Frequently Asked Questions
What makes you different from other web design agencies?
Good question. We like to think we offer more than just building you a beautiful website. Yes, we create the designs, we buy your domain, we set up the hosting, we develop and build the site, we do all of that. But more importantly, we’re there for you afterwards, and for as long as you need us – we focus on offering excellent customer service to all our clients.
One thing we’ve learned since we started way back in 2001 is that your website is not just a product you buy, tick it off the ‘to do’ list, and then forget about. Far from it. Your website should be working hard to help your business become more successful, you need to be thinking about constantly updating, improving, tweaking, and tending it. Just like your business, websites should never stand still – they should grow and flourish and most of all be up to date!
This is one of the reasons we don’t ask for vast sums of money up-front, or even a big lump sum when the site is tested and launched – in fact, when your site goes live, we like to think, in a lot of ways, our job has only just started!
Are there any contracts to sign?
We ask all our clients to ‘sign’ a Website Agreement (All our paperwork uses Adobe© EchoSign electronic signing technology). This is sent by email during the first stages of the project. The agreement covers things like our responsibilities, the level of service we aim to offer, the ownership of your domain, long term support options, hosting services, cancellation information etc.
Basically, by creating the contract it means that we can’t just close up shop and walk away whenever we want, leaving you high and dry – not that that is likely to happen!
Is there a minimum term contract?
Yes, the minimum contract is 12 months from your first monthly payment. After this, there are lots of options open to you – from basic support packages to more bespoke solutions. You can, of course, opt for our ‘Hosting only’ package. However, you will lose all the benefits that a support package will provide. Read more about our support packages here
What happens after the first 12 months?
The website development costs are paid during the first 12 months of your website contract. During this time, you will receive FREE support,FREE website updates, and FREE hosting!
After the first 12 months, you can continue to pay a monthly fee which will allow you to continue to receive the same unbeatable customer support, unlimited website updates, high specification hosting, and much more. Find out more about our amazing support package here. There is also an option to reduce your monthly payments and opt for a hosting only plan – all we need is 30 days notice to make the adjustments.
How long will you take to build my website?
That’s not a very fair question is it! Every website is different, and so they should be. However, if you choose the minimum ‘Start Up’ package, providing the site is not full of complicated extra features, then we aim to go design, build, test, and launch within 1 month.
Other packages vary from 1-3 months. It really depends on the complexity of your project, how much content and if any photography or video is required. Obviously, if it’s really urgent, we’ll pull out all the stops. We have been known to turn around a very simple website in a single day – but we’d rather take a little more time than that if at all possible!
Do I pay any money up front?
We don’t like having to pay up front for things, so we don’t think our clients should, either. We will send you an invoice for the design work only after we have created the designs and you have completely signed them off. This normally happens just before we move into the web development phase of the project.
The design fee varies depending on the package you have chosen and the size and complexity of the project. The cost for building the website (the development fee) is only charged once the site goes live, and even then, spread over the first 12 months. This is very different from most web agencies, but then again, we are not like most web agencies!
Will my website be Search Engine Friendly?
When we create websites, we always build them in such a way that makes them search engine friendly. We take time to include many background details that will help the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) locate your site as quickly as possible, and once the site has gone live, we submit your site to those search engines to generate as much coverage as possible. Do not be fooled into paying large sums for so-called “guaranteed” search engine listings.
Most search engines work is done by “search bots”, in other words, non-humans. So it can take a bit of time (actually, anywhere between 2 – 12 weeks!) to start seeing the results of our efforts. However, we have always found our sites rank well on the most popular search engines – providing the content of your site is relevant, well written, and updated regularly.
Additional advanced SEO services are available if you feel you need to boost the visibility of your site. The costs vary depending on your requirements. If you need to get “up the rankings” quickly, please ask us about these services when we meet.
Does First Class Web Design buy the domain name? If so, do I own it?
We usually buy the domain name for you (if you haven’t already purchased it). Most of our clients want us to take care of that for them. After all, the fee for purchasing and managing the domain is included in your monthly payments.
However, the domain will always be registered in you or your business name – it’s your website domain, we want you to own it. We host all our projects on our own dedicated servers. If you ever leave us, then your domain belongs to you, so you are able to take that with you too. We will explain all this to you if and when it is required.
What about bigger projects with more features?
Yes, of course we cater for larger, bespoke projects that require more than the basic features contained within the standard packages. For those projects, we always arrange an in depth consultation where we will discuss the project at length and, subsequently, write a full web design brief. This allows us both to understand the requirements of the project and calculate any additional costs over and above the standard charges.
Are there any hidden costs?
No, what you see is what you pay. If you require additional features or services that are not available in your package, such as Video, Blog, Forum, Members Only area, Booking Systems, Events Calendars, e-Newsletter, Advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media management (setting up and running social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc.), these will be charged either as a separate one-off fee or additional to your monthly fees – depending on what it is and how you would rather pay for it. You’ll be told up front what those additional costs will be, and we promise that’s all you’ll pay.
What happens if I don’t like the designs you create for me?
We don’t progress beyond the design concept stage until you are 100% happy with the design. If you decide further down the road you don’t like something, fine, we’ll change it, no big deal. We want you to be happy with your design, and if you’re happy, we’re happy!
But I can find cheaper hosting…
The hosting fees that we charge are appropriate for the server configuration that your site is hosted on. Every client of ours has their site hosted on a high specification, dedicated server. With dedicated hosting, you are buying the confidence and knowledge that your website is located on a computer with plenty of available resources and is not about to crash, because, unlike shared servers which are very cheap, we do not overload our server with thousands of clients.
You are buying the highest level of customer service, server management, and website/email reliability possible. Also, the data on our servers are backed up daily and can be restored at a moment’s notice – try asking a cheap hosting provider if they can do that! Finally, it’s also worth bearing in mind that our monthly hosting fees also include domain name re-registration and domain/email management – a service that is never included by companies offering cheap hosting deals.
If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us and ask – we don’t bite.