Don't worry if you don't know much about web design; that's OUR job!

FAQs

We know that people have a lot of questions about getting a website. We hope you find these frequently-asked questions helpful. If you need any information not provided here, please feel free to contact us.

ABOUT CONSULTATIONS, MEETINGS, AND COMMUNICATION

Question: I'm not in your area. Do we need to meet?
Answer: We do business all across the USA. There is no requirement that we meet face-to-face, but we are happy to meet with you in person if that is your preference.

Question: Do I need to come to your office or will you come to our office to meet?
Answer: Most clients are fine with telephone meetings, since the world wide web is not geographically-limited. However, you are welcome to come to one of our sales offices and we are happy to visit you in your office if that is the most logical choice. We have sales offices in downtown Atlanta, GA and in downtown Asheville, NC. For projects estimated at over $1000 (most projects), we will travel to your office within a 20 mile radius of Atlanta or Asheville. Travel to meet with you outside of these locations may be possible if the budget and project warrant it.

Question: Can I drop in to your office later today to talk about my website?
Answer: In order to keep our costs low, our sales offices are staffed by appointment only.

ABOUT WEBSITE DOMAIN NAMES

Question: What is a website domain name?
Answer: A website domain name is the website address where people can visit your site, such as YourCompany.com, YourOrganization.org, etc. This is also sometimes referred to as a URL.

Question: How do I get a domain name?
Answer: We can register one for you. The first year registration is included in the price of any website design or hosting service.

Question: What domain name should I get?
Answer: There are lots of opinions out there about what makes a good domain name. For companies desiring strong brand management, it makes sense to register the company name as the domain name, such as EmpireIndustries.com. Some companies care more about developing a niche market; in those cases, it makes sense to get a domain name that's memorable and relevant, such as CuteKidsBeds.com.

Question: I heard that short domain names are better than long ones. Should I use abbreviations?
Answer: We recommend you only use abbreviations if they are very logical. For example, Smith Industries Incorporated may do well with SmithInc.com, SmithIndustries.com, or even SmithIndustriesInc.com. However, we believe SmithIndInc.com would not be as good a choice because having the public remember the unusual abbreviation would overshadow the benefit of using a short domain name.

ABOUT OUR WEBSITE DESIGN

Question: How does the custom web design process work?
Answer: We start with an interview to determine what you're looking for. Then a designer will create a graphic mockup of what we intend for the design to look like. At that stage, you will have the opportunity to give feedback, and the designer may make additional modifications to the look of the site. Once you have approved the look of the site, then we will proceed with converting the mockup into an actual website.

Question: Is there any type of design you cannot build or are not ideally-suited for?
Answer: We do not build entirely Flash-based sites, since they do poorly in search engines and do not load on iPhones or iPads by default. Flash-based sites are also much more difficult and costly for clients to update. Also, we do not do Drupal or Joomla sites, since we find that Wordpress is the alternative that we recommend.

Question: Is there any type of website you will not build?
Answer: We decline to build pornographic websites, hate-filled websites, or exploitative websites. As a private company, we also reserve the right to decline working with any client for any reason.

ABOUT WEBSITE CONTENT

Question: Who will write the content for my website?
Answer: It's up to you whether you prefer to write the content yourself or you'd rather pay extra for professional writing and/or proofreading.

Question: Can I use the text from this other website I like?
Answer: In most cases, copying text from another website is a copyright infringement. Writing your own text is a good idea. However, in some cases, it may make sense for you to get written approval from another source to use their text.

Question: Where will you get the photos that you use in the design of the site?
Answer: We have access to royalty-free photos that we can purchase for use in your design. In some cases, a suitable photo may not be available through other sources, and we may need a specific photo from you.

Question: Where will you get the photos that you use in the content area of my site along with my text?
Answer: If you would like photos to accompany the text in your website's content area, please email them to us.

Question: What if I don't have any good photos to use?
Answer: If you don't wish to take the photos yourself, we do have photographers available, for only $150 per hour. Another option is to purchase royalty-free photos.

Question: Can I use the photos I found on another website?
Answer: In most cases, copying photos from another website is a copyright infringement. Taking your own photos or purchasing royalty-free photos is a good idea. However, in some cases, it may make sense for you to get written approval from another source to use their photos.

ABOUT WEBSITE FUNCTIONALITY

Question: I want to sell items on my website. How do I do that?
Answer: There are several options for selling items online, and the price tag and difficulty vary with each option. Please see our E-Commerce page for details.

Question: I need a very specific function. Can you do that?
Answer: We have top-quality programmers available. Just let us know what you're after. Our programmers can provide a ballpark estimate for free. If you wish to move forward, there may be a surcharge to develop a detailed project requirements document and exact price.

