Many Internet design companies do not stay in business for very long. You need people you can trust to take care of your business website; web designers
who will be there when you need it updated. You need to be able to contact them by phone, not just by an anonymous form or 'ticketing system'. When things
happen you really will need to speak to someone!
It is therefore wise to choose a web design company that you can contact easily and that is well established.
Our web designers have been designing business websites for over 15 years and many successful companies already trust us with running their websites. Take a look at our portfolio to view just of our clients. We use email but our phone number is also published all over this website because we like to talk to our clients!
You need a web design company with plenty of experience of creating real websites, not just a few for friends and family!
Have a good look at their web design portfolio, actually go to the websites themselves and check that they are real businesses, not just 'invented' to show examples of what they could do if they did have clients. There should be a large portfolio listing plenty of websites they have created for clients, with links to the actual websites online - if they have 12 or fewer examples, then you should really find a more experienced web design firm.
Give the website owners a call and ask about their experiences with the web designer. Are they still with the same web design firm? If not, why not? Do they receive the support that they were expecting? Have they had their charges put up? Are they having to pay more for their web design than they anticipated? Are there extra hidden charges that they didn't know about? How easy is it for them to get their website updated? How much do website changes cost?
We all know that the best references come from people we know and trust. Web design is no different. You really do need to know whether you are choosing the right web design company and the only way to find out is to do some real research.
Webgloss postively encourages you to contact our clients and listen to what they say about us.
'Generating' code for a website is easy. With software such as Dreamweaver or Serif, you press a few buttons, choose a few images and you have
a website! It is even easier when using something like Wordpress (that's why it is so popular - it's simple!).
Teenagers frequently create a few websites for family or friends and then feel that they could make some money by calling themselves a web design firm. When you contact them, how are you supposed to know that they're actually in their Mum's back bedroom? Some even produce a free website with the likes of 'Wix' or 'Yola' - place it on the linked free hosting and then wonder why it loads so slowly and why nobody can ever find it when using Google.
You wouldn't entrust your car to a mechanic who didn't know what he was doing, so why risk your company website? The dangers are obvious. Many actually know very little about web design or how to get the site a high listing position in Google. Most find that marketing themselves is difficult and they don't manage to obtain very many clients - they encounter problems when making changes because they have very little web design knowledge and eventually they get bored and give up. Where does that leave you - the client who has entrusted their website with a now non-existent company?
At the very least your website could disappear. At the very worst you could lose your carefully chosen domain name.
Another danger is the company that has no web design training suddenly deciding to add it on as an extra service within their business. Many printers did this a few years ago. They generate the code for the website and then they have problems with updating it or making it display correctly on different devices. Testing is a crucial part of web design and your website should display correctly on numerous different types of Internet browsers, graphics cards and hardware configurations. Companies that have just 'added on' web design rarely know how to do this.
Your website is the window on the web to your business. Often it is the first impression that someone will have of you and the services you offer. It's importance should not be under valued and you should think very carefully about who you entrust it to. Ask questions about their web design, how long they have been doing it - talk to their clients and look at the their websites. Make sure you gather enough information to make an informed decision!
Webgloss does not use code generators. We are all experienced computer programmers and we write every single line of website code by hand. The advantages of doing this are too numerous to list. Sites perform better in Google, they are maintained efficiently, ongoing optimisation can be applied to them and they give you a professional design that will give your potential clients the right first impression. At Webgloss we have collectively written hundreds of complex systems in full blown programming languages including Oracle and C and have years of system administration experience. Jane spent 15 years programming statistical systems in Oracle RDBMS on Sun/Unix boxes. We are creators of software as well as designers for the Internet. You can therefore be sure that we know what we're doing.
Ask how much everything is going to cost.
It's amazing how many web design firms charge extra for hosting.
They give you a price for your website but they forget to mention that
you have to pay server costs to host your website on the Internet.
Webgloss charges include hosting your website on a fast business quality server. The quality of the server really does matter because if people have to wait too long for your site to appear then they will just move on to another - time is money!
