Frequently Asked Questions
How much do you charge?
The cost depends on the amount of work I have to do. This does not necessarily equate with the number of pages. The bulk of the labour is the original page design, which will probably be the same for a single or multiple pages. If I have to provide all the content (text, images etc) this will inevitably mean more work for me and greater cost for you. Let me know your requirements and I will provide a quotation. I would anticipate the cost for a straightforward, static site, to be between £100 and £250 pounds.
What is a "static" site?
A static site is one with fixed content, as opposed to an interactive website, or one with user-generated content. Interactive web pages require complex scripts which unfortunately I cannot offer at the moment.
Do you include a contact form in your web sites?
Yes, I provide a contact form, which is the safest way of enabling users to reach you. As a general rule you should never provide a direct link to your email address on a web page, as this can be harvested by spammers.
Do you offer a shopping cart?
I design simple sites, not Amazon! However if you have just a few items you would like to sell online and a standard PayPal business account I'm more than happy to include PayPal buttons. These send your visitors directly to the PayPal site which handles the transaction on your behalf.
Do you provide web hosting?
No, but I'm happy to give help and advice on selecting a suitable web host, and also on registering a domain name.
Can I use a free host?
Yes, you can use a free host, provided you understand the limitations and possible risks. Many "free" hosting packages come at a cost, such as forced adverts on your pages, or limits on the size and file types allowed. Most do not allow scripts such as php, and there is generally an inactivity limit (if no one visits your pages for a while, say a month, they delete the site). The biggest risk with free hosting is the possiblity (some would say inevitable) that it will one day close, taking your website with it. As a general rule, the more enticing the "free" deal, (Unlimited size! Unlimited bandwidth!) the greater the chance of it disappearing overnight. If you decide to go with a free host then buy your own domain name (yourname.co.uk) and keep a backup of your site offline. You can move the content elsewhere, and still be found.
What is HTML?
HTML stands for Hypertext Transfer Markup Language, which is the code used for writing websites. Click on the "View - source" tab in your browser's menu bar to see the HTML of this page.
What is CSS?
Short for Cascading Style Sheets. This is simple text which defines a web page's style (eg font sizes, colours, page layout) and separates this from the content. Older web pages were written in pure HTML which included all the style attributes within the code. This made the code bloated and difficult to read and edit, often inaccessible to disabled people who rely on screen readers. Putting all the style attributes in a separate file, or as text in the head of the page, greatly simplifies the main content of websites. Pages load quicker and can be read easily at source. Global changes to the site's appearance can be achieved relatively quickly by changing a single css file or a few lines of text.
The best way of being found in Google and the other major search engines (Yahoo and Microsoft) is to write interesting content using good, clean code. Links to your pages from other websites can also help. There is a multi-million pound industry known as Search Engine Optimization, where paid consultants claim to be able to improve your search engine rankings by adjusting your pages' code to include lots of "keywords" that will show up in searches, and by purchasing links from other sites. While some SEO techniques are perfectly legitimate, there are many irresponsible practices such as keyword stuffing, using hidden text, and associating with link farms (basically a form of spamming) which will sooner or later get you banned by the search engines. There is no need to submit your website to Google - its own robots which "crawl" the internet will sooner or later find you of their own accord.