Have a Question? Here are some Answers.

Over the years I've found many of the same questions being asked over and over again. You might also have the same question, so I've assembled some of the more frequently asked questions and posted them here. If you have a question has not been answered here, contact me and I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

I need a new website. Where do I start?

The first step is to contact me either by phone or email. I will ask a few basic questions to give me a rough idea of what your project requirements are. I can then usually offer what would be a "ballpark" cost estimate range for your project. If the suggested price range would be within your budget, then we would set up a time to discuss your project in more detail. This can be done in person or over the phone. It gives me an opportunity to learn more about your business and the needs of your customers, and allows me to suggest ideas on how your new website can enhance your business. Within 24 hours of our discussion I will draft a project proposal that will outline the steps and features to be included in your new website along with an exact price quote.

How much does a new website cost?

This question can be very difficult to answer because there are so many variables without knowing some specifics about your project. As you shop around I'm sure you can find some who might charge a bit less that me, and I know there are many who charge more (much more) than me. But I feel confident in saying that my starter website package represents the best value in a full-featured, comprehensive website package there is in the area. In fact I'm so confident that I'm willing to match any local vendors price for a comparable website package. Being a small business owner myself, I can also understand the concept of a limited budget. I'll work with you to develop the best possible website for whatever your budget allows while providing you the most "bang-for-your-buck".

How long will it take to complete my website?

How long a website takes to complete can vary dramatically depending upon the scope of the project and its complexity. However, on average a basic "brochure" website will take around 2-4 weeks to complete. Sure there have been times when I've completed an entire website in a few days, and some projects certainly take a bit longer. Just be sure to mention if you have specific time constraints and I'll do my best to accommodate your schedule.

What will be my role in developing the new website?

As the customer you have a very important role in the development of your website, because chances are nobody knows your business better than you. You and I will become partners in the development of your new site. Initially I'll ask a lot of questions about you, your business, your current website (if you have one) and what your vision is for your new website. We'll work together to develop a strategy that results in a website that will bring real-world results to your business. After the planning stage is over and the work begins, your role may vary depending upon how involved you wish to be. Some of my clients remain very "hands-on" throughout the process while others would prefer to sit back and be a bit less involved. That choice is up to you.

I want a first page ranking for Google searches. Can you help?

The service you need is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and yes I can help you with that. SEO is an ongoing process of making your website more trustworthy and relevant, and therefore rank higher on the major search engines for your chosen keywords and keyphrases. Depending upon your current placement, sometimes the move to the top of the rankings can happen rather quickly but most times it takes a bit longer. The best way forward would be to contact me to discuss, then after I have more information from you I can give you a better sense of time and cost needed to help you achieve your goals.

How do I pay for my project?

The payment schedule for a typical project would be a 25% down payment before I start work, and then the balance due prior to launching the new website. For larger projects, some additional payments may be required during the course of development. I also have the ability to collect by credit card if that is your preferred method of payment.

Will my website work on a smartphone or tablet?

Yes, most definitely! Compatibility with mobile devices is a critical part of modern day website development. On average over 25% of all traffic to your website will come from mobile devices (tablets and smartphones). The most current technique used in website development is called responsive design. Think of it as a website with brains - the ability for your website to detect the type of device being used and then delivering the most user friendly format of your website to that particular device. You will have just a single website, but how it displays will be dependent upon the device being used. Developing with responsive design results in needing only a single website to serves all devices - desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. This saves you the time and money of administering a second "mobile-only" version of your website and guarantees an optimal user experience for your customers.

Can you do...?

Over the years I've developed a pretty wide-ranging skillset. Sometimes it amazes me to think just how far I've come since building my first website back in 1998. But it has never really felt like work to me because I enjoy learning about new technologies and how I can apply them to my client projects. So yes, I can do HTML, PHP, MySQL, Java, SEO, etc. etc. etc. Chances are if your project requires anything web related, I can do it. And if I'm not proficient in a particular skill, I have established working relationships with a number of people who are, which I can use on projects as needed. Keep in mind that in addition to the web-related work I do, I can also handle your "off-line" design needs like logos, business cards, stationary and brochures to ensure a consistent branding design for your business.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the results page of a the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo. A higher ranking improves the chances that the site will be found by the user searching for your product or service, resulting in more visitor traffic to your website. The competitiveness of your market will determine how long it takes to achieve good placement. If you are interested in improving your websites rankings on the major search engines, please contact me for a free SEO analysis.

Will I be able to update my website when it is completed?

In almost all instances your website will have what is known as a Content Management System (CMS). In most cases this will be Wordpress, the most used CMS on the web. In a few instances your website might require a more customized solution with some specific functionality. A CMS will allow you to log in to your website through your favorite internet browser to make changes to your website - add a new page, change some text copy or drop in a new picture. Best of all a Wordpress CMS is really easy to use. If you know how to use a word processing application like Microsoft Word, then you have the skills needed to update your website. I'll even show you how to do it!

Are you related to that guy on the TV show Friends?

It surprises me how often this question comes up after I hand my business card to a new client. I think they are kidding, but my name is Paul LeBlanc and the actor on the TV sitcom Friends is Matt LeBlanc. As far as I can tell, we're not related.

Do I really need a website?

I left this question in here for a bit of nostalgia. I've been working at website design long enough to remember a time when this was a legitimate question. I think this is pretty much a settled issue nowadays, but in case you're playing along.....of course you need a website! If you're still not convinced then ask yourself this: When is the last time you looked something up in the Yellow Pages? OK, now when was the last time you did a Google search? I think you just answered the question for yourself.

Still have a question? I have an answer for you.

I love talking website design. If you're still unclear about something then contact me to discuss.