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Frequently Asked Question

Q 1. What is the first step in commissioning the design of a website?

The first thing to do is to give some thought in advance to what you want your website name to be. You must secure your URL (uniform resource locator or the name of your website like www.monstersstudios.com) as well as to think about what you want your website company to accomplish. The point of this exercise is to realistically assess and prioritize the goals of placing your organization online. While there are many factors to consider, here are just a few of the questions you may want to answer...

Is it your intention to:

  • Provide comprehensive information about your product or service?
  • Directly sell products from your site?
  • Reach new markets or clientele?
  • Provide online "customer support" 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week?
  • Do market research by gathering visitor feedback?
  • Give employees internal information?
  • Post job opportunities?
  • Entertainment for the web user?
  • All of the above?

Once you have a good idea what you want, then contact us by email or by calling (310) 318-1101 to begin a dialog about how we can bring our expertise to fulfilling your vision and start yielding profits for you and your company. Once we hear from you, we'll begin the series of steps which will result in an effective, secure, dynamic, and interactive online presence for your organization.

Q 2. Once we contact Monsters Web Development, then what happens?

First, we will discuss with you what your primary objectives are in placing your organization on the World Wide Web. From that discussion we'll determine what comprehensive solutions will fulfill those goals. Once you indicate to us how extensive a site you want, we will take all that information to collaborate in creating a content outline that will guide the custom design process. Your opinions and ideas are incorporated into every aspect of this outline.

With the resources gathered and the project outline clearly defined, we will take what we learned from our ongoing discussions to create for you a dynamic WWW presence that reflects your organization's identity, providing for each visitor an impressive and inviting online atmosphere.

When the initial design process is complete, we carefully review each individual web page to be certain the presentation is both accurate and attractively portrayed.

Your completed site is uploaded to the server in a "hidden" directory for your final approval. Any changes you want can be made at this time. Upon your authorization, it is then published on the web for public viewing.

Finally, we are available to assist you in developing the best website promotion strategy for integrating your Internet presence into your overall public relations and marketing approach. As is often said in cyberspace, "a website is an ongoing process,not just a one time project."

Q 3. What happens if we occasionally need to make content changes?

This is what is referred to as "website maintenance." You can either outsource the job to us to make the changes for you on an "as needed" basis, or (in the case of your own domain name and server) you have the option to make those changes yourself if you have the necessary equipment and expertise.

Q4. We have a website, but it is not doing much for us... can you help?

Yes. We specialize in makeovers - taking an existing website and transforming it into a productive, attractive, and profitable business tool. Always remember, your website is a "window through which the world will view you," so making it as professional looking and user friendly as possible presents your organization in the best possible light.

We can also provide a professional website evaluation, where we'll check out its HTML coding, layout, download time, graphics, and attractiveness to both users and search engines, then will prepare a detailed written report for you. You select how many of the pages on your website you want critically analyzed - you can then make the changes to the site yourself, or have someone else do it for you.

Q 5. Once our website is completed and uploaded to the the WWW, how do people find us?

It is well documented that most people who visit a commercial or professional site are doing so intentionally because they either intend to buy something (from you or from someone else in your field) or because they are looking for specific information.

So first of all, for you to attract visitors to your site, you must thoroughly integrate your web address (URL) into your overall public relations plan. That means making it as prominent and ubiquitous as your telephone number - on your letterhead, business cards, brochures, advertisements, press releases, newsletters, t-shirts... everywhere, even on your organization's vehicles.

Secondly, your site's URL will be registered with the major search engines (think of a search engine as an advanced form of telephone directory assistance), so anyone looking specifically for you or even for just someone in your field will have the opportunity to get your web address.

If you really want to seriously promote your site, you can buy advertising banners at other sites that have already established a lot of daily traffic.

Finally, you can make arrangements for "reciprocal linkage." This means your URL is made available on someone else's site, and their URL is listed on your site, so you each can benefit from the combined group of visitors. The more reciprocal links, the greater the opportunity for new visitors.

Be certain you do NOT believe the hype that once you have a website "millions of web surfers" will all of a sudden want to visit you. There are now over a hundred million web pages out in cyberspace, so it is not like having a location in a big mall and just having people stroll in on a busy Sunday afternoon because they have nothing better to do. To get visitors to your site, you must both attract and encourage them.

Q 6. What is the primary business or professional use of the WWW?

Access to information. People using the Internet to visit business and professional websites primarily want solid information - not gimmicks, not babble - and they want to find that information in a minimum of time, without having to aimlessly wander from page to page. Thus the need for logical and consistent navigation.

In addition, people using the web very often want to communicate, possibly be entertained, and increasingly (when visiting a commercial site) they want to make a purchase. A well designed website will take each of these features into account.

Q 7. Are people using their credit cards on the Internet?

