.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lost in a maze? Portal Design will help you find your way.


(Click on each question to toggle an answer, or just toggle them all open or closed.)

How much will my website cost / what should I include in my website?

It depends an a lot of factors, derived from your and your customers' needs and expectations.

  • Do you expect you will want to make future changes to the website content yourself?
  • Do you need to be selling anything (i.e., using "eCommerce" shopping carts)?
  • Do you need any animation or 3D to be presented on your website (i.e., Flash™)?
  • Do you need to provide User Communities (i.e., Bulletin Boards or Content Management Systems (i.e., a CMS))?
  • Do you need to to provide customized newsletters or live customer service functionality?

For a small, custom-designed, brochure-type website (perhaps with the inclusion of a mildly styled CMS like Wordpress or Bulletin Board like phpBB), you can expect to spend approx. $800 to $1,000.

Of course, every job is different; addition of any of the above, will add to the creation time for the project as well as to the cost. Every effort is made to keep your cost to a minimum and to keep the value provided to you and your customers, high.

How long will it take to create my website?

It depends on what you want your website to do for you and your customers.

While it is fairly easy to quantify how many hours it will take to create the website, the reality is that successfully having the site ready by the launch date is as much dependent upon you as on us.

We understand how difficult it is to gather information and to organize it effectively. Portal Design will work closely with you to help minimize the time to provide deliverables (i.e., all of the initial content for the website).

That being said, experience has shown that the time from "go" to "launch" may be as little as a month to as long as a year, depending on how soon we receive the content we need. In general, the initial structural work to get the website ready to accept content may take as little as 2 days (for a simple website) to as much as 2 weeks or more (for a more involved website) to complete. The more information we have from you before beginning work on your website, the quicker the website will be able to be completed.

What will I have to do to maintain my website?

If you have opted to let Portal Design make any future changes to your website, your involvement may be minimal; you may simply provide continued financial support for your webhost account, or provide Portal Design with new content for the site as necessary.

If you wish to make future changes to your website, you may benefit from some of the training we can provide. If a Content Management System (a CMS) is a part of your website, learning how to operate it and to add content to your website through it may be all you need to do.

How will my website get placed online / on the web?

Your website will have to be "hosted" by someone, either yourself or via a 3rd-party "webhost". The webhost is usually a company that has a bank of computers, known as servers, with a direct connection to the World Wide Web. The code, images, databases and/or multimedia files that make up your website will reside on one of these servers, each of which typically hosts hundreds of other peoples' websites in addition to your own. These servers may physically exist anywhere in the world, but your website will still be accessible by the domain you specify (like http://mywidgets.com , for example).

Portal Design helps to keep your cost low by having your website hosted by another company, one with an excellent mix of resources and collective technical savvy specifically suited to this purpose. We currently recommend Lunarpages. We have been using them for our own business website (that you are viewing right now), and for website development purposes, since January of 2008 with great success. We are extremely happy with Lunarpages, for the suite of offerings that they provide in their Basic level webhosting package, for their low subscription price and for their knowledgeable and responsive technical support staff.

While your site is in development, you will be able to see it as it "grows" by looking at it on our webhosting account, hosted by Lunarpages. Once the job is complete, we will move the website to its final location at a webhost of your choice. But we hope you'll choose Lunarpages since they're quite good (and we get a credit for your signing up!). But seriously, they've really been better than we could have hoped-for, from a technical point of view as well as from a practical one, and we're really happy with them.

Can you guarantee my website will be listed #1 / on the 1st page in a Search?

The short answer is "no", because no one can guarantee that; anyone that claims to be able to do so is misleading you to one degree or another. The long answer is that you can help your website be listed sooner / higher in the Search by doing the following:

  • Provide apppropriate keywords and a strong site description for your site's Meta Tags.
  • Provide unique, fresh content within your website on a regular basis.
  • Get your website noticed by participating in online Forums and Blogs.
  • If you do participate in Forums or Blogs, put your website's address in your online signature and in any comments you make.
  • Get others' websites to provide links (i.e., to "linkback") to your own website. You may need to reciprocate (and you should!).
  • Spread the word to others by purchasing online Advertising and by using "word of mouth".
  • Get some cheerleaders! Ask your family, friends, co-workers and associates to spread the word as well!

To help things along, Portal Design will advertise your website in up to 5 leading search engines (such as Yahoo and Google) once we complete your website.

Can I include text / images / media from other sites and use it in my website?

You may not do so without the express permission, preferably written, of the author of the information you wish to include. Generally it is expected that the source of the information will be properly credited / documented as well.

There are some exceptions to this, concerning Fair Use or if the author has granted one or more "licenses" to use the information, such as the Creative Commons, or similar grant.

A good rule of thumb is if you have not created the information, be it an image, musical composition, or text, etc., then you need to get permission to use the information. It is your responsibility to ensure that proper permission to use the information is obtained, and credited, if required.

Can I sell my products (books, crafts, music, etc.) online?

Absolutely! It's actually quite easy to do. We recommend signing up for Paypal Express Checkout or Google Checkout, or similar service. In its simplest implementation, either of these Checkout services work well for an offering of a few products (although, not generally for downloadable products like software or music files).

If you expect to sell many different products or downloadable products, then we recommend the use of osCommerce, an online Shopping Cart that supports a number of different payment and shipping systems. osCommerce (and other shopping carts) are available, free-of-charge, when you sign up for hosting with our favorite webhosting company, Lunarpages.

What kind of / who are the clients do you usually work for?

Our clients range from private individuals to church groups to businessess, large and small. We have created game-related websites, memorial websites, church websites, and business websites, for people from all walks-of-life. We have worked with a veterinarian, several churches or religious oriented groups, a nuclear energy consultantcy, a dentist, a woman who makes pottery and jewelry, an inspirational speaker, a dental-cast producer, a graphic designer, an art director and many others.

Chances are there is something Portal Design can do for you or for people that you know, either through creation of a website or providing advice and technical expertise for your computing needs. If you have a computer related problem, need a website to be designed for you, or even if you have general questions about computers, feel free to contact us at any time.

Where do we go from here?

Please take a look at our process.