FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you use "WYSIWYG" or "What you see is what you get" or "Drag and Drop" code generators when you create websites?
A: Absolutely NOT. We code by hand, using various scripting languages, and HTML, which is the language of the web. (HTML stands for Hyper-Text Markup Language.) The reason why we code by hand is that the above listed types of website generators - even though they are fast and relatively easy to use - generate sloppy code, with lots of extraneous code (sometimes thousands of lines of unnecessary HTML code).
This is VERY detrimental to page load times, and for SEO purposes. (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the art and science of correctly designing and optimizing websites to be easy to find.)
Q: What about websites that offer an "instant website"?
A: The same thing applies. The only way to have a truly custom, correctly designed and coded website that will bring you legitimate business is to hire reputable, experienced professionals.
Q: How often should we update our website?
A: Generally speaking, the fresher your content is, the better. A minimum of once a month is recommended, so you don't start slipping in the SERPs. (Search Engine Result Pages) We can help you with updates for a very reasonable price, custom tailored to your needs, and if you need to subscribe to one of our content services, you'll find that to be very reasonable too. We can provide you with a steady stream of SEO-friendly content on your website via RSS feed that is specific to your industry, and optimized for maximum SEO impact.
Q: What's the difference between a web designer and a web developer?
A: These are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. A web designer is someone skilled in graphic design, who knows how to make a website pleasing to the eye, as well as easy and intuitive to navigate. A web developer is someone that takes that graphic design, and translates it into "source code" - usually HTML, or a scripting language such as ASP, or PHP, or ColdFusion - that the user's browser reads, and renders as a page on a website.
Q: I have heard a lot about Java and Java Server Pages, or JSP - is this similar to ASP, or PHP?
A: No. Java is not a good choice for website programming for a variety of reasons, three of which are:
- JSP, when compared to other scripting languages is terribly slow.
- Java is difficult to maintain. Every time you need even the slightest change to your website, the Java source code must be located, and edited. Then, the Java programmer must do a "build" to compile the code, so the server can render it as a page on your website. This is costly in terms of time, AND money.
- Java is a security risk - Java is compiled code, which means you don't see the actual source code - you only see the result of Java. A programmer can easily leave "back-doors" and other security holes in your website or online web application that he, or others can exploit at will.
Q: What about "dot NET" or .NET?
A: .NET is Microsoft Corporation's answer to Java. Dot NET programming is also done in languages that must be compiled, such as Visual Basic, or C-sharp. Dot NET does offer a slight improvement in terms of web server execution speed over Java, but still has the same security shortcomings as Java.
For security, speed, and ease of maintenance, nothing beats Classic ASP. Following in close second place is Adobe's ColdFusion, followed by PHP. We can code in any of these, but we strongly recommend Classic ASP, in conjunction with a hosting package. If you ever notice, many, many fortune 500 companies and government entities - especially the military - still use ASP, because of its tried-and-true history of being rock solid, secure, reliable technology.
Q: So then, why do so many web developers say ASP is bad, and they have better technology?
A: Simple. They say ASP is bad because a developer has to actually program to use it. It doesn't feature huge "libraries" of "plug-ins," which are NOT designed to make your website better, faster loading, or more secure - they're designed to make these less experienced self-proclaimed web developers' lives easier.
You see, library-driven development requires that HUGE blocks of code (libraries) are called into action. Most of these libraries contain features most websites will NEVER use, but are there so that the lesser experienced developer can just code one tiny piece of code that invokes these huge libraries. The end result is, your page loads more slowly, resulting in a negative impact on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results. That's what we call "findability."
Because we hand-code your website, there is NO unused code - your website is a lean, mean marketing machine that will usually load quickly, and error free.
Remember back in mid 2016, when thousands of websites all over the world went down for a day? They were all using a common library. All it took was for hackers to corrupt that one library, and *POOF!* - all those websites were brought down instantly.
In the rare event that we use a third-party library, we make sure that it is located on the webserver that hosts your website - not accessed via another server that is out of our control. That means your site continues to run, while your competitors' websites are down because of a hacked server somewhere else in the world.
