Google's mysterious ranking algorithms are known to take mobile device compatibility into consideration when deciding how high to rank your site on the search engine results page. If you have a website, check it out on Google's Mobile-Friendly Test page.
All websites we develop are mobile responsive. In fact, our favorite approach is mobile first where we develop for small screens initially and work up from there. This ensures compatibility across the entire small device spectrum.
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility is developing your website with features that make it readily available to the visually impaired to provide an inclusive experience.
Why is Accessibility important for a website?
Websites are required to comply with the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide an inclusive experience for their site visitors. Every website we build includes features that make them compatible with screen readers used by the visually impaired.
What does legal compliance have to do with my project?
There are all kinds of laws and regulations your website may have to comply with depending on the nature of your business and where your customers are located. For example, the ADA has already been mentioned in the previous FAQ. If you have a medical related site, you may have to comply with HIPPA, or with FERPA if you are an educational institution.
Starting on May 25, 2018, if your website collects personal information through a form, comment area, or eCommerce sale from even one European Union resident, your site needs to comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, even if your business is not based in the EU. Then there are always copyright laws as they apply to images and fair use of content.
We're not lawyers, but when it comes to compliance, what you don't know can hurt you. Nothing can substitute for solid legal advice from a competent attorney. However, we do stay on top of compliance trends. We'll build your site to comply with any regulation your business is subject to that we know about, but you are responsible for knowing all the regulations you must comply with and informing them during the project's Discovery phase.
Content, SEO, and Social Media
Will you write the content for my site?
We have some very talented copywriters and book authors. We can certainly include content creation in your project, but don't be surprised by sticker shock. The going marketplace rate for professional content copywriting and editing services can easily exceed $1,000 per page for a new site. But if you've got the cabbage, we've got the thyme.
Can you help with Social Media and Email Marketing?
Indubitably! We can certainly include social media and email marketing services in your project. All you have to do is ask. To help you get a better picture of what it takes to market your business through Social Media, here's a link to a wonderful Beginner's Guide to Social Media.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art of increasing traffic to your website through organic (non-paid) growth. There is no better feeling than to Google a phrase and watch content on your site popup on the first search results page. It's quite awesome actually!
The are many aspects to good SEO, but the primary consideration is well-written, keyword rich, relevant content. It's about the words on the page and how they are structured. It's about how other sites link to your content. Is your content being shared on social media by anyone other than yourself? To help you get a better picture of what it takes to achieve rank-improving SEO, here's a link to a great Beginner's Guide to SEO.
How long does it take to get to the top of Google?
The time it takes for your website to appear on page 1 of Google depends on a number of factors. It depends on the search phrase people are using to find your website and the number of other websites that are competing for those search phrases. Nobody can truly say how long it will take for your website to appear at the top of search engine results pages (including the people who actually work for Google), however, there are a number of factors that we can help you with to improve your chances.
How will I know if anyone is visiting my website?
We'll install Google analytics on your website and show you how to log into your Google analytics account where you can see a wide range of statistics about your website including the number of visits, page views, the amount of time people are spending on your site, and your visitors' geographical locations.
Once you subscribe to one of our Care Plans you will also receive a more detailed analysis about your website performance and recommendations on how to improve your traffic.
Do you work with 3rd-party agencies?
Yes, and we love it! We provide website and software development services for marketing and other 3rd-party agencies.
Do we have to tell our clients about you?
Well, that's entirely up to you. Our job is to always make you look good to your clients. If that means keeping us your trade secret, then that's fine with us.
When we work with agencies our services are generally "white-labeled" anyway, which means your clients never have to know that you've outsourced your work to us. You can even setup an email address for us to use when we need to communicate with your clients. We will always keep you in the loop and copy you on our communications.
What's the benefit of outsourcing our work to you?
Let's answer your question with a question. What kind of business do you run? Are you a marketing or design agency? Or, are you a software development house?
Software development requires a specialized skill set. Not everyone excels at it, but we do. When you outsource your work to us, we bring proven software development best practices that meet or exceed your clients' expectations. Your clients will be happy with the work we do for them in your name. This frees you up to do what you do best—help your clients improve their bottom line, which in turn improves yours. It's a circle of life that brings you peace of mind. Now isn't that worth it?
What is your agency pricing?
It depends on the scope of work and the services you want us to provide. The best way for us to evaluate your need is to start with our Project Application.
Can we resell your Care Plans?
You sure can! We encourage it, in fact. We'll even white label the monthly client reports with your brand. How cool is that?