Frequently Asked Questions

  1. "What's With The Crazy Pets And Sunglasses Stuff?"
  2. Well, why not? :) Since this is not a site I'm creating for someone else, I figured I may as well have some fun with it! But don't worry, I can make you a very nice, serious and professional site.

  3. "Can't I Make My Own Site These Days?" Yes, But...
  4. Is that really how you want to spend your time? Are you prepared for the learning curve? Even with current site builders such as SquareSpace and Weebly (which are good tools), there's still a lot you will need to learn before your site looks good, even correct. As well, there may be things which aren't affecting your site which you aren't aware of, and which you may not find out about until it is too late. In addition, the DIY site builders often lure you in on the premise that creating your own site will be cheap and easy ("just drag and drop!") but that's more of an effective marketing strategy than reality. All of this depends on your baseline technical and design abilities, which some people have more than others.

    Keep in mind as well that those site builders are not open source and you are tied to their software. Extensions, add-ons and premuim (often critical) features will increase your expenditures, sometimes way past the point of the inexpensive entry price. Over the long run, site builders are often more expensive than ones built be designers. They just offer you stretch payments in the form of a monthly or annual subscription. Note: Yes, you can hire a designer to create your site using online site builders. Please inquire with us if that's your preference.

  5. "Do I Need X,Y, and Z On My Site?
  6. Probably not. The best sites contain exactly only what they need and aren't weighted down by useless filler. A significant percenage of small to medium-sized sites are built using themes or templates customized to your needs. (I use these a lot. It lessens the time and cost.) Often these templates include extraneous functionality and visual gimmicks to make a site look fancy. Etraneous items can often be distracting to site visitors, cause speed losses, and create more potential problems for the webmaster. I can help you identify what you really need for your site, what's easy to add, what's difficult to add or maintain, and in general where you will get the most value for money.

  7. "How Can I Make Edits To My Site?"
  8. If this is important to you, or if you will be doing this frequently, then I can train you on how to make minor edits such as changing text or adding images and other media files. (Training may be an extra charge.) If you will be blogging or writing articles for your site, software platforms such as Wordpress make this fairly easy and intuitve. If you'll have a site where you'll be adding listings (e.g. real estate or classified ads), there is typically a front-end submission form that allows you to do this. (Or a batch upload method for larger sites.). Besides personalized training, there are also many resources on the web which show you how to make minor changes to your site.

  9. "Which type site should I choose: HTML, Wordpress, Joomla, ...?"
  10. It depends on you needs. I primarily work with Wordpress and HTML, and most sites can be developed using one of the two. Straight up, "old school" HTML sites offer advantages in terms of site speed and security, but they are often intimidating for the client to edit since they are just lines of code. HTML sites also hit a ceiling in terms of functionality when the website gets complex in terms of features and content. Wordpress, being a content management system (CMS), handles content very well and has an easy-to-use graphical interface. Wordpress is one of the most popular systems in the world, and many sites are built using it. It's now much more than a blogging platform. Since it is open source (meaning the code is not proprietary) there are plenty of developers who offer extensions to increase functionaility. It's also easy to find a Wordpress developer when you need to make changes to the site later on. The downsides of WP sites are that they can be overkill for small sites, they are routinely subject to security attacks, and the frequent updates needed can cause conflicts, requiring that back-ups of the site be kept. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages for most sites.

  11. "What do I need to provide you for my site to be built?
  12. You'll need to provide all of the content for me, such as text, logo and pictures. The exceptions to this include background images, icons, favicons, custom graphoics, and other elements which will be part of the design. Some of the "blurb" text may need to be edited so that it fits correctly on a web page. Images should be optimized for web and I can tell you how to do this or do it for you. If we'll be embedding videos or audio files, I will need the links to where the files are hosted (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud) or we can upload them direclty onto the site. I will need all of the login credentials (usernname and password) for your web host, domain name email account, and so on. If we're integrating social feeds, maps or other APIs then I will need that info as well. I can help you create social media accounts for an extra fee. I may also need your assistance with the final stages of testing and troubleshooting. Finally, I will need your feedback so that we can make the proper revisions to the site. I will create a checklist for us so that we can mark progress I go.

  13. "What are the terms of payment?
  14. It deoends on the nature of the site, but there will be a payment schedule which involves agreed upon milestones of completed work. You will pay a deposit at the beginning, pay as major milestones are completed, and then make a final payment once the site is live and fully functional per the statement of work. I will monitor your site for any bugs and we'll keep in contact for the days and weeks following the launch of your site. Site maintenance will be free for a period of time (typically one to three months) to ensure that everything is working fine as intended.

  15. "What forms of payment do you accept?"
  16. I accept cash, credit cards, PayPal and certified cheque. If you're local, I will also accept payment by personal or business cheque.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. Cheers, Mark