Q: Do I need to have a web hosting plan?
A: No. Most of our clients choose our turn-key, platinum level solutions, which include domain registration, hosting, unlimited email accounts, web hosting, maintenance, and more.
Q: What is cross-browser compatibility?
A: Cross-browser compatibility is the ability for a website to render in a manner that allows it to appear the same, regardless of whether your customer's browser is Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Google Chrome. We go to great lengths to ensure that, regardless of platform, your customers will see your website as it was intended to look.
If you've ever been on a website that says something like "This website best viewed in Firefox" then you've already seen a good example of the wrong approach to web development. It is not the web developer's business to mandate a particular browser - it is incumbent upon conscientious designers and developers to take steps to be certain that a website will render correctly, regardless of the browser in which the website is being viewed.
Q: How effective are your SEO results?
A: We have placed, and kept, every client to date on the first page for most of the search terms they wish to be associated with, and usually in the top 5 slots of the first page. The time this takes can vary, depending on your industry, the competition in your industry for online search engine listings, the search terms you wish to use, how aggressively you wish to pursue a top spot, and how compelling and relevant your website's content is to your industry's consumers.
We can help you target the best keywords for your industry, and we can help you get to the top of the heap, and stay there, with our careful SEO strategy, designed specifically for your company.
Q: How effective are offshore web design, development, and SEO companies?
A: There are a variety of reasons that you should not offshore your company's website. Some of them are:
- Time zone difference - What time is it where your offshore team is located during North American business hours?
- Language difference - Even where English is a commonly spoken language, the linguistic differences can be daunting.
- Cultural differences - Outside of North America, business sensibilities are very different indeed.
- Accountability - Do you know who is working on your website, or your SEO?
- Security - Where is your site hosted? Who has access to the code?
- Technological difference - Many of India's developers would like to get you on Java, so they have you trapped. It's the primary coding language taught in India's universities.
Q: How come some companies use offshore companies for something as critically important as their online brand?
A: Cost is usually the primary determinant. The old adage "you get what you pay for" was never more true than it is concerning web design and development.
Q: My friend / neighbor / nephew learned how to make a website. Shouldn't I just give him $100 to make my website?
A: It's your choice to make, of course, but ask yourself this: Would you trust your friend, or neighbor, or nephew to provide other professional services, such as medical, or dental care, or bookkeeping? Or, would you let them rewire your home? Of course not. You'd hire a professional, because you need someone that has the proper education, training and experience to get the job done right the first time.
We meet a lot of people out there that have had horrible experiences - either they've paid a huge sum of money and received either nothing at all, or a website that looks as though a child created it, or they've had a bad experience with accountability, or security of their online presence. Best advice on this topic is this: Even if you don't hire us, hire a reputable professional to do the job.
Q: What do I do to get started?
A: It's easy, and exciting - and most of our clients have told us that we even made it fun. We'll start by figuring out what it is, exactly that you want, and what you need. That starts with a free business analysis, after you give us a little information that helps us to know what style of design, and what types of functionality you need online.
Q: Why are some web design and development companies so expensive?
A: Hard to say. Web design and development can be costly, but the benefits far outweigh the expense. Consider the difference between spending, say, $3,000 on a professional website, including hosting and more, that gives you 24 hour a day, 7 days a week exposure to customers all around the world, that are looking for YOU as opposed to spending $3,000 on a one-time magazine ad that will be seen once, (if at all) by only subscribers to that magazine - most of whom probably are NOT looking for your services. It's an easy choice to make, and many of our clients have gotten into the game for far less money than that.
We pride ourselves on being what we honestly believe are the hardest-working web design and development team on the planet, and that means we aren't padding our hours. We kind of like the "baker's dozen" approach of giving just a little bit more than you expect, and a little bit more than you've paid for. It helps us sleep well at night, and we reap the benefits of great word-of-mouth referral business. By the way, we offer referral incentives... ask us for details!
If you have any questions that we haven't addressed here, please feel free to send us your questions. We've got you covered!