I need to get my business online, where do I start

For new business websites that best place to start is to review the top ranked websites in your industry — this will give you an initial understanding of the pages that are commonly added for your business type and the typical content options for the common page types. To learn more we encourage you to view the development section of our website, specifically our First Website FAQ page.  After you’ve got a sense of what’s needed please email us and we’ll get back to you promptly and explain the options, and of course answer any questions that you have.

Is the website cost a one time fee or do you rent the website

Once the website has been fully paid for you will own it and there is no monthly fee of use.  Please review our client services agreement to learn more about our policies.

I have an older website, can you help

While a responsive design with modern coding is best, we understand that not everyone can afford to redevelop their website.  We are pleased to assist you with updating your website no matter how old.  We routinely work with HTML4, XHTML, Joomla 1.2, etc.  We provide updates for older websites per our hourly rate, and provide a free initial assessment that covers the visual look, content, and SEO.

Do you offer website packages

All of our websites are customized to our clients, so a cost estimate is based upon the needs of a client, not arbitrarily packaged. Our clients only pay for what they specifically need, and the final cost is representative of only the work that has been done.  That being said, we do provide a 20% discount for our full web development clients who request our Advanced SEO service, and we provide a year of free Starter Hosting for new business websites when the estimate exceeds $2000.

Do you take payments

For websites that exceed $1000 we split up the website cost in four payments (20%, 30%, 30%, 20%).  For larger projects we are pleased to set up a low-cost payment plan that will work with your finances.

How can you charge so little to build my a website

Since E. Curtis Designs is a small company we don’t have a lot of overhead expense and we do our own Internet marketing; and we believe that by providing a great service at an affordable price will result in future design projects and referrals from our clients. If you’ve done a bit of searching, you will have noted that most designers either don’t mention their pricing, or charge at least twice as much as we do. Our philosophy is that a website needs to be affordable, both in its development and ongoing management.

What do I need to provide you as a client

Initially we’ll want to review your existing website, social media pages, logo and/or marketing material, where available. If there are websites that you’ve seen which you feel are representative of the look that you want in your own website please email us the links to them and note what you like about each. Next we’ll ask for a list of the pages you want to add to your website, how you want them titled, and an overview of what each page will contain. Once development starts we’ll ask for the text and image content for each page, as well as any supplemental content (PDF, Excel, Video, etc) that you want added.  You can learn more about our development process on our Development Steps page.

Who writes the copy/text for the pages on the website

Typically it is the client’s responsibility to write the text for the web pages, and to ensure that it is web-ready (proofed for spelling, grammar, and completeness).  Our belief is that it is best for the client to write the text for the pages so as to reflect their own style and business/industry knowledge.  That being said, we have extensive experience with writing copy for web pages, and will be pleased to assist you per our hourly rate as needed.

Do you guarantee a high ranking in the search engines

There are a lot of factors that will affect a website’s ranking, which is primarily how long the domain has been registered, the amount of keyword optimized text on the primary pages, the number of quality in-bound links, and the amount of competition within the industry.  For this reason we can’t guarantee a high ranking (using organic methods) and those who say they can are misleading you. Since all the websites we design are optimized for SEO most of our clients achieve a high search engine ranking after a few months, or sooner for established domains, and many are ranked #1 in their industry. We also provide advanced SEO services, which includes recommendations for layout, content, and meta-tag choices that will help in your site’s ranking.

After you have designed our website, will we be able to make changes to it ourselves

Content Management System (CMS) websites include an administrative access panel for making site changes, whereas traditional HTML5 websites will require someone with coding knowledge to make the site changes. If you are interested in making site changes yourself or intend to have a blog, please let us know that you want a CMS website.

After the site is completed what do you charge to maintain a site

We maintain websites per our hourly rate — $35 /hr. Updates are billed to the quarter-hour (changes that take 15 min or less are $8.75), and we invoice our clients per our billing cycle (typically every 3 months).

How long does it take to create a website

Once all content has been received, most smaller websites can be completed within a couple of weeks, medium-sized websites within a month, etc. There are of course factors that can slow down development, which commonly are incomplete or additional content needs after development has been started, and delays in email response and development feedback.

How many layouts do you provide when you design my website

When a client is unclear on the design style wanted and/or there are a lot of layout options we will provide several layout demos of varied type for assessment purposes.  From the feedback received we narrow down the list and provide our recommendations, as well as comments on how the primary features can be used effectively.  Once a client has chosen the layout they prefer we edit the layout’s styling per your specific development needs and utilize its best features for content presentation.

How many change requests are allowed when you design my website

When we provide an estimate we allow for approximately 30 minutes of routine change requests per page to stay within the estimate range. If ongoing changes are requested, or additional content outside of the scope of the estimate are requested, then these would be billed per our hourly rate and would be additional to the development cost once the hours for project completion has been exceeded.

