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Frequently Asked Questions

I hope this page answers your questions. I add to it when someone asks a new question, but I also welcome your email questions so do get in touch!

Do I need to set up my own hosting and register my own domain?

What is a good choice of domain name?

What do I need to know to get get my existing site updated?

Can I do my own email newsletters?

I don't know how to register a domain name...

If I have more updates can you do them for me?

I already have a website; how much do you charge for updating it?

I want a website but I'm not sure about your templates...

i have my own ideas for a design...can you build it for me?

What is the best screen size to design for?

How much is an extra page or two?

I produce a lot of new pieces each month; how can I get all of them on my site?

I'd like to be able to sell from my new website...what's involved?

I don't have a credit card merchant account or a card terminal; can I still sell online?

How long does it take to make a new site?

Is it possible to get a new site for less than £100?

Do I need to submit my site to search engines?

Can you help me with search marketing?

Can I have an email address to go with my new site?

I have pieces listed on a gallery website - is it necessary to have my own website?

Do I need to have professional photos taken of my work?

 

Do I need to set up my own hosting and register my own domain?

In a word, no. However, I recommend that you do if possible, because you will then always have control of your website. I can happily register for you, and complete the admin and hand you control, if preferred. I've never been comfortable with the idea that you can't make your own changes, or ask someone else to work with you so I suggest I do the technical stuff on your behalf. Contact me to discuss how we can do this! My aim is to remove the need for technical knowledge.

What is a good choice of domain name?

Your domain name is like the name for your business. It needs to be relevant, memorable, descriptive of what you do, and unlike other domains in related areas of art or craft work.
I suggest it incorporates your name and what you do, if possible. I can help you with the research, and the registering to handle the technical stuff. It's much easier than some might think and it's quite fun to get a web identity all of your own for the first time!

What do I need to know to get get my existing site updated?

Firstly you'll need to get the log-in and access details for your site:

  • FTP address
  • log-in
  • password
  • folder location of your site (if on a shared server)- not always necessary

The person who built your site or registered your domain can supply these details. Alternatively, if the domain is registered to you but the hosting details (where the site is held in cyberspace) are not known, we can usually find this out.
If I register and set up your domain and hosting I will automatically send you this info for your peace of mind in the future.
Once we have these details we can discuss what you'd like done.
I can provide a complimentary review of your existing site to get you thinking!

Can I do my own email newsletters?

Of course! Regardless of whether you choose a package that includes newsletters and updates, you can always produce your own emails. I offer this service because it uses skills similar to website building, and because it's quite time consuming for most people. You may prefer to concentrate on your art or craft! We can discuss the anti-spam rules and establish a realistic frequency for mailings.

I don't know how to register a domain name...

OK, it's actually easier then you might think. And if you choose a hosting & domain package together, you won't have to do any technical work at all. And you'll have total control of who can update your website. I can talk you through the process, and recommend suitable hosting / domain name suppliers. If you want to have a look at what's involved, visit Simply Names' website. Hosting and domain name packages are available from about £50 / year, which is pretty modest for your own online identity!

f I have more updates can you do them for me?

Of course. we can work out a package that gives you a regular update calendar, or we can arrange updates on an ad-hoc basis. Please bear in mind that I can charge less for scheduled updates becaus I can plan the work better.

I already have a website, how much do you charge for updating it?

The charge for updates to an existing site depends on how the site is built, and how significant the updates are. I can quote you once you supply the site access details (see here...) and I can look at the way the site works. My aim is to make the charge low enough to encourage you to keep the site living and fresh.

I want a website but I'm not sure about your templates...

Not a problem; the templates help me build your website quickly, and create a consistent look for each page, while following the informal rules of web usability.
If you want to explore a different style, that's fine; we can discuss what you want & agree a price. Remember that using a colour set of your choice and including your own images and/or logo can make a huge difference to the way the page designs look.

I have my own ideas for a site design...can you build it for me?

Of course - I'd be happy to. Show me your ideas and we can agree a price once we've worked how many pages you'll need, what sort of interactivity (forms, online selling etc) are needed.

What is the best screen size to design for?

The assumption these days is that just about everyone with a computer has a screen of at least 1024x768 pixels (XGA resolution), which is the resolution associated with a 15" LCD monitor or a 17" CRT monitor. There are very few people using older smaller screens than this. At some point, within a year, this default will probably become the next size up to account for the increasing spread of 17" LCD monitors and widescreen laptops.
The template designs on this site fit comfortably on an XGA screen, without wasting too much 'real esate' on white space at the margins.

How much is an extra page or two?

