Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to do to set up a website or blog? Are there any extra costs?
Any website or blog requires a domain name and a host. If you are using a hosted blogging service like Blogger or TypePad these things are provided for you. While Blogger is free, TypePad has a monthly fee, depending on number of features you need. Currently, we can only create a design for TypePad Pro users as the lower levels do not allow custom templates.
If you would like to have your own website or blog, we offer affordable domain registration and web hosting for your convenience.
Read below for more info about domains and hosting.
What is a domain name? How do I get one?
A domain is simply www.whateveryouwant.com. This is your address on the internet where your website or blog will be installed.
You must first check and make sure your domain is available before you can buy it. Feel free to check your domain availability now.
You cannot get hosting without a domain name, they go hand-in-hand. We can purchase your domain name for you at the same time we are setting up your hosting account. Our domain names cost $10.95 a year.
Why do I need a host? What does that mean?
You need a place on the web store your site files and other things like images and email. A host gives you a certain amount of space to upload these things and to build your site on so that it may be viewed by the public. Our hosting packages start at $6 a month. Please see our hosting site for more information on packages and pricing.
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for content management system. We typically recommend using a CMS like WordPress or Expression Engine for your website. What this means is that your entire website will be controlled from one interface. From this one admin panel you add and edit pages, easily add links and images, and customize your design, all without having any technical experience of your own.
Without a CMS if you wanted to edit just one word on a page this required an HTML editor, a FTP client and a basic understanding of HTML so you could wade through all the code to find the word you want to change. Most people don’t know how to do any of that and would be dependent on their designer to change it for them. A lot of changes like that can add up to paying a lot of extra money.
A CMS gives you full control of your website to save your time and your money.
I have a blog on WordPress.com can you make me design for it?
WordPress.com is a hosted service that doesn’t allow you to have completely custom templates or other add-ons like plugins. However, they do allow CSS customizations for a fee. Even if you have paid that fee we wouldn’t be able to make you a completely custom design, but we could customize the graphics, layout and colors of any of the themes that wordpress.com offers.
If you’d rather have a completely custom design we can import your entries/comments from your WordPress.com blog into a new self-hosted blog powered by the same WordPress software. WordPress by itself is free, but you would have to paid a yearly fee for a domain name and web hosting.
How do you come up with your price quotes? Will you work within my budget?
We used to list flat rates for our services, but quickly learned how inefficient that was. Every site we do is so completely different that it’s almost impossible to set a specific price. Now our rates are based on a sliding scale that factors in your budget and the estimated amount of time it will take to complete your project. The more difficult or complicated the project, the longer it will take us complete. And don’t think we’re pulling that time estimate out of our butts, we have hundreds of projects under our belts at this point so we know how long it takes to complete every aspect of your site design and development.
Even if you don’t have a giant budget, we can work with you to create a site that looks great and satisfies all your needs. Unlike many designers out there, we haven’t raised our prices outlandishly just because we’re popular. Our rates are more than competitive and extremely affordable. We understand that most people don’t have the disposable income to spend thousands of dollars on a design and honestly we think of the idea of spending that much for a personal design is laughable, no matter who the designer is. As a client of Swank Web Design you will get quality work at realistic prices.
That’s all well and good, but how much is this going to cost me?
Please refer to the following as ballpark prices. Every client’s site is different so your project could be more or less than these figures. Please be aware that we usually charge by the hour, so the simpler your project, the less it will cost.
- Personal Websites and Blogs: $1000 – $1500
- Professional Websites and Blogs (e.g authors, artists, small organizations, etc.): $1000 – $2000
- Small Business and eCommerce Websites: $1500 – $3000
What kind of payments do you accept?
We typically accept payments from PayPal, which is simpler for us to use and more secure for you. With a PayPal account you can securely pay using a credit card or directly from your PayPal or bank account. In some instances we will accept a personal check or money transfer, please ask your designer.
How long will it take to build my site?
The more complex your site is, the longer it will take to build. However with most sites, the entire process from design to development is typically within the two to four week range. This isn’t counting any wait time, though. Your designer could be booked up a month or longer before she can start on your project. In that case your designer will inform you of the approximate wait time and when she will be able to start.
I need hosting along with my design, should I go ahead and sign up for it now or wait until later?
Because of the potential wait time, we recommend that you sign up for hosting after your designer has started working on your mock up. This way your account will be set up by the time she is ready to install, and you won’t have wasted any money on hosting while you were waiting for the project to begin development.
So how will the whole design process work?
Please see our Design Process page for full details.
Can you still make changes to my site after it’s done?
Yes, but within reason. After we have finished installing your site, you will get a chance to look over everything and list any changes you want to make before it goes live. At this point we cannot make any changes to the layout or imagery because you approved these at the mock up stage. However we have no problem making smaller changes: link and text colors, fonts, alignment, content, etc. We prefer if you look over the site fully and make one big list of changes and send that to us in one email rather than sending us 20 emails with one or two small things.
Once you have given final approval and the site goes live, all responsibility transfers to you. If there are any major or minor changes you want to make after final approval you will have to contact your designer, who will add you back into her schedule and charge accordingly.