Frequently Asked Questions
You've got questions, we've got answers!
How much does it cost to own a Web site?
For your Web site to exist on the Web, you need a domain name, a host, and an SSL certificate.
Domain names, such as webdesignbuild.biz, are not actually owned. They are leased. You can lease a domain name for up to 10 years at a time. Regardless of term, you must pay in advance. For annual payments, budget $20 per year per domain name.
Your Web site must have a place to live out there in the ether. These places are called "hosting plans" and are available from a wide array of vendors. WDB most often recommends GoDaddy, InfoQuest, HostGator, or Hostwinds. Budget $20 per month for hosting, $12 to $15 per month if paid annually.
SSL certificates secure a Web site by encrypting its traffic. Budget $75 per year. However, free options are available at some hosting companies, including Hostwinds and HostGator. Expect free or very economical SSL pricing at more and more hosts as time goes on.
The total for budgeting purposes: $260 per year.
While SSL certificates are getting less expensive as the Web moves towards a fully-encrypted model, domain name registrations and especially hosting plan fees are rising. We have reached the point where these companies can no longer depend on rapid expansion in volume and must instead raise prices.
Pricing updated February 10, 2018. Please consult us about current pricing.
How much does it cost to build a Web site?
WebDesignBuild.biz builds custom sites, precisely tailored to your specific needs. As such, the cost varies from client to client.
We assess your requirements in advance and issue proposals with flat fees. You'll know up front exactly how much the project will cost and, unless you ask for changes along the way, that's exactly what you will pay.
For some guidelines, please see our Pricing page.
What artwork do I need to supply?
Whatever you can. The more you can give us, the more we will have to work with and the quicker Cheri will be able to develop concepts for your site's design.
Don't worry about quality or any other issue with the art. Just give it to us. We can often use pieces that you thought had no value and sometimes we can extract something from a particular piece that works within the design.
We cannot emphasize this enough - don't hold back. Give us everything.
If I don't have a logo, can you make one?
Yes. Cheri has extensive experience with logo design and will be happy to work with you.
Logo design is not part of our package pricing but rather a separate task with its own fee.
Who owns the artwork you create for us?
Unlike many Web design companies, WDB does not hold your artwork hostage. We are happy to provide the original documents (e.g., Photoshop files) we used to build your site. For a small additional fee, we will even add a SiteCommander module that holds these files in a repository and allows you to download them at any time.
Can you provide photo albums or product portfolios?
Yes. SiteCommander supports a full range of media, including:
- Photo albums
- Product photo galleries
- Slideshows ("sliders")
- Audio (podcasts)
- YouTube videos - linked from YouTube
- Video - embedded into the site *
- Product or Services portfolios *
- Documents - Word, Excel, PDF, Text, etc. *
All the items listed are supported by all full-priced SiteCommander installations except for those marked with an asterisk, which require a modest additional fee.
Most hosting companies prohibit file sharing systems on their servers. However, as long as the users of your Web sites cannot upload files to the site, there is usually no problem.
Do you build eCommerce sites?
Yes. We can provide light eCommerce solutions based on shopping cart services from PayPal or e-junkie (recommended).
We can also build full eCommerce solutions based on Authorize.net or other payment processors. In this case the shopping cart system will be built to your specifications. We can handle time-sensitive orders, such as a fast food orders for pickup as soon as possible or at a specific time.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL is an acronym for secure sockets layer. That's geek-speak, of course. You can identify a Web site with SSL because all the Web addresses (URLs) begin with https instead of http. The "s" means secure.
To secure a site, a set of codes must be acquired and that is the SSL certificate. The certificate is installed in your hosting plan.
When a site is secured with SSL, all data sent between a visitor's browser and the site is encrypted.
SSL certificates usually involve an annual fee. Free solutions are rapidly becoming available.
Do I need an SSL certificate?
If your site is using any sort of eCommerce solution, SSL is required. Payment processing systems will not accept transactions from sites that are not secure themselves.
WebDesignBuild.biz recommends SSL certificates for all sites. If free options are available at your hosting company, we will see that your site is covered.
We believe that in the next few years SSL certificates will become the norm, not the exception. Everyone will want to secure their sites.
SSL note updated February 10, 2018.
What are your business policies?
Cheri and Will operate independently. You will receive proposals from each and you will pay each separately.
While Cheri and Will prefer to collaborate, you are free to engage them individually as you desire.
What is a "Placeholder" site?
