Web Design Austin
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Web Design & Development FAQs

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More information needed? Try these Web design/development questions and answers:

About Interaria’s services & operation
 What is special about Interaria?
In a nutshell, consider the following:
  • Modern & corporate: Target audience driven corporate, professional Web design language
  • Technology driven: Demonstrated expertise in XHTML/PHP/MySQL/AJAX/Flash code languages
  • Modern solutions: Dynamic data base driven features, Conten Management Systems, iPhone/iPad compatible Web development
  • Educated: All team members have either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • Dedicated: Focused, friendly project management
  • Experience: Portfolio of 45+ thoroughly showcased Web design and development projects
  • Proven track record: 7 solid years in business; Showcased portfolio from 2004 to 2011
 Is there a fee for meeting up and discussing my project?
The first consultation meeting of up to two hours is always complementary when in Austin or Austin region. Typically we meet with a discussion draft for a dialogue and plenty of time for questions and answers. As much as you want to learn about our Web design company and prospects for your Web site, we are eager to learn about your company’s products, services, marketing and branding goals.
 Do you have/can I talk to your references?
Yes. We are happy to send out our references to you once we have started to discuss your project. For the privacy of our clients and in order to avoid excessive number of calls, we don’t publish our Web design project references online. We’ve been very pleased to count an extremely high client-satisfaction rate but that is something we rather not boast as it is very precious to us.
 How long will it take to design/develop a new Web site for my company?
We can accommodate the timeline and timetable according to your needs and understand if there is an urgency. Typically, Web site design and development projects average between four and seven weeks and extensive data-driven Web projects averaging between three and six months. The more time we have on hand, the more time there will be for several feedback rounds and confirming each stage of the Web site development process.

Based on our experience, the following factors typically determine the timeline for the project and should be taken into account in order to create a realistic timeline and expectations for the length of the project:

  • Has your company already identified the set brand direction for your marketing and/or Web site? If everything is set and confirmed we can move faster than in the case that we are involved with creating a creative brand strategy for your Web site.

Our involvement will require meetings/feedback and discussion rounds as requested by us and your company's project manager or appointed project team. We move on a step-by-step style, confirming each development phase before moving forward to the next one. If the branding ideas are not very crystallized before starting the project, we recommend adding one to two weeks additional development time.

  • Has your company already identified the text and image content for your Web site? If not, what would your timetable be for creating and confirming the content?
  • How much time does the appointed person in your company realistically have for preparing any text?
  • Does your company have photos available or are you waiting for project photos?
  • Who will be in charge for proofing the site map structure and number of pages for the Web site?
  • Would you like to use our copywriting or copyediting services?

If your company has all text and image content in hand and there will be no waiting, we can move faster than when receiving a content draft. However, we don’t require all text content before starting the project but only some idea about the number of required pages and amount of content requested for each page. Typically Web site re-design projects move forward a little bit faster than projects where all identity is created from the scratch such as a case with start-up companies.

  • How many people in your company will be involved for commenting and approving each development phase for the project?
  • How quickly can the team give answers to questions and confirm the direction?
  • How often would the project team meet up?
  • Are there any dates for management meetings that should be taken into account in the timeline?
  • What are the priority and commitment levels for the Web site design and development project in your company?

Typically projects with an appointed project manager with robust decision power move faster than projects where each step is confirmed by a larger team. Either way, we understand and respect that each company's operational and management style is different and customized to fit their organizational needs.

  • How many pages will the Web site be?
  • Will the Web site project involve designing Flash media?
  • Will the Web site project involve developing and programming data-driven features and/or content management systems (CMS)?

Typically it will take more time developing a Web site with an extensive site map and requested feature sets than a smaller scale promotional Web site although the difference in the work load for graphics design may not be that great.

 How do I know that I will like the Web site you will design for my company?
Please take a moment browsing through our Portfolio for identifying different Web site design styles, layouts and technologies and your preferences for your own Web site. We have indexed our Web site design and development projects according to different variables and attributes in order for us to better identify what you are looking for.

