Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a website cost?
The cost or a website depends on three factors:
- the size of the project (number of pages, number of photos) - a three-page website will cost less than a site with several thousand pages
- the calibre of the design (static graphics will cost less than animations or videos and sounds)
- the functionality requirements (forms, payments, content management, galleries, blogs, chatrooms, newsletter systems, statistics...)
What information is required to get started with a web design project?
- the objectives of the website (credibility, information/cost reduction, enquiries/sales generation)
- the domain name to register (or access details to an already-registered domain)
- list of keywords for which you want the website to be visible in search engines
- branding info - any logos or graphic headers, or instructions to create them
- marketing info - slogans, headlines, 3 good reasons why you are the best, profile of clients you want to attract
- structure - number of pages-subpages
- functionality - for both the visitor (eg. forms, payments) and yourself (eg. admin console to make changes, send newsletters, view statistics)
- content - the wording and images for the pages, or instructions to create them.
What do you mean by website objectives?
Generally speaking, for any activity to be undertaken in business (profitably), it must result in either (1) sales/revenue growth, or (2) cost reduction. For most businesses, the objective of their first website to reduce marketing costs: when a customer calls with an enquiry, instead of sending out a catalogue or arranging a meeting to present their product, they can simply refer them to the information on their website.
In addition, of course, a professional website will add to the credibility of your business.
If cost reduction is the only objective, ie. the website is not meant to bring in new business, there is no need for features such as search engine optimisation and internet advertising, some of which can be very expensive. In this scenario the business can save a lot of unnecessary expense simply by being clear about the project's objectives.
Obviously, if the objective is enquiries and/or sales generation, the list of keyword phrases for search engine visibility will become most important. Special care should be taken when defining those keyword phrases.
How does a website make money?
In three simple steps:
- Attract visitors to the website (traffic generation)
- Convert visitors to enquirers (conversion)
- Convert enquirers to customers (sell to them).
What are the options of attracting visitors to my website?
The most common is to optimise the website for search engine visibility for defined keyword phrases, so it can be found in google searches most relevant to the product or service you want to sell. However, some clients may prefer to attract visitors by using off-line advertising methods, especially if their keywords are very competitive. In this case, you can advertise your website in the other media (including social media), through mailouts, letterbox drops, personal marketing (such as networking) etc.
Another option is using google adwords. Here you pay google direct to put your ad (with a link to your website) on the search results for desired phrases (as distinct from paying a professional like us to position your website within the organic ranking results). Google will charge you per click - every time anyone clicks on your ad you will be charged, the amount depending on the competitiveness of the search phrase (from as little as 10 cents to as much as $100+ per click). The advantages of adwords are speed (your ad can appear there today) and control (switch it on and off as you please), the disadvantage is cost.
What determines google ranking?
Your ranking (for any given keyword phrase) depends on two factors:
1. Phrases proximity to the search
- How close are your keywords to those being searched (keyword selection)
- How often do they occur on the page (keyword density)
- Where do they occur (keyword weight)
2. Site popularity
- How many links point to your site from the web?
- Weight of those links – relevance and ranking of linking sites
The most important part for you is to supply your web designer with a well-thought list of keyword phrases for which you want your website to rank, if possible no more than ten, in priority order. The best possible source of ideas for the right phrases are your customers - simply ask them what would they type into google when searching for your product or service.
Once your website is built, you can test those phrases with google adwords, checking which ones deliver you the most enquiries and the highest rate of conversion of enquiries to sales.
How many keywords can I have on my website?
There is no limit, however the more keywords you list the less weight each of them will get. In simple terms, google assigns a weight of 100 to your website, so if you have 100 keywords each of them will have a weight of 1; if you have one keyword it will weigh 100; and if you put the whole dictionary there each keyword's weight will be close to zero.
What is search engine positioning?
Another approach to SEO is to position the site for specific ranking on specific keyword set (search engine positioning). An example could be to position your website on the first page for "accountant melbourne".
This option is quite expensive, often in excess of $10,000 per year per phrase (the cost will of course depend on the competitiveness of each phrase), although on the other hand the results are guaranteed (meaning you don't get invoiced for periods when the ranking is not achieved or maintained).
If you are interested in search engine positioning service, we recommend the following process:
- keyword phrase definition - the first step is for you to define the exact phrase(s) for which you want to achieve first page ranking; each phrase should be tested with adwords for conversion
- make note of the current ranking for each of the defined phrases
- re-write your current website (especially home page) content to emphasise the new phrase(s)
- allow time for indexing and evaluate the ranking again
- if ranking still unsatisfactory, order specific positioning (the cost will depend on the competitiveness of the phrase, roughly between $10K - $50K per phrase, with result guaranteed for a year).
What is responsive design?
Responsive design means that one and the same website shows itself differently depending on the device it is being viewed on. For example, the website content may be showing in three columns on a desktop screen, and in a single column on a smartphone (so phone users don’t have to scroll sidewise). This is different than building a separate website for mobile phone viewing; here the website is the same, just its layout changes.
Have a look at this very page - use your mouse (or your fingers) to resize the window you are watching this page on, to see how its width adjusts to the width of the window, and how the animated header (that would not show on smartphones) disappears once a phone resolution is reached, to be replaced by large full-width navigation buttons (easy to click on with your fingers).
Why invest in responsive design?
- The use of smartphones and tablets to browse the internet is growing exponentially (although admittedly it differs per market segment - you need a reasonable proportion of your customers/prospects to be using smartphones for browsing, for investing in responsive design to make commercial sense)
- Avoid content duplication that can reduce your search ranking (common problem with having a separate mobile site)
- CMS sites easier to administer (single location for content)
- Same url for all views (better for SEO and social networks sharing)
- Recommended by Google for better user experience.
