Braidwood Design Studio

Questions & Answers

We have compiled a series of questions we have been asked most frequently.
If you can't find your question or answer, or want to know more,
Contact us

About domain names and hosting

Q - Where can I get a domain name and how much it costs?
While the term 'buy' is commonly used, it's not completely correct. When you purchase registration for a domain name, either through us or another service, you are buying the rights to use a web address for a certain period and you are licensed by the registry to do so. Think of acquisition more along the lines of leasing rather than outright purchasing. But your purchase is unique, nobody else can have it - that is why TLD - Top Level Domain - is important.

There are a lot of providers (registries) that sell domain names and the prices vary. You can get some free as well but it would usually be tied to using their services as well and that may not be free at the end.

Comment: We recommend using a reputable Australian registry that also offers hosting services as an option with very reasonable annual costs, domain names start from the price of a couple of cups of coffee p.a. or even less when on special. But you need to shop around, and the price depends on the TLD you are using.
Q - Can I use my business title as a domain name?

Q - Does it matter whether it is a .com or
You can but it may not necessary or useful and will depend on your business name. Usually business names contain a number of words and choosing long domain names may not help people to find you. There are ways in which various domain names could be useful. The long domain name is redirected to a short domain name There are emails attached to both, so we could use the long email if you want people to find our website. 

Comment: We will help you to find the best domain name available that reflects your business as well as helps visitors to find you. Domain names are unique, there can be no two the same. Most important - your domain name could be am excellent key word. 

Q - Does it matter whether it is a .com or  Yes and no. Having a extension tells the world which country you are in (and may costs you more). World-wide aiming businesses are using .com and while the internet surrounds the globe and search engines crawl through without boundaries, it may make some difference but the content of the site matters much more than the domain name by itself.
Q - What hosting do I need? Can I use my own?

Q - What is the cost of hosting?
Choosing a host is more than looking at cost. You would want a host that employs the latest in hardware and software, provides all the features you might need like emails, data bases, storage, no limit to traffic and fast speed, 24/7 technical support, FTP, cPanel access, security & SSL, and, in practice, is never off-line so visitors never get the dreaded “404 nor found” error message. If you have a server that meets all the above, it is perfect. 

We use Webcentral and Crazy Domains, they are Australian and tick all the boxes. 

Q - Hosting costs? You may be attracted by offers of free hosting and sites created in minutes without you needing any knowledge, but at the end, this will likely to limit you in what you might like to achieve or how your site is unique to you. You may need to ‘upgrade’ and pay a fee and then you could still be limited in what you can achieve - you might have to use their software and templates/features that may not have everything you want and the ways you want your site displayed – and the options may be limited. Often, as a result, it is difficult to move the site to another host or have it re-designed etc. if you are frustrated or unhappy with the result and your site may look the same ashundreds or thousands of other created the same way.

Comment: The hosting we organise come with all the features above and packages (domain name, SSL and hosting) start around $200 p.a. - this starting hosting package is ample for individuals or smaller businesses - and there are NO monthly payments. Others might indicate starter setup costs in thousands and monthly fees thereafter that includes hosting and ongoing maintenance costs you might not need.

All about websites

Q - I want a website, what do I need?
Every time you look at something on the net, what you see on the screen is a web page of a web site. A website might have one page only and you need to scroll down miles to see it all or it and may contain 100s of pages, depending on the content and the nature of the site. 
Traditionally, they all have a home page and information categorised under the titles ‘about us’, ‘contacts’, ‘products or services’ and the rest is the detail broken down to digestible sizes to make it easy for the visitor to find what they want.
The answer to what you need is simple:
a domain name (your address on the internet) we can organise it for you
a host (who stores your website on their server so it can be seen on the internet world-wide (we can arrange that for you, too), and
a website designed and created - that is what we do.
Q - Why would I need somebody to create my website?
Preamble: It can be exciting to get started on a new business. You may be attracted by offers of free sites, hosting and templates. There are many examples of people or businesses getting a domain name without knowing whether it is a good one, a hosting package on a foreign server, a freebie template but have no idea whether they can customise it and how to integrate and optimise images and other features.  

An offer of having a web site in 30 minutes or under $200 looks a very attractive proposition but as not everybody can DIY plumbing or electrical work or create a painting - we all go to the professionals if we want a good outcome.

