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Frequently Asked Questions:Here you can find some of our most frequently asked questions. Use the list below to jump down to a specific question, or just scroll down and peruse. contact form to ask us your question - we'll do our very best to answer, and we'll probably add your question to this page to help future visitors to our site. Help us to help you!
List of FAQs:
How much does a website cost?
Well, that all depends on what you want! The difference between a simple website and a complex one can be enormous, in terms of the amount of work involved. To see how much your site might cost, have a look at our pricing summary or, if you know exactly what you want, check out the pricing details page. To summarise, though, the initial cost of actually building the website depends on what you want. After that, you only pay your annual fee for hosting (where applicable), your biennial (every two years) fee for your domain registration (where applicable), and any significant updates you may want to make from time to time (minor updates are generally part of the service).
Do you do discounts?
Yes! We offer the following discounts:
Are there any upfront fees?
Yes. In order to protect ourselves, we will require the cost of designing the first page of your site before starting work. Once the site is completed, you will owe us the rest of the fee. Of course, we will provide you with a quotation before starting work, and we will stick to it (unless you make any changes during the design process, and we will inform you at the time of any charges these incur). Also, if you decide to register your own domain name or purchase a hosting package, we will require the fees for this before starting work on your site. For more details on these and all other charges, please visit our pricing details page.
If you'd prefer to register your domain name and/or buy a hosting package yourself, Meticulous uses a company called LCN. They are inexpensive, flexible, professional and reliable, and we highly recommend them.
Do I have to pay anything later?
That depends - if you decide you want your own internet domain name (such as www.joebloggs.com), you need to register that domain in your name, so that you can put a website there. There is a small fee for doing this, and everybody who owns a domain name has to pay this sort of fee, so we can't grant you an exception, sorry! The price isn't much, though, and is typically between £6 and £15 every two years (using the domain registration company that we recommend (see 'Are there any upfront fees?'). You'll also need to pay for the actual hosting of your website (the storage and distribution of the contents of your site to users of the internet) - which is usually between £20 and £50 per year, depending on the level of hosting you require. The only other cost to you is for occasional significant updates you many need us to make to your site from time to time (minor updates are generally part of the service). This is charged at £20 per hour. For more information about hosting, please click here, and for more details on the pricing of domain registration, hosting and updating, please visit our pricing details page.
Are there any Terms and Conditions?
Yes. These are very simple and are there to protect both you and us. Please view our Terms and Conditions here.
Can I update my own website?
Well, we can't exactly stop you from doing that! It is, after all, your site. But there really shouldn't be any need, as we'll do things like that for you. In fact, we'll do most minor, routine updates free of charge, if you supply the updated information to us electronically. Major changes are charged at a very reasonable £20 per hour, but you shouldn't need to do that too often. See Can't I update my site using the free software I have at home? for more on this.
Can't I update my site using the free software I have at home?
Eek! Beware of problems! OK, apart from the fact that Meticulous will update your site for you (often for free), the other reason not to bother with updating your site yourself is that it's very easy to mess up a website unless you know what you're doing. To update a site built by Meticulous, you'll need to edit the HTML source code directly. Don't, whatever you do, try changing your pages using Dreamweaver or FrontPage, or some other WYSIWYG editor ("What You See Is What You Get" - a web page editor that allows you to edit the page as if it were a normal word-processing document) - that way disaster lies! Software such as that works by 'guessing' at the code it needs to build the site it thinks you're trying to create. Sounds messy, and it is. Websites built using WYSIWYG editors are usually stuffed full of redundant code, errors, sloppy HTML and uncontrolled CSS. The files are MUCH bigger than they need to be, slow to load, often full of mistakes, incompatible with other browsers, and difficult to index for search engines. So please avoid them at all costs! If you're desperate to edit your own page, please at least talk to us and let us show you how to do it properly, or, better yet, just let us do it for you! That's what we're here for, after all...
I see you can submit my site to search engines. Does that mean I'll appear at the top of searches?
Well, it's a little more complicated than that. Here's how it works: When we submit your site to search engines, that means we're asking that search engine to look at your website and scan its content, then remember the key points so that when people enter relevant words into their search engine's search page, your site is included in the results. But the most important part of that process is making sure that your site is easily searchable and rankable by search engines in the firstplace! We design sites to be search-engine friendly from the very start, so if someone enters a specific-enough search query, then yes, your site will appear at or near the top. Of course, if their search is highly general, then you're in with as much of a chance as any other site!
Do we need to meet face-to-face?
Not necessarily. The nature of website-building means that you can give us most or all of the actual contentof the site by e-mail, and likewise we can show you work in progress by putting it on the Meticulous testbed website so that you can view it like any other website. Of course, talking on the phone is usually necessary, particularly in the initial concept/design stage of the build, but it's not actually essential to meet face-to-face, which helps to keep costs down! Of course, face-to-face meetings are usually much more efficient than telephone conversations, and we're more than happy to do that. We'll ask you to cover expenses, of course, if the meeting is away from our base of operations...
How long will it take to build my site?
