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Choosing the right web development agency.

Choosing the right web design agency for you can be a very daunting task, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider, such as; location, cost, skill set, ease of communication and experience to name a few. Here are a few questions that we have been asked, and may help in your decision process. We have grouped them together as best as we can for you.

Do I need to buy my own domain name?

If you want to. However, if you would rather we handled this then that is absolutely fine. Either way, a domain name is needed for your website.

What is web hosting?

Every website needs a good, stable, reliable host, where all your website files are safely stored. A host is what lets people access your site and the information within it. We can recommend an excellent website hosting company, a company we trust with our own site and our clients websites. Host your site via us and you’ll enjoy reliable, professional, secure service 24/7/365. Which means you can sit back, relax and focus on growing your business.

How long will it take to build my website?

How long is a piece of string? Some websites can take hundreds of hours to design and build with multiple rounds of revision, carefully planned stages and months of research; whilst others can be developed and signed off within a week! Every site is unique; every client is unique, and every business has its own unique requirements.

Typically our smaller website projects take from 6 to 8 weeks to complete and more complex projects such as eCommerce or membership websites take from 8 to 16+ weeks.

It depends on the functionality and detail of design required, and whether you supply the content or you need us to create it for you. When we have a detailed specification from you we can then provide a more detailed, and accurate time scale.

How much does a website cost?

The costs involved in creating a new website depend on exactly what you need, how many pages, the content on those pages, the functionality required, all sorts of things. We’ll sit down with you and discuss the project in great detail, finding out everything we need to know before providing a fair, accurate and sensible quote for your project. No two websites are the same, and the costing process reflects that.

Are there any on-going costs?

If you host your website with us, then there are hosting charges. We do recommend you opt-in to our cost-effective WordPress maintenance and support plans for piece-of-mind. Also, if you would like us to continue to improve your search engine positions – then on-going search engine optimisation is a paid service that we can provide. Other than that, we always make extra charges (if there are any) absolutely clear up front, so you know exactly where you stand before entering in to any agreements with us.

Do you just work locally?

Absolutely not! It doesn’t matter where in the world you are based. In today’s thriving high tech communication laden world, we can harness the considerable power of applications such as Skype and InVision to aid in communication and help deliver our services. We have previously worked for clients in Dubai, France and Ireland. So, wherever you are based, you can rest assured that we can offer our professional service and reliable communications.

Do you just work with big brands?

We work with everyone from small startups, established local businesses, schools, charities, local authorities, nationwide companies, international brands and even other web design agencies. We bring the same set of skills to each project and deliver the same level of dedication and professionalism.

Do you work with other design agencies?

Yes! In fact, around 50% of our work comes through other web design and graphic design agencies in and around Sussex. We’re happy to act as a White label company, and equally happy to attend client meetings and sit in with your team throughout the project. See our agency partnerships page for more information.

Do you take on half finished projects?

Unfortunately, this is not something that we do. More often than not, it is much more time consuming to work with somebody else’s half finished project than it is to start from scratch as we would have to, first, review what has been done, delve in to the code and try and make sense of what has, and hasn’t, been done.

Do you offer on-going help and support?

Occasionally, a client is happy to take their site and run, assuming full responsibility for ongoing website updates, security patches, content amends and so on. However, most people prefer (it is actually a common practice these days) to sign up to one of our great value WordPress support plans, designed to keep their website in a healthy state and free from the pitfalls of running outdated frameworks and plugins. It is entirely up to you, depending on your requirements, experience, expertise and skills. If you’d like to know more, then take a look at our WordPress support plan page.

Can you get my website to the top of Google?

Establishing a page one position in Google is extremely difficult, for competitive keywords at least. Not so long ago it was relatively easy to achieve, but these days it is a lot more challenging, and getting it wrong can affect your reputation and have an adverse effect on your business. The only guaranteed route to a page one position is through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. If anyone tells you that they can easily get you on page one of Google through organic SEO, then run away! They are either lying, or may use some ‘Black hat’ method, which may see your website penalised long-term. Having said that, we know exactly what to do to maximise your chances and we have many years SEO expertise to give you the best possible chance.

Are you able to write the content for my site?

Yes. We can arrange for one of our trusted partners to create and provide original, relevant SEO-friendly content for your website, blog and online marketing materials. We can also have them write copy for printed publications like leaflets, brochures, flyers, magazines and catalogues.

Do you offer help with social media?

