FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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5 Things Every Small Business Can Fix In Their Website In The Next Week To Increase Leads

We at MerlinFX have been building web sites since 2001. It's been a great journey and we've picked up a thing or two. We have carefully crafted this FAQ page to answer many of the frequently asked questions we were asked along the way.

How much does a website cost?

The cost of a website can vary depending on various factors, just like the cost of a house may vary.

We believe in nurturing partnerships with our clients. We are committed to the growth of your business. We understand the need for cashflow and have no upfront fees and monthly subscription payments. 

The monthly fees may vary depending on the needs of your business and website features. 

 

How long does it take to design and build a website?

A basic website typically takes around 4 weeks from beginning to end. Your content plays a big part of creating the magic. It is quality, written well and easy to understand. Content can be the words, video, images, infographics, audio, lists and more. 

Do I need my own domain name and web hosting?

Yes, we and help you get this set up and we can work with your existing provider. We also host your website if you choose us to look after that for you.

Every project comes with our Continuous Improvement Plan that covers hosting, maintenance, security, upgrades, training and more.

Will my website work on mobile devices?

Yes it will. All the websites we design work on all devices. Every website we develop is mobile responsive. 

Do you do ecommerce/Online Store websites?

Indeed we do! 

Due to the nature, time and external factors in setting up eCommerce stores there are upfront fees associated with the development of our eCommerce solutions.

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organising, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface.

The CMS we use is WordPress. Which essentially is a blogging tool with plugins that create a customised CMS. 

Do you provide training?

Absolutely!

All of our websites include training videos that are upgraded automatically as new features are added to your website. 

We also have an Onboarding process that has a human do a screencast meeting via your browser after your website is launched. Got questions - we have the answers. 

You'll love our Onboarding process.

Can you help me with Social Media?

Yes we can. Your website includes several social media types of functionality already, but we can help you set up your social accounts. 

If you need further management services, we have a Social Media partner that can help you with that. See Sweet Social Media.

Can you help me with Email Marketing?

Sure can. 

We have Email Marketing services we can provide as part of our packages already or help you integrate with your existing email marketing accounts. 

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results - often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results.

Having good copy (words) optimised for SEO is important. It is preferable to have a skilled copywriter that understands SEO however we have built in tools to assist you in writing good copy. 

If you need to dive deeper and aim higher; we have an SEO partner. See MultimediaX.

Do you write the content for my site?

Not really. You are the expert in your field. You know your clients and business / industry better than we ever could. 

We can point you in the direction of professional copywriters that also know how to write SEO enriched content. 

Can you design my logo?

We could but the outcome wouldn't be great. We focus on web design. 

Logos, illustrations etc need to created by a graphic designer. We can point you in the direction of our graphic design partner

What is a domain name?

A domain name is your address on the internet. This would be something like yourcompany.com.au and is also used for your email addresses to give you a more professional presence. eg: yourname@yourcompany.com.au

I have a domain but don't know where it is registered.

We can help you locate your domain and if the domain vs registered in your name; getting access to it is relatively straight-forward. If your name and email address is not on the record of the domain as the domains' registered owner then it can be a little more difficult but not impossible to get the details updated. 

If you are at all unsure about any of this; NOW is a good time to get that resolved. Not sure what to do? Enter your .com.au domain here to dind out where it is registered and who the domain owner is.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows your website to be viewed on the Internet. It’s a computer housed in a data centre that runs your website.

Do you host email?

We prefer not too!

Now that clients want their mail, calendars and files easily accessible from any device connected to the internet a new breed of mail hosting needed to resolve this. Google and Microsoft are the two main mail hosting platforms and simply do a better job at mail hosting than we could ever hope to do. 

We highly recommend you have your mail and web hosting separate. Don't place all your "eggs in one basket" and get a better user experience with Google or Microsoft hosted mail, calendars and files. 

When your mail becomes "cloud based" you also open up many other opportunities to integrate and collaborate your services with other cloud services. Improving not only your own productivity but possible the user experience with your clients too. 

Go cloud!

Whether you want a Google or Microsoft option, we can refer you to our IT partners to assist you.

What are web analytics and how can do I get them for my website?

Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimising web usage.

We create a Google Analytics account for you if you do not have one. Ensure you get weekly PDF reports and ensure the Google script is added to your website allowing Google to collect and measure data. 

We also include a bunch of Google Analytics videos for you as well. pretty cool hey!

Do you help me set up my mail, calendars etc on my computer and other devices?

We're not IT specialists and we do not fix photocopiers either!

Seriously though we only concentrate on the building and maintaining of web sites. 

There are so many different devices, operating systems that it is nigh impossible to keep abreast of them all let alone know what you are viewing on a mobile device to then troubleshoot our way to getting you connected. 

All is not lost! We have a getting connected page that can help you with your device and options to contact our IT partners. 

What is a CRM?
Can my website talk to my CRM or other web services?
I want to add my own plugins. Can I?

We discourage it. 

We have a set tool box of plugins we like to use. Plugins that get updated regularly, downloaded a lot and have great user ratings. The plugins must be part of the WordPress plugin database. 

It is the plugins that usually make a website insecure and prone to hacking. Plugins that have an upgrade cycle and in most cases a license model or fee usually means there is an incentive for the developer to keep the plugin updated either with security updates or feature updates. 

Allowing customers the option to upload their own plugins breaks our INSANELY GREAT security promise.

What's this cPanel thing?

cPanel is the top level Administrator access for your website. We discourage clients from having this access simply due to what can go wrong in the hands of an untrained professional. 

Depending on the package we provide, if you need cPanel access we provide it if you need to move your website. But whilst everything is humming along nicely, it's one less thing we have to worry about. 