We are not going to leave you on an island to determine alone the kind of Web presence you need and want: Through our meetings and discussions we aim to get to know you and your company. We ask a set of branding and design questions such as outlined in our page about Brand & Identity Design. We go though a set of sample Web sites for your comments to identify your company’s position, differentiation strategy and design style taste and preferences. We also get to know your existing marketing material and all parties involved in your project team. Based on this framework, we design a home page and a sample page layout design with design variables for your team’s comments and honest feedback. Based on the comments we prepare a new round of designs continuing the process until we have reached a unified approval from your team and know and feel that your company is 100% behind the design and information architecture for the Web site. Only upon fully completing the branding/design and Web architecture phase, we will move forward and proceed with the coding and programming phase of the project.
 I am the owner of a start up company. Do you have experience working with start-ups?
We do and we understand the process of asking the right questions to get the development for your new website started.
 I have a new business idea. Can Interaria sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
Yes, absolutely.

If you are still finalizing your business idea and assuming it tackles an online based business model we also offer extended business consulting services as we’ve gained prior experience in working with such projects.
 I’ve lost contact with my Web designer, can you help me to edit and update my Web site?
Assuming that you have an ftp access to your Web site files, we can look into this on a case to case basis.
 What information do you need for providing a quote for a Web site design/development project?
Our quote is calculated based on the following variables:
  • Number of Web pages for the website
  • Need for a logo design
  • Use of Flash media
  • Videos or other multimedia
  • Requirements for a Content Management System (managing text or photos on the Web site via a back-end administrations interface)
  • Data-driven features such a customer login and account creation with set features
  • Online store features and payment gateway
  • Client login system requirements
  • SEO plan
  • Requested timeline
We are not expecting that you have all the answers ready when you contact us as we can talk you though all the questions with additional guidelines and more clarifying. It is typically good for us to meet or discuss the project over the phone in order to give a holistic and educated quote that leads to a successful and desired online presence.
 Do you charge any monthly fees?
We don’t. Upon completing the Web site design and development or SEO project and receiving the final payment to settle on the project, your company will fully own the Web site and all related files. There are no hidden costs to working with us. The only running fees (not paid to us) that you should take into account are your yearly domain name registration fee and your monthly or yearly Web hosting account fee, both to be paid directly to the associated service providers. Furthermore, when budgeting your Web site, please also keep in mind any required marketing budget for your Web site such as Google pay-per-click campaigns. Update work on your website will be agreed and billed separately according to any new work load.
 I am renting a Web site template from another company paying monthly fees. Can I get out?
If you are asking this question it appears that something in this relationship is not satisfactory to you. To biggest complaints we hear from phone calls we get from clients who’ve been renting a website are that companies who rent websites don’t allow their clients an ftp access to independently update their Web site and/or they are not willing or are unable to do requested changes in the design. If you don’t have an ftp access there is typically nothing we can do to help you to update your existing site. You can either continue working in your existing relationship and see if there is a way to meet the common ground or you need to develop a new Web site that is not tied to any third party ownership. We don’t charge any monthly fees and we will fully customize the Web design according to your preferences and the information architecture requirements for your Web site.
 Is there a minimum fee for your Web design and Web development services?
We typically don’t accept clients who are only looking for small-scale Web master or editing work as we prefer to prioritize our resources and attention for full production Web design and development projects few at a time. We are probably not the cheapest option in the market but consider our pricing very reasonable if not affordable in the context of quality and deliverables. Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information about our pricing structure and general estimate for your Web site design project.
 I am a local small business with a tight budget. Can you take on my project?
If you prioritize a target audience driven design and are looking to use your Web site as a lead generating tool, please contact us. We have plenty of small business clients whose only regret now is that they didn’t have their Web site re-designed any earlier!
 I represent a non-profit organization. Do you offer web design discounts for non-profits?
We want to do our share and use our skills to improve communities so please don’t hesitate to contact us. Especially if you can work with a longer timeline between our other projects we can see about passing on a significant discount to your way. We are especially interested in third world grassroots programs, promoting green values, helping homeless, safety of pets (we love dogs), and would be interested to see if there is a way we can work to develop a mutually satisfactory project plan.
 Can you help our company re-design our logo?
Absolutely. Often times when it is time to re-design a website, clients want their logos revised or completely re-designed as well.
 I need help in writing the text for my Web site, can I turn to you?
Yes, we offer both copywriting and copyediting services.
 Do you offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services?
Yes, we offer both Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing services. According to your goal and needs, our SEO work can include any/all of the following:

