General Questions

Do I need a Website?

Absolutely, Positively, Without Question!

Was that too bold of an answer? Sorry, but even if we were not in the website design business, we would be saying the same thing. In today’s day, your core marketing and advertising program absolutely has to revolve around your website. Let me prove my point.

When is the last time you actually used a phone book? For most people that have a computer – which is almost everyone by now, and certainly for those people under the age of 40, NEVER pick up a phone book. It is so much quicker to type in the name of who you want and in a second, there is your answer. Plus, they instantly receive pictures and product or service information that phone directories simply don’t provide.

What happens if you don’t have a website? Your competition will most certainly leave you in the dust in the race to acquire and keep new customers.

But doesn't a Website cost a lot? Wouldn't placing ads in the local paper be just as good?

On the surface, that might seem to be true.

When all things are taken into consideration, your website is actually one of the best ROIs that you will make. Let’s compare the two.

A one-page website is approximately the equivalent to a single A4 piece of paper. We must then compare an ad in the newspaper of the same size. Depending on which paper and which city you live can vary in price. But for this example, we used a fairly large metropolitan city’s newspaper. This size ad which is about a 1/2-page ad… PLACED ONLY ONE TIME…will cost between $10,000 to $12,000 OR MORE! We are talking a full colour ad, since we are comparing the paper ads to a website design.

Regardless of the circulation of the newspaper, your website will be accessible to the entire world. This gives you so much more potential to reach those valuable customers. And let’s not forget, that one-page ad runs ONE TIME. Your website runs 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Add up the cost of a newspaper ad running every single day for one year. Now you can see how cost effective your web design will be.

Oh, and not that we should have to strengthen our example here, but the example used only ONE page on your website. Multiply the cost of the newspaper ad by a factor of how many pages are in your website design. Is it 3, 5, 7 or more pages? Without question, the most cost-effective way to advertise your company is through the internet with a good website design.

Your Web Design Packages are lower in price than many other companies are charging. Will my website be as good?

Absolutely!

Our mission at Coastal Website Designs was to create Affordable Web Design Packages for new businesses and companies that have never had a web site. Even in a good economy, starting a business takes money. And when you are on a limited budget, every dollar counts.

On the other hand, to start or continue ANY business without a web site is in our belief, will be an up-hill battle. We then saw a need to help provide a good Web Design at an affordable price.

But just be careful to compare apples to apples. Don’t compare websites that cost $5,000 to $10,000 or more with added Web Design Features, to a basic design. That said, we have tried extremely hard to put together a Web Design building process that will minimize our time and therefore reduce costs. In this way, we can provide a better budget friendly website for our customers.

Our main goal was to provide a solid advertising platform for businesses that simply must have a website but are on a limited budget.

Does that mean you only do small basic websites with few features?

Absolutely Not!

We start out with website packages of 3,5, and 7 pages each with increasing levels of website features and Search Engine Optimization. These Web Design Packages are great for small to medium local businesses to professionally display their products and/or services.

If you need a much more dynamic and larger website, we can certainly help you there. Just Contact Us with details of what you think you might need, and we will be more than happy to quote you a price.

How long will creating my Web Design take?

That depends on several factors.

Web development, graphic design, copywrite, and SEO are time consuming. We certainly don’t want to cut corners with something that is the core of all of your advertising campaign.

The other factor that greatly affects finishing a web design is the communication between the client and the web designer. If the client is extremely busy, communication can be slow. Approvals, design decisions, and the provision of needed company information, is usually not a quick task.

For our standard Web Design Packages, I would allow at least 2 to 4 weeks from start to finish. And that time starts when ALL company information, images, content, and any other needed parts to create your Web Design are provided. But keep in mind a few things. Because of the complexity of web design, how busy we both are, plus other factors, can change those estimations.

Bottom line… PLAN AHEAD. Your Web Design is without doubt one of the most important parts of your business. It is the foundation of your company. You don’t want a site built overnight just for the plain sake of being on the net.

Taking the time to build a good foundation now in your marketing plan, will certainly pay off in the long run.

