(087) 907 4645
sgodden@ridgesolutions.ie
 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about designing and building Websites

 

The words and acronyms used by many web and IT professionals to discuss how websites are designed, built and published can be quite difficult for the lay person to grasp.  My background is in design not software programming so I know how confusing these technical terms can be.   To assist with my clients understanding of these terms I have put together a jargon free Frequently Asked Question list.

 

Below you will find the most common questions I’m asked.

What is a Domain Name? + -

  • A domain name is a unique name that identifies an internet resource such as a website.
  • This is the web address that your potential clients will type into their internet browsers, ie; www.ridgedesign.ie.
  • The domain name ideally should help to describe your business and so should be chosen carefully.
  • It is as important a link to your business as your phone number or postal address and should be included on all your literature, letterheads, fliers, business cards, etc.
  • There are many different Domain roots; .ie, .com, .net, .biz etc., and the one you pick will very much depend on which country you are based in.
  • I would normally advise clients who have businesses based here in Ireland and who intend to sell mainly in the Irish market to use .ie. Export businesses on the other hand may need to pick their domain root depending on their main export markets. United Kingdom: .co.uk, USA: .com, France: .FR.
  • All of these domain roots have different rules applied to their use and for some you may have to prove that you are entitled to use the name. In order to use the .ie domain root you will need to complete several steps detailed here.

What is Website Hosting and why do I need it? + -

What is Website Hosting and why do I need it?

Your actual website is created using a whole series of computer files and just like the files on your own home or work computer these need to be stored securely. These website files need to be accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week and so must be placed with a company who provide an internet hosting service. Your files can still be accessed from your own computer using the internet and it is possible to easily upload or download files as required.

There are many companies who provide hosting and my advice would be to pick an Irish company, it is always useful to be able to phone someone up if you have an issue. I think that it is always good idea to have hosting set up under your own company name, this means that you will always have control over the files and will be able to restrict access as required.

Your chosen domain name is linked to the hosting.

While not essential it can be more straightforward to purchase your domain name and hosting from the same company.

What is a Content Management System? + -

The internet in it’s current form has been around for many years and initially most websites were built using html which requires a knowledge of computer programming to both build and edit.

Content Management Systems or CMS simplify the building and editing of websites by allowing users with average knowledge of word processing computer programmes or similar to create and edit their own content. They do this by providing an inbuilt operating system which allow Users to easily create Pages, Posts, Galleries etc. without the need of computer programming knowledge and experience.

There are several different types of CMS which include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento…..

What is WordPress? + -

WordPress is a Content Management Systems (C.M.S.) which generally needs a web developer (me) to set up, design and add features to, but is primarily a website maintenance tool which allows people with average knowledge of word processing to create content and with a little extra training make changes to their websites. A great feature of WordPress is the ability to create different User profiles which means that users can be confident in making changes to the site in the knowledge that they cannot damage the site or affect the overall design.

I mainly produce websites using WordPress.

What is a Reponsive Website? + -

A responsive website means that the layout of the pages will change depending on whichever device is being used to view it on. This provides an optimal viewing experience which ensures easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.

 

Any websites I design and build are responsive.

What is a Blog? + -

A blog is an online communications tool which can be used to keep website viewers up to date with all company news, new products in development, awards won or exhibitions or shows you may be attending. It can also be useful for explaining changes in technology, design or legislation specific to your area of business.

 

Your blog should be regularly updated, ideally once a week, however if this isn’t possible once a month.
If you prefer the blog page can be called a News page.
Blogs can be short or long it doesn’t matter as long as the posts are relevant to your business.

Should I have a Blog on my website? + -

A blog is a simple way to keep your readers or potential clients up to date with all company news, new products in development, awards won or exhibitions or shows you may be attending. It can also be useful for explaining changes in technology, design or legislation specific to your area of business. If you prefer the blog page can be called a News page.

 

A blog is a great way to explain in more detail to potential clients the work that your company does by using specific case studies. It can allow you more freedom to “chat informally” to potential clients about your company away from the more structured pages of your main website. Blogs can be short or long, it doesn’t matter as long as they are relevant to your business.

 

Another important reason for having a regularly updated blog on your website is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. What better way to increase the relevant keywords on the website than by writing blogs about your business and products. You can provide an insight into your business and share your own personal vision as to how things should be done.

How long does it take to design and build a website? + -

It is always difficult to estimate how long a website can take to design and build as there are a lot of factors which can influence this process. Depending on the type of website required a build can take anything from a week to a few months.

Here are some examples of the types of website we build and the length of time it can take:

  • A brochure website is the most straightforward to produce and can take anything from one to four or five weeks to build. These times are dependant on the amount of pages required and the amount of content which has to be placed on each page.
  • An E-Commerce website is a much more complicated website to build and test and can take a considerable amount of time to build correctly. Once again the quantity and range of products to be displayed are the largest factor in determining how long a website will take to build.
  • A multi-language website will also add time to the build process as each page needs to be reproduced in at least two if not more languages. This means more pages to design and build and more pages to test and review.

I always arrange to meet my clients in advance before estimating how long I think a website will take to finish. Here at Ridge Design there are no standard website packages and all work is tailored specifically to my clients needs.

There are some steps that clients can take to ensure that a website is finished quickly as possible.

  • Have a clear plan for the website and the content it needs to show before your initial meeting with Ridge Design.
  • Once the page layout has been decided immediately start to write the text for the website pages. I cannot start to design the layout for a website page until I know what text and images need to be placed on it.
  • Gather together all of the required photographs and documents. You may need to set up a Dropbox account or similar to allow these to be transferred easily to Ridge Design.
  • For an e-commerce website you should gather all product information; prices, photos, specifications, options.
  • If you have a company logo contact your graphic designer to tell them you are building a website and ask them to forward you all information relating to it’s use, colours and file types etc.

In my experience a website build always runs much more smoothly and efficiently when this information is known before commencing the build.

Can I make changes to the website myself? + -

Yes, of course. I always encourage my clients to edit and update their website regularly by adding new blog posts or projects. WordPress allows me to set up different User profiles for the website which means each end User can have different access to the WordPress dashboard.

The User types can be split up into the following types

  1. Author: This is a User who can publish and manage their own content, be it posts, pages or portfolios. They will not have access to posts or pages created by any other Users nor will they have any access to the settings in the back end of the website. This type of access is ideal if you have a large number of people which wish to contribute to the text content of the website as it means they can only publish and edit their own content.
  2. Editor: This is a User who can publish and manage their own content and the content of other Users. It is very important that there is at least one person who takes ownership over the entire website ensuring that all content is appropriate and correct. This is particularly important if there are more than one User. Many of my clients like this User role and the access it allows as they can make changes to all of the content on the website apart from the Header, Footer, Overall design and Menus. It means they can be confident making changes to the existing text content and can easily add new pages and posts without the fear of “breaking” the website.
  3. Administrator: Normally as the builder of the website this is a role that I would take on. An administrator has access to every part of the website, it’s content, page layouts, menus, appearance etc. When the website is fully finished and online and as the owner of a website you are confident making changes and wish to have complete control I can make you an Administrator too.

 If I haven’t answered your question here don’t hesitate to CONTACT me.