I  HTML optimization for Search Engines
    + keyword and content rich copywriting recommendations & services
    + adding unique Meta-tags for each page (title, description, and keywords)
    + working to W3C validate pages where possible
    + adding keyword descriptive text to alt tags for images used on the site
    + optimizing Flash movies for search engines, if applicable

II  Web Stats: consulting and set up of Google’s Web Analytics
    + installing Google code to each Web page so as to track visitors on a per page basis
    + introducing the client to Web Analytics, instructing on how best to make use of it

III  Online Marketing: consulting and set up of Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click account
    + suggesting keyword phrases
    + setting up an initial Campaign and an Ad Group
    + consulting to teach the client how to manage their account

IV  Google Website Optimizations: consulting and set up of Google Webmaster Tools
    + set up of the account, verifying the Web site’s identity with Google
    + custom coding a sitemap.xml according to Google specifications

 Do you offer Social Media Optimization (SMO) services?
Yes, Interaria can set your company to a modern, interactive social media environment and eco system with the following services:
- Incorporating (embedding) blog to your company’s website. Visitor doesn’t have to leave your site to read/subscribe to the blog
- Setting up and linking to an external blog; there are tons of layouts to choose from, and designs can be customized
- Social media icon links to Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn and other social media forums
- Twitter tweets embedded to the site
- "Share" content links: Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, other social media
- Custom strategies for brand communication, consistency, dialog and call to action in social media forums
 My company needs a Blog. Can you help us?
Yes, Interaria can set up any blog type – WordPress, Moveable Type, TypePad, Blogger, ExpressionEngine, Serendipity – for your company and customize it according to your company’s preferences and brand identity / messaging. You don’t need to settle on a basic template. Blogs can be fully designed, customized and personalized, just like regular web sites. We also provide solutions that update your company’s Twitter page automatically, each time a new entry has been added to your blog.
 Do you offer Web Hosting?
Our focus is in offering Web site design, development and search engine optimization services with all associated technical and consulting services for taking your Web site "live" and providing an optimal platform for viewing your Web site’s stats and other data. We offer our expertise in registering, transferring and pointing domain names and setting up Web hosting accounts that support the minimum technical development requirements for your Web site.

We recommend Web hosting companies according to your needs and our experience. We don’t re-sell any hosting plans as an easy way to make quick money and in fact we prefer that your company establishes an independent relationship with your Web hosting company. If your company already has an existing relationship with a reliable Web hosting company and you’d like to continue this relationship, we can work with them. Please contact us for more information about your Web hosting options.

About Web Hosting
 Should I host my website on a dedicated server or in a shared hosting environment?
A dedicated server allows a greater customization and flexibility of the Web server than a shared hosting environment. On the other hand, shared hosting plans normally offer higher bandwidth and storage allotments at a lower cost.

The factors to consider are:
1) How many visitors do you expect on a regular basis?
2) Do you anticipate the occasional very large spikes in traffic to your site?
3) Are you currently or do you intend to run any database driven Web applications on your site?
4) How significant is the cost factor/what is your hosting budget?

Depending on your answers, Interaria can make a recommendation.
 I want to change my Web host, how is that done?
First, a back-up copy/archive of your existing Web site will need to be made. Next step will be to sign up for a new Web hosting server and copy over all your settings, including all email settings. Then, the back-up/copy of your Web site files will need to be uploaded to the new server. After that, the DNS for your domain name needs to be updated to point to your new server and the transition is complete.
 I own many domain names, can they all be pointed to the same website?
Yes they can.

