So, you’re getting a website developed! While you’re probably very excited, the idea is also quite daunting for some and you might be a little unsure of the process. If this is the first website you’re going to have – unless you grew up in a very tech-savvy household – you are likely to have a couple of questions that come up along the way.
As the in-house developer/ project manager at Yellow Door, I am often asked the same sorts of questions by our clients. So we’ve put together a little FAQ to address all your potential website queries. If you have any that have not been covered here, please post a comment below so we can address it and add it to this post!
1. How long will it take to develop my website from beginning to end?
This answer might surprise you – but it all depends on you! We pride ourselves on having a one-month turnaround time, provided that we receive timeous information and feedback from the client.
In an ideal world, a client will come to us with all information ready, including some photos for the site, their corporate identity files (unless we are also doing these for you) and information about themselves and their business. This is how we best prevent bottlenecks.
2. Will my site come up on Google?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Your website will be listed on Google. The strength of your website’s listing – i.e. which page in a Google search it will display on – is determined by a range of external and internal factors, collectively known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
External factors include whether your brand is established yet, whether you had a previous website, how many competitors you have, your overall digital presence, and if you have and Google Ads running. These are all determined by you and your digital marketing plan – read Janine’s post about why your business needs one of these.
Internal factors, including how keyword-rich your content is, whether there are appropriate headings and descriptions on the website, and how “mobile-friendly” the design is, are in our control, and if we are developing your website, we will ensure that everything necessary is done.
3. Can you put links on my website to my social media accounts?
Absolutely. Provided you give us the links to all of your relevant accounts – or let us know if you’d like us to set these up for you.
4. Can the website copy and/ or images be changed once I have signed off?
YES! I get this question time and again. Our clients often get confused about what copy and images to put on their site – and understandably so, as this is what provides the soul of a website. However, development is 90% about the technical structure of the site, the background things that you don’t really see.
When your website goes live and once you have signed off, we will send you a comprehensive customised handover tutorial that will take you through the steps of how to make basic changes, such as updating images and copy, and anything else that might be important for your website. If there is anything that you are struggling to do, we are always just a phone call away and are happy to assist.
5. What if I want to have an online shop at a later stage?
Let us know if you have an online shop as a future plan, even if you’re not ready for one when we create your website. Then we can ensure that the website is developed in a way that can easily have a shop added in future.
If your plans are a little more concrete, we can even develop the shop in the website’s backend, but not launch this until you are ready at a later date. This way, your website can be live with any information you are ready to show the public, and the shop can be developed but inaccessible until you give the go-ahead.
6. Why do I have to pay a monthly fee to a hosting service provider?
In order to have your website live on the internet, you will have to pay a monthly fee. Regardless of whether you, an agency, or an in-house developer develops your website, over and above the development you will have to pay a certain hosting fee. This is essentially to rent space on a server that hosts files on the internet, and so as long as your website is live you will have to pay the monthly fee.
We recommend using Xneelo or Afrihost as their packages are reasonably priced and they provide fantastic support. We will help you set up the hosting at the beginning of the web development process but you will pay the monthly fee directly to the host and not to us. Remember you will also need to pay an annual fee to keep your website domain – see here for more technical definitions about websites.
7. Will I be able to get a new email address?
Yes! In addition to setting up an email address for each member of staff that needs one, we can also set up generic emails too and ensure that they are forwarded to the correct people. Popular generic email addresses include email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
These are just a few of the many questions that clients often have when we start down the website creation process with them. Hopefully these answers have provided some insight into the not-so-big-and-scary technical world of website development. Regardless of how big your requirements might seem, we are up for the challenge. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can work our magic!