Web Development Questions

I don't know what type of Web Design I need. How do I choose?

That can be difficult, but here are some guidelines that should help.

As you already know there are basically an endless combination of Web Designs and Web Design Features. Add to that the thousands of Website Designs that look great. So, what is one to do?

The initial stage in Web Development is the fact-finding stage. This is where the client and the Web Developer gather as much information about the company as possible. What kind of products and services do you offer? Are you going to sell the products online? What information is the most important that I need my customers to know? And so on.

Next, determine how many pages you need to adequately display that information and not leave important facts out.  Avoid having visitors to your website leave because they didn’t find what they needed. Also, don’t try to squeeze too much information and images into one page. This makes your visitors have to scroll a long way on each page. If you do have a lot of content, break up long content in smaller, easier to read sections.

The next decision is the layout of the entire Web Design and the layout of each type of page. Do you like or need one, two, or three columns? What type of background should I use? How many pictures or images do I want? What type of customer am I trying to attract? Should the look be bold, clean and crisp, or wild and wacky?

Talk to your Web Developer at Coastal Website Designs who will help you work through this decision

What colours are best for my website? My favorite colour is blue.

Yes, our favourite colour is also blue, but it was not the main reason we chose blue for the Coastal Design Website.

After picking the correct name for your company, your Logo Design and company colours come next. These should be chosen to further improve your brand. A pleasing colour scheme can really make the difference in a good looking website.

Colours can sometimes have an instant connection with your audience. Blue for sky and water, green for grass and good things in nature, and so on. For example, if you were a rock band most likely you would pick very bold and sharp contrasting colours and graphics. On the other hand, if you were a doctor you should probably pick a clean crisp web design with simple colours. Colours also make people feel a certain way, and that should be taken into consideration.

So regardless of what you choose for your company colours, choose wisely. It DOES make a difference.

I've found a really nice Web Design. Can I have that one?

Yes and no. Let me explain.

All Web Designs have copywrite protection. This can include the images, the content or text, company name, and all of the programming code such as HTML, CSS, Flash, PHP and so on. The point is you cannot copy a website exactly as you see it and just change the words.

But what you can have is something similar. In fact, we recommend you surf the net looking for Web Designs or parts of websites that you find appealing. You might like this header on one website but don’t like the general layout.

Look for general design features that you like such as the size and placement of images. Do you want a slideshow? Does a website’s navigation look good to you? Do 3 columns look too busy or do you need that extra space? And so on.

Give us a call at Coastal Website Designs to discuss further how we can mix and match Web Design features to make your new Web Design something you can be proud of.

SEO Questions

What is Search Engine Optimization

The most simple explanation is creating a Web Design in such a way that the Search Engines will find you.

Search Engines such a Google, Bing, or Yahoo’s goals are to provide relevant information instantly to all who use the internet. Easier said than done. They use complicated mathematical algorithms to sort through the millions of documents on the internet and in an instant put that relevant information at your fingertips.

We have a great video to watch with Google’s expert Matt Cutts explaining the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization and how searching the internet works.

Do I really need SEO?

That’s like asking, “Do I really need ice cream with my hot apple pie!”

You can have it without but put them both together and you really have something.

The same thing goes with Web Design. Putting up a website does not do any good if no one finds you. Without any SEO you could spend a lot of money and hours spreading the word yourself about your new company and buying expensive advertising. Hardly the point of having a website

You really need to include Search Engine Optimization in your Web Design Package to drive potential customers to your site. Your final goal is to create such an interest in your company from the information on your website, to make those potential customers either contact you, or buy whatever you are selling.

How much Search Engine Optimization does my website need?

How long is a piece of string?

A better answer is that you need enough SEO incorporated into your website to attract the number or customers you require to provide adequate profit. Each Web Design and company is different. Certainly, a small contractor such as a plumber or home maintenance handyman doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars a year to adequately provide enough customers to make it all cost effective and worthwhile.

On the other hand large companies, or those websites competing for popular keywords definitely need much more attention to Search Engine Optimization. Your Web Designer will be able to put together an SEO program to match your needs and budget.