ABOUT PRICE

Question: Why is there such a difference in prices offered by different web designers?
Answer: There lots of factors involved in web design:

  • Overhead – Some companies have big fancy offices and lots of staff to pay for. They may have to charge higher prices to cover their expenses.
  • Quality – Beginning web designers usually know enough to create a site, but they don't know what they don't know. A high quality site should work well in different monitor resolutions and different browser types. They should be search engine-friendly with clean, validated coding.

Question: Are you saying you get what you pay for?
Answer: Actually, finding a good web designer means you have to look at more than just price. Some expensive companies may do poor work, and some exceptionally talented designers may not charge a lot. So in addition to price, make sure you review examples of the company's work. Talk to a representative and see how professional he/she is. You may even wish to check with the Better Business Bureau or others in the community to learn about a company's reputation. And there's even a validation tool you can use that's provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to see how many coding errors the company's site generates.

ABOUT HOSTING

Question: What is website hosting?
Answer: Every website in the world has to be hosted somewhere. This means that all of the electronic files that make up your website reside on a special computer server so that any time of the day or night, people can access your website from the server. They are not trying to access your personal computer. You can think of your hosting fees as being like renting space on the computer server.

Question: What is disk space?
Answer: When you host your website, you are paying for space on the computer server where your website files sit. The term disk space refers to how much space on the server you are allowed to take up. Many small websites may use only five to ten megabytes of space. Our standard hosting plan is very generous, and it allows up to 5,000 megabytes of disk space.

Question: What is bandwidth or transfer or a traffic allowance?
Answer: When you host your website, it uses resources every time someone visits your site. The terms bandwidth, transfer, and traffic allowance are often used interchangeably to refer to the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period. In other words, if your hosting company doesn't give you enough bandwidth, and you have a ton of people visit your site, your site may become unavailable. Many small websites may use only 200 or so megabytes of space. Our standard hosting package is very generous, and it allows up to 50,000 megabytes of disk space.

Question: What do you mean when you say “up to” 5,000 megabytes of disk space and “up to” 50,000 megabytes of disk space? Are you trying to trick us?
Answer: Our standard hosting plan allows a client to use a full 5,000 megabytes of disk space and a full 50,000 megabytes of disk space if they need it. However, since most sites never come near needing this much space or traffic allowance, and as an effort to most effectively utilize our resources, we typically start our clients out with smaller setups and increase them automatically if their usage gets to even half of their allotment.

Question: Does this mean we need to tell you if we're going to be running a commercial during the Superbowl?
Answer: We have monitoring systems in place to notify us immediately if you're nearing your hosting limit. We also manually check each clients' usage regularly. So there's no need to notify us for regular advertising increases or other moderate increases you're expecting to your web traffic. However, if you're going from very little advertising to a commercial in the Superbowl, then yes, please let us know before the big game!

Question: What if my site goes down after business hours? Can I call you at home?
Answer: We have 24-hour emergency technical support available in the event of an outage. Just call the main phone number and leave a message on the technical support extension describing the nature of the outage, and a technician will be paged.

ABOUT MAINTENANCE

Question: What do you mean by website maintenance?
Answer: When we use the term website maintenance, we're talking about making updates to your website content.

Question: Do I have to sign up for a plan for that? What if I don't think I'll be making any updates to my website?
Answer: If your business doesn't change much, you may be able to include all the information necessary without worrying about it getting out-of-date for a long time. Be sure to word things in such a way that won’t easily become dated. For example, the text on our website lets people know that Griffin Web Design has been in business since January 2000. This statement will always be accurate. If we told people we've been in business for ten years, that would become dated in a year’s time.

Question: What if I think I'll only need to make updates once in a long while?
Answer: If that's the case, you may wish to contact us or any quality web designer to have some work done by the hour. Hourly rates may be higher than flat rate projects or maintenance plans, but most quality web designers will give you a free quote for the work you need done. At Griffin Web Design, we charge an off-the-shelf hourly rate of $90.00, but our minimum order is only a quarter hour, or $22.50. So if you just need a phone number, a price, or a photo changed out, it's still pretty economical.

Question: What if I want to have a web designer update my site regularly?
Answer: In that case, you may want to consider one of our web maintenance plans. The plans start at $40.00 per month for up to a half hour of updates to your site each month. A half hour is enough time to add about five photos or a few paragraphs of text. We will never go over your allotted time unless you
request us to do so. Then we will give you a quote and you will be charged a reduced hourly rate.

Question: What if I want to be able to update my site myself?
Answer: In that case, you may use the Content Management System (CMS) that we include in every website we build.

Question: Can I add photos to the site using the CMS?
Answer: Yes, the licensed version of the CMS allows you to add photos to the content area of your site. You do need to be able to resize the photo first, but we have video tutorials available to help you with that if necessary.

Question: Can I add more pages to the site using the CMS?
Answer: The standard CMS does not allow you to add pages to the site. A webmaster would need to assist you in adding pages to the site. If you need to regularly add pages to the site, a Wordpress backend may make more sense. Please feel freecontact us to discuss other options.

