FAQS Frequently Asked Questions

This is a list of questions we are frequently asked. If you have further questions or want to ask us specifics about your project, we’d be delighted to answer them personally – please don’t hesitate to contact us .

1.) What are the benefits of a website?
2.) What do you need for a website?
3.) What is “E-commerce”?
4.) Do I have to come to your office to get a website?
5.) How does Upstate-Designs create my website?
6.) Do you redesign existing sites?
7.) Your services seem geared towards business. Do you design websites for individuals, too?
8.) What costs will be involved with establishing a website?
9.) If I buy a website from you do I own it?
10.) What are a website’s advantages?
11.) Do you have a referral program?

1.) What are the benefits of a website?

Simple. We’ll call it the four M’s: Money. Media. Marketability. Masses. You’re in business to make Money – and to make it, you can’t waste it. A website is the world’s most effective use of Money to purchase Media to Market to the Masses.

The Internet is a very affordable Media and it functions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no labor costs to watch it. The Internet has the most inexpensive and widespread marketing capabilities ever seen – period! And a website offers your services to the Masses. Statistics show that the Internet is an excellent way to market your business and sell your products and services. More and more customers are logging on and making purchases, buying services and researching choices and information through the Internet.

Why should you limit your business to your immediate locale when the whole world is a keystroke away? You also gain major credibility by having an Internet presence; effectively, you can look like one of the big companies – all without wasting your money.
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2.) What do you need for a website?

Computer: Although highly recommended, it is not necessary for you to have a computer but it is necessary for those wishing to view your site.

ISP: an Internet Service Provider is how you connect to the Internet. This ISP will provide you with an email address to communicate by electronic mail (email).

Domain Name: This is www.yourname.com; your address or home page on the Internet.

Host: An Internet presence provider. This is where your website is stored for the world to view.

Website Design: You’ll need all the codes, computer language, scripts and graphics which, when put together, formulate your website into a viewable form for the world to see.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol to transfer information to and from your website for updates, repair, edits and changes. This is how web designers communicate with your domain at the host.

Maintenance: Updates, additions, changes, and most importantly, search engine analysis and submission of the pages that make up your website.
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3.) What is “E-commerce”?

E-commerce is the buzzword for the new millennium, and for very good reason. The Internet is changing the way business is done with literally billions of dollars being made over the Internet. E-commerce simply means Electronic Commerce. E-commerce gives you the ability to accept payment over the Internet, by either credit card or electronic checks. Through E-commerce, you can sell products or services instantly to anyone in the world without having to constantly monitor your website.
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4.) Do I have to come to your office to get a website? What if I live in a different part of the country or a long distance from you?

We can design a website for you no matter what part of the world you live in. There are several ways you can send us your information. If you already have digitized photos and text files, i.e.. Word documents and gif and or jpg images, you can email them to us. If not, you can mail or FedEx us the information that you want on your website.
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5.) How does Upstate-Designs create my website?

There are many steps involved in designing and creating a fully functional website.

First, we determine the exact goals of the client’s website. If, for instance, you are selling a tangible product then the goal would be a site that has your product listings, pictures, descriptions, prices and shipping information in an on-line catalog. The end goal being a website enabling the consumer to easily view, gather information about and then purchase these products on-line (e-commerce). In addition to these basic goals, there is the more far reaching and highly important goal of determining how this site will fit in with your marketing strategy. All these facts are formulated in a design layout that describes the fundamental business strategy behind the client’s website. In essence, we want to ensure that we, as the website design team, fully understand what is required to satisfy our client’s ultimate Internet and marketing goals.

Secondly, our design team works with the client to create a basic visual layout of how the site will appear on the screen. This can be as simple as being drawn out by the client on a plain piece of paper, using a word processor or even by showing us another website that looks like what you want your site to look like. In this step, we might make suggestions about adding any additional functions that are absolutely necessary or that might be useful. This step is our outline for the actual website.

The third step is to map the flow of the site from the consumers’ point of view in order to ensure that potential customers can easily navigate from the entry point through to the main content pages (and all other pages within the site). This is done by providing intuitive and thorough navigational tools. In this last step, we combine all the above information (marketing strategies, e-commerce, and visual layout) and come up with the final and complete website design plan. Our design team registers the client’s domain name, activates the client’s host account, codes the pages and implements any other functions necessary to make the client’s website functional. We fully test all components of the site. Then we submit the site in beta (or test) format for the client to view and approve. If any additions or adaptations are necessary, they are made at this point. The site is re-tested and then re-submitted for the client’s final approval. Next, the site is uploaded to our server with a final test of all the site’s functions.

Finally, when we are sure the test is in perfect order and the client is satisfied, the site is submitted to search engines and/or directories and the client is instructed to implement any additional marketing strategies. Viola?! Your website is ready for the world to see!
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6.) Do you redesign existing sites?

