Crystal Thought website design and build FAQ

 
Every website is different and we will always provide a costed proposal based on your requirements before we start so you know exactly what is included. We have some guide prices here: https://www.crystalthought.co.uk/website-prices
Top level, we will discuss what you want your website to achieve during our initial phone call or video conference. At a more detailed level we will need:
  • Company logo
  • Design style that you like or 3 websites you admire.
  • Page titles you want to include e.g. Home, Services, About, Contact.
  • Images you have available that you want us to use. We have access to stock images if you need them.
  • Page content; copy (we can help with this), documents, videos etc.
  • Any special features or functionality such as login areas, ecommerce, gallery, testimonials, blog etc.
  • Access to your current website, if applicable.
  • Domain name if you have one registered.
  • Access to your domain name provider ready for when you want to repoint your domain name. You can do this or you can provide us with the user name and password.
  • Your target customers.
  • Any significant competitors you are aware of locally or online.
  • Company address and contact details including email address for invoices.
  • Contact information you want to show on the website if different from the above.

A straight forward 5-page website can be built in 3 to 4 weeks or less if we have all the information and content available.

A larger website with additional functionality will take around 6 to 8 weeks or longer if it is more complicated.

These times are estimates actual times may vary according to our schedule at the time and how quickly we receive your content and images.

Some of the following stages can vary and happen at different times and some not at all depending on how complex your website build is:
  1. Discuss your requirements over the phone or video conference so that we have a good idea of what you need and can formulate a price proposal for you to consider.
  2. Once you have accepted our proposal, depending on the complexity of the build, we would recommend another call or video conference with your team and our team to scope out your exact requirements and ensure we have all of the information correct in the proposal. We will need to develop a technical specification for complex functionality you may need, for example, private login areas and custom-built processes.
  3. The design process can now begin and we will provide a design based on your brief for you to approve and sign off before we start the build. At this stage we will consider what you need to include in your design and how users will navigate your site. Our article covering how to improve your website for conversions covers some of the things we will consider https://www.crystalthought.co.uk/2020/04/23/5-stage-plan-for-online-success
  4. Once you are happy with the design, a first stage payment is now due of 50% of the total cost plus the annual hosting fee and any domain name registration fee.
  5. Build will proceed based on the signed off design and specification and a demo site will be provided as we get nearer to completion for you to access and view or comment on progress. Further stage payments may be required as we progress through the project.
  6. Final checks and testing will be carried out by us at the end of the build process. At this stage we will add the site to Google Analytics and provide any training on how to use the Content Management System, if applicable.

Generally, we will host your website with our provider; Digital Ocean. We provide all of the necessary technical support and website back up required to maintain and keep your site working 24/7/365. You simply pay us an annual fee and we take care of the rest. Cost is usually around £120 per year depending on the level of website traffic or space taken up on the server. This includes an SSL certificate set up and website backup.

SSL provides security between a web server and a browser by setting up an encrypted link between the two. This protects any data being transferred while you are connected to the website.

By encrypting any data moving between your computer and the web server, you will avoid the risk of cyber criminals stealing information. Visitors to your website will view your green padlock and will have confidence that your website is secure.

We have developed our own platform and Content Management System called Extanium using PHP code. We can also build your website using WordPress which is a well-known platform. We discuss the differences between the two platform in a blog post here: https://www.crystalthought.co.uk/2020/08/14/problems-with-wordpress-websites

If you have requested access to the Content Management System, you will be able to manage most of the text content on your pages and add images. Alternatively, we can manage the site for you and make the changes you need. Please ask us for monthly management costs. Generally, if you are only making minor changes a few times a year, it is more cost-effective to ask us to do them as and when you need them.

Yes, our in-house copywriter can provide page text, articles and case studies for your website. We will ask you for information about your market sector, target customers and competitors so we can write text that will help to engage your readers and generate enquiries.

To help your pages appear high on Google's search results, we can also carry out keyword research for the content to help increase page ranking.

Yes, we have an image library which we can give you access to or we can choose images for you and buy them out on your behalf. Cost and number will depend on the website package you have chosen. If you need unique photographs, we have contacts with photographers who can arrange a photo shoot.

You can register a domain name yourself with a domain name provider. Or, we can register the domain name for you and renew it every year so you don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing it. You simply pay us an annual fee of £30 and we take care of the rest. You maintain control of the domain name because it will be registered in your name.

Yes, we will need your account address for each social media platform and if you want us to set up your page, we can do this too. Ask us for a cost for the platforms you want to use.

Once your site is launched, search engines such as Google will crawl your website to determine where it will rank on their pages. Many factors affect where your site will rank for some of your keyword search terms. Success depends on 1) how well your site has been optimised for search (Search Engine Optimisation), 2) the activity of your competitors and how well their site is optimised 3) the content on your site.

SEO is a vast subject and we have written many blog articles covering the subject. You can read our latest SEO articles here: https://www.crystalthought.co.uk/blog/category/search-engine-optimisation

Yes, we can develop an online marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your website. After detailed discussion with you, we will be able to devise an online marketing plan specifically for your business which could include:

  • Writing blog posts on your website that are then posted onto your social media pages and sent out via a regular email to your customers and prospects
  • Writing white papers, guides or case studies to generate interest
  • Creating short videos for use on your website and on your social media pages
  • Setting up a Google Ads PPC campaign
  • Carrying out search marketing analysis and optimisation (SEO)
  • Setting up, designing and sending regular emails to clients and prospects
  • Managing your social media.
  • Graphic design you can use in your online marketing.
 

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Having someone understand how a user interacts with a website AND has taken the time to understand your business is a real bonus.
Le Closier

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