Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I need a Web site?

I'm confused and overwhelmed. Where do I start?

Can't I just do this myself?

Why not let our IS/IT people develop our site?

Should we hire a full-time Webmaster?

What is a domain name and how do I get one?

How will people find my site?

What is hosting? Do you offer hosting? Do I need to buy/install a server?

Do you use all the latest technology?

Can I see my site while it is under development?

Will a Web site improve my bottom line?

What can a Web site do for my local business?

What is SEO?

 



Why do I need a Web site? 

 

You're looking at this page to get information. Are you at work? Are you at home? There are millions like you. The Internet can expose your organization to vast numbers of potential customers - local, national, and international, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The Web is one of the least expensive and yet most targeted, flexible, and effective forms of advertising available. Plus, many companies discover that a Web site is a more economical, faster, and efficient way to make information available to clients, customers, distributors and employees. Instead of spending large amounts of money producing newsletters, brochures, memos, product booklets, catalogs, etc., businesses are pointing people to their Web site where they can quickly add and change information.

 

Five Reasons to build a Web site:

  • Your competitors are beating you to it 
  • Your customers are asking for it 
  • You want to increase sales 
  • You need to lose some overhead 
  • You want to increase communications

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I'm confused and overwhelmed. Where do I start?

We will guide you through the entire process. Whether you're a startup looking to create your first online presence or an established organization looking for ways to harness the growing functionality of the Internet, ePaiges Design offers a full range of Web development maintenance and hosting services that can help grow your business. Here is what you can do.

 

Step One - Choose your domain then contact us and we will register the domain for you.

 

Step Two - Think about what you want to accomplish with your site. Do you want to reach new customers? Do you want to service existing customers? Do you want to service internal users? Think about the Who, What, Where, How and Why for your organization. What information is most frequently requested from your organization? What content do you want to provide in a cost-effective manner e.g. specials, news/events, new products, etc? 

 

Step Three - Gather any/all materials that you think might be relevant: logos, pictures, graphics, text, brochures, your scribbles/doodles, etc. More is better.

 

Step Four - Research other sites. Start with sites in your field but also consider sites that you have really liked/disliked for any particular reason. Look for content and features you like as well as designs/layouts.

 

Step Five - Contact us for a free quote or consultation.

  

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What is a domain name and how do I get one?

  

Our domain name is www.epaiges.com ... we can register a unique domain name for your site. Because domain names are vanishing at a rapid rate, we recommend that this be your first step. 

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Can't I just do this myself?

Yes, software is available. However, for most people, the learning curve is steep and the results often do not meet expectations. At the end of the day, you want a site that is fully functional and professional in appearance. When you value your time and compare it to our cost-effective, experienced solutions, you will find that we nearly always offer the better value.

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Why not let our Information Systems (IS)/Information Technology (IT) people develop our site?

Many IS/IT departments are fully capable of developing Web sites, however, many prefer to hire an outside firm for initial site development or site redesign.

 

The reasons are many: time/budget constraints, lack of artistic ability, benefits of having an "outsider" view the site and process as if a potential customer, benefits of having an "outsider" guide the process with competing departments and interests
(e.g. my stuff is more important than their stuff).

 

If you use an outside firm to develop your site, your IT staff should be an integral part of the development process. Their suggestions and input may be critical and their commitment to the project and ongoing maintenance are improved if they are involved upfront.

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Should we hire a full-time Webmaster to maintain our website?

If you have a huge site that needs constant maintenance, yes, you should hire a full-time "Webmaster". However, we believe the term "Webmaster" is really outdated because the field is growing so fast and in so many directions that no one person can "master" it.

 

Unless you have a very simple site, you will need a person with a large set of skills that must be constantly updated.

 

Most companies are finding it very difficult to recruit and keep high-tech workers. Salaries are high. Many companies are offering salary bonuses of 10 percent to 25 percent to new hires and "retention allowances" or training money to workers with critical IT skills.

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How will people find my site?

Internet surfers will generally find your site in three ways

  1. Using a search engine/directory service such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

  2. Finding you through links or banner ads from other sites

  3. Seeing your web address in conventional marketing/advertising materials developed by you

Your Web address should be included in every piece of paper that leaves your organization and every conventional advertising campaign you launch. We will help you with all three approaches, as our goal is not just to design your site but to make it successful. Through experience, we know what works and what doesn't work.


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What is hosting? Do you offer hosting? Do I need to buy/install a server?

The host is the computer or server that "houses" your Web site. It could be in your back office, at an Internet Service Provider in your town, or it could be hosted in another city. Physical location is not important but the reliability, capabilities and support of the hosting company are very important.

 

For the vast majority of sites, bandwidth and storage are far less important than features, support & reliability. You want your site to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you want a host that will meet your current and growing needs.

 

In our humble but experienced opinion, unless you have a dedicated IT staff that is capable of handling the demands of hosting and server maintenance, it is better to go with a company that specializes in hosting.

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Do you use all the latest technology?

Yes, and we can provide all the latest technology for your site! However, we often choose not to use all the "bells and whistles".

 

The key to success for your site is ease of use, speed of access, and content! Because of varying computer and browser capabilities, not every feature can be accessed by everyone. For that reason, we generally implement new technology only after it has been in the public domain for a while.

 

We specialize in cross-platform sites that just about anyone can use. Also, complex graphics can be painfully slow to download for the average user. We generally design for the middle ground. Our goal is for your site to be seen and used by the largest number of people!

 

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Can I see my site while it is under development?

Yes, we create a special private section on our test server just for your site.

 

At various steps in the process, we will show you the current version of your site (at a special web address like www.epaiges.com/YourSite) and ask for your comments and feedback. For example, most projects start with the front page design. We will design test layouts for your review and feedback. Once you have approved this stage of the project, we will proceed to develop the "inside" of your site.

 

All stages are a collaboration between you and our team. No surprises ... your site does not "go live" until you have approved it.

 

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How much do you charge?

We price jobs either on a project basis or by an hourly rate (see Pricing Guide).
Each project is different and some sites are more involved than others. For example, browse our portfolio to see the wide range of web sites that we have developed.

 

After an initial free consultation we will provide you with an estimate of the cost to develop your site. Then we will work with you to develop your site within that budget.

 

One way to reduce the cost of your site is to provide text (and graphics such as logos or pictures) in digital format.

  

What is SEO?

 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.

 

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