• When do I have to pay you?
You pay when the site is up and running the way you want it. I usually bill my clients annually and you can pay by check, cash or credit card. I have a secure link for the latter.
• Why should I use you?
My pricing is fair and I'm easy to work with. If you want a layout that is yours and not some cookie cutter site made from a bunch of pre-built template blocks. If you don't want to go through the trouble of designing and updating the site yourself. There are other reasons but this is a start.
• I can get as many updates as I want whenever I need them?
That's right. My flat rate pricing includes updates whenever you want them. I'm usually out on the road during the day doing my PC repair work but if you send me a request for updates that day, I'll almost always get them done by that evening. For Real Estate sites there may be a monthly surcharge per new property addition if you add a lot of new listings but we'll work that out ahead of time.
• How do I get you updates?
Email me what you want. Include whatever attachments. If you have a large number of images, e.g., a new real estate property, you can use a free service like WeTransfer.com. If it's something simple like a phone number change, you can leave me a phone message or text my cell.
• I want you to take over my site editing but I need it redesigned from the ground up. Is there an extra fee for that?
No, the flat rate I quote you for maintenance includes a site redesign. I can also take over the existing site and continue where you or your previous Web designer left off.
• If you take over my site and do a redesign, will I lose everything on there?
No, we can do a full backup. We can reuse photos, text, etc. on the new site. And we can leave the existing site up while we do the new one in a temporary location. When the new one is good to go, we can replace the old one with the new content. That way visitors don't have to see the 'New site soon' notice for days or weeks.
• I'm using a site builder now - can you take that over as is?
• Why do you charge differently for Real Estate sites?
Real Estate sites generally require a lot more updates than a typical 'information' website. I have some customers that add 2-3 properties a week. That can add up to a lot of time spent updating so I adjust my rate to reflect how many properties you add per month. Regardless, we'll settle on a firm price before I start work for you so there will be no surprises. We'd have to work out a similar arrangement if you wanted an eCommerce site •and• wanted me to add/remove inventory items for you.
• I want to be able to make changes to the site myself, or I want a Blog.
In that case, I'd recommend we set up a WordPress site. WordPress is a public domain system that allows easy content editing. All you need to do is log on from your Web browser and you can edit any page, add posts to a blog, articles to a 'How To' page, or whatever. There is a learning curve to using the WordPress interface but it's not that difficult. However, WordPress is a database driven system so if you want something like that, we need to set up hosting for you on GoDaddy or Hostwinds, or similar, and have it on a server optimized for WordPress. So we'd be doing a variation of my 'Maintenance Only' package where you handle payment for your domain and hosting and I edit your site. This would also apply to Real Estate sites where you wanted to go in and add/remove/edit your own property listings.
• What about eCommerce sites?
Again, I'd recommend we set up a WordPress site. WordPress has plenty of plugins that are geared toward eCommerce. Once again, we'll need to set up hosting on a host of your choice ( I can make recommendations ) and then I can do the editing. We can set it up so you can go in and add/remove inventory, change pricing, shipping, etc. I'd prefer it that way so that I don't have to spend a lot of time doing 'data entry' but I can get the initial inventory online for you as long as it isn't hunderds of items.
• What about a secure site so that visitors feel safe?
You'll need an SSL certificate. If you do the Hosting/Maintenace plan with me and I use my server, the SSL certificate is part of the package. Many other hosts like Hostwinds offer SSL certificates as part of the hosting. Godaddy requires that you pay an annual fee, usually around $75, to install an SSL certificate. Having said all that, just because you see the nice green lock on a website, that doesn't mean that's a 'safe' site. It just means the owner installed encryption, but the site itself can still host malicious content.
• Can I host 'controversial' sites?
My server provider has a pretty strict set of acceptable use policies in place. So you'd have to set up hosting in your name on your own host and if it gets shut down due to content, or suffers a DDoS attack because someone got upset at the content, that's a problem you'll have to deal with. Short answer, if you're looking to do hard edged political sites, adult sites, or other sites along those lines - you should look somewhere else.