Website Design SEO FAQ - How much does a website cost - MN

Frequently Asked Questions


I run a small to medium sized business and want an online presence to promote my business in a professional manner to new customers and to provide a more professional image to existing customers. What do I need to achieve this? You need a professionally developed website, a domain name, and a hosting for your website. After the site is live on the host servers, you then need to market, advertise, and otherwise promote it. We can help you with this as well.

I already have a website and I need it to be updated and / or redesigned, can you help me? Yes, we would be happy to look at your existing website and give you a quote on updating it and / or reconstructing / redesigning it if necessary.

What is a domain and what is hosting? Think of a domain as a address for your house. It tells the mail where to go. In the case of a website, the domain is the address of the website and hosting is the house itself.

How much does domains and hosting cost? Cost depends on the provider. Domains average $15 / year. Hosting will average $20 / month depending on the bells and whistles purchased to go with the domain / hosting.

Do you offer all three items (domains, hosting, websites)? We do offer to help in the setup of these items with your chosen provider. They will be setup in your name and billed to you directly. This is so you can maintain control of your account.

Do also offer email? Email is usually housed with the hosting account of the website. We can set this up along with your website hosting.

How much will a website cost me? Ah, the eternal question. Various designers charge various prices. They charge anywhere from $250 to $25,000. We charge a base rate of $1700 for a 5 - 10 page design and $70 per hour for maintenance. This way, you only have to pay for what you need instead of choosing between several packages. For your convenience, we also have an all inclusive value packages & monthly financing options. Please note, pricing does not include cost of domain or monthly hosting as the contract with those providers are separate and in your name directly. When considering whether to out-source your project or not, you must ask yourself "whose time is worth more?"

What is responsive website design and do you offer this? In short, yes we do offer mobile websites. To ensure the mobile user a positive experience while on your website, there are 2 options: 1 - build a separate mobile website to ensure it looks good on mobile phones, or 2 - build an adaptive (responsive) website to ensure it looks good on all devices including desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones. We offer both. Our standard websites are built to look good on desktop computers as well as ipads / iphones while in landscape view. If you like, we can add a 1 page mobile site that the mobile user will be seamlessly redirected to. They look great on mobile phones while in portrait view. However, we also offer responsive websites that "adapt" to the device based on previously defined resolutions (such as ipads, iphones etc.). Adaptive websites is simply the better option.

I hear that there are hidden costs associated with web design services. Is this true? We are upfront with all of our pricing, hence the flat rate of $1700 for a 5 - 10 page design and $70 per hour for maintenance. Pricing does not include cost of domain or hosting. If we end up spending a-lot more time on your project that normally expected (such as in multiple meetings to go over the site or generating content / looking for pics), there may be some negotiating to implement in the interest of fairness to both sides. Just rest assured it is our goal not only give you our very best, but to be as fair and affordable as possible. If there are any questions or concerns, just ask.

How long will it take for my website to be designed? The time scale of a website design project is often dictated by you. If you have a deadline in mind, we will do our best to meet it. The most common delay in the creation and completion process is waiting for content (text / images) to be sent to us.  Competition research also adds to time spent on the project as we want to ensure your site can stand up next to and yet apart from the competition. The more information that is provided upfront, the better. We love it when an initial draft of the site can be submitted, approved, and rendered live on your own hosting account within 14 days of initial meet and greet. We hope the entire process takes no more than 30 days from the initial meet and greet. See relation to question above.

Will we need to have a meeting in connection with the website design? In the majority of cases a meeting isn't necessary and most of our websites are generally completed with contact via email / phone. There is a questionnaire that we have to detail out the expectations of your new site. It might be useful, although not necessary, to have this meeting to ensure we are on the same page. See relation to question above.

In what format should I supply words and photographs about my business for my new website? It is helpful to us if you are able to provide original, originally owned text and photographs in electronic form (word doc for text and jpeg / png for pictures). These can be sent via email, cd, paper copies, uploaded to an online photo gallery (FB, Picasa, etc.) or as samples from another site. Please be sure you have permission to use any material that you send us. If you need pictures, we do shop for high quality, relevant, non "cheesy" stock photography if the cost is within reason. Adobe is our vendor of choice. Simply email the file # of any pics you like. $5 each.

What if I do not like the design? It is our goal to completely understand your vision for your site, as discussed in the questionnaire, when we start to build it. If you do not like the design we submit to you, we will discuss what changes need to be made, and then make them. Simple as that. All we ask is that you be open minded to our obligation of informing you of what is and is not a "good" decision. It is our goal to not simply let you settle for what you want, but rather we want to give you what you deserve - our very best.

Once my website is completed, what after sales services do you offer? We fully support any site that we build. We offer website maintenance, SEO, site builder training, and online marketing services for your website.

