Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a web site cost?

This is somewhat like asking how much a house costs. Web sites can range from the very simple to the very complex. The most basic site is normally 5 or 6 pages, consisting of text, pictures, and links. While they can be very attractive and professional in appearance, these so-called "brochure" sites are relatively static; with limited dynamic or interactive content. Depending on the degree of custom design work, a nice brochure site can generally be developed and brought online for around $1,000.

Sites containing complex forms, custom graphics or complex video features may increase the price of a site, though most of these sites are still quite affordable.

The most complex - and most expensive - sites are those with highly interactive content. Online commerce or shopping sites and those requiring database integration are among the most expensive, often costing tens-of-thousands of dollars.

How is a web site built?

Web pages are very different from word processing pages. To get an idea, visit any web page, right click on the page and select "View Source" or "View Page Source." You will see the web page as your web designer sees it. The complex array of coding not only includes the page content, but the intricate styling details of colors, layout, margins, padding, borders, fonts, and more. Each of those details must be coded into your site for each content element.

In addition to the coding that goes into your site, most attractive sites use custom graphics to improve the look, feel, and professionalism of the site.

Can I build my own web site?

Unless you are experienced at editing HTML code, you probably will not want to try it on your own. There are many good software packages that allow you to edit web content without having to learn HTML code, but chances are poor you will be able to complete a functioning site relying solely on these programs. This is especially true when having to configure content like interactive forms or other features on your site.

What do I get when building a site with you?

I will be happy to consult with you free of charge to determine the best way for you to get on the web. From there, I will build your website using the text and images you provide. You will be able to view the progress of your site in a private development area on my site before it is released to the public. I will help you arrange web hosting and domain registration, and depending on your web host will set up e-mail accounts for you using your new domain name.

Your site will be built to modern HTML5/CSS3 standards and can be mobile responsive if that is your preference.

Can I select my own domain name?

Yes, though it is most efficient to register the domain name with the web host where your site will reside. Transferring domain names between hosts can be a slow and difficult process. I will be happy to check availability of domain names and assist you with the registration.

What does it cost for a domain name and web hosting?

Domain names are inexpensive; normally $10 - $15 annually. Web hosting plans vary by provider, but because of my commercial hosting plan with GoDaddy, I am able to pass savings along to you and offer unlimited web hosting for $50 per year.

Once my site is built, how do I keep the content updated?

Part of owning a web site is keeping its content fresh and relevant. We can enter into a maintenance agreement by which I will make requested content updates to your sites. The standard maintenance agreement is only $250 per year. Sites requiring more intensive updates may cost more. Updates can be requested by email, and the turn-around time is generally very quick. I will also archive a backup copy of your site each month as a historical record of your content.

How do search engines work, and do I have to pay to be listed?

There are several commercial search engines in common use. Those used most often are Google and Yahoo. Each use different formulas for assessing your web content for the purpose of returning search results.

Search engines send out "robots" to "crawl" the web. They look at various elements of your site and create an index, from which search results are drawn. Each handles this process differently. Much can be done to maximize your search engine performance at no additional cost, however the search engines offer paid plans to appear as “sponsored listings” resulting in preferential placement. For more information about search engines, please take a moment to read the page About Search Engines.

You can pay the search services for enhanced search engine results (sponsored results), but I don’t recommend starting that way. I would prefer to work with you to assemble the most effective web elements that allow the search engines to perform their function at no additional cost to you.

If I want a site, how should I begin?

Start by doing a little research on what you want in your site. Look at the sites of other businesses in the same or similar industries. See what you like and don’t like on their sites. You should not copy someone else’s site, but you should learn from others and put together the best site you can for your business. Once you have an idea, contact me to arrange a discussion about your site and the approximate cost.

From there, you can begin to assemble your content. You can write the text portions you want to appear on the site and collect any graphics. Identify any company logos you want to use, along with the desired color scheme you prefer.

Go Mobile!

Culver Web Design is pleased to offer fully responsive web development for desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones.

The web has now passed the tipping point where more visits occur on tables and smart phones than on conventional PCs. Search engines have also begun to give preference to mobile-friendly sites. It has never been more important to make sure your site is responsive to all devices.

Getting Started

If you think you might be ready to begin planning your new web site, here are a few things you can do to help get the project started:

  • Read through the list of Frequently Asked Questions on this page to learn more about what is involved in building a web site.
  • Look at web sites of similar organizations. Note what you like and don’t like about each. Copy the address of those you like.
  • Consider the color palette you want to use.
  • Collect good clean copies of company logos, artwork, brochures or anything else that captures the essence of your corporate identity if it is already established.
  • Make a list of the words and phrases a person is likely to use when searching for your product, service or organization. Focus your attention of phrases other than your company name.
  • Consider possible domain names, but do not register any. You can have more than one, and consider having the name that includes words upon which a user may search.
  • Consider the text that will be used in your site. Begin to prepare a professional program statement describing your company or organization, what it does, its history, etc.
  • Make a list of questions and contact Culver Web Design.