This may not seem inportant at the start but after a while you will need to make changes to your website.
Some websites are built with Content Management Systems (CMS) which allow the client to update the website themselves. This can seem like a good idea as, after being trained how to use the CMS, you would quickly be able to update your website yourself. However, it can be extremely bad for your website's Google listing! If your web designer has fully optimised your website for Google then the optimisation could be completely ruined by using a CMS system.
The best way to arrange updates to your website is for the web designer to do them and then to reoptimise the website afterwards to ensure that it doesn't move down in the Google search engine.
Ask questions about how your website will be updated and whether you will have to pay for this to be done. Webgloss includes most website updates in your monthly package fee.
'tags' but being a computer programmer can really help when running a web design firm because of all the associated technical situations.
Most web designers are not computer programmers. Many just 'generate' their websites using software packages - a really simplistic way of creating a website. Quite a few do know HTML, or at least the basics of it, and they, alongside many others use Wordpress - Wordpress does not require any technical knowledge at all but knowing HTML means that you can change more things within the Wordpress templates or even create your own templates.
All this shows you that there are many different ways of creating a website and that the code behind the website can differ enormously between web designers.
So, if you buy your website outright and your web designer goes out of business, will another web designer be able to maintain the website for you? If it's a Wordpress site then it needs a Wordpress web designer, if it's a Xara site then it needs a Xara web designer... and so on. If the code has been written from scratch then would another web designer know how to update it? It's unlikely!
You should definitely ask this question and listen to what they say but also be aware that there are no guarantees with Google positioning.
The best way of finding out the answer is to look at the positions of the web designer's other websites within Google. You need to be sure that you are checking against relevant search phrases though - those that people really will type into Google when searching - eg. dog walking Gosport... without using the company's actual name.
Be extremely wary of any web designer who promises to get you on the first page - any worthwhile web designer will tell you that he cannot guarantee where your site will end up but that they will do everything possible to get it high in Google. Then it just depends on how much SEO expertise they actually have!
We believe that we offer an honest and trustworthy service and that professional web design shouldn't cost a fortune. There is no charge for the initial design of the website, we do not insist that you stay with us for a specific period of time and we include as much as we possibly can in your monthly fee. Our business website package especially, offers excellent value for money alongside valued care and support from our web designers.
Our web design has a proven track record - with over 99% of our websites on page 1 of Google, it works for our clients!
Webgloss includes hosting, SEO, website maintenance and customer support in your monthly fee with no nasty, unexpected fees. The only additional payment is for your domain name at £21 a year.
We have an invested interest in you staying in business and making a profit so we will help you in any way we can. Your business matters to us and, unlike websites that you pay upfront for, paying a monthly fee ensures that your web designers are there when you need them - we are here to take your calls, help and advise.
Webgloss are trusted by hundreds of clients already, many of whom have been with us for years and, with over with over 15 years as a web design company, we will create a well designed, easy to navigate, Google optimised, genuine business website for your company.
There is a great deal of conflicting information on the Internet about 'pay monthly websites'. Why pay every month for years when you can just 'buy' a website and not pay monthly?
The code behind the website.
The first thing to understand is the way a website is created. It's usually written as HTML code pages. BUT each web designer will produce different code - some are good at what they do and produce lightweight, streamlined, clean HTML code and others take 'bits' from what others have created (eg. there is an HTML5 'template' that is used as the 'base' for many web designers) and then add more code which can result in heavy, messy code.
Other web designers may 'generate' their websites using software such as Dreamweaver or Xara - the software ranges from something very simplistic to those that are highly configurable. Many, many web designers know very little about how to write HTML and just use packages like Wordpress that basically do all the work for them.
The best person to update a website is the web designer who created it.
What this means is that websites are different. Even if they look the same, behind the scenes the code is different. The person who is most likely to be able to understand and update a website is the web designer who originally wrote (or generated) the code for it.