I generally charge around £80 per extra page, which means that the cost for a package is a little less than for pages added piecemeal. However, I want to encourage you to think of ways to develop your online presence, so if you need several extra pages at one time, I will offer you a package price for the work. The costs are explained in full on the 'Your Site' page.

I produce a lot of new pieces each month; how can I get all of them on my site?

If we know in advance that you're a prolific creator we will make sure the page designs and the update cycle can expand to suit. If you need to regularly add more than, say, 10 pieces a month, I'll propose a content management system that you can use yourself.

I'd like to be able to sell from my new website...what's involved?

In order to sell from your website, we'll need to do three (not very complicated) things:

  1. Add a shopping cart (low cost, or free via PayPal) facility and some extra code for each product that sends the details of the product or piece to the cart
  2. Set up a PayPal Website Payments account (and a PayPal Business account) to receive the credit card details via the checkout
  3. Configure the cart to send the details in the correct format to PayPal

I will manage all these processes for you, once you have a PayPal account. No charges are iinvolved in setting this account up...the fees are levied on payments received and are only slightly higher than if you use a merchant account, without the need for a business bank accont and the annual charge etc. The cost for my work is shown on the 'Your Site' page. Changes to prices etc are easy to make and can be included in the monthly update cycle.

I don't have a credit card merchant account or a card terminal; can I still sell online?

Yes. PayPal makes the whole process fairly simple, you'll be pleased to hear. In fact the PayPal process (above) is made for small businesses like ours and doesn't impose any recurring fees. If you want to accept credit card fees at exhibitions you'll need a terminal, or one of the other mobile services available now.

How long does it take to make a new site?

This depends on how many pages, how much image manipulation work is required, how many tweaks and alterations are neded and so on. I usually hope to finish your site within a week or two of receiving your go-ahead, subject to getting your images and content ideas of course.

Is it possible to get a website for less than £100?

Well, probably it is, from someone who will just build you a page or two. Watch for update fees though - most of the website design companies with very low introductory charges make up the slack in update costs. They will also impose limitations of content and style to keep costs at that level.
I value my time and skill a little higher, but I also want to encourage you to keep your site up to date and fresh, which is why I set my update prices at a moderate level.

Do I need to submit my site to search engines?

I will do this for you when your site goes live and I'll monitor your site statistics to ensure it fares as well as possible in the search engines. I can give you access to site stats too, of course. If you arrange your own hosting this will be done via a control panel set up by your hosting company. It can take some months to get a listing in most search engines. Beware of services which 'promise' to achieve top rankings immediately. These services use 'unethical' methods which can result in search engines penalising you badly, or blacklisting your site altogether.

Can you help me with search engine marketing?

Indeed! This is a subject a little beyond the scope of an FAQ page, but I can certainly work with you to draw up a plan to raise your profile further. An important point to make is that all the promotional things you do can be linked up with your website to maximise impact. We'll discuss this when we first get started on building your site.

Can I have an email address to go with my site?

Yes - if you have a domain & hosting package already, or if I set one up for you, I can arrange for an email account so you can use a professional-looking (and memorable) email address. You should be able to set up an account within Windows Outlook so you can send emails from this address too.

I have pieces listed on a gallery website - is it necessary to have my own website?

Absolutely! On a gallery, you're in direct competition with all the other artists and craft makers on the site. It's also difficult to make a gallery mini-site look like it belongs to you, and there's usually no option of showing how you work - a vital part of the sales process. Furthermore, when it comes to publicising your events, or expanding your work, or running your own marketing activities, it's difficult to use a mini-site to measure your success. Having your own site also looks much more professional. I suggest a combination of your own site and a selection of paid-for gallery sites if you want to explore this route.

Furthermore, if you work on commissions a lot, the options for promoting this on a gallery site are usually limited. On your own site you have the scope to explore the process, sell your expertise, show past works, and use the credibility-power of happy previous customers!

And remember - you'll have your own showcase, your own memorable domain name and the ability to sell online without paying a commission to anyone else! A site of your own is the simplest way to boost your presence and engage with potential art lovers.

Do I need to have professional photos taken of my work?

Not necessarily professional - but a certain standard is essential. You want your work to look good online (and so do I!) so poor photos, or poor lighting, or lack of pixel resolution need to be avoided. I can advise if I think your photos are suitable before we start.

And now I offer a product photography service, at a much lower rate than a pro. I have a set-up designed specifically for art and craft items, with neutral backdrop, lighting and a camera of the right level of quality to get us good shots suitable for promo work and your new website. Get in touch to find out more, or visit this page.

 

 
     

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