Yes. We can usually redesign an existing site more quickly, and for less money, than building one from scratch. Send us your existing site’s URL (Web address) and a general idea of what you’d like to do, and we’ll be glad to give you an estimate.
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7.) Your services seem geared towards business. Do you design websites for individuals, too?

Of course! Our competitive and flexible pricing makes professional website design affordable for individuals and organizations. We can build a website for your club; a family reunion, wedding, or other special event; a tribute to a special person—the possibilities are endless. Tell us what you have in mind.
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8 .) What costs will be involved with establishing a website?

There are three cost elements involved with developing a website and putting it on the Internet.

1. Website Development, Design and Start-Up Costs: This refers to paying a website design firm to create the site and place the site in search engine registrations worldwide. Costs also include buying a domain name and a small fee for your host server configuration. Included in this fee, at no cost, is advice or help in marketing your website. Your website’s final costs vary and are proportional to site size and capabilities. Contact Upstate-Designs for a free price quote. (We recommend never building a website without a fixed cost quote in hand.)

2. Domain Hosting: Very affordable monthly fee

3. Periodic Editing, Update and Edits/Additions: Proportional to amount of monthly work required.
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9.) If I buy a website from you do I own it? Will I get to keep it if I decide to hire somebody else down the road?

Yes , once the website is complete you “own” it . Our clients are not obligated to host with us (even though most do) and are always free to have anyone they want work on their website.
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10 .) What are a website’s advantages?

This is a big question with a multitude of answers.

Development and distribution costs are extremely low. When you compare the cost of establishing a website to what it costs to promote your business in print or on the air, you’ll see that a website is the cheapest form of marketing ever created. A radio campaign featuring several 30-second spots per week for three months could run you $5,000 – $10,000. That gets you five minutes per week of exposure for three months in the local area only. Newspaper and magazine ads are similarly highly priced, and they only last for the life span of that particular publication. A website has virtually limitless space.

You could put up a website with dozens of photographs and several thousand words for under $3,000 for the first year, and keep it up and running for a few hundred dollars per year after that. What would it cost to run a newspaper ad of this size for a year? Imagine how much it would cost to produce a catalog for 200 different products, and keep it in consumers’ hands for an entire year. You can accomplish this with a website very easily, with low development cost and almost no distribution cost. Websites are in full color – a palette of 16.7 million colors for your photographs alone.

A website is accessible globally; that means your website can be viewed by anyone, anywhere, as long as they have Internet access. There are no physical limitations to broadcast areas as in radio, no circulation region restrictions as in newspapers or magazines. You can keep your website more current more affordably than any other media; you can update a website immediately, and as often as you like. Imagine you sell products whose prices fluctuate. With a website, you can change these prices every time they go up or down, so your marketing materials are always accurate.

In addition, with a website the little guys can compete with the big guys since a website is economical and not limited by size. This means a small business can present as large or creative an image on the Internet as a bigger company – with the right design team . A website also allows easy, safe communication between the consumer and you so that anyone who visits your site can contact you at any time by sending an email. Unlike communications that originate from other forms of advertising, consumers who send emails don’t have to deal with many problems of everyday business: pushy salesmen, remembering to call during business hours, having to battle crowds to get to your stores, spending time waiting on voice mail or getting the wrong information. It’s convenient, easy, and safe for the consumer. Email is also convenient for you. You can respond to all your customer inquiries at the same time, and do it when you have a free moment – not in the middle of rush hour when someone calls up to ask for product information or directions to your location. You can save money on tech support and answering questions. If your employees spend a lot of time answering the same questions and sending out the same material, you can reduce that labor cost significantly by providing the information on the website. For instance, a client can avoid having to mail or fax information for over 1,000 phone call solicitations in a one-year period simply by providing the information on their site. That improves on labor costs and provides a real cost savings in reduced long distance phone bills (for faxes) and postage. Your website can also take orders while you sleep as people can place orders on a website at any time, day or night. But most importantly, no salesmen manning the store, no utilities, no insurance, no payroll…computers don’t need a benefit package or overtime. For every second of every day, your website is working for you!

As to your choice for website design, if a designer can’t tell you why a website is a unique marketing tool as we have here, how successful will their website be? Are they helping you to develop a marketing mechanism or are they selling special effects? Is it an intelligent tool for driving business or an overpriced, turbo-charged business card? Make sure you choose a designer with marketing expertise, experience and skills – Upstate-Designs !
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11) Do you have a referral program?

Yes. Typically speaking, we offer both cash and credit referral commissions . 10% cash or 50% credit. So let’s say you send $1000 of business our way. You can opt for $100 in cash or you can receive $500 in Upstate-Designs credit towards any of our services (may not be applied to third party services that we may bundle with our offerings in certain situations.) To get credit for a referral simply ask the person you sent our way to mention your name at some point. You get paid when we do. Please note that it is important that the client specifically tell us in writing (email) that you referred him/her. Without this, we are unable to give you credit even if YOU tell us you are referring someone our way.
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