Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to do to set up a website or blog? Are there any extra costs?
Any website requires a domain name and a host. If you are using a hosted blogging service like Blogger, WordPress.com or Squarespace these things are provided for you. While Blogger is free, WordPress.com and Squarespace may have fees depending on the features you want.
If you would like to have your own self-hosted website or blog, we offer affordable domain registration and web hosting as well as managed WordPress 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 $12.50 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 visit Swank Web Hosting for more information on plans and pricing.
I have a blog on WordPress.com can you make me design for it?
Here’s a great run-down of the differences between WP.com and WP.org.
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 pay a recurring fee for a domain name and web hosting.
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for content management system. We typically recommend using a CMS like WordPress for your website. What this means is that your entire website will be controlled from one interface. From this one central panel you can easily create and edit blog posts and pages and even customize your own design.
Without a CMS if you wanted to edit just one word on a page it requires 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.
Do I have to pay the full price upfront?
All of our web design packages require a 30 to 50 percent deposit up front with 1 to 2 more payments due at later stages of the project. (See our Design Process page for full details.) For website maintenance we may also require a small percentage of the estimate up front, but for the most part we will be keeping track of our hours and you’ll be billed upon completion.
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 four to six 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.
What’s the difference between a Logotype and a Logo?
A logotype is simply your name or your company/brand name, in a very carefully chosen and customized typeface. It’s basically the text version of a logo. All of our website packages include a custom logotype because we have found that this is what most of the authors, bloggers and solo entrepreneurs we work with want to have on their websites.
A logo is typically a logotype with an image that is representative of your company or brand. We are more than happy to work with you to create a custom logo if this is something you want to have for your website/brand. However, since a full logo takes more time to design, it’s considered an add-on and will increase the overall cost of your project.
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.