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Website Building

I am totally new to this “website thing”. How does the whole process work?

The most important aspect of any website is the quantity and quality of information it contains. It works best if you have set clear goals and plans for what you want to accomplish with your website. Then it can develop over time accordingly.

If you do not already have a website, then we suggest you list all of the things you hope your website can do for you someday and then start with a simple one. If you already have a website, then list the things you want to retain from that site and the things you would like to add someday. Then we will help you decide how much to include with your new site and what can be added later.

If you have not already purchased a domain name, the internet address that points to your site, then you will need to purchase one.

If you have not decided where your site will be stored, you will need to "rent" space on a computer that is on the Internet so your site can be found and viewed. This is called hosting.

Sartosoft can help you with each of these features.

How does Sartosoft develop websites?

There are several steps in our development process.  These steps usually include:

  1. Discovery – If you want a new site, we start by discussing the goals, look and feel you would like for your site. We will review who you hope to reach with your website. If you already have a site and you want it rebuilt, we review your current content and will make recommendations for improvements. Based on your preferences we can give you a preliminary idea of the cost for our work.
  2. Analysis – Your website should reflect your business, so we will ask questions to understand it as much as possible. This should help us decide all of the content needed for your website, including all text and images.
  3. Preliminary Design – You will have the option of using a template that is similar to your preferred site design or have us for us to create a totally customized site from scratch.  Depending on your choice, we will create a site concept including colors, fonts, layout and functionality to show you.  Once approved we will go to the next step.
  4. Layout / Initial Design – At this point we need all of the content for your site.  We review it to determine the best way to organize it according to the initial design.
  5. Design Revisions – After reviewing the initial design, you have the opportunity to request changes. We will give you a good estimate of the cost at this point and will need a down payment to proceed.
  6. Creation – Once we’ve received your approval on the design, we move on to creating your new site. This is where the approved design comes alive and where we add site-specific features. All of the content and images you have supplied will be put in their proper place.  This includes items and their prices for e-commerce sites.
  7. Testing – We run through a final set of tests to be sure that everything is accurate and functional. You have an opportunity at this stage to test the site along with us. We will correct any flaws that are found.
  8. Final Approval / Launch – Once we have your final approval, we launch the site by making it visible for all to see on the web. This marks the end of the project.

How long does it take to build a site?

The time it takes to develop a site  depends on many factors.  These factors include:

  • Whether we are developing your website from scratch or from a template
  • How long it takes for us to get the required content and images
  • If we need to keep reviewing and altering page designs
  • Unforeseen problems or events that may occur

Generally speaking, if you have a clear idea of what you want, and we receive the necessary images and information from you quickly, we expect we can develop a site in two to four weeks. Sometimes, however, a site may be more complex, and it might take longer, but generally speaking a completely new and complex website can be completed within 35 days. The simplest sites can be finished in a week.

Who will I work with during the project?

Your project will be assigned to a staff person at Sartosoft who is responsible for its completion. That assignment will be depend on the type of project you need. You will have direct contact with that individual throughout the completion of the project. Please note that typically several individuals will work on specific aspects of your site as most projects require a diverse set of skills.

Can you help me write content for my website?

Yes. We can include writing and editing content in any of our proposals. There may be an extra charge for this service if the need is explicit or extensive.

Can you help me find photos for my website?

Yes. We will help you find stock photos from sites such as www.crestock.com and www.istock.com. We also have photographers available to create custom photography for your website. We will only use images on your site whose copyright is extended to you or owned by you.

Are your sites mobile-friendly?

Yes. For websites the method we use is called responsive design. This ensures that a single design of a site works well on a wide variety of screen sizes, from smartphones and tablets through to small and large desktop monitors. A responsive design is programmed to adjust to the size of the device where it is loaded for viewing so it is easy to see and functions according to the standard constraints of that device.

Otherwise, applications are designed specifically for the device on which they are expected to be used.

Do I own my website?

Yes. Everything that we build is owned by you. If for any reason you decide you want to take your site to another hosting service or have another company support it, we will happily assist you in making as effortless and efficient transition as possible. We believe you should own your site and move it wherever you like.

