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Friday, 6 December 2013

Frequently asked questions about website design and development

Web Design FAQ's


With any website design/development project we work on here at onebestway, we're often asked one or more questions by our clients. So we've put together the useful FAQ article with the most commonly asked questions for your information.


Why should I get a new website?

There are many reasons why a client may come to us wishing for a new website. One reason would be to keep up with the newest devices with their different screen resolutions. There are three platforms that we optimize a website for: PC, mobile and tablet. This is called responsive web design. Making your website accessible on more than one platform allows you to target a more specific audience.

Another reason may be because your existing website was built a long time ago.

Or you may have gone through a branding process and might require a website refresh to keep it consistent with their brand.

Or the intended function of your website might have changed. For example a client with a brochure website may decide that they now need an ecommerce website.

Does every company need a new website?

No. Websites are tools. It’s important that you want to achieve something, to solve some sort of problem with it. A new website, just to look pretty is a waste of money. Perhaps what you really need is an application and not a website? Your team at onebestway will help you work this out. We like to work with our clients to create the best solution to their problem.

Where do I start with the website design process?

With the end in mind. As mentioned above websites are tools to be utilised. They can be like an extra sales staff member. Make sure your website is working hard for you.

The most successful websites have a clear purpose and clear goals to achieve. Once these are set everything else can follow easily because there is a clear destination.

After that, specifications are key as they layout the requirements of the website, 'the how' behind achieving the end goal.

How will I be communicated to?

There are 3 ways in which we will communicate with you.

The first is Basecamp, a collaborative project management software. We encourage clients to use Basecamp because multiple people can be involved in discussions and it has handy to-do lists.

We also send you status reports every Friday. This is a one-line summary of each aspect of your project, on a single page.

We’ll also communicate with you in face to face meetings, phone calls and by email. Communication is always through an account manager.

What happens if I change my mind about what I want during the process – will there be an extra cost?

Yes, unless we’ve built a contingency plan into your proposal.

If there are changes to an agreed specification there will be an additional cost based on how many hours are added to the job.

If the change is a large one, we would need to update the project specification with details for your approval.

For large projects we do recommend building a contingency plan into proposals because changes or added requirements almost always pop up, so planning for them helps the process run more smoothly.

What technology will my website be built in?

We build websites using .Net.

Previously we have also used PHP but we prefer to use .Net. The case can be argued for either language. We choose to use .Net as it offers more tools, it’s very well-known and it’s trusted because it was created by Microsoft.

How long will the process take?

This question is hard to answer in general as every project differs. This is something that will be answered in your specification and you will be provided with timelines throughout your project.

What time-impact will the project have on me?

It will depend upon how involved you wish to be.

There is a minimal level of input required for us to gain from you industry knowledge, for design feedback and for testing.

Client involvement is always up for negotiation. If you want to commission copywriting, art direction or photography, you might need to spend more time on the project, but if you want to be involved as little as possible that is OK too.

How collaborative will the design phase be?

It can be as collaborative as you want it to be.

We always produce at least one design, which will be presented to you with an opportunity for feedback.

Clients can ask for multiple iterations of a design, although beyond a certain point this can come at an extra cost.

What support package do you offer following launch?

Once a website is launched it enters a four week testing period, to iron out any bugs.

After these four weeks, a client can enter a maintenance agreement, often called a SLA (Service Level Agreement). This is a monthly subscription for technical support, paid for monthly.

Problems can occur with any website due to things such as bugs, browser updates or new technology.

The internet is a constantly changing environment and a website has to keep up with that. Recently Twitter updated its API, which resulted in many websites needing to be updated.

Will I have to test the system?

Yes. We would advise that you spend as much time testing the website as you can.

We will test a website from a technical point of view but your point of view is essential when testing because you know your industry from the inside.

Will there be downtime on my existing website?

If your new website is going to sit at the same domain and on the same server as your existing website there could be a little downtime, but we plan for this, by putting a holding page in place so a visitor will never see an error.

If your existing website does not sit on the same server as the new website, the new website can be set up on the new server before the switch. The switch to the new website is not instant, but a visitor will either see the old website or the new one, but never an error.

Will there be documentation?

Communication via Basecamp and email is documented and all clients receive a specification.

What happens if I have a technical issue post launch?

If the technical issue occurs within the first four weeks after website launch we'll fix it as part of our routine testing.

If it occurs more than four weeks after launch you can either enter into a maintenance agreement or can pay for technical support on a case by case basis.

Reporting a problem is easy, simply contact one of our account managers letting us know the problem, if you can provide screenshots it helps us.

Then our account manager will get back to you with a cost for your approval. Once you give the go-ahead our technical team will implement the fix and test it.

How does invoicing work?

For work under £1,000: we invoice 100% upfront with 30 day terms.

For work over £1,000: we invoice 50% upfront with 7 days terms and the remaining 50% on the target completion date.

If the project overshoots its target completion date we invoice 30% on the original target completion date and the remaining 20% on the actual completion date.

What will happen to any previous SEO work I have had done?

You must tell us if you have had or are having any SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) work done to your website. We’ll work alongside your SEO company. SEO recommendations such as 301 redirects will be costed for your approval.

How will I be able to measure the success of my new website?

At the beginning of the project we’ll set goals and aims of what you want to achieve with your website. This could be increased enquiries, conversion, visitors, sales or turnover. Once the goals are set we can use tools like Google analytics to measure them.

What legal requirements are there for the website, and who will ensure that they are met?

We often give suggestions for a website’s terms and conditions, but we are not legally responsible for them. Terms and conditions need to be checked with your solicitor. We are not qualified to give professional legal advice but we can provide you with a template for your website’s terms and conditions.

What happens if the team member working on my project leaves onebestway?

At onebestway we work as a team, we don’t use any bizarre programming languages and all websites we build are built in .Net. This is a universally recognised language that many web developers will use, for these reasons another web developer can always pick up where the last left off.

What process is in place if you go out of business whilst building / managing my website?

A previous client ask this question especially if they were investing a lot of money with us.

We build all websites in .Net, which is a well-known computer language that any good digital agency will be able read.  We always build websites in teams, so they have to be readily understandable. And you will have access to the server on which their website is hosted.

Who do I talk to if I want a website designed/developed?

Please give us a call on 0191 27 666 27 and ask to speak to Mike or Gileng.

Alternatively you can email us at mike@onebestway.com or gileng@onebestway.com.

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