This became much more common in 1998, largely due to two factors. First, the infrastructure of SSL (Secure Socket Layers) and SET (Secure Electronic Transactions), both highly sophisticated encryption schemes, was put thoroughly in place in the browsers and software that makes the safe use of credit cards possible between customers, merchants, and banks.

Secondly, the e-commerce software (such as shopping carts) that can be built into the structure of a commercial website came down to a reasonable price. Whereas once such software cost many thousands of dollars, now there are very good versions for small business starting at $500. This lower priced software allows a credit card number to be securely sent over the Internet, and then for the complete customer order to be sent to you electronically.

More complex (and therefore more expensive) e-commerce packages will do database management, figure international exchange rates, etc. If you are a small business with under 200 products, and you do your business in the USA, then the lesser priced package is all you will likely need.

Q 8. How much will a website cost?

It depends on the extent of your website. A simple single web page which we host for you can be as little as $120 a year, whereas a more complex website would be priced accordingly. The key is to consider what you want your website to do for your organization, and realistically determine how much you can budget over a 12 month period. Most importantly, whenever you consider pricing always remember two things:

  • We all know that in the professional world, first impressions matter. This is especially true on the World Wide Web, where many of your visitors may never meet you in person. As your "window to the world," the better your website looks, the better you will look. A professional looking site will enhance your professional credibility... it's that simple. We only design sites we can be proud of, and invite you to visit our client portfolio to see the level of quality brought to each project.

  • You can always expand your site as the need arises. It is much better to start off with a really strong looking smaller site which can be expanded gradually, then allocate any additional money in your budget for adequate site promotion. We design all our sites to be scalable... as you grow, your website will grow with you.

We see it as our job to work within your budget. Monsters has an entire page of detailed pricing for your review.

Q 9. How long does it take to get a new website online?

Again, this depends on how extensive your website is, and also on how quickly the necessary content materials can be gathered. We will guide you through the process of assembling your text and graphics, then will construct your site based on what you provide. The quicker we receive your packet of graphics and text materials, the quicker we can begin the design process. Generally speaking, you should realistically expect a mid-sized site to take approximately a month to get online once we receive these materials from you. We will give you a pretty accurate completion date once we have the chance to review everything you send.

Q 10. How widely used is the Internet right now?

Here's the latest stats:

  • E-commerce revenues in the business-to-business sector reached $50 billion in 1999, and will rise to $700 billion by the end of 2012.
  • Consumer e-commerce revenues are projected to be at least $555 billion by 1212.
  • 92 million Internet users in the USA; 52 % male, 48% female
  • Average time spent online per week: 12 hours
  • Household income:

    $150,000 or more 8%;
    $75,000 to $150,000 32%;
    $50,000 to $75,000 28%
    Less than $50,000 32%

Q 11. We have scanning equipment, so can we do our own graphic scans?

You are certainly welcomed to save some money by doing your own scanning. However, it is essential that this scanning be done correctly for the web, otherwise, your efforts will not be usable. Please see our brief "Scanning for the Web" tutorial for more details.

Q 12. Should we have our own domain name?

Yes! There are two primarily reasons why it is a good idea to secure your own domain name (i.e. http://www.yourname.com/):

First, with your own domain name you can switch Internet Service Providers (ISP's) at will and still retain the same unique Internet website address (URL) and email address you use in all your literature and advertising. Secondly, it is easier for customers and clients to remember your URL if the spelling of your domain name refers in some way to your organization.

The only requirement to having your own domain name is that it be hosted at your own ISP, usually at a cost of $50 per month. If you prefer, we can make all arrangements for you in finding a dependable ISP (either in your own locale or with Monsters) and then registering the domain name with InterNIC.

Q 13. Our company is not located in your state.... will that be a problem?

Absolutely not. Most of the web site design work we do are for organizations located around the country. The Internet is without boundaries, and therefore you can have your site designed by our firm here in Santa Barbara, have it hosted in another part of the country (or anywhere else on earth, for that matter), and access it locally in your area. It's a new world, and on the WWW, distance disappears.

Your criteria can therefore be focused on price, quality, and customer service - three reasons why Monsters is repeatedly chosen by companies nationwide who want a distinctive and successful web presence that stays within their budget.

Monsters Web Development assists a wide variety of organizations to create the kind of powerful presence on the World Wide Web that comes from the combination of innovative design, clarity of content, and thoughtful consideration of the customer's needs. The result of this approach is greater opportunity for even the smallest firms to reach far beyond their locale and find additional customers, clients, contacts... and success!

If you like to discuss a custom designed website, a revitalization of your existing site, or a web design workshop for your group, please contact us to get started today.

Monsters Studios
Interactive Website Design Services and Website Commerce Hosting
Southern California Office: (805) 568-1441

Website Development | Website Design | Search Engine Optimization | Website Revisions | Website Maintenance

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Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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