Question: We have different people in our organization who are responsible for updating different information on the site. Do we all need to use the same login for the CMS?
Answer: We do have an option for a multi-user CMS that assigns each login to a section of the website he/she can update. The multi-user CMS is available for a one-time setup fee of $500.

Question: When you first built my site, I didn't sign up for the CMS. Now I think we'd like to try it out. Is there any extra charge for that?
Answer: If we built your site, we can plug the CMS into any five pages for the same flat rate. However, if you have more than five pages, there will be an additional $22.50 for each additional page we add the CMS to.

Question: I didn't get my website from your company. Can I still use your CMS or your web maintenance plans?
Answer: Sorry, but due to the unusual setups and quality variances we find in websites created by other companies, we are not accepting web maintenance or CMS jobs for websites we did not create.

ABOUT TURNAROUND TIME

Question: How long does it take to get a custom website?
Answer: We have a ten business day guarantee on both the mockup stage and the build stage or you get $100 off your design fee. Please see our Terms of Service for details.

ABOUT OUR GUARANTEE

Question: What do you mean when you say that Satisfaction is Guaranteed?
Answer: We will work with you to make sure you are satisfied: The design process begins with an interview so we know what you want. The designer then provides a graphic mockup of what we intend for the site to look like. You get a chance to provide feedback to get the look you want. With the exception of changing your mind about what you want, we do not charge any extra for unlimited revisions to achieve your desired look during the mockup phase. This ensures you are getting a top-of-the-line front-end look to your site. We complete the build only after your approval of the mockup, and we validate the coding according to the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), so you know you are getting a top-of-the-line back-end as well. This method of working is one of the reasons we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Please see our Terms of Service for details on our guarantee.

ABOUT PAYMENT

Question: What types of payment do you accept?
Answer: Checks, all major credit cards, and PayPal. Please see our Make A Payment page for details.

Question: What are your payment policies for the website setup fees?
Answer: One-half of the initial website design and development fees are due upon project initiation. Upon project completion, the remaining balance is due in full within five business days. Once the remaining balance is paid in full, the completed website will be moved from the staging server so the website will go live. At that time, we'll also register the your site with Google, Yahoo, and Bing.com search engines.

Question: What are your payment policies for the website monthly fees?
Answer: Payment for monthly services such as Hosting, Maintenance, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Social Media Management (Facebook & Twitter Social Networking, etc.) are due net 20, so as long as you pay each month, your account will remain current. It's fine if you wish to prepay for more than one month at at time, but it's not required.

Question: Is there anything else I should know about payments?
Answer: Yes, some clients choose special features or functions from outside vendors. Keep in mind that third party vendors may have different payment policies. We cannot be responsible for third party vendor policies or procedures.

ABOUT SEARCH ENGINES

Question: Do you guarantee my site will rank well with search engines?
Answer: Most every client would like his/her website to rank high in search engine results for selected keywords, yet search engine results are determined by a multitude of constantly changing factors, third party search engines, and the amount and quality of competition on the world wide web. So we can't absolutely guarantee your site will rank well in search engines, and no responsible company would offer such a guarantee.

However, we do guarantee that we'll use search engine-friendly techniques when we build your site. For example, we'll add keywords in the title bar at the top of the browser, the meta tags in the hidden coding behind the scenes, and alternate text behind some images.

If you want to supply these keyword selections for us, that's fine. We'll change them out for you once for no additional charge. If you want more changes or additional work done, we can give you a quote and bill you at the standard hourly rate.

Question: What if I need more than your standard "search engine-friendly" website?
Answer: We offer a variety of marketing plans that start at only $320 per month and include search engine optimization (SEO) and social media management (social networking on Facebook & Twitter). The plans only require a three-month commitment and may be cancelled at any time with a 45-day written notification after that. In addition to the published plans, which are extremely popular, we can also tailor a plan to meet your specific needs.

ABOUT US

Question: How do I know I can trust you?
Answer: We have been in business since January of 2000–a long time relative to the history of the Internet, and we are accredited with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau–the highest rating they give.

Question: I only want to deal with an American company. Are you all American?
Answer: Yes. Every employee and every one of our suppliers are American.

ABOUT OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Question: Are you going to sell my email address to spammers?
Answer: We hate spam just as much as you do! We will never share your information with third parties unless required to do so by law or requested by you. The information we collect from you will be used to maintain your services with us and to represent the quality of our work to others, such as in our online portfolio. We like to publish our customers' feedback, but we obtain permission first.

ABOUT OUR TERMS OF SERVICE

Question: What about hidden fees or difficult terms?
Answer: We have no hidden fees or difficult terms. We have an easy-to-read Terms of Service document that gives more details about how we operate. It's based on trust, professionalism, and common sense.

ASK ANOTHER QUESTION!

Question: My question wasn't answered here. How do I get more help?
Answer: Contact Us to ask any other question you may have.