Social media marketing is about much more than simply Tweeting and Sharing content. There needs to be a strategy in place, one that is carefully planned and well executed. We’ll explore the potential together, figure out achievable goals and make a plan to achieve these with you. Visit our social media marketing page for more details.

Who owns the copyright to my website?

Once you have paid for your website in full, it is yours. Whilst we may reuse snippets of code, or backend functionality on other websites, the finished website as a whole is yours. You can move to another service provider if you wish and we will never make a fuss.

Why do you put your name on my website?

Why do Ford put their name on all their cars? Why do Apple stamp their brand on all of their products? We are proud of what we do and want people to know that! That is why we place a small, non-intrusive link back to our website in the footer of all our clients websites. Whilst this has never been a problem, we are happy to discuss the possibility of removing this if you wish.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an online, open-source (free to use) website creation tool written in PHP. In non-geek speak, it’s probably the most powerful blogging and website content management system (CMS) in existence today, and is certainly the most popular.

It provides all the flexibility and functionality we (and you) need without having to resort to raw code for a large proportion of the build. We absolutely love it, as do millions of business owners. The back end is beautifully simple and intuitive. As well as creating bespoke designs and layouts, you get thousands of stunning ready-made themes to choose from if you are after something really quick and simple. We can use it to create any kind of online presence you want, from a basic brochure website to an all-singing, all-dancing forum or a complex eCommerce website selling thousands of products.

If WordPress is free, why are you charging me for it?

We’re not. WordPress is free to use as a framework. We charge you for the design and development services we provide to turn that framework in to a fully functioning website, but once your site is finished, you don’t have to pay any ongoing costs for using the platform itself.

Do you work with any other Content Management Systems?

No. We are a dedicated WordPress development agency and will only work with that framework. We are happy to work with flat HTML and/or PHP on simple, non-database driven websites as well.

My website looks different on some devices and browsers, why is this?

Your website visitors might see some things differently depending on their browser, screen resolution setting and their individual computer settings and toolbars. We design mobile friendly websites that are responsive or adaptive, meaning they will adapt to fit the current device or browser to offer the best usability. This is common practice and, from April 21 2015, Google has actually started giving preference to mobile friendly websites.

We take all reasonable steps to ensure your website will be fully functional in the latest web browsers and on the latest devices, as well as making sure older devices and browsers (up to a point) can display it properly.

Do you handle all the work in-house?

Whilst we aim to complete each project in-house, during busy periods or in cases of specifically difficult projects, we may enlist the help from one of our trusted freelancers.

We never outsource work to people we do not know and certainly not outside of the UK.

Do I need to supply anything?

Initially, we will take a detailed brief from you which will require information such as your brand guidelines (if you have them), functionality requirements, design likes/dislikes, your products/services, competitor websites, your target market and technical information such as hosting details. If you are supplying your own images and copy we will need that too, otherwise we will discuss additional costings for such items.

What are your payment terms?

We require a deposit, or initial stage payment as we prefer to call it, of 30% upon contract signing and before we start any work, then an additional 50% once we have an approved BETA version of your website on our staging server. A final 20% is required when your website is put live.

Can I edit the website myself? If not what do you charge for updates and changes?

Yes. You will be given a login to your website when it is finished, we will also give you training (depending upon budget this may simply be a small ‘how to’ guide, or for larger budgets we may be able to factor in a physical training session) on how to use the dashboard so it is easy to understand for you. If you’d like us to make future changes these are billed at our hourly rate, with a minimum 1 hour time-slot. Alternatively, you could take one of our WordPress support packages and have a guaranteed amount of time set aside for you each month.

Do you provide any website guarantee or warranty?

Yes. We provide a basic 30 days support which includes bug fixes and technical support (additional/extra feature or design requests are not included). After this period we offer a comprehensive website maintenance plan which will include regular website updates and back-ups. These updates protect your website from potential threats that may compromise your website.

Can you set up my social media accounts?

Yes. Initially we would check what social media account names are available across relevant social platforms, and advise you if yours are taken and help with alternatives. From here we can configure social media accounts and provide you with login details. Then, using your brand assets we can supply and implement an appropriately sized profile image and cover photo for each social platform. And ensure that each platform houses the correct business information and business bio.

What if I already have social media accounts?

That is absolutely fine. We can review them for you to ensure they are set up effectively. Then we can make recommendations to improve your overall social media performance. This may include evaluating what you are posting and opportunities you may be missing such as paid ads and targeted posts.