A placeholder is a one-page Web site designed to provide a presence on the Internet, usually while a full Web site is under development. It is almost always the case that a placeholder site is replaced, but some clients have been happy to have the presence alone.
We can usually have a placeholder site up the same day you hire us.
For clients with no previous Web presence who have hired us to do a full site, the placeholder is included in the price.
What is a "Landing Page" site?
A landing page is a one-page Web site. Unlike a placeholder, it is a complete Web site, with all the content a client wants crafted into a single page. It is often used for single-product "Buy Now!" Web sites but some businesses have made it their entire Web presence.
While WebDesignBuild.biz agrees that single-page sites can be useful in a single-product marketing context, we believe that one-page Web sites work against the best interests of our clients. The tracking we employ on your sites, Google Analytics, can capture the behavior of visitors to your site and thus expose their interests and intentions. No such inferences can be drawn when there is only one page.
What are your payment terms?
Cheri and Will set their terms individually. In most cases a down payment is required at the beginning of the project, with the balance due when the project is complete.
Proposals will specify the exact terms and conditions.
Are your prices competitive?
No. We are downright cheap given what we deliver. It's almost unfair to the other guys.
Because we build self-service sites, you will be able to maintain the content of your site without further charges from us, a significant savings. If desired, site maintenance is available from Cheri on a time & materials basis.
Can you manage our content for us?
Yes. Cheri is available for content management on a time and materials basis. She is an expert with SiteCommander.
What is SiteCommander?
SiteCommander is a content management system (CMS) Will developed from scratch to meet the needs of small business Web sites and allow clients to manage their own content. We believe SiteCommander is simpler than other content managers because it is focused on data management, not layout and formatting.
All the sites Cheri & Will build together are based on SiteCommander. Please feel free to get in touch with any of the clients represented in our Portfolio, all of whom maintain their own sites with SiteCommander.
We will be happy to arrange a remote demo via Skype.
Is SiteCommander a proprietary solution?
Yes. SiteCommander is the copyrighted product of Will Fastie.
However, each client is granted a no-nonsense, perpetual license to SiteCommander that includes every bit of SiteCommander's source code. Any competent Web developer familiar with PHP and MySQL can quickly learn what is necessary to add to the system or modify it.
The license to SiteCommander travels with the domain name. In other words, if a client sells the domain name, the license to SiteCommander must be transferred as well or is voided.
Does SiteCommander require a license?
Yes. Here it is. Short, simple, no-nonsense.
A license for a single copy of the computer program SiteCommander™, a Web-based content management system operating a single Web site and its associated sub-domains and related mobile sites (collectively, "the Web Site"), is hereby granted to clientname according to the terms described herein.
SiteCommander™ may be used in perpetuity by clientname for the Web site clientdomain.com. SiteCommander™ may not be duplicated, distributed, or transferred by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the express, written consent of Will Fastie except for the purposes of backup. SiteCommander™ may not be sold or bartered, in whole or part, to any other party with the sole exception of the transfer of the Web Site and its domain, clientdomain.com, in their entirety, to another party.
SiteCommander™ may be used for other Web properties owned and controlled by clientname upon payment of a reasonable licensing fee per Web site or as part of Web site development conducted by Will Fastie.
The license to SiteCommander™ is granted in perpetuity. There is no initial or recurring fee for the SiteCommander™ license. You accept the license terms when accepting our development proposal and the license is granted upon payment for the development project.
What about backups?
When your site is completed and any time major work is done on it, a complete archive copy of the site will be made available to you at no charge. An archive contains everything, including all SiteCommander code, a database backup, and all your user files including gallery images. Archives are delivered electronically on Microsoft OneDrive and you are expected to make your own local copy.
Backups of the database can be created in SiteCommander with one click and then downloaded to your local computer, also with one click.
Backups of images loaded into galleries can be accomplished via FTP and are always present in archives.
Archives can also be prepared on a USB drive and mailed via USPS to you for a fee of $19 (international shipping slightly more). We do not keep USB drives in stock; please allow a week or more for delivery.
Can we meet with you in person?
Web sites live in the ether, without regard to geography. We will accept clients from anywhere in the United States and we are happy to explore opportunities with overseas clients.
We therefore conduct our business in a virtual fashion, without in person meetings. This keeps our overhead low, which is reflected in our low prices. Using technologies like Skype, we can easily meet face-to-face when needed.
If absolutely necessary, we will attend meetings in the Baltimore metro area.