How do I update my website? Do I have to let you maintain my site or can I update it on my own? Do I need to install any software? If you wish for us to keep your site up to date, we can do so. Allow us to free you to do what you do best - run your business. However, if you wish to update your site on your own, we can build the site to ensure this process is as simple as possible. We can even show you (at our hourly rate of $70/hour) how to use the software used to build your site (whether it be our signature desktop software or your chosen hosted website builder) and is affordable ($65 or cost of hosting) and is simple to use.

Who owns the website once the website design is completed? Once paid for, you own your website as well as the domain and hosting. It belongs to you - period. Let us know if you'd like a copy of your website files on a flash drive.

Do I have to keep my website with you forever or can I move it to another designer and / or host if I wish? A site built with a signature desktop site builder is already "backed up". It only needs to be uploaded to the new host of your choice. A site built with a web based website builder (such as Weebly) will need to be saved to the desktop and reconstructed if moved to another host / built with different software. Even if a open-source cms such as Wordpress is used, the same applies. It to has to be downloaded (backed up) before the files can be uploaded. We will be more than happy to help with this process. Simply let us know what information needs to be sent and to whom. No problem.

Can I be sure that my web pages are search engine friendly? We do all we can to ensure each website has the proper titles, descriptions, keywords, and H tags etc. We also submit the site to search engines as well as the sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools. Let us know if you'd like a set of reports to see how your site is performing.

If I wanted to hire an outside SEO agency, are you able to work with them to make the appropriate on-page changes they ask for? Short answer - absolutely yes! Of course. If there are tweeks to the text, meta-tags, keywords or other snippets of code the agency wishes to make, we will of course make them. In some cases, we have heard of agencies who will offer a redesign of your site as part of the package. If there are any design changes to the site you wish to make, we only ask for the opportunity to make them for you.

Will everyone see my site the same way regardless of what browser / resolution they are using? Your site may show slight differences depending on the browser and resolution, but we do all we can to ensure that each site is cross-browser / cross-device friendly. We thoroughly test each site in internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, in smart phones, and tablets etc. We also test in various screen resolutions. If it looks odd to you, let us know and we'll do what we can.

Do you guarantee that my site will always be available? No web hosting service guarantees 100% uptime. However, we can say that our third party hosting servers have had 99.9% up time for many years. We only use the best hosts with the best servers. GoDaddy is our current host of choice. We can provide reports to confirm your sites up time.

Do you guarantee that my site will be on the front page of Google? There are many who claim they can do this, or claim to "increase business by x percentage. My question to those folks is "at what cost?" and "for what search term?"

Can I see how many visitors I've had to my website?
We do use web tracking software (Google Analytics - as well as the host's software) to record where your visitors are coming from, which pages they are looking at, which search engines are being used, what resolutions they are looking at your site through, which phrases are being typed to search for your site, and many more interesting web tracking facts which prove to be quite useful in future web marketing campaigns.

What measures are taken to ensure my website remains secure? If your website is built with a web-based website builder such as Weebly, I am sure they will have measures to prevent hacking and injecting of malicious content. If the site is built with a CMS program such as WordPress, there are plugins along with choosing the right host that will keep your website secure. Some hosts have additional measures such as using a 3rd party such as SiteLock or an SSL Certificate. If your website is built with our signature desktop software, rest assured - we are meticulous when it comes to the security of our computers. We use the Windows 10 standard Windows Defender program to ensure our computers, and the files we upload remain virus free.

Why should I choose you for my web development company? There are an untold number of do it yourself website builders out there touting no HTML experience required. Personal experience tells us that each and every one has its own quirks to master. This can be a very time consuming and frustrating process. We aim to take this burden freeing you to do what you do best - run your business. There are also an untold number of freelance web designers and agencies out there each with their unique value. We have positioned ourselves to be more affordable without sacrificing quality. For the price given, we have to provide a quality website that is affordable.

Do you have an "ideal" website design client? We realize our prospective clients are human, just as we are. Just as there are things a prospective client should look for in a website designer, there are things we look for in a client. For projects - we love redesigns as opposed to new websites. The biggest reason for this is that the content is already there (assuming it is not changing by much). For clients - we look for those who simply are looking for what we offer - a website that reflects who they are and their unique value. We love it when clients know what they want in terms of design and content (and are clear and timely in that communication) but are willing to heed expert advice on making the best decisions. Most of all, we love it when clients are willing to show trust and make the commitment needed to allow this process to succeed.

It is our goal to provide quality, affordable, online presence solutions for those that do not have the time, want, or know-how to do themselves.
We offer quality, affordable, brochure style website design services for local small businesses in
Lino Lakes, Hugo, Centerville, Forest Lake, White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, Blaine,
North St Paul, and the surrounding Twin Cities Minnesota area.