Getting started DIY may even be fine at first, without noticing that host provides no service especially if overseas, the template/theme you got or bought isn’t doing all that you want it to do, you start looking at ways to make changes which may be beyond what you can do and will always rely on somebody else's setup. To make an impact you are going to need more - a custom design and some web development work on top of it. Nothing in this life is free, including websites.
Q - What do I need to think of and have ready before I embark on a project of creating a website?
Thinking phase: Ask yourself some questions (randomly listed here): 
What do you want the website to do? Convey information? Sell something? Create your own blog site to communicate with the world? 
Are there any sites you like the look of? 
Is this a new site or a redesign?  
Do I need blog ? 
Do I have graphics already created for the site? Or do I need custom images created? 
Can I provide photographs? 
Are pictures off a phone OK? 
Do I need multimedia (YouTube, video, music, etc.) on the site? 
How much content (text) do I have and how much I need created? 
Do I need other special features like social media integration such as Facebook and Instagram, ecommerce, forms or something else? 
And who is going to maintain the site? Can I learn and if yes, do I have the time?
What is my budget? 

What is the minimum I need for a web site? 
Images and graphics - you can supply all of the images, off the phone is OK, provided we get the original image file because these will need to be customised depending the size of its use, and optimised for the web and integrated into the new design. We often do the photography work as well and that is additional cost for which we quote separately. 
The site will probably need icons and buttons created to go with the design; even if you provide some, it will need to be adopted unless specifically designed for the web. Creation of graphics and preparation of images is very time consuming, but costs are included in the various packages. 
Content - about you, your business, your services, contact details etc. All in any text format is OK.

Comment: we create graphics, logos and anything the site might need or for branding and printing. We also provide stock photographs, if necessary.
Q - What is a CMS?  Do I need it?
CMS is short for Content Management System - sites are created using on-line programs and platforms (the most popular ones are Joomla, WordPress and Drupal but new ones are added like Wix), and they all comprise of a core and use extensions to make them function. The assumption is that once the site is created, anybody can update the site provided they learn how and have a lot of time.

Brief description of the most popular ones

WordPress is an online, open source  CMS website host and website creation tool and popular .....​ is owned by a privately held company called Automattic.

While developers have the capability to build anything the client would like bespoke, but sometimes WordPress doesn't allow developers to implement that at lower priced affordable packages. 

Joomla! Joomla is developed by a community of volunteers supported with the legal, organisational and financial resources of Open Source Matters, Inc. Joomla is written in PHP, uses object-oriented programming techniques and software design patterns, and stores data in a MySQL database.

Behind WordPress, Joomla is the second most popular content management system, websites are not hosted by Joomla and are fully customisable by designers in any way. 

Drupal /ˈdruːpəl/ is a free and open source content-management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License., better suited for web applications, as opposed to web sites, that need to do complex things, handle complex logic and integrations, sometimes involving a decoupled user interface while maintaining scalability. You need personalization and a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

Wix is not open source – “ Ltd. is web development platform that was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company also called Wix. It allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools."  Wix isn't free – It may be more expensive than you think.

Weebly - is a web hosting service specifically oriented for online shopping, headquartered in San Francisco and owned by ​Block Inc. (SQ), formerly Square, ia financial technology (fintech) company that provides mobile payments solutions. . 

Weebly has a free tier, unlike Squarespace. Naturally, the free option comes with a few limitations. Your site will have just 500MB of storage, a Weebly-based domain name, Square ads, and a 10MB maximum file size

Squarespace – “a publicly listed private American company, based in New York City, that provides software as a service for website building and hosting. Its customers use pre-built website templates and drag and drop elements to create webpages.” 

Users need to be aware that some of the above hosts their websites and rely on the use of their pre-set templates as the basis for creating a website - a vast number of commercially available templates/themes one could choose from - both free, or for a one off purchase . Additionally, depending on the type of CMS and hosting arrangement, it may not be possible to customise them to look as you would want them and customisation may only be available to paid customers with certain more expensive packages. 

Comment: We create our own templates for CMS websites and prefer to use Joomla, an award winning open source solution that is freely available to everyone as platform. We know how our own templates are structured and work and the client has a say in how it looks. We can, however, create you a website using other CMS platforms and any of the above mentioned above.

Yes, you need one - you can do it yourself, we provide tutorials and manuals for updating the content, and
yes, it is useful when the site owner realise that it might be more convenient and cost effective if we do it, we maintain them as well without charging a fortune.
Q -What does web design/redesign involve?
The term “web design” is used colloquially to describe the entire process from a desire to have a website through the phases of a concept, design, development, propagation, testing and ‘going live’. Strictly speaking, however, web design is the initial step when a designer creates the look of the site - the artistic component - and visualises how it will all work - the architecture. 

Phase 1 The concept - the design phase - This draft is based on a brief from the client and involves a frequent interaction between the designer and the client. The design phase also envisages the use of features like graphics, images, galleries, forms, use of blogs or comments, chats and how to ensure that the visitor to the site can navigate easily and find what they are looking for. This phase may take as short a time as a day and may take many days depending on the nature and content of the proposed site having regard to the availability/source of the proposed content - photographs, whether graphics will need to be created or are available and the provision of text. Comment: Yes, you can provide your own graphics, text and photographs, and you have a say in how they might be used. For example, there may be images that may be considered as not ideal but you may still insist on using them and we would, but we will always provide you with alternative solutions. 

