your questions answered...

How much does a website cost?

It depends on the development time. Many companies work on a price per page but this can be misleading because certain designs may have very small pages with little content so they should be cheaper. A good information hierarchy should lead the user quickly by good navigation to the information they want, cramming as much content as possible onto pages to keep the page count and cost low is a bad approach.

Our solutions are all priced individually and typically start at £300 - £500 for a 5 - 10 page site in a one-off design. Of course if existing branding is in place this is adopted and taken into account in prices.

What options are available for site maintenance?

There are a number of different ways of maintaining a site once it's live depending on the particular scenario. We do not lock our clients into any kind of maintenance contract and they are free to maintain the entire site themselves should they wish. Different approaches to site maintenance would be as follows:

  1. Pages maintained by Pixel Concepts
  2. Pages maintained by client using web authoring software/training
  3. Content managed using a content management system (CMS)
  4. A combination of the above
How can I get good search engine rankings?

There are many things that must be done to get good search engine rankings. To start with the site really should be built with this in mind. Some important factors are as follows:

Page names / titles
URLs used
Keywords in hyperlinks, bold or headings
Keyword density
Site size
Link popularity (How many sites link into your site)
Search engine friendliness
Social signals

We are happy to advise more on this, all sites are built with these factors in mind although search engines are not the only way to drive targeted traffic to your website.

How do we get good visitor counts?

There are a number factors in attracting good numbers of visitors to your site. They must all be considered from the start when a site is designed and we strive to do this with every project. Not only must the website be well designed for search engine friendliness but other ways such as swapping links with non-competitors can also help. The content and navigation must be good because nobody will recommend a bad site and repeat visitors account for good levels of traffic. Keeping in touch with your visitors is also a very good way of creating traffic, let them sign up for a newsletter and build a sense of community. People welcome news about things they have asked to be told about and using email this method of distributing news about products, offers or anything else will cost almost nothing. Social media also plays a key part in the marketing of any business. We can advise on all aspects of this and help where needed with social media campaigns on popular platforms.

How do we measure the success of a site?

The obvious way of measuring the success of a site would be based on the number of enquiries or sales gained directly from the website but there are other ways of measuring it's success. Gaining feedback from your visitors is a great way to understand the effectiveness of the website and more feedback can be "bought" by offering a prize draw for visitors helping with feedback. Easy and quick to setup and very effective. We can also advise on trackers that provide invaluable statistics based on visitor behaviour on your site and where they came from.

How do I keep in touch with visitors?

There are a number of ways of doing this but perhaps the most effective is by creating an email newsletter service. We have done this many times for our clients and some have many thousands of subscribers. It works very simply by allowing visitors to add or remove their email address from a database. A simple admin area allows the site owner/administrator at any time to send an email to the subscribers. Other ways would be to have a forum or noticeboard or even a chatroom on the site. These options can be added to any website.

What technology is best for my site?

The technology used depends on functionality of the site and the target audience. A good understanding of the target audience is vital before designing a site to be sure it will have the right impact. That impact and the way the site behaves is largely influenced by the technology used. We can advise on what's best for each project and adopt the most relevant approach.

What is a database driven website?

A database driven website is a site that contains information on it's pages drawn from a database on request. Without knowing it, when you search for pages using search engines or look at products on ecommerce sites you are almost certainly making requests to a database. When this happens the records in the database matching your criteria are inserted into the page and sent to your browser. This approach is not always appropriate but when it is there are many benefits to be found as follows:

  1. The user can specify criteria and search in a number of ways
  2. The same information can be presented in a variety of ways
  3. The information can be sorted
  4. Maintenance is a lot easier
Why is a dynamic/database driven site a good thing?

There are a variety of advantages to a database driven site for both the visitor and the site owner/administrator. A well designed site would have a number of different ways of navigating through the information or searching it. As the user navigates and is effectively applying criteria they can be presented with only valid options so it's quicker and easier for them to find what they want. Huge advantages can be found when it comes to maintaining this kind of website. Page templates are created that simply define how information from the database is displayed. Take a small company with perhaps 50 products. If each product had it's own page that would be 50 pages in a static site. Using a database driven approach it would be just one page. In addition it's also quite possible to have special admin pages that staff can access to change site content using just a browser with no training required of special web authoring software.

Can you assist with copy and images?

Yes in most cases we do help with copy. Sometimes corporate literature provides maketing information that can be tuned to this media. More often brochures are not suited to direct translation so new and amended copy must be created. We can advise on this and also help source suitable images if needed.

What would be a typical project lifecycle?

Typically a project would go like this:

  1. Agree functional specification
  2. Develop design concepts and agree look/feel
  3. Develop prototype pages to test navigation, functionality
  4. Fine tune pages. Add/refine copy
  5. Final test of complete website
  6. Upload website and test on live server
  7. Submit to search engines
  8. Measure visitor numbers and maintain site