Does it matter where a website is hosted?
Yes, the rule is to host your website as close as practicable to the market you are targeting. Google recognises the physical location of your hosting server, and it will lower your ranking for geographically restricted searches if you are hosted elsewhere; for instance, if you are an Australian accountant but your website is hosted in the US (which may save you $100 or so a year), if your prospect searches for accountants and restricts the search to "pages from Australia", you may not come up, or at least your ranking will be lower. Google determines whether or not you are from Australia by your domain name (au at the end helps) and the physical location of your hosting server; it is to your advantage to have both those factors covered.
In addition, for Australian businesses, hosting overseas has the disadvantage of slowing down the loading time, because of our slow intercontinental connections. Since you may lose up to 20% of your visitors for every additional second of loading time (depending on your target market), slowing down the site just by a couple of seconds may halve its chances of commercial success.
You should also take into account the level of service you require. For example, when your emails go down, would you like to grab the phone and talk to a real human being at the other end, or are you happy to accept online support with 48 hours response standard? Is domain name renewal included in the hosting, or charged separately? What if you need more space, ssl certificate, unique IP... - will you be able to upgrade? What if your website goes down (eg. because some software update on the server affects compatibility with your website's software), or it gets hacked- will you get the support you need?
As a guide, for standard hosting (shared IP, 1gig space, no ssl) on Australian servers you should not pay more than $25 per month. Some US hosting sites advertise small hosting packages from as little as $1 per month - however the level of support is zero (obviously). Our standard hosting ranges from $150 to $200 (as we have the "low cost" reputation to maintain), and it includes domain renewals (if registered with us) and unlimited telephone support.
What is the difference between domain registration and hosting?
Those two are separate services. Domain registration is like registering a business name, while hosting is like paying rent on your business premises - indeed hosting is the rental you pay for the space your website (and any associated email accounts) occupies on the hosting server.
For customer convenience, we offer free domain name renewal (one domain) with every hosting account (provided the domain is registered with us).
Domain registration scam warning
A few of our customers get caught in this scam every month (even though it is actually several years old), enough to issue this warning.
The essence of the scam is selling domain registration at high prices. As a guide, domain registration or renewal should not cost more $100.
Let's say you own a domain name yourbusinessname.com.au. Your contact details as the owner of this domain are on public record and can be harvested by scammers. One day you receive an officially looking invoice for domain name renewal for yourbusinessname.com for $250. The scammer hopes (correctly as it turns out) that a percentage of recipient won't notice the missing .au at the end and pay the bill.
This scam is very clever as there is nothing illegal about it. The invoice is basically a sales letter, offering you domain registration. If you pay it, the scammer will indeed register this new domain for you, so the service you paid for will be delivered, making it a legitimate business transaction.
A variation of this scam is a letter or email warning you about someone trying to infringe on your branding, eg. someone is trying to register yourbusinessname.ch, however for only a few hundred dollars we can secure this domain for you.
How can you protect yourself? First of all, read your invoices carefully before paying them. In case of domain registration/renewal invoice, make sure you know exactly whether you are paying for a domain you already own (in our example yourbusinessname.com.au) or for a new domain you don't really need for anything (yourbusinessname.com). In addition, keep clear records about all the domains you own, so that at any time you can check whether or not any of them is due for renewal and who is the service provider. You may also consider consolidating all your domains and hosting account with a single supplier (preferably us...), so that you can simply discard invoices or sales letters coming from anyone else.
How can I use YouTube to promote my business?
- Demonstrating products/services - YouTube allows you to show your business in action
- Promoting products/services - about half of internet users searching for information will search YouTube before searching Google
- Demonstrating expertise - build reputation as an expert in your field
- Leveraging events or promotions - revisit successful events by showing their video footage
- Provide solutions for your customers – eg. videos demonstrating how to install or use your product.
In summary, if you are thinking of using videos on the web, YouTube is the way to go. Not only you gain additional exposure for searches, but also you save a lot of money – putting a YouTube video on your own website will cost a fraction of what it would cost to create a custom video player, and you don’t have to use your own bandwidth too!
How does ranking work for YouTube searches?
Let’s start by explaining what YouTube ranking is. For example, you upload a video called ‘best carpet cleaning service’ to promote your carpet cleaning business. Obviously there will be plenty more videos on carpet cleaning, so the question is: if a visitor searches YouTube for carpet cleaning, what determines the ranking of those videos (of course you want to end up on the first page)?
In the past, the ranking was determined by the number of views – the more views your video had, the higher its ranking. This setting allowed for using tricks, such as buying views, so now the YouTube algorithm has been changed to VIEWING TIME, calculated as a percentage of your video’s total time. So if your video is 2 minutes, and everyone viewing it watches it for the full 2 minutes (rather than exits after a few seconds), this shows YouTube that it is of interest to users doing this particular search, and consequently that ranking lifts. In other words, if you want your video to rank high, you have to make it interesting (fair enough). At the same time, don’t take any offers to buy views, as it is now a waste of money.
What hosting infrastructure do you offer?
Service provided at Allwelt International include website hosting and maintenance, domain registration and renewals, email hosting/setup/support, and DNS hosting to deliver a complete web site experience. These systems are built and deployed on the Web24 cloud, with networking and infrastructure managed and maintained by the team at Web24 in their data centre in Melbourne.
By partnering with Web24, Allwelt International is able to focus on our core business of providing web design, internet branding & marketing services, and leverage Web24 expertise in the cloud to pass on the benefits of the cloud to our clients. The customer focused team at Web24 has been instrumental to achieving our business goals and enhancing the level of satisfaction from our customers.