Please note that this is not true with all companies. Some companies offer free or low-cost services to you including building your site. Later you may learn that you are not able to move it to another hosting company. If you are considering a low-cost service for your site, be sure to verify if you can take a copy of your site with you that will function on another server if you choose another hosting company in the future. You don't need to learn about this hidden drawback in your choice after it is too late.

Once my site is designed, what happens next?

Most websites are best considered as always in development. This means they are never complete and always growing and changing. This is because you will have made compromises between everything you wanted and what it took just to get it done and to contain costs. It is also because your business should grow and change and you will want your website to keep up with that process. Therefore, once your website is up and running you should expect for it to continue to grow and change on a regular basis. Sartosoft can offer you a full support package designed to help maintain and update your site as needed.

Website Visibility

How will individuals find my website?

Even if you have the best looking and well-functioning website in the world, it won't matter if people can't find it. So finding your site is essential. Your site can be found primarily through searches provided by online search engines. Some common search engines include Google, Yahoo and Bing. Consequently, it is essential that the information on your site completely match expected search requests so your site can be easily found.

In addition, you may want to use online ads of various kinds that promote your site on other sites. In this way others may be able to find your site with a single click.

Since there will be so many sites on the web that are similar to your site, it is important to consider how your site will be stand out and be found in order to maximize its visibility. We can help you with this.

How will I know if people are visiting my website?

There are sites on the Internet that have web pages to use to search for websites, typically called search engines. Some of these sites offer data that shows how many people visit your website, where they came from, the pages they looked at, and even what they were searching for to find you. (This data doesn't identify you, per se, but it does keep track of this computer was used so it can tell them apart.) Data of this type can help you improve the visibility of your site and how your site is used once people find it. We recommend that you include this service for your website when you are ready to analyze this information.

I already have a website. Why isn’t it listed well on Yahoo or Google?

Not all web design companies have experience helping sites rank well on searches done by search engines like Google. Therefore, the key to ranking well on Yahoo, Bing and Google is to find a design company that is skilled with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). These companies will help improve your business exposure through a variety of techniques. The rules for how sites get ranked keep changing, so SEO is something that needs continuous monitoring and updating to keep your rankings high. We can guess that SEO for your site is not be considered or properly maintained at this time.

Website Maintenance

Once my site is designed, what happens next?

Most websites are best considered as always in development. This means they are never complete and always growing and changing. This is because you will have made compromises between everything you wanted and what it took just to get it done and to contain costs. It is also because your business should grow and change and you will want your website to keep up with that process. Therefore, once your website is up and running you should expect for it to continue to grow and change on a regular basis. Sartosoft can offer you a full support package designed to help maintain and update your site as needed.

Can you help me update my existing website even if Sartosoft didn’t create it in the first place?

Yes. But we will only do this if you are choosing to move your site to our server for hosting. As a result, we will be able to take complete responsibility for the function of your site and consistently fix anything that goes wrong and provide you with updates. We cannot share responsibility with another developer to maintain your site.

Will I be able to make changes to the site after it is completed?

You have a right to access your site and make any changes you want. But we expect that you would only want to do this if you are skilled at editing your site. For example, in some cases, your site will be built as a "Content Management System." This will allow edits to be made more easily. If you want to learn how to do this yourself, then you should go ahead and make your own additions and edits. Otherwise Sartosoft would prefer to maintain your website for you. Of course it costs a little more, but the ease and peace of mind it represents is worth it.

What if I want someone else to make changes to my site?

If you would like someone else to make changes on your site, we would prefer that they take responsibility for your site. Under these conditions it works best to move your site to a server where the individual may easily access the files of your site to make any and all changes they feel are required. Then when something goes wrong they will be able to fix it.

How is my website backed up?

Currently sites are automatically backed up daily, weekly and monthly. If anything should happen to your website, we expect that it can be fully restored from back up.

Will you provide a full copy / backup of my site if requested?

Yes. When your site is first put online, you will be given a backup of your site for safe keeping and to be sure you have a full copy of the site you own to take anywhere you would like. If additional copies of backups are needed, there may be a minimal fee depending on their frequency and type.