Well, the honest answer is, "it depends". It depends partly on how large and complex your site is, and partly on how efficient you are about a) making decisions on the 'look' and overall concept of the site, and b) getting the content to us so that we can actually build the site. But as a guideline, once the concept has been agreed on, it will generally take between 2 and 6 weeks to get the bulk of the work done, depending on various factors. Of course, if time is a factor we can always try to hurry things up... but you can help the process along too. Naturally, we stay in constant contact with you during the build so that we can check things with you and make sure you're still happy with the way things are going. Just so you know, the process of registering a domain and setting up hosting for it can take as long as two weeks (though it's usually not as long as that), and getting your site to appear prominently in search engine results (once your site's actually up!) can take several months, due to the way the internet works. But we'll do our best to do our part as efficiently as possible.
Do I need my own domain name (www address?)
Well, it's not essential, no. If you already have an ISP (Internet Service Provider), such as AOL, BT or NTL, you can probably put a website on their server for free. It'll be limited to a small size and you can't usually use scripts and so on, but it'll work. The biggest disadvantage to using your ISP's free webspace is the URL, or internet address. As an example, a free webspace website with AOL will usually be called something like http://members.aol.com/yourname/. It's not very catchy, is it? www.joebloggs.com is far more desirable, and you get to have control over the level of hosting, you can add e-mail addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org... the list of benefits is almost endless. Of course, you'll have to pay for the privelege of owning your own domain (typically between £6 and £15 every two years, using the domain registration company that we recommend (see 'Are there any upfront fees?'), and you'll also need to pay for the actual hosting of your website (the storage and distribution of the contents of your site to users of the internet) - which is usually between £20 and £50 per year, depending on the level of hosting you require. But it's usually worth the expenditure. For more about hosting and domain names, read our hosting page.
What is 'hosting'?
Hosting is the process of storing all the HTML files and images and everything else that makes up your website on a special type of computer called a web server. This computer is permanently switched on and permanently connected to the internet. It contains special software which manages and distributes the information that your website is made up of, to any internet-connected computer which requests it. For a more detailed description of hosting and domain names, read our hosting page.
I already have a website but it's old and needs revamping. Can you do this?
Yes, of course. Naturally, each individual case is different, but in many situations like this the best thing to do is to start all over again and rebuild your site from scratch. Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds! Of course, you'll easily be able to copy the content of your old site to the new one (and update, edit, upgrade and expand it at the same time, of course). But if the old site's that bad, it's often easier, quicker and cheaper to make a clean start. It's a bit like trying to get a really rusty old banger through its MOT. Sometimes you're better off scrapping it and buying another car for a couple of hundred pounds... and just transferring the stereo, your tape collection and your fluffy dice from the old car to the new. It's better than trying to weld the doors back on and change the engine and rewire the lights yourself... Contact us if you have a website that you'd like to rejuvenate (not forgetting to tell us its URL!), and we can discuss your ideas.
I already have a logo and a typeface and so on that I use on my stationery. Can my site match this?
Absolutely! In fact, we'd definitely recommend that as a very good idea. We'll consult you fully at the concept/design stage to make sure that we include any images, fonts, logos and other 'corporate image' ideas that you already use on existing stationery and promotional material of any sort. You'll notice that this website does the same sort of thing, with the logo on every page and the same typeface used throughout. Our paperwork looks the same! Just one caveat, though: when you view a web page on a computer, the computer can only display the page using the fonts (typefaces) that are installed on that computer. So if you want your site to use a particular font, people will only see that font if it is installed on their system. As you can't guarantee that this will be the case, web designers tend to use only the more common fonts, and code their pages so that if those fonts are absent, then generic fonts will be used instead. But don't worry, we'll explain all this in more detail as we design your site...
Can I see some other sites that you've built?
Of course! We can hardly expect you to choose Meticulous without checking that we can do what we claim! The site you're looking at right now is, of course, entirely Meticulous-built, but to see our full portfolio, please click here.
Can I check the progress of my site's design and build before it's finished?
Of course! We'll keep you fully informed all the way through the design and build process, and make sure there's a version of the work-so-far that you can see. The Meticulous website has a special testbed area just for this.
Is there any way I can improve my site's visitor numbers once it's up and running?
There certainly is. There are basically three ways to get people to visit your site. One is to tell them about it in other media - on your letterhead, your business card, your e-mail signature, your brochure, your CV (résumé), your bill posters, your car stickers, your TV advertising campaign... The next is by making your site as search-engine friendly as possible and submitting your site to the search engines for inclusion, so that when people enter a search that relates to the content of your site, your entry appears at or near the top of the results. Meticulous offers a search engine submission service - see our pricing details page for more details). The third way is to exchange links with other similar sites so that hopefully visitors to those sites will see your link and follow it to your site. This last method requires some legwork, but it's worth it. And you can make new friends and business contacts in the process! Check out our links page here.
If you have a question which isn't listed here, do check the menu near the top left of this page in case your question might be answered elsewhere (likely candidates include the Pricing Summary, Pricing Details, Hosting, Deciding what you want, What we need from you and Terms and Conditions pages). If you still can't find the answer to your question, please do use our contact form to ask us your question - we'll do our very best to answer, and we'll probably add your question to this page to help future visitors to our site. Help us to help you!
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