Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the often asked questions and answers about designing and creating a website. If your question is not answered here then please contact us.
- What is a domain ?
- What is hosting ?
- What is HTML ?
- What is SEO ?
- I already have a domain and/or hosting package
- My website does not appear in Google. Can you help ?
- What do you mean by 'standards compliant website' ?
- Why don't you do 'flash' ?
- Can I have a rotating image gallery ?
- Why do you bang on about content, content, content ?
- I have my own design in mind - Can I use it ?
- How long does it take to appear/rise up search engine rankings ?
- What can I do to help ranking ?
- Can you add Google Ads ?
- Who owns the website (copyright) ?
- Can I edit my own website ?
- User editable availability charts ?
- Expiry reminders
- Can I add a blog to my site ?
- Add I add a forum to my site ?
What is a domain ?
A domain is a unique name registered to access a resource on the Internet, e.g. a website. For example google.com. Behind the name is an IP address, e.g. 220.127.116.11, so the domain name is an easy to remember address rather than a sequence of numbers. It's a little like your postal address instead of using GPS coordinates to find your house.
Domain names are registered to ensure uniqueness and initial registration costs a few dollars. The registration must be renewed at expiry. As part of the Small Business Package, we will register your domain name for 2 years.
For more detailed technical information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name
What is hosting ?
All your web pages and images are 'hosted', or stored, on a remote computer connected to the Internet. Your domain name is 'pointed' at the remote computer server so when you enter the domain name, or click on a link, it returns the web page to your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) for display. We provide the hosting service for your website as part of our Small Business Package.
For more detailed technical information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_hosting_service
What is HTML ?
HTML, Hypertext Mark-up Language, is the 'computer code' we write to describe each of the pages in your website. HTML describes the structure of the page, headings, text, images, links etc. which is then styled to format the page into the correct layout, colours and fonts, etc. If you are interested in what HTML looks like then you can usually use the 'View Source' option in your browser.
For more detailed technical information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Html
What is SEO ?
Search Engine Optimization. This is a huge, complex and constantly moving target. The aim for any website owner is for potential clients to search for, and find your website quickly and easily. This involves many factors, including relavant keywords and phrases on your page, links from other, preferably relevant sites, and a page structured so that the search engines 'understand' the context. All pages we write are designed to be search engine friendly and we will advise you of any changes that can be made to your content to help. For example, don't say "We make widgets", but change it to "Widgets R Us manufactures and sells widgets". The repetition of "widgets", rather than using pronouns makes it more likely the page will be found if someone is searching for widgets. Note - We never engage in any of the dubious SEO practices, which can have a short-term benefit but are usually very detrimental in the long-term.
Here is an overview of Google search guidelines. There are many, many other sites with SEO information.
I already have a domain and/or hosting package
No problem. We can direct your domain to our hosts, or if you already have a hosting provider, then we can upload the site to your host.
My website does not appear in Google. Can you help ?
This is a common question and is often the result of a webpage written without SEO in mind. For example the page may be very image laden or have 'flashy dynamic' content. In general the search engines cannot read any text in these items and this makes it difficult for them to rank the page and return relevant search results.
With our experience we can often make significant changes to the HTML code of the page to help search engines index the page without sacrificing the current look and feel of the page. Call us for a quote.
What do you mean by 'standards compliant website' ?
The World Wide Web Consortium defines standards and guidelines for the Web. Websites that adhere to these standards and guidelines generally display in a more consistent manner and are easier to read via search engine robots. Websites that do not adhere to standards often contain 'broken' HTML code so browsers have to guess what the author meant. Different browsers make different guesses and may display pages differently or not display the page at all.
Why don't you do 'flash' ?
As mentioned before, movies and animations don't really help people find your site. They may be useful for visitors, but should be used sparingly to add value, not overused becoming a distraction for the main message of the site. A quick survey of the most popular sites on the web shows very few with over elaborate front pages. Clean, simple and informative gets and retains visitors.
Can I have a rotating image gallery ?
In moderation yes. For the same reason above too many images and flashing content can not only be distracting to the reader but it also makes it more difficult for a search engine to index your content.
For example, it would be appropriate for a website that sold teddy bears to have a rotating image on the front page displaying a selection of teddy bears for sale, rather than covering the front page in images or requiring the user to click a link to a gallery.
Why do you bang on about content, content, content ?
The old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words" still applies, but as regards search engines, you still need the thousand words. Search engines can't read pictures.
I have my own design in mind - Can I use it ?
Yes of course. If you have a brochure or design laid out then we can take that design and replicate as best we can using similar colours, fonts and layout.
How long does it take to appear/rise up search engine rankings ?
It depends. We can not guarantee inclusion or good rankings, but by sticking to guidelines and avoiding bad SEO techniques your site should be included in search results. The more content you provide and the more inbound links you can collect the better the chances for a better ranking.
What can I do to help ranking ?
If you have friends, colleagues or businesses you work with get them to link to your site from theirs. If you blog, twitter or post in forums, then link to your site. Inbound links help tremendously. However, a word of caution, do not create links on 'spammy', porn, or 'illegal' websites as this can have a negative effect.
Can you add Google Ads ?
Yes we can. You will need to register with Google Adsense to start a campaign and receive payments for click-throughs. We can then include your adsense code and authentication token on the website to start displaying adverts.
Who owns the website (copyright) ?
You do. Upon payment of the invoice the website is published and any code or images required for the site are packaged and sent via email.
Can I edit my own website ?
Not at the moment. We are investigating the ability for owners to edit and add content to their own site without our intervention. Providing this ability does open up a number of security risks should a username/password combination be compromised or a vulnerability exploited. We need to satisfy ourselves that these risks are minimised before providing this service. Stay tuned.
User editable availability charts ?
Again, not at the moment. See Can I edit my own website ?
We will email you a reminder to renew your hosting plan with us. You should also receive separate reminders to renew your domain name.
Can I add a blog to my site ?
Add I add a forum to my site ?
We don't offer the option to add forums to your site at the moment.