About Web Technology Solutions
 What is a Content Management System (CMS) used for?
CMS is used for creating websites that their owners can update without special coding such as HTML development skills. Even with HTML skilled staff in hand, CMS should be considered for streamlining frequent Web Master work on sections that require frequent updates (such as News, Events, Projects) as it reduces the total work time and decreases chances for coding errors or code typos.
 What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 refers to a collection of Web technologies such as Flash and PHP/MySQL intended to make websites more interactive and to provide greater interaction among users.
 When should I consider PHP/MySQL platform for my Web site?
Specifically, you should consider the PHP/MySQL platform when you are looking to develop a data driven dynamic Web site or a Content Management System (CMS) for an otherwise static Web site. Examples of PHP/MySQL based Web sites might be Web sites with secure client login areas, Web sites with private content administrator only areas, or Web sites with (custom searchable) project libraries of white papers, images, or news & events.
 What is Flash?
Flash is an animation and programming development platform — currently in version 9, we’ve been Flash developers since version 4.

Web sites or Web site content created in Flash can be viewed on nearly all modern computers. Generally speaking, Flash makes the user experience richer by adding seamless transitions between sections of content. Flash is perhaps most noticed in Web sites where photo slideshows or video is present. Typically, anytime you see animation (object moving around on your screen) or fading images on a Web site, this is Flash in action.
 I’ve heard about AJAX, what is it?
AJAX (or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a relatively recent term for the collection of Web technologies used on HTML pages to exchange data (via the XMLHttpRequest object) with the server in the background to update a Web page without having to reload the page. This provides a more seamless user experience, similar to Flash in this sense.
 What is the background history of HTML language?
There are different versions of HTML (1 - 4) and there is XHTML 1.0 which is a reformulation of HTML 4 in XML 1.0.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) started in the early/mid 1990’s as a small collection of 22 tags that defined how text would be displayed. Not all browsers rendered all tags in the same way, and while some Web browsers recognized some tags, other browsers did not. For a web developer/designer, this meant that coding an advanced website to look and work the same on different browsers (without a great number of hacks) was extremely difficult. Today, with the advent of "modern" Web browsers and their support for XHTML 1.x, these Web browser interoperability issues are beginning to recede.
 What is XHTML and why is it important?
XHTML stands for Extensible HyperText Markup Language which is a combination of XML and HTML. If you want your website to be interoperable with modern browsers going forward, it is recommended that your website be coded as XHTML. Interaria recommends coding and validating new websites to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C.org) XHTML 1.0 Strict standard. One of the goals with XHTML is to separate a Web page’s content from its styling.
 What is XML used for?
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is used to extend HTML by allowing the introduction of custom tags to classify/tag data. On a slight tangent: an XLS (Extensible Stylesheet) might be used to define the XML elements for display as HTML. Transformation of an XML document according to an XLS for display as HTML is referred to as an XLS Transformation (XSLT).
 What is CSS?
A Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is the location of where a website’s layout formatting and styling information is coded.
 I want to start an online store, what kind of payment gateway should I consider?
We highly recommend you consider using PayPal as your payment gateway, either standard PayPal or using PayPal Pro. The chief benefits to using PayPal are reduced cost and greater flexibility. We also recommend using Authorize.net as your payment gateway.
 What is the best way to show our company’s Power Point Presentation on the Web?
One option is to recode the PPT as a screen by screen Flash animation embedded on a Web page. Another route would be to offer the PPT as a download link and resource for offline viewing.
 Can you program a slideshow that I can easily update and add photos to?
Yes, we can. Interaria can custom program a Content Management System for either Flash or a Javascript/AJAX based slideshows. With the slideshow CMS, you can upload photos through your Web browser — we can even code the server to auto-resize the uploaded photos to fit to your slideshow. Changing the presentation order of the photos is easy via the back-end interface, for instance by clicking "up" or "down" buttons in the slideshows’s image order list.
 I want to post video to my website. Tell me about the technologies and the process.
The first step is be to convert your video to Web video. If you can provide your video in a digital format, Interaria can convert and resize it for the Web and provide an appropriate Video Player set-up solution.

