Small Business Web Design Frequently Asked Questions (Including Price)

If there is a question not here that you’d like an answer to, please do not hesitate to call us with it or send it our way for a prompt answer.

You can reach us by phone at 207-945-9999 or by email: info@sutherlandweston.com.

How much does a website from Sutherland Weston cost?

  • About 85% of the websites we build for small businesses have a website cost between $8,500 and $20,000
  • The typical turnaround time is between 12-18 weeks.
  • Website hosting for most sites is $900/year
  • Catalog, shopping carts, photography, travel, and custom functionality increase the cost.
  • The content phase is the most complex piece of the process and typically takes longer than you think
  • We’ll give you a quote, and we won’t exceed it without your approval.
What does your website development process look like?

In summary, it includes the following:

  • Overall Goals. Communication and collaboration between the project manager and the client to map out the features and functions of the website.  Who are your customers, how will we add value and attract more of them to your website?
  • Menu & Page Flowchart. Mapping out the menu, its main pages, and supporting pages that will make up the navigation for the website as a whole. We want visitors to get where they want to go as easily as possible.
  • Interface Design. The custom process of creating the look and feel of the website based on the business brand, the goals of the project, and the intended audience or audiences involved. We want visitors to quickly understand what you offer and how to get where they need to go, regardless of the device.
  • SEO Worksheet. The keyword-focused approach used to ensure individual pages within the website are constructed with the purpose of being found in Google.  Utilizing best practices of content, programming, and planning, we can help increase the opportunity that Google will respect your site.
  • Content Management System (CMS) Integration. Programming the custom graphics, features, functions, and page flowchart into the content management system. This is the brain of the website and how you will edit and manage your pages moving forward.
  • ContentThis process will typically take the most of your time.
  • Content Review. A thorough review of grammar, forms, and functions to ensure your site is ready to be seen by the world.
  • Quality Assurance / Go-Live Process. Includes testing to ensure all links work as they should, the website appears as it should across multiple browsers and devices, that the overall functionality desired is operational, and that the site is ready to be published for the world to see.

See the full detailed overview of our process here.

How long will it take to develop the site?

An average website from Sutherland Weston will typically run between 12-18 weeks; this will tend to be longer for more complex and e-commerce sites.

But average never really tells the whole story, does it?

The real answer is “it depends on how prepared you and your team are to participate in the process”. We have some sites that have been completed in less than a month. We have one that has been lingering for more than two years.

Now, the two-year example is an absolute outlier but it’s real. The client has changing priorities and the inability to make a decision regarding the website. So that project has analysis paralysis.

If you have the ability to follow a schedule, complete homework in a reasonable amount of time, and trust the process, having a site ready between 12-18 weeks shouldn’t be much of a problem.

What would make the process go longer than average?

Besides the outlier example listed above, the most frequent reasons for the delay in the website process are:

  • Employee turnover – the person responsible for managing the process on your end either leaves your company or assumes another position.
  • Lack of assets – like staff photos or pictures and videos from case studies, previous work, or testimonials.
  • Multitasking – the business gets busy and the website gets put on the back burner
  • Communication delays – decisions can’t be made in a timely manner and rely on infrequent committee meetings or some formal process.
  • A Global pandemic – that just happens in the movies, right?
Who owns the website once it’s paid for?

You do of course. You paid for it.

We have heard stories of companies that charge to build sites AND charge companies AGAIN if they wish to take their site to a different hosting provider. We think that’s just plain crazy.

While our designs are custom to your business and the content and page structures are developed by following a thorough and proven process, the website files, pages, and content are all the property of the client once paid in full.

We’ll happily host, protect, and service your site once it’s built.

But… should you need to take your site and host elsewhere for whatever reason in the future, you have the freedom to do so.

Know why? Because you paid for it.

What do I get for the money?

Our talented team works to ensure that each website we build is a valuable marketing tool geared toward achieving your goals.

In summary, our services include:

  • An account manager who will take a keen interest in your business goals
  • Design & marketing advice to make your website a promotional machine
  • A project managed with purpose and precision so you know what to expect
  • Google-friendly content strategies to help you rank high for search results
  • An enormously detailed go-live review to ensure it works and looks good in all browsers
  • Support when you need it, answers when you ask, and prompt, personal attention throughout

To help you better understand what goes into our website development process and the value we expect you will receive from it, we’ve outlined a comprehensive overview here.

How do I figure out what content and pages to focus on?

The content process is one of the more complex components of building a new website and one key area where guidance from an experienced firm has significant value. Here is an entire page with in-depth answers to this question and recommendations on what content to prioritize.

Should I put pricing on my website?

Whether you sell products, services, or some combination of the two, pricing on the website is always an important question to consider.

In general, our advice is yes, find a way. Even if your answer starts with “it depends”, we know that the number one frustration from buyers is the lack of pricing on company websites.

For a more complete answer and additional context, here is an entire page dedicated to this question.

Will I lose Google ranking if I redesign or redevelop my website?

Our website team will work to ensure best practices in both content and structure so that every opportunity to maintain and even improve your rankings are realized. 

Most importantly, our team will remap pages to the new addresses via a process called 301 redirects. This ensures the history and respect you’ve earned in Google over the years carries forward to your new site.

What’s a 301 redirect?

Sounds technical, doesn’t it? Think of it as a bridge. It’s a bridge telling Google that the page formerly known as “xyz” is now found at “zyx”. This bridge allows you to keep the history and respect that page has earned from Google and carry it forward to the new site. Not using tools like a 301 direct for each page of your site is kind of like throwing your page in park on the highway and wondering why there’s a problem.

How much work do I have to do?

As you can imagine, the answer to this question will vary from project to project. However, we do our best to manage each project as efficiently as possible. That being said, we do not expect to develop the site without your participation, insight, experience, and assistance in helping us understand what will work best for your business and your goals.

