Frequently Asked Questions

What services do you offer?

I provide a variety of web services including custom website designs, ecommerce solutions, flash animations, web applications and more. In addition, I can update any of your pre-existing websites. Many businesses host email newsletters directed at current and potential customers. I can optimize your email newsletter (or email "blast" as some would call them) to more closely resemble your existing advertising and keep readers reading for longer. If you do not yet host an email newsletter and would like to do so, I can get you set up.

For businesses who have a product to sell, it is important to know that a majority of customers prefer to research a product online before buying, and many prefer to actually buy online as well. I am able to develop completely custom ecommerce solutions, allowing your customers to research and buy products right through your website using a variety of different payment methods. More importantly, an online shopping cart immediately expands your market from a local level to a national level.

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Why does my business need a website?

With an overwhelming percentage of today's American households connected to a high-speed internet connection, a website has become the most practical way to promote your business to a worldwide audience. Some companies can afford to employ a full time web developer, but those on a budget benefit by paying a freelance designer like myself a one-time fee to bring their company online.

A restaurant owner could incorporate a menu section on his website where guests could view colorful lunch and dinner menus. A hotel owner could request a feature on her website that would allow visitors to submit reservations easily online. Business hours, directions, specials... with a good website, business owners can deliver an unlimited amount of information to their customers that no other medium can provide.

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How much do you charge?

My web design and programming services are offered at a cost of $40 per hour. However, this price is slightly negotiable depending on the nature of the project. If you or your company would prefer a flat price, you may be interested in one of my available web packages.

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When do I pay for my website or other service?

Once a direction has been set for your website and the project has been outlined, I require a 50% upfront deposit before starting the development process. My clients are not charged the remaining cost until their website has met or exceeded their expectations.

As soon as the development of your website has begun, you will be given a private URL at which your site will be temporarily hosted. During the entire design process, you will be able to access that URL to track my progress on your custom website or other web service. Not only does this method allow you to see what others will see when your website is launched, it will allow you to provide me with detailed feedback along the way, ensuring that your website is built to your satisfaction. As far as payment methods are concerned, checks can be sent to my PO Box in Macomb, Illinois, but PayPal is preferred.

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What is a "host" or a "domain name" and how much will it cost me?

A web host is simply a company that sells space on their servers to customers for monthly or sometimes yearly fees. You can upload the web pages you (or I) have created to this space making your pages accessible to anyone over the World Wide Web. A web hosting service can cost anywhere from $5 to $50 a month, depending on a variety of factors (bandwidth limit, space, security, etc).

A domain name is what many people refer to as a ".com" or address. For example, the domain of this website is NicholasHowe.com. It's what your visitors will need to remember to see your site, so keep it short and sweet. A domain name usually comes free with the purchase of a 12 month hosting plan. Purchased separately, a domain name will cost you from $4 to $10 a year (assuming your domain name has not already been bought by someone else).

If you are shopping for a hosting and domain service and need someone to help make sense of the whole thing, drop me an email and I'll be glad to help you out and even make some recommendations if you'd prefer.

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