About Web Terminology
 I’ve heard the terminology ’Call to Action’. What does it refer to?
’Call to Action’ is somewhat new terminology and refers to an information architecture and usability design that is SEO sensitive and conveys a highest possible action in the website visiting consumer (visit/conversion rate). We often talk about ’Call to Action’ icons that guide visitors of the website to perceive the emphasized sections or information of the Web site, help them to navigate through all content and overall increase the rates for contacting and establishing a customer relationship.
 What does CRM stand for and how can it help my business?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) typically refers to the process of collecting customer data via the Web, analyzing it, and then using that information to further the company’s goals, such as increasing sales. One example of a CRM system is a contact form which upon submission not only sends out an email notification to the website’s owner/admin, but also records the customer information, such as demographics, to an online database for generating online reports or exporting the collected data for further offline analysis.
 Is the term a "Web site" or a "website"?
Currently both phrases are used almost equally. New York Times insists writing "Web site" emphasizing "World Wide Web" where as several other organizations and companies write "website" emphasizing the tangible product. We just noticed that Google who used to ask "did you mean Web site?" now has changed and asks "did you mean website?". This could perhaps indicate that today there are slightly more people who are using the term "website" than "Web site" but this is speculatory. We recommend that your company checks on the language used in your own industry and consistently sticks with the chosen terminology. Grant that Interaria deliberately mixes both terms in our own website for reaching people looking for a Web site/website in both sides of the hopefully delightful debate.

About Computer Screen Displays
 What resolution should I choose/consider for my website?
The decision for optimal pixel dimensions for a website is determined by several factors such as the overall visual goals and impact for the website, the nature of virtual lifestyle exclusiveness vs. information democracy/accessibility, the age of the target audience’s computer hardware and software and the audience’s ability and willingness to modify the computer’s resolution settings. The recommended resolution for a website typically varies between 780 pixels wide to 1260 pixels wide (allowing 20 pixel margin for a scroll bar if needed), but even a greater variety than this does exist for a purpose of virtual art media.
 Tell me about developing an iPhone compatible website.
Apple recommends that websites be designed at no wider than 980 pixels to best fit on the iPhone screen. The iPhone Safari Web browser currently doesn’t support Flash but does support JavaScript. If your website utilizes Flash, for best supporting the iPhone, Interaria recommends to enable a JavaScript based Flash checker for IPhone friendly alternative content displayed in the place where the Flash would appear.
 Why do colors appear more saturated in some computer screens?
For a variety of reasons colors across various computer screens will often look different. Normally the first experience with this is when viewing a website on a Mac verses a PC: the change in color here has to do with the screens "Gamma" setting. Somewhat for historical reasons, a PC’s Gamma setting is closer to that of a TV, more blue-ish than Mac’s. The Mac’s Gamma is set by default so that the colors you see on the screen will more closely match with print results in paper. Additionally, each display technology (CRT, LCD, LED) shows colors slightly differently.

About SEO / Site Ranking
 What can I do to make my site appear higher in Search Results rankings?
The SEO industry is wide with its service providers, and it can be hard to find objective information about SEO and site rankings. We recommend that you do some independent research and get to know the basic conscepts such as Web Analytics, Google Page Rank, Pay-Per-Click campaign, keyword, metatag and so on. When you know the basic concepts you will be better able to evaluate any SEO service provider. Be careful not to fall into loud "too-good-to-be-true" sounding promises or aggressive approaches about getting your site to the top of search rankings; as much as we as SEO consultants can work towards that goal, ultimately the ranking results are determined by Google, and too aggressive strategies can yield to opposite results.

For creating and/or making sure that you will get a Search Engine friendly website:

1) Make sure that your website has a lot of relevant text content and keyword dense text. Don’t assume that your site will go to the top of rankings without a significant effort to create text content throughout multiple pages on your site.

2) Make sure that your website can be viewed as an informational resource with valuable text content for the visitor. Don’t focus just on quantity but also on quality.

3) Make sure that you saturate your text content with geographical or regional keywords to penetrate the industry competition. As an example, you are much more likely to be found as "Austin Designer Handbags" than under "Designer Handbags".