Scratch that – we CAN’T develop the site without you.

Our experience is only as good as the collaboration we have with you. We need your insights, your experience, your expertise, your customer relations, your unique advantages, strengths your weaknesses, and opportunities.

You see, we’re not just building a thing. We’re building a tool that is the digital hub for your voice of authority. The place where you build trust, confidence, and connections with folks who haven’t met you yet. Where you stand out from the crowd and pull away from the competition.

And we can’t bring that to life without you.

So yeah, we have a framework and a process. But it’s not on autopilot. It’s a series of collaborations we do together to deliver a site that delivers value to your customers and return to your business.

Can you help me improve my site without building a new one?

You bet. A couple of thoughts here.

  1. Your site may not need a physical rebuild. It may just need some messaging work, some reorganization, and a look through the eyes of your customer.
  2. If your site is built on a tool like WordPress or a content management system that you have access to, content optimization and some website best practices may be a fantastic first step to leveling up your online game.

Want some ideas on how to improve the site you already have? Check out our web insights here.

Want to chat with someone about this? We’d love to take a look at your site with you. Let’s talk.

Do you build mobile-friendly sites?

Do we ever.

Out of the box ready for mobile.

Our websites are designed to automatically resize depending on the device it is getting viewed on as well as offer mobile-only feature buttons so that phone viewers have shortcuts to high priority areas.

It’s like there’s a little brain in there telling the site what to do. Very cool stuff.

Will you be outsourcing any of the work?

We are very lucky to have a skilled website, graphics, and content team together at Sutherland Weston.

Because of that, we don not have to outsource our standard website development work. Which we feel is a good thing for a couple reasons:

  • This team works together frequently and knows the processes
  • Work can be done efficiently and promptly
  • Conversations and collaboration with our team and you can happen more regularly

However, we do work with outside vendors such as photographers and videographers if the client has existing relationships they prefer.

Are there any warranties with your websites?

We follow a comprehensive quality assurance check to make sure the website we build with you functions as it should and works as it should in a variety of browsers and on multiple devices. Should an issue arise that is directly related to the programming and development of the site, we will work to correct the issue at no cost to you. Should issues arise from deleted content, deleted pages, or errors while updating the site that require our services, we will discuss prior to engaging and billing. Bottom line is we want to be fair and want you to trust that your site will work as it should.

If you build ours, will you build a website for my competitor?

Yup – so let’s get going before they call.

Will my current site experience downtime as you update it?

There should be no downtime in your existing site as the new website goes live.

The period between making a site ‘go live’ and all the world seeing it is called propagation. Since the internet is made up of a great number of networks, internet service providers, and computers in general, there may be a time when one person sees the new website while someone else still sees the old one.

However, at no point should you be in a situation where no website is being viewed during a time of propagation. That being said, we don’t own the internet so stranger things have happened…but it’s not supposed to.

Will I be able to edit the site when it’s done?

Yes. All websites we develop are built on a content management system that will allow easy access to edit pages as frequently as you need while connected to the internet.

Do you offer training for the websites you build?

Yes. At a point that is convenient for you and that aligns with project goals, we will offer you, as part of your website design project, a personalized training on how to use the website’s content management system.

Most people find that it’s easier than they expected and that their anxiety was greater than it needed to be. Our training will be focused on the most common editing functions to help you best understand the basics as well as address any special needs or questions you may have regarding your site. We find that after training many clients are able to perform the edits they need without assistance. However, we are just a phone call away should any questions or special needs arise

Have you ever designed a website for ‘my type’ of business?

We get this question a lot and most likely the answer is yes we have–or we have at least worked with a business modeled like yours with similar goals and challenges. While we can never replace the experience and expertise you have within your business, we can offer a promise to ask intelligent and meaningful questions and lead you through the process with purpose and focus. Every business is different and unique so our development process combines the best practices of website design and small business marketing with your unique needs, goals, and vision to deliver a results-focused website marketing tool.

Will I be able to access my website statistics without contacting you?

Yes. We integrate Google Analytics into all sites and as part of that process can set up access for you to view the results any time you need on your own.

What’s the difference between the websites you build and free/low cost sites like Wix and Shopify

We like Wix and Shopify. These resources, and others like them, are great resources for many businesses. Template sites like Wix give great power to folks who know what they want, have copy at the ready, and want to get a website up quickly. It’s very easy to use and even has wizard prompts to add features to the site you build. How can you not love that?

Shopify sites are fantastic for companies looking to sell products online. The integrations to social media services and shipping/tracking resources make it an excellent choice for merchants.

Our approach is not for everyone. And we tell people that. We have sales calls that end in “I’m not sure we’re the right fit for what you’re looking for. Here are a couple of suggestions that may be better for your situation.”

Helping businesses build sites that connect with customers and convert them into business inquiries is the difference between our design efforts and wizard-driven resources.

Building the site is actually the easy part. What to put in it is the hard part.

The Answer is Experience, Guidance, & Support

We are blessed to have some really smart people that ask great questions and work for us. They help teams get organized and best answer the question “what does success look like?”.

Support, experience, and guidance on how to build, fill, and optimize the website you build is the most valuable difference you’ll find.

It’s our goal to not only work hard to give you a fantastic website that will help you find new customers and make more money but also to make the experience of crafting it easy, and efficient. and valuable.

We stand by our work, support our clients with professional advice, and if we happen to make a mistake, we promptly address it and do all we can to make it right.

Our website proposals reflect more than just pages, pictures, and paragraphs for your business.

It represents our commitment to helping you grow your business.

If this is the kind of experience–and the type of company–you’re seeking, then Sutherland Weston may indeed be the right choice for your business.