- I want a website but am not sure where to begin, what do I do?
- How long does it take to build a website?
- What is SEO?
- How do I obtain a domain name?
- Will my existing website stay active while you are building my new one?
- I am on a budget. Is it possible to build a basic website and expand on it when I have the money?
- Do you provide web hosting?
- What type of costs are associated with building a website?
- My website has launched! What do I do next?
- How do I provide content?
- What technologies are you familiar with?
- Do you offer Search Engine Optimization or marketing services?
- Should I place advertisements on my website?
- How do I obtain advertisers for my website?
- Do you write content?
- What are the advantages/disadvantages of implementing a content management system (CMS) on a website?
- Can I add a content management system to my existing website?
- What content management systems do you use?
- I want a blog, can you put one on my website?
- How do I accept credit cards on my website?
Web Questions and Answers
Please refer to our web startup guide.
Every website is different. Thus, the time it takes to create one varies. This time depends on a multitude of factors including:
- Our current workload
- Availability of content
- Timely Payment
- Client Changes
Search Engine Optimization is a process or strategy for creating