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- If I choose to have you design my website, do I have to host the site with you?
No, provided your web host meets the minimum requirements for your website’s features (e.g., you may need to be able to modify
.htaccessfiles or have access to a database).
- How many pages may I have on my website?
- There is no practical limit to the number of pages you may have on your site. We do define storage limitations based on your web package, if you host with us. For instance, if you contract for a basic hosting package, we provide you with 100MB of disk space on our server. As long as you do not exceed that limit, you may add as many pages as you like.
- Does my website come with emails?
If you choose to host with us, we will provide free email accounts for the primary domain name associated with your site. The number of free email acccounts depends on which package you purchase. Email service includes:
- Mailbox service (500MB storage per mailbox)
- Forwarding & aliases
- POP, SMTP & IMAP (allows you to use a mail client, e.g., Microsoft® Outlook, to send & receive mail)
- Virus checker & spam control
- Do you offer discounts?
- We offer quantity and prepayment discounts.
- I hired a web company to host my website; they went out of business and I lost my website. How do I know that won’t happen with you?
- We prepay annual hosting costs to our ISP at the beginning of every fiscal year. If we ever dissolve our business, we will notify you in plenty of time to make arrangements to host elsewhere.
- How long will it take to complete my site?
The length of time it takes us to complete a site depends on a number of factors.
- How complicated is the site?
- How large is the site?
- What are the site’s goals?
- Do you already have an existing site, company logo or colors, or other material we can base our design on?
You can help keep your project’s deadlines on track by promptly supplying all requested materials, e.g., pictures, product brochures, and website copy (text).
Bottom line: some sites can be built in a week. Other sites may take months.
- I don’t like the design you created; will you change it?
- Yes, within reasonable limits. Whether we are designing a logo or a website for you, your design package includes a specific number of revisions. If you require revisions beyond that, we will charge a revision fee in addition to your contracted fee.
- You made a bunch of revisions at my request, but I still don’t like the design. Do I get a refund?
Before we start designing, we work with the customer to determine what they want in the design. Only when we understand the customer’s needs do we create and submit a design.
Any agreement to produce work for you is made with the understanding that you agree to pay us for our work; you are free to accept or reject it, but you must pay for it. As noted in the previous answer, you can choose to pay for revisions beyond the contracted number.
The best way to avoid additional revision fees is to have a clear idea of what you want, and communicate it clearly to us. We, in turn, will do our best to understand your needs and to deliver. If a particular design feature is ill-advised for either technical or functional reasons, we will explain it to you in clear, jargon-free language.
- What is ‘scope of work’?
Scope of work is defined in your contract with us; it is the description of what you and we agree that our company will do for you under the contract. Defining scope of work in the contract helps prevent any unwarranted expectations from either us or you.
Work done outside the scope of work will incur additional fees.
- Will I get website traffic reports?
We include free Google Analytics website traffic reports. In order to access your report, you must have a valid GMail address.
Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features now let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. With Google Analytics, you’re more prepared to write better-targeted ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites.
- Do I Own the Rights to Work You Create for Me?
That depends on your specific agreement with us, but in general, you own full rights only to the material you provide to us.
What You Do Own
You own all materials you provide to us for use on the site, such as
- Text (copy)
If you provide us with an existing logo and we do not have to modify it for use on your site, you retain the rights to the logo. You certify at the time you submit materials to us that you are the legal owner of those items.
In case of logo designs, we usually release IP rights to the client as part of the contract. As with our other work, we retain the right to feature logos created for clients in our promotional materials, such as our portfolio.
What You Don’t Own
Our standard contract does not release the rights to any work we produce, apart from a non-expiring, non-exclusive right to use the work. In other words, it’s like when you buy software: you purchase a license to use it, but we own it. Unless your contract with us specifically gives you intellectual property (IP) rights to a portion of your website, your rights are limited. Limitations include:
- You may not sell, barter or exhange our design or code without permission
- You may not create derivative works for resale
- You must retain, and may not modify, any and all copyright notices found in the
<head>portion of the html document
While developing a design for you, we may submit intermediate ‘comps’ (design samples) for your approval or comment. We retain all rights to these comps, including the right to create future work dervived from them.
Your website may utilize third-party assets, such as open-source code. The IP rights to these assets are independent of our contract with you.
- Does My Website Come with After-Sales Suppport?
- We’ll continue to make minor tweaks or amendments at your request, free of charge, for one month after completion of the project, or as otherwise specified in your contract. If you need changes after that, you can hire us to perform maintenance on the site. We are available for technical support during office hours.
Working with Us
- What Is Web Hosting?
- Web hosting is a service that makes your site accessible on the internet. A copy of your website is placed on a high-end computer called a webserver. Various other arrangements, including DNS and domain name registration may also needed to make your website available. Database access, mail service and scripting might also be provided. Hosting companies, including Messenger Web Design, charge a monthly or annual fee for hosting.
- What Is Content Maintenance?
Content maintenance is the regular updating of your site’s content (as opposed to updating the site design or structure). Unless you keep your site’s content up to date, you may find fewer and fewer people visiting it over time.
We provide optional content maintenance for a fee. You can reserve a certain number of hours of maintenance each month in advance, or you can contact us when you need an update, and we will invoice you when we finish.
- What Is a Domain Name, and Why Do I Need One?
A domain name is your website’s address. Domain names must be registered by a central authority, ICANN, or one of their authorized agents, e.g., Godaddy or Network Solutions. Without a registered domain name, there is no way for your website to be displayed.