4) Make sure that the text and keywords on your site correspond with the actual search words consumers are using in Google. To check out the popularity of search terms in your industry visit: http://www.wordtracker.com

5) Make sure that your urls are keyword rich and that they correspond with the content.

6) Make sure that you have a maximum number of direct links pointing to your site from other valuable sites. Note that these sites should preferably rank the same or higher than your site in Google rank. Google appreciates if you are a part of a valuable network. To check any site’s Google rank, visit http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/pagerank-lookup/

7) Make sure that your site has a Site Map and that all links are pointing to their correct pages.

8) Make sure to Submit your site to http://www.google.com/addurl/ for Google indexing.

9) Make sure that your website has metatags in place including Title, Keywords, and Description and that they correspond with the actual content in your site. In your browser window go to "View" — "View Source".

10) Make sure that you learn how to track the number of visitors and traffic coming to your website by using your Hosting Account’s control panel or Google Analytics (or both).

11) Make sure that you create a routine for how you track the results, how often you visit the statistics, and what numbers are most important and relevant to you.

12) Make sure that you don’t think about just the visitor numbers but think about also the conversion rates, how many people are contacting you, and how many of the contacts turn into sales. If you have a lot of hits but very few contacts consider refining the message on your website to create more conversion. Don’t just assume that Google is the magic bullet to a successful business, if you have otherwise ignored your product development or marketing message.

13) Make sure that you have alternative strategies to get business if your SEO ranking goes temporarily down.

Please contact Interaria for more information on SEO and your options.
 What is Web Analytics?
Google’s Web Analytics is a free method for tracking visitor statistics. Likewise, many Web hosting packages come with a Web Stats feature that tells you from the server’s perspective who has visited your site.
 What is a Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click or PPC advertisement?
It is a paid website advertisement in Google’s search results pages where the advertiser’s ad position and frequency of appearance are based on the set daily budget, set keywords, set geographical region and set maximum bid for each click. PPC campaign can be one of the fastest ways to create immediate exposure while "natural" search engine results may take some time.
 What is the status with Yahoo! search engine?
Originally Google powered Yahoo!’s search engine. Then Google went solo and Yahoo! came up with their own search algorithms. WIth Yahoo!’s search engine user base drastically declining, Interaria recommends prioritizing the site optimization for Google. Also other search engines such as AOL’s search engine uses Google for their search technology: Showing up well in Google search results means your site will show up well in Google partner’s search results as well.

 What is a Google page rank?
PageRank is a measure of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) of the relevance Google perceives your website in the World Wide Web.
 I sometimes see websites with Google ads. What is this about?
Some website owners choose to create additional revenue or exposure by running Google AdSense on their site. After placing the provided dynamic code onto a website, Google AdSense will display and rotate relevant ads to the owner’s website message/products/services, and when an ad is clicked, the owner of the site receives revenue.
 Can Flash Media content be optimized for Search Engines?
Yes, Flash media can be optimized for Search Engines by creating SEO friendly text that Google reads as a source for information for visitors who don’t have a Flash player installed on their desktop. As most desktops have a Flash player installed, this method is used primarly for SEO. For more information about SEO and Flash (yes, indeed it is possible), please visit the following resources:

      A modern approach to Flash SEO
      How to SEO Flash

 What tools help me to analyze the traffic coming to my website?
Two of the most popular methods for checking on who has visited your website are Google’s Urchin software and Google’s Web Analytics.

Urchin is normally run on the Web server and is especially useful for generating reports and analyzing traffic on pages behind a firewall.

Google’s Web Analytics is a Web based website traffic recording and analysis tool — Google provides you a script to be placed on each Web page of your website and upon a visit loading the page, data is sent to and recorded by Google.
 Can owning multiple domain names help with my website’s search engine ranking results?
Yes, potentially. Interaria offers customized domain name SEO strategies.

New Website Launch by Interaria, Jan 2011
Retina Center of Texas:

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Interaria Web Design Dallas
Interaria Web Design Dallas