I've heard SEO can cost thousands of dollars?

Don’t spend thousands unless you really need to.

Can SEO cost thousands of dollars per year? Absolutely.

Search Engine Optimization is time consuming. Large Fortune 500 companies can actually employ an entire team of full time SEO specialist to maintain their website and make sure they have a competitive edge over their competition. But it’s no wonder when millions of dollars are at stake. Spending this amount of money and effort in their case is both needed and cost effective.

But for the rest of the world, Search Engine Optimization need not break the bank. SEO strategies vary greatly between Website Design Companies. Check them out and listen carefully. If they promise the world with guaranteed Google number one placements or charging more for SEO than the entire cost of the website, than as the saying goes, “Buyer Beware”.

Some other Web Design companies promise #1 rankings on Google. Can you do that?

No. And neither can they!

Who says so? Google themselves say so!

The best way to answer you is for you to listen to Google themselves and watch a video with Google expert Matt Cutts explaining How Google Rankings Can’t be Guaranteed.

And to top it off, no one – and I repeat – no one outside Google or other search engines knows the actual algorithms and exact criteria to ALWAYS rank #1. First those formulas are proprietary and constantly changed and upgraded. And second, if everyone knew “The Secret Formula” how in the world could all the websites rank #1, as there is only ONE number 1 ranking!

Matt Cutts points out that for most local businesses you don’t need or want hundreds of calls a day off your website. What you need is to rank high enough so that you get an adequate amount of clients to make your business thrive.

Logos, Graphics and Images

I already have a logo. Can you match my website with those colours?

We sure can. And we would highly recommend doing so.

Almost nothing stands out more than mismatched colours on advertising. Some web designers don’t go through the process of precisely matching colours and making sure all other colours of the Web Design are complementary colours to your logo.

At Coastal Website Designs we always colour match and create or modify the graphics of your Web Design to produce a website that is pleasing to the eye.

I don't have a Logo. Can you provide me with one?

Absolutely!

Coastal Website Designs have several Logo Design Options that you many choose. Depending on how far you have progressed in your company’s branding, we can help finish your Logo Design to place on all your marketing material.

If you are starting from scratch, you have two options. For those on a very limited budget, we can put together a logo based on stock Professionally Designed Logos and then match them to your company and your companies colours. This reduces costs on companies on a tight budget. These type of Logo Designs are suited for small companies and contractors.

For those whose budget is not so limited and require a well thought out Logo that will be custom made to your companies mission, we can design a unique Custom Logo from scratch.

If you already have a logo that you have used for some time, but want it refreshed and stepped up to look more professional, we can certainly help with that. We can take a pre-existing Logo Design and modify the image with modern Graphic Design Software.

Can I use my new Logo on my Letterhead?

You are free to use it anywhere you choose.

When you purchase a Logo Design, you will get an image file that includes your new Logo and Company Colours with their respective RGB, CMYK and Hex Codes so that you can match all of your company materials and advertising.

You will want to use your Logo and match Company Colours on all items such as business cards, letterhead, e-mail signatures, and brochures.

Web Hosting Questions

If you create my Web Design, do I need to find a hosting company?

No need to bother.

Our Web Design Packages include a Web Hosting Plan, with plenty of email accounts with personalized email. Coastal Website Designs along with sister company Coastal Web Hosting create a one stop shop for all your internet and Web Design needs.

Do you provide support with your email and hosting accounts?

We Sure Do.

All of our Web Hosting and Email Packages come with round the clock, 24/7 – 365 days of they year LIVE SUPPORT.

What is Personalized Email?

A custom Personalized E-mail address is when your name is combined with your company domain name instead of your web hosting company’s name. Let’s assume your company is called Acme and your hosting company is called Host.

In this case your email for your administration department might be admin@host.com.au but with a Custom E-mail name your e-mail address will be admin@acme.com.au. The results produce a much more professional look to your new company.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEB DESIGN?

We would love to help you with any questions concerning your existing website or how to get started with your very first web development project.