Other web developers may look at the code in horror and stand very little chance of changing it and keeping it working efficiently. Most do not want to update websites that have been created by someone else. If it's a Wordpress site then it need a Wordpress developer (and even then it may not be easy because it may not be the original generated code). If it's been generated by Xara software then it needs a developer who uses Xara... and so on.
So - what I'm 'buying' may be pretty useless to another developer?
Yes. You 'buy' a website and that's fine for a while. But if your original developer stops creating websites (and many do, especially when it's a web design firm with just one person creating websites!) what are you going to do? You will have the unenviable task of finding another web designer who is willing to take on someone else's code!
We have refused to take on websites from other web design firms.
In the years that we have been designing websites Webgloss has been contacted many times by web designers about to stop web designing, who wanted us to take over their client websites. Web design firms go out of business all the time and many do not want to leave their clients 'high and dry', without a web designer to update their websites.
None of the web designers who have contacted us have asked for payment but we have only ever agreed to take on two web design firms in over 15 years. These were the only ones where we considered the code behind the websites to be clean, well written HTML that we could update in the period before we carried out redesigns for them.
Even when you purchase your website you usually still need to pay for hosting.
One way or another you will need to pay for your website to be hosted. If you have paid a one-off sum to purchase your website, then it is likely that you will pay a monthly or yearly fee as well for hosting. Often a web designer will include the first year of hosting in the lump sum but what happens after the first year?
Paying monthly when the hosting is included avoids this problem.
Most web designers will charge to update your website as well.
We have heard horror stories of web designers charging £90 an hour to update websites! Obviously most web designers charge far less than this and often there will be a 'maintenance package' that you can purchase, again... a monthly fee!
Webgloss includes the majority of site updates in your monthly package charge and we believe that this gives you the best value for money for your website.
Your website may not be coded for Google.
If you are lucky enough to find a web design firm that knows how to optimise HTML for Google (many do not have the skills for this!) then we believe that it should be included in the cost of your website, not offered as an extra that you again have to pay for.
Website code also needs keeping up to date.
Coding standards and Internet regulations change all the time. Websites should be 'maintained' behind the scenes as well as having content updated. You may need to pay for the web designer to return to your website to do this if you have purchased your website with a one off payment.
All these little 'extras', mostly paid monthly, mean that you are likely to be paying far less in the long run with an inclusive pay monthly web design package than you would when you just 'buy' your website.
A domain name is the 'web address' of a website, eg.
http://www.allthebestbaskets.co.uk - it is what you type into your browser when going directly to a website. Every website needs one.
Webgloss can help and advise when choosing your domain name and, as it is imperative that your business does not 'lose' its domain name, we renew them with the regulating authorities once a year (£21 fee).
For instance, if you decide to sell your business the new owner will probably want the domain name as part of the deal. Legally it won't be yours to sell. This could seriously devalue your business or stop the sale from happening altogether.
Hosting is just a term used for the area on the Internet where your website resides. The Internet (even the so called 'Cloud'!) is just a series of servers (similar to your desktop computer) that contain hard drives (just like the one in your computer, only on a massive scale). There is no mystery to the world of storage online although the terminology often seeks to create one. The most complex aspect is the way all the different servers communicate with each other - their 'networks'.
Every website needs a home on the Internet and this will be on a server. The type of server matters because some are incredibly slow, outdated and run old versions of server software (this type of hosting is usually cheaper!). Some servers crash frequently which causes websites to be 'offline' and others are efficient and well maintained.
Webgloss hosts your website on reliable, business quality servers and includes all hosting in your monthly fee.
Once we have received your company logo, if you have one, and sufficient information to enable us to create just a single page layout for you, it takes around 10 days for us to complete your no obligation draft website design. We then email you to view your draft and await your feedback. When your website draft design has been agreed, we ask that you send us the rest of the content for your website and, as long as we have received all the content, the full website should take less than 2 weeks to create, depending on the size and complexity of the content.