Finding / Hiring a Developer

I have a friend or relative who says that they can design my site for free. Why shouldn’t I just let them design it?

These days websites are being built by pretty much anyone. There are so many options and tools available for creating websites that it can be confusing which way to go about developing yours. This is where we advise that you be clear from the beginning about the goals for your site. When you can see that you eventually want a sophisticated site, it is important for it to get started in the very best way possible so you can reach your final goal someday. Most individuals who do this kind of work on the side are not able to follow through with the eventual needs for sophisticated additions to our website. These additions are harder to make is the foundation is solid. They may not be skill or available to continue to maintain or update your site. Therefore, be sure you have considered your ultimate goals before you decide who is best qualified to develop your website.

What should I look for when hiring a web designer?

When choosing a company to design your website, there are a number of important factors to consider. Keep these questions in mind when considering a particular developer:

  • Do they have the full set of skills you need to develop your site?
  • Are they professional?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How long will they be in business to support you?
  • Do they have a portfolio linked to working sites that you can visit?
  • Do they list their address on their website?
  • Do you trust them?

My business isn’t in your city. Can you still build my website?

Yes. In-person communication is usually the quickest and clearest.  Therefore it is easiest to work with local businesses. But by using good communication strategies,  Sartosoft can develop websites for clients across the United States and the world.

Why should I hire Sartosoft?

Finding a good web designer is challenging. Do some research. Try building a website yourself using a website builder (even if it doesn’t work out, it will make you a better at hiring a web designer).

Here are reasons to consider hiring Sartosoft to develop and maintain your website:

  1. We want your business to succeed, not just for you to have a nice website. That will be the driving factor in what we do to help you.
  2. We are professionals and know how to produce excellent websites.
  3. We will save you time and focus on your site until it is completed.
  4. Our standard is excellence, so you can expect it from us.
  5. We will focus on making your site unique, user-friendly, attractive, fully functional and easy to find.
  6. We will work with you on a long-range plan to fully develop your website.
  7. We are developers. We can either base your site on a template or we can write the code that is behind websites so we can fully customize your site. We can develop your site from scratch.
  8. We provide all of the wrap-around services a business needs to succeed on the web. It is best when these all services you need work together to achieve the outcome you desire. This is best done when they are all provided in the same place, by the same company.
  9. Our work is affordable. This needs to be considered by the money that you make by the success of your presence on the web. It is called Return on Investment (ROI).
  10. We are up front about all of our fees at any point throughout the whole development process.
  11. We're here to stay.

Never hire a developer based on price - whether high or low. You need to know that you trust the company you are working with. That can only come from communication. So pick up the phone or write us an e-mail and learn if you can trust us or not.

Website Hosting

Does Sartosoft offer web hosting services?

Yes. We provide hosting and recommend that you host your site with us so we can readily support it. This includes ongoing updates and backups. To learn more about hosting go here and you can learning about pricing here.

Where is my website hosted?

All websites that Sartosoft maintains must live in our servers. Therefore we expect that your site is hosted with us. However, if at any time you wish to move to a new web development company that will use their own web host, we will package up your site at no cost to send to the new company.

The company we use for web hosting is called www.knownhost.com. Sartosoft's server is housed in the Texas Data Center in the US.

What type of web server does Sartosoft use?

Sartosoft uses a single dedicated server with a solid state drive. The datacenter is located in Texas, US, and no other company shares our server with us. It has 24+ CPU Cores, 3.75 Guaranteed RAM, 8000 GB Bandwidth.

Pricing / Fees

How much do your websites cost?

Our prices depend on many factors such as:

  • How many pages are needed in your site
  • How complicated are the pages
  • Do you need a database
  • How much information do we need to enter about products and prices
  • How much customization do we need to write from scratch
  • Does your site need to connect with other sites such as PayPal, QuickBooks, etc.

We develop websites for $500 to $3,000 on average.  But if you start off small, we can do it for less and if you need a full e-commerce website with hundreds of produce it is likely to be more.  However much it costs, we will do our best to make it affordable to you.  It never hurts to give us a call and discuss this with us as you consider your route down the information highway.  You may be surprised how we can work within your budget or make payment arrangements to help you.