Phase 2 The development phase - the design is translated - coded - and that will make the web site display and work on all devices. At the source, a web page is simply a text file that contains a variety of instructions to the web browser on how the content should be formatted and displayed on the screen - ‘the code’. Anybody can look at this code or ‘source’ through viewing it in the browser (but the viewer can’t change it). 

The ‘instructions’ use a computer language called HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). The latest version is HTML5 reflecting web standards set by the W3C. 
Further instructions are contained in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) which contain the styling instructions from what font to how high and wide, how far, left right or centre etc. 
Even more instructions are contained in JavaScript, one of the most popular programming languages on the web, the use of which allows generating much of the look and adaptive behaviour in most of the web sites today. 

When a web site or web page is described as complying with web standards, it usually means that the site or page has valid HTML, CSS and JavaScript. And if the web site does something funny or does not display right, usually there is something not right with the code or the user's browser is incompatible or the setting is wrong. 

Comment: We take our designs to the development phase and could ‘hand code’ the site using a variety of software or use our coding expertise to create templates or adapt them if necessary and use the necessary extensions, plug-ins or additional specific software. We validate our HTML. 

Phase 3 – going live, testing and completing additional tasks to ensure indexing by search engines, monitoring performance and security, updating the software and analysing traffic.
Q - What features can I have?  How many pages can I have? Can I add pages later?
There are a limitless number of features that designers can provide which could improve the public face of the business. 

To list the few:  contact forms, surveys, newsletters, a photo gallery, ecommerce, payment portal, booking function, calendar, blog, chat, comment, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook setup and integration, podcast, video or music. And probably anything else you might would like.  

How many pages, add pages later? 

You can have as many pages as you like, we can add them for you or you can add them later. It is only limited by time (yours or the cost of ours). 

Comment: The number of pages included in each of our packages is sufficient for start-up purposes.

All about everything else

Q -What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a summary term for a concept and a range of steps web designers, developers, webmasters and site owners should take to enhance the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results. In other words, each site owner is aiming for being the first business people would find when they look for their products, expecting to have more visitors and thus convert visitors to actual buyers, for example. 

The major search engines (you use them when you put a word to look for something - the word and other words you may use are called 'key words') like Google and Bing, provide a lot of assistance to developers for optimising the web site, telling them how the search engines work, provide statistics and analysis on what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. 

Our words of warning: there are a lot of tactics that can be used to optimize a website's position, a lot of them are legitimate (‘white hat’) and may influence search engine results. There are a lot of offers for providing the site owner with SEO services - arriving mostly unsolicited via emails, promising page one ranking (PR1) if you let them review your site free and then pay for what they find, and they will find something, for sure. Others may be offering to sell links - or Likes on FB. First: search engines penalise websites that use manipulative (‘black hat’) techniques to improve their rankings on the search engine. 
Getting a website among a potential of thousands of competitive web sites to rank first may not be possible or would cost an enormous amount of money first up as well as an on-going expense that may not worth it. Kinking Instagram and Facebook may help visitors, especially if ads are posted frequently. 

Most of the matters that help your site's visibility are within your and your web designer/developer and webmaster’s control - essential SEO - such as 
valid codes, 
quality content, 
no duplicate content within the website or copied from other sites,
the right use and density of key terminology, 
relevant internal and external links, 
ease of navigation, 
quality optimised images and pages that load fast, 
site maps, 
links to active social media like Facebook and Twitter, 
promoting the site in local on-line directories, 
being on Google Maps, and 
having a site performance monitoring system in place - Google Analytics is free!. 
In addition, it is necessary to promote your site via advertising in the media, leaflet drops or distribution, attending shows and having an email address that advertises your domain name as a minimum. Comment: We include essential SEO services in our packages. 

Comment: Our packages include essential SEO and We also provide branding services - design and print business cards, leaflets, brochures, pamphlets, letterheads, booklets, banners, photobooks and alike.
Q - Do you do site maintenance and update?
Yes, we have a free maintenance period after delivery and offer maintenance services thereafter. 

Maintenance includes monitoring site performance, security, backups, content updates keeping the platform up to date.

For example, $50 per month to have a designer on call if you have a problem that you can’t fix; or ad-hoc service at $50 per hour with no charge for anything if it takes less than 30 minutes (on each occasion! not cumulatively).
Q - Who owns the copyright when the web site is finished?
You do, whatever you have paid for