You can have more than one domain name for your website:
- You might be in a competetive market, and wish to prevent your competitors from registering a similar address to yours
- You might produce widgets and thingamabobs, and wish to register widgets.com and thingamabobs.com
- You might want to register a name that is a possible misspelling of your business name, in case someone ‘typos’ the address
If you register more than one name, we will configure the nameserver (a sort of ‘post office’ for websites) to direct requests for all names to your site.
- What is a “Static” Website?
On a static site, no pages are ever added and the site content does not change. These sites do not offer a compelling value, and they also tend to rank low in search engine results.
Users expect websites to be more than just a high-tech billboard. While the primary goal for most visitors is research, commerce, or entertainment, today’s users expect:
- Interactivity / 2-way communication
- Ability to leave comments
- Fresh, relevant content
- Blogs / newsletters
- Essays & informative articles
- Up-to-date information (you shouldn’t have a page featuring a service you no longer offer)
- Events postings / calendars
- Functional e-commerce
- A working shopping cart
- Easy product search & navigation
- Secure, painless checkout with credit card processing
Our content management system makes it easy for you to maintain up-to-date content.
- Interactivity / 2-way communication
- What Is “Conversion”?
Conversion is the when you set a specific goal on a page, for the purpose of meeting an objective. A successful conversion occurs when a site visitor performs the desired action after visiting the page.
For example, when you create a page with a volunteer signup form, the goal is to get visitors to fill it out and submit it. Using Google Analytics or other website analysis tools allows you to track how many people submit the form.
- What Is Website Architecture?
Website architecture is an approach to the design and planning of websites involving various criteria, including:
Website architecture’s primary emphasis is on the user and on user requirements. A strong knowledge of information architecture is paramount to successful website architecture.
- What is UX? What is UI?
In web terms, user experience (UX) is the human-focused discipline of designing solutions for user needs. UX designers typically employ research and design to arrive at solutions.
User interface (UI) design is more technically-focused, bridging the user emphasis of the UX designer with the technical (coding, hardware, applications) emphasis of a back-end (application) developer.
This essay describes the differences pretty well. Geek bonus: a neat-o Venn diagram!
- What’s the Logo Design Process?
- We go through a multi-step process to design your perfect logo. You can read this detailed breakdown on what to expect.
- What Do I Get with My Logo Package?
We furnish the final logo in the industry-standard Adobe Illustrator® format. You’ll receive a layered file containing at least 3 versions of the logo:
- Monochrome (Black + White)
- CMYK + RGB (Full Color for Print & Web)
Other layers may include variations featuring the logotype-only (text-version) and graphic-only versions of the design. The Illustrator file is fully scalable — usable for everything from business cards to embroidery to billboards.
We generally employ Pantone® colors to ensure consistency in all print media, so you may also receive documentation listing the colors in your logo.
We’ll also provide files for in-house use: PNG, PDF, JPEG, or GIF.
- My Website Looks Strange on My Home Computer, but It’s OK at Work. And What’s That Message about an Obsolete Browser mean?
No website looks exactly the same on every device screen. Displays come in different sizes, they may not be color-calibrated, and the operating system may not be the same from machine to machine.
Beyond the multitude of devices and operating systems, there are currently at least 5 popular web browsers:
- Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox
- Apple Safari
- Google Chrome
Each of these browsers interprets web pages slightly differently; a lot of our time is devoted to “smoothing out” the differences among them. Internet Explorer is notorious in our industry for not displaying pages according to published Web Standards, although they are improving.
As each new generation of browsers is released, the number of people using the older versions eventually gets too small to make it economically feasible for either us or our clients to continue supporting older versions. Costs include:
- Extra development time for backward compatibility
- Increased security risks
- Poor performance of advanced features, and
- A high risk that the site will “break” in the future
Therefore, we no longer support older browsers. If you are using an out-of-date browser, you will see an automatic notice directing you to upgrade. Visitors are not required to do so, but we highly recommend they upgrade.
- What Kind of Image Files Should I Provide You for My Website?
We can work with the following image formats:
- JPEG (a.k.a. .jpg)
- Adobe Photoshop® .psd
- Adobe Illustrator® .ai
- RAW Image Format including DNG (support depends on camera model; file suffix varies based on manufacturer)
- BMP (a.k.a. DIB)
Clients are advised to provide images in the highest resolution available. 1st generation originals are preferred; later generation copies of lossy file formats (i.e., JPEG) can suffer considerable quality loss.
If you decide to provide original photographs, and your camera supports it, you should adjust your settings to use RAW instead of JPEG. Please contact us prior to using the RAW camera format so we can confirm support for your camera model.
When furnishing an existing logo, please provide the logo in a vector format such as Adobe Illustrator or Encapsulated Postscript File (.eps).
- Which Text File Formats Can You Work With?
Please provide text files without formatting if possible. Headings, bold text, colors or other formatting have to be stripped out and reformatted for the Web, potentially increasing production time and delaying project completion. We can work with the standard Microsoft® Office files, as well as a number of other cross-platform file formats.
- Plain text files (e.g., Notepad, Notepad++)
- Formatted text files (Wordpad, Word)
- Spreadsheets (Excel)
- Adobe PDFs
- OpenOffice files
Files may be compressed in any standard archive format:
We can also work with non-digital files, but at an additional transcription cost.
- I Don't Like the Webmail Portal. Can I Set Up a Mail Client on my Device?
Frankly, we aren’t big fans of webmail, either. Use these settings to configure Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or any other mail client:
- Username — Your email address
- Hostname — mail.b.hostedemail.com
- IMAP Port — 993
- SMTP Port — 465
- Authentication — Password
- Encryption — SSL