What is your design experience

Edmund Price, and other designers we work with, have advanced training and education in website design, graphic design, and web scripting languages. During the development process we use advanced image editors and coding tools, and will hand code as necessary. Since we’ve been designing websites for well over a decade we have experience working with the earliest HTML and CSS versions. We also have experience working with Flash and Java.

What is your experience with editing and copy-writing

Edmund Price has many years of technical experience writing for diverse businesses and institutions; this experience includes training and writing in the field of print journalism, hospitality training and management relations (employee manuals, reference lists/tests, training agendas), business proposals in the design industry, and a degree in Liberal Arts which included tutoring college students on the proper use of English and how to organize thoughts and convey words effectively. In addition, Edmund has been building websites professionally since 2002; this experience has provided a clear sense of what is necessary in regard to the effective conveyance of text content.

Do you provide website hosting, and if so, what does it cost

We provide shared Linux hosting through HostGator. Our least expensive option is $50/year, and includes 1,000 MB of space, and 10,000 MB of bandwidth per month. We can also recommend a good hosting provider per your specific needs.

What do you use for E-Commerce

We primarily work with WooCommerce for WordPress. We also have experience with PayPal using their button and shopping cart functionality, with VirtueMart for Joomla, OSCommerce, CSCart, Prestashop, and ZenCart.

Do you build sites for a business outside of your geographical area

We will build a site for you no matter where you live, though any shipping expense of site materials will be the client’s responsibility, and we do require a 50% deposit up-front for developments outside of California.

Do you provide online marketing

Per our hourly rate we will submit your website to the top search engines and directories, review your industry and top business competitors, and from this provide you a detailed recommendations list on the best free and low cost directory and review options to submit your website.   After account creation is complete, our clients provide us their login information and we add the business details, photos, and other content as applicable for each.

In addition, we can track your website’s progress utilizing Google’s Analytics and Webmaster Tools, and provide you a weekly report of how your website is doing. We also offer an optimization service for websites designed by other designers where we will optimize all your pages for SEO ranking and provide suggestions for improvement in the layout and code for SEO and ADA Accessibility as needed.

Do you provide social media marketing

Social Media marketing is a pretty broad area, and for this reason we focus on the most popular and commonly used platforms for business. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogs, Instagram, and Houzz.   Our service includes social media page creation, settings configuration, content additions, and routine maintenance.  You can learn more about how we assist our clients with each of these on our social media page.

Why don't I see the changes that you made to my pages

When a change is made to a page a previous version will be stored in your computer’s cache. Cache refresh is typically based upon one’s individual browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc) settings to ensure that pages load fast. In most cases all you need to do is refresh the page a couple of times; yet you may need to go into your browser settings and clear the cache to see the updated pages. Note that there are also cache managers on hosting servers than will affect the page update time, and some websites use an ht-access script that will define a website’s cache settings.

Do you provide CMS website documentation and training

Once the final payment has been received we will provide any documentation provided with your CMS theme, and can assist you with finding additional information online. We can also provide a PDF guide on how to make changes to the main content areas, as well as additional training by phone or video per our hourly rate.

How large is the company of E. Curtis Designs

E. Curtis Designs is a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Edmund Price. Other design professionals may be employed to assist with a portion of a project upon a case by case basis (which is disclosed to the client), though all work is overseen by the owner, and all projects are completed in-house.

How is E. Curtis Designs different

Many of the current web developers have very little experience, so often use a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to design. What I mean by this is that they will use the same layouts and development platform regardless of what’s best for the business.

We differ from many of the current designers since we choose unique, modern layouts per the needs of the business, which we customize using modern CSS and quality graphics. In addition, we work work with all common development platforms, not “just WordPress” as most new designers do. We also have extensive experience with content presentation, graphic design, copy-writing, and SEO.

Can I meet with you to discuss my website

Experience has shown that it generally works best to discuss the website specifics over the phone or through email since this allows for us both to discuss the website needs comfortably, and helps to keep development costs down and ensure contact availability for existing clients. I am pleased to schedule a phone meeting per your availability, and development resources can be provided as emails attachments, through Dropbox, Google Drive, or by CD/DVD mailed to my physical location.

That being said, after we’ve discussed your website needs, and I am confident that I am the right designer for your project, I am fine with scheduling a short face-to-face meeting at my home, yet please note that I work out of a small home office (which includes flighted parrots), so meetings are held on our front yard patio.

What happens if you build me a site and I realize after I pay that I am not happy with it

Upon site completion we provide low cost site updates, and in some cases will make site changes without additional cost. Our primary goal is that our clients are fully satisfied, and we will make every effort to ensure this.