Frequently Asked Questions, and Answers To Them

Pre-sales Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

It’s no doubt that the task of making a web site can be a daunting one. I try to do my best to make things as simple as possible for you, but there are things I need from you before I can get started on your web site. For a complete list, please see my “Getting Started Guide“. It’s okay if you want to get in touch with me first to clarify anything, in fact I encourage it! It’s important that I understand every aspect and goal of your project ahead of time so I can properly advise you. If I feel I can’t deliver what you need, I’ll refer you to someone who can.

Why should I hire you when Wix and Squarespace are so cheap?

Good question! All web developers hear this one a lot, and the answer is either really simple, or really complicated, depending on your point of view.

They are solid systems and do provide a decent service if you’re looking for something simple and self-managed; but you don’t get any control over the code or hosting. That means no customization, no additional functionality and limited control over the design. In addition, when you hire me, you get a Web Developer; that’s experience with code, experience with optimization and experience with setting up your site for Google and Bing. You are not a web designer, and you need to ask yourself if it’s worth the immense amount of time required to learn and execute things like basic web site standards and SEO, while taking a gamble on the question of “will it work?”. That said, if price-point is a concern; by all means, dive in. I’ll be here when you’re ready to upgrade to a more professional and customized solution, rather than a static site.

With that said, the majority of my clients are refugees from Wix that are unhappy with the service and looking for something better.

Why is a deposit required?

As I’m sure you understand, time is money, and I have to be paid for my work. Your deposit is a good faith gesture that indicates that you are serious about your web site, and ensures that I get paid for my time. It’s rare, but sometimes a client will have second thoughts and change their mind halfway into a project, and decide not to pay after the work has been completed. I’m a professional, and I’m also a person with needs and a family, so I need to make sure I get paid for the work I do.

I don't have a web host, but your getting started guide asks for my hosting info. What should I do?

If you don’t currently have a web host, then you probably don’t have a current web site. That’s okay! Don’t worry about this information for now, as it’s intended for clients who already have web sites online. If you don’t have a web host, and don’t even know where to begin, I can make recommendations for a host during our consultation, based on your specific needs. You don’t need to have a host until I have completed your web site and it is ready to be published online. Your site will live on my server during the course of its development.

I used your instant quote tool, and the price is outrageous! What gives?

While I pride myself on my quote tool being pretty darned accurate most of the time, sometimes a user can overestimate their real needs when using it. Do you really need me to make 1,000 pages for you? You can save a lot of money by making pages yourself after I have built your site. Because your site is built using WordPress, adding new pages is very simple, and doesn’t require you to do any coding at all. I would usually recommend only having me build the pages with unique designs (home page, about us, contact page, etc.), and taking care of general content pages (where you can simply copy and paste text in and be done) yourself, as it will save a lot of money.

Also worth noting are extras like Google Analytics and Cloudflare. These aren’t very difficult to implement yourself if you follow simple guides. The surcharge for these services is because I manage them for you via my own business accounts, and take care of configuration and troubleshooting for you. Not paying for these extras at the time of development doesn’t mean you can’t have them.

What if I pay up front, and then decide I'm not happy with your work?

It’s rare, but it does happen. I can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Assuming that the total time spent on your project amounts to less than what you have already paid, I will refund you for any unused hours. If your deposit doesn’t cover the hours on the invoice, then you will still be required to pay for the hours I did work. I am unable to offer refunds for work that has already been completed. Once we’re settled up on the payment details, I will release all work I have done to you, and/or deploy the site as-is to your web host so that you can have another developer (or yourself) take over the project from there.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Why is it so expensive? I can get hosting for $5 at [Cheap Host]!

As with everything else in this world, you get what you pay for. You can absolutely get basic, cheap web hosting for a lot less money. If your site only has a couple dozen visitors per day, then you should probably use that cheap hosting, as you won’t stand to benefit much from managed hosting.

However, if your site is large (or it will be), then it will quickly begin to get very slow on a cheap host. The reason you can get hosting for $5 is because your site is hosted on a server sharing resources with hundreds, or even thousands of other web sites. If there are more than a few people using your site at once, it will either slow to a crawl, or will go down entirely, depending on your host. It’s also worth mentioning that the concept of “unlimited” doesn’t really exist with these hosts. If your site is using too many resources, they will shut your site down.

With managed hosting, your site essentially has its own dedicated server. You won’t be fighting for resources with other sites, and you can handle more traffic. Additionally, with managed hosting, I optimize the server and your web site to make things even faster, and increase the number of concurrent visitors your site can handle, thanks to specialized caching techniques and NGINX server optimization. This just simply isn’t possible with other hosts.

Of course, setting this up and maintaining it takes a lot of time, and even more knowledge. You’re not just paying for the hosting, you’re paying for a server administrator to stay on top of things like performance and security updates, as well as managing WordPress for you.

You mention that you use Digital Ocean. Can't I just set up my own Digital Ocean VPS?

Absolutely! As long as you know what you’re doing, that is. I would simply just deduct the cost of the Digital Ocean plan from my invoice.

Be aware though that taking control of a VPS can be a daunting experience if you’re not familiar with how it works, or with the Linux command line. A VPS doesn’t work like standard web hosting, so you won’t have a control panel, everything is done via a command terminal.

Of course, if you really want absolute control over it, I will help guide you through the entire process. Once I have access to a root terminal, I no longer need access to your Digital Ocean account.

I already have a VPS, can I pay you to manage it for me?

As much as I would love to, the answer is no.

Hosting environments can vary greatly from one system to the next. My hosting system is very specific in regards to software configuration, and I can’t guarantee that everything will work well together if you already have a VPS up and running. Sorry, but it’s the only way I can promise stability and speed.

With that being said, if your VPS is a brand new, fresh installation of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with no services installed but SSH, I will be able to work with that. I am unable to support other operating systems at this point.

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