Do I need to supply anything?

Before we start, we will ask you for some information such as the nature of your business, social media marketing objectives, brand guidelines (if you have them), brand assets (logo, colours, fonts etc), budget and general information such as your target market, geographical, or local, targeting and so on. We want to be sure we reach your (correct) audience at the right time and in the right place so the more insight you can provide us with the better.

How much does social media set-up and monthly management cost?

We charge a one off set-up fee to research and configure your social media accounts. Then each month we charge a monthly management fee which covers the cost of us making regular posts and engaging with your followers. Please see our social media marketing page for more details.

Do you offer social media PPC advertising?

Yes, we do! The costs involved with this can vary, and include the initial one off set-up fee, our monthly management and the cost per click (CPC) to the social platform i.e. Facebook or Twitter. The monthly management fee covers the cost to test and refine the campaign for maximum ROI, ensuring that best practices are implemented throughout.

Can you improve our reach and engagement on social media?

Yes. We know the best practices that will get your messages through to relevant audiences. A social media audit will identify any area for improvement. We may look at the quality and type of content that you are sharing or pay per click ads that increase your reach.

Should my company have a presence on all popular social media platforms?

We would advise that you only utilise the social media platforms that offer genuine opportunity and growth for your business and not use them simply because everyone else does. There is nothing worse than a social media account that looks like it hasn’t been posted on for a long time.

Can we get involved with posting content too?

Yes. While we bring a wealth of experience, expertise and tactics that will get you results, it is true to say you know your business. There will be times when you want to post in the moment about something that will be of interest to your audience. We believe you should have the freedom to do that.

Should I use social media as a form of customer service?

Yes. Social media is a golden opportunity to intercept an unhappy customer and put things right. Handling a complaint promptly and efficiently will show that you care as a business and ensure that your customer goes away feeling happy that the issue was resolved.

How do I react to negative comments?

A customer has taken the time to provide you with feedback, whether it be positive or negative. It might not necessarily be what you wanted to hear but it is a good opportunity to intercept an unhappy customer and put things right. Handling a complaint promptly and efficiently will show that you care as a business and ensure that your customer goes away feeling happy that the issue was resolved.

What is my involvement in the design process?

Every client is unique. The initial brief will allow us to gauge what involvement is required for us to hit your brief. And we will ask for your feedback along the way to ensure we are on track to bring your ideas to life. You may want your assigned art director to have free reign over creativity for your new brand and develop ideas that you may not have considered, or you may prefer to have more control and then we can meet in the middle to produce a brand identity that gets the impact you require.

Talk me through the process for brand development.

Initially, we would arrange a meeting with you where we will sit down and understand your requirements, taking a detailed brief from you. Using this brief to guide us, we will then carry out in-depth research. It’s important for us to understand your target market, get to grips with your product and/or services, evaluate your competitors and understand where you fit in the market. We will also look at trends, colours, styles, fonts and typography. We then take the findings from this research to develop a mood board and create initial design concepts. Typically, three logo options will be delivered and you will be invited to view these in a presentation. If there is a preferred option, we use your feedback to develop variations of the logo; alternative colour ways, fonts and improvements to ensure that we hit the brief perfectly. The final logo is then saved in the various formats that you will need (.png, .jpg, .ai, .pdf etc).

What if I don’t like the initial designs?

In this situation, we will develop them further until you are happy with your new brand. We involve you throughout the entire process to ensure you are completely satisfied.

What type of files will I be given?

Once completed, you will be sent an email with a file containing all the formats that you will need. This would typically include EPS and/or AI (an Illustrator vector file, often used for print, that is scalable to any size) and JPEG/PNG. Other formats, such as PDF, can be supplied if required.

Will I be provided with colour references?

Yes all brand packages come with style guides and brand guidelines which include: Pantone colour references, reverse colour options and greyscale, along with font types, sizes etc. This is particularly useful to other designers when creating media using your brand..

Will my logo be unique and who will own the copyright?

Yes. Your new logo will be completely unique to you. When you provide approval of your quote to proceed we will ask you to sign an agreement which explains the ownership of the Intellectual Property (IP) rights. Effectively you will take ownership from us of the IP rights once final payment has been received.

Are you ready to get your project started?

At FLEXX Creative we work with companies throughout Sussex and across the UK. Call us on +44 (0)1273 634544 or contact us below to start working with us.

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