Q. How do I contact STRANDcreative.com?
Q. What is the procedure for the design process?
A. First we arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements. From this we will draw up a plan of the site, together with a quote. There is no obligation at all at this stage. If you decide to accept the quote, we will require a deposit before we start on the design.
Q. How can I convey my ideas to the designer?
A. When you meet us, bring with you any text/images/brochures/websites that are relevant to the site. If you know some websites that you like, write down the ‘www.’ addresses and bring them along. This will give the designer an idea of what you’re looking for. The more you can show us with regards to layout, colour, content, function and feel, the more easily we can build your site to meet your expectations.
Q. How do we make a decision on the design?
A. The designer will give you two or three initial design templates based on your specifications, with variations in layout, colours or any other options you would like to see. This sets out the general structure of the page. Once you decide what you like or don’t like, we can then work on your choice and arrive at the final ‘look’ for your site.
Q. What if I change my mind?
A. We always expect there to be a few changes to the overall design and we will work with you to make sure that the final design is what you want. However, once the look of the site has been agreed and we are at a later stage in the design, any major reworking of the existing design will result in additional charges if substantial extra work is required. We will of course inform you of this at the time (before we do the work) and will only go ahead when you are 100% happy.
Q. How do I get my content to you?
A. Email it over as a Word or Notepad document, or as a text file. We can write your content if required. For your website to do well in search engines it needs to have informative and relevant text on every important page. This should ideally be written by the person who knows your business best – you.
Images can be sent by email if they have been ‘zipped’ with WinZip, WinRar or similar. We can take images from a CD. If you don’t have the images in a digital format, we can scan in photographs, although the quality of scanned images may not be as good as digital ones. Simply send us your photos / brochures in the post, or drop them into our office in Sale.
If we have to do a lot of scanning and image resizing or retouching to get useable image content for the website, this may add to the cost of the whole design. Again, we will inform you of this at the time, before we do the work, and will only go ahead when we have your say-so.
Q. What about other content such as video or audio?
A. We will need the video clips sent to us. Audio clips should be in MP3 or Real Media format, or alternatively a CD will do. Please note that we cannot use copyrighted music and video without the owner’s permission. We also have access to a huge amount of royalty-free audio and video, so we can always use stock content for use commercially.
Q. What about image copyright?
A. Please be aware that we cannot use other people’s imagery without their permission. This is for your own protection, as image companies do not sue designers for copyright infringement, they sue the website owner! If you don’t have your own images, we can either arrange for a photographer or select some suitable images from stock photography sites to be used.
Q. What if I need my site translated into another language?
A. No problem, our translators can convert the site into your desired language. This can either be worked into the quote from the outset or charged at an hourly rate. Please note that this is not standard with every website, but we still have the resources to accommodate this.
Q. Will my website be fast-loading?
A. We make sure all our websites are coded for quickest possible loading and that all images are compressed as far as possible without reducing quality.
Q. Will my website be accessible to disabled users?
A. If required, we can design websites to comply with the most stringent website accessibility standards. This means that we optimise the design content and navigation so that they are compliant with technology such as screen readers.
Q. Which software is used in the design process?
A. We generally use the Adobe Creative Suite for design, although if we are doing Search Engine Optimisation for you, this is completed ‘by hand’.
Q. How quickly can I get my website online?
A. We can get a small contact site designed and online within 3-5 days if we have all the website content from the start. The only thing holding up the design process is content, so the quicker you can get all the content to us the quicker we can get the website online.
Q. What if I’m not happy with the design at the end?
A. This hasn’t happened yet! We keep in contact with our clients all the time to make sure that the design is heading in the right direction. We offer a number of choices, and never develop any idea too far until you are happy that you have what you want.
Q. Will my website get found on the search engines?
A. The more websites that there are offering the same services or products as yours, the fiercer the competition for search engine placement. We have been successful in placing our clients on the first page of Google for specific keywords, but we will analyse keywords, check competition and make recommendations based on which would be the most effective while still having plenty of traffic.
Q. How far up the search engine listings will my website be?
A. The quick answer is that this depends on the amount of promotional work you opt for. The unfortunate truth is that in most fields of business there are so many websites vying for position in the top search engines that many will never be seen.
As far as design is concerned, successful website promotion is not something that can be ‘tacked on’ to a project at the end of the design process – the site must be designed with promotion in mind from the outset. Please visit our Search Engine Optimisation section for more information.
Q. What if I need to update my content after the website is finished?
A. Once the website is finished, small updates (for example the addition or replacement of a paragraph of text or an image to a page, or changes required to reflect a new address or phone number) are free of charge. However, if your website needs updating regularly (on a monthly basis or more often) you will need to consider either a database-driven site or a maintenance contract.
Changes such as the reorganisation of the website structure or the creation of extra pages will incur additional costs at any stage. Most websites we build use databases anyway, so creating and changing content is relatively easy – even for a beginner.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. This is difficult to answer as there are so many aspects to getting a website online, including features, functionality, whether it’s optimised or not, custom website features and so on. With a huge spectrum of different websites and CMS systems, it’s hard to pinpoint a cost, but we’re happy to discuss specific budgeting, and will work out how to achieve the projects goal within this.
Q. How can I keep the cost down?
A. If you’re ready to take an active role and prepare all the text and image content in a digital format, this will save us a lot of time data-inputting and scanning imagery, and this will affect the quote.
Q. What happens if the website takes longer than the agreed deadline?
A. If the website completion date is delayed because we’re waiting for content from a client, we may charge an interim payment.
Q. What if I already have a website and just want a few changes?
A. We are used to working with existing designs and updating or adding to them. We will price the work according to the work required and the time it will take to complete.
Q. Are there any other costs aside from website design?
A. Yes. Every website needs two things before it can go online: A domain name (a ‘www’ address) and hosting via a web server. We can arrange both of these, and while most clients prefer us to manage this side of a website project, we can easily work on your own server or with your own domain name. Before you purchase a domain name, however, carefully consider keywords for which your website will be listed, and try to include them in the domain name where possible.
Q. Who owns the website?
A. The website and all the image work contained within and connected to it are the property of STRANDcreative.com until we are paid in full. However, unlike other design companies, once you have paid us in full for the website it becomes your property and you are free to do with it as you wish. However, please note the provision below regarding original artwork.
Q. What about any artwork?
A. Any original artwork, including photography, which we have designed or used for the website should not be used anywhere else without written permission from us or the artist. This does not apply to logos we have designed for you, as these are yours outright.