Unless you needed to move you would never have the need for this access. 

 

Is my website backed up?

Absolutely!

Not only is it backed up automatically via the server we also include an offsite backup to another data centre - just in case. 

We are mad keen on security and redundancy. Your website is one of the most important business assets you have. Like a business without adequate insurance is asking for trouble. The same applies to websites. 

Backup, backup and backup!

How secure is my website?

Insanely secure. 

Naturally we do not give away all our security secrets here; but we always on the lookout with latest security trends. We backup, monitor, scan, block and more. 

In the off chance a site is hacked, it is picked up within minutes and our security team is onto it to restore the site back to its previous glory. 

What is a DDoS Attack?

Hackers and miscreants who like to create havoc on the web to either bring a server to it's knees or show-off their latest exploit aka your site defaced is like the modern graffiti artist. No regard for your hard earned efforts. 

A DDoS is a Distributed Denial of Service attack. Usually a bunch of scripts running off infected computers pointing traffic to a server with the hope of crashing it or trying to login to your website so it can be hacked. 

A server will crash if it has too much traffic the connection and server can handle. Imagine a thin pipe that can take a litre of water a second all of a sudden being forced to take 10,000 litres. Something somewhere is going to break. 

Alternatively a 'bot-net' of automated scripts across 10,000s of computers from different locations trying to access your login screen trying all kinds of combinations to get access. 

We monitor system traffic and have several mechanisms in place to spot and prevent this type of access. Amongst other secret things 🙂

Can I add video or audio to my website?

Absolutely!

It's best practice to host your videos on servers that specifically have the bandwidth and power to deliver video or audio content without slowing your website down or blowing out your monthly bandwidth limits. 

Different services offer different delivery mechanisms in that some are secure for training or client only information or host on social media style sites and easily embed on your website.

We can advise you the best locations to host your files depending on your needs. 

I can get cheaper hosting in the USA, why would I host with you?

We only host in Australia as we only develop websites for Australian businesses and organisations.

According to Google it is an important factor where your website is hosted.

Not hosting with us you do not get access to our security, training and Continuous Improvement Plans.

Can you help me with my Google Adwords and Places accounts?

No. 

We've taken to the position to be premium WordPress developers. 

Our SEO partners can assist you with managing your Google Adwords, Google My Business (formerly Google Places) and more. 

I have a new staff member, how do I train them to update my webste?

Easy! You don't.

For as long as you are our client you will always have the latest video manuals built into your website. 

Depending on the package you are on, you get quarterly one-to-one online training via our browser to yours. 

We have you covered whether it is showing your new staff what to do or showing a new feature. We're always building the skills for you and your staff.

Will we need to have a meeting in connection with the website design?

For our custom development projects, definitely. We want to find out more about your business. Know and meet the decision makers. We encourage human contact in a digital world. Only people build great websites. 

For our choose your own design option we call Magic Box; a meeting is not necessary.

In what format should I supply words and photographs about my business for my new website?

Getting the materials to us as electronic copies is ideal. You can do this via Dropbox or Google Drive. We show you how. 

The more photos (high resolution preferably) is best and text (copy) in a Word document please. 

You logo also supplied as a transparent PNG file, high resolution. If you do not know what this is; ask your designer who created the logo. It is a good idea to have this on-hand for other projects like banners, letterheads and catalogues. 

I hear that there are hidden costs associated with web design services. Is this true?

There are no additional fees. However you need to remember that domain hosting / management is not the same as website hosting. Two totally separate things. 

You also need to know that some web domain registrars charge you extra fees for Domain Management. Whilst that domain looks cheap now you pay extra later if you want to point your mail traffic to Google Apps or another third party mail provider and send your web traffic to a web server. 

Other fees you might not realise is when you set up an eCommerce site is how how will payments be handled. Do you use PayPal and pay their fees or some other third party Payment Gateway? 

If you are using your Banks' Payment Gateway you need to consider having and SSL (Security Socket Layer) for secure transactions between customer and bank via your website plus your own IP address assigned to the SSL certificate. 

The SSL fee is usually yearly and the IP Address monthly or yearly. 

How do I update my website?

We give you a private login web address (URL) with your own username and password. 

Once logged in; you can add blog posts, create and edit pages and much more. 

If you get stuck there are our Video User Manuals that cover everything you need to know. 

If you still need more assistance you can book some time with our Care Team for your one-on-one browser to browser meeting. Ask any question you like and have it demonstrated. All demonstrations are recorded and supplied to you for future reference.

How many pages can I have on my website?

Unlimited. The more the better for Search Engines to index. 

Can I register a domain with MerlinFX

Absolutely. We create a domain account with our Domain Registrar and provide you your access. 

We include domain hosting and management with all domains. 

When it comes time to point your website - we take care of it for you. But you always have the keys and total control over your domain names.

Can I transfer my domains to you?

Sure can. 

It's always best to have all your domains managed in one account. It costs nothing to transfer a domain to us; accept if it is a .net or .com domain. Each time you transfer these types of domain you automatically need to renew them.

I don't have time to update my website?

This is going to sound arrogant to some. We do not want to work with you if you have this attitude. 

Your website is an important business asset. It needs nurturing like you would on any other part of your business, your products, services, research etc. 

Once your website is done, the main pages will hardly get updated. But if you want to establish your authority, add more helpful pages of blog content for search engines to index, then you are going to need to have a blog. 

Having a blog is not a set and forget option. It does take some work. We can provide you with tools and techniques to create unlimited content for your website fairly painlessly. 

We figured out some cool ways to do this for ourselves. We share this with you. 

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