Do you charge a flat rate or for time and materials?

We offer both options. If you stick to the timetable and scope defined in our flat rate proposal, we can guarantee that the price we quote will be the price we charge. However, if you want more flexibility with regard to collecting materials, making changes to the design or even making changes to functionality, we are happy to work on a time and materials basis.

How much does Sartosoft charge for web hosting?

As you may have learned elsewhere on this site, our web hosting uses the fastest technology with plenty of band width so your site should load more quickly compared to other hosts you may use. Currently we charge $14 / month for hosting. If you want to use our e-mail services there is an additional charge. As with most of our recurring charges, we prefer that you pay for 1 year in advance. In addition, we expect we have built your website or are responsible for your site and that we will provide the maintenance and backups that are needed. More hosting and maintenance plans will be available in the future.

Is my hosting fee refundable?

Yes. If you have paid the annual fee, we will prorate how much of that fee you have used and refund the rest. Any discounts you have been given will be prorated along with the charges.

Payments

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept debit and credit card, checks, money orders and cash. You may pay us using PayPal. Soon you will be able to pay us online using this site.

What are your payment terms?

For website development, you will be expected to pay a deposit at the time you sign an agreement for us to do the work. This will typically be 50% of the full price you agree to for our work. Recurring charges are to be paid in annual amounts. If a payment plan is needed to afford our services, we will increase the overall cost by a small amount to cover the bookkeeping and other costs associated with monitoring and managing your account.

Do you accept payments for your work? If so, how does that work?

Most projects will start with a 50% deposit. After design sign off and before we move into programming, we collect 25%. Once we have completed and fulfilled our part of the agreement, the final 25% is collected. This will occur when your website is scheduled for launch.

If your financial situation requires, we are willing to set up a payment system that will result in a similar outcome for your project. The difference is that there will be a slight increase in the cost and the time it takes to complete your project.

Recurring charges for hosting or any other ongoing aspect of our business is best paid in annual installments. We will accept quarterly or monthly payments for a slight increase to the overall cost.

About Sartosoft

What’s with the name Sartosoft?

The term sarto comes from Italian and means tailor. The term soft refers to software. Combining these two terms together results in the name of the company, Sartosoft. It is to mean tailor-made software. This name choice was based on the idea that we intend to construct software solutions that fit your needs as closely as we possibly can.

What type of web server does Sartosoft use?

Sartosoft uses a single dedicated server with a solid state drive. The datacenter is located in Texas, US, and no other company shares our server with us. It has 24+ CPU Cores, 3.75 Guaranteed RAM, 8000 GB Bandwidth.

Why should I hire Sartosoft?

Finding a good web designer is challenging. Do some research. Try building a website yourself using a website builder (even if it doesn’t work out, it will make you a better at hiring a web designer).

Here are reasons to consider hiring Sartosoft to develop and maintain your website:

  1. We want your business to succeed, not just for you to have a nice website. That will be the driving factor in what we do to help you.
  2. We are professionals and know how to produce excellent websites.
  3. We will save you time and focus on your site until it is completed.
  4. Our standard is excellence, so you can expect it from us.
  5. We will focus on making your site unique, user-friendly, attractive, fully functional and easy to find.
  6. We will work with you on a long-range plan to fully develop your website.
  7. We are developers. We can either base your site on a template or we can write the code that is behind websites so we can fully customize your site. We can develop your site from scratch.
  8. We provide all of the wrap-around services a business needs to succeed on the web. It is best when these all services you need work together to achieve the outcome you desire. This is best done when they are all provided in the same place, by the same company.
  9. Our work is affordable. This needs to be considered by the money that you make by the success of your presence on the web. It is called Return on Investment (ROI).
  10. We are up front about all of our fees at any point throughout the whole development process.
  11. We're here to stay.

Never hire a developer based on price - whether high or low. You need to know that you trust the company you are working with. That can only come from communication. So pick up the phone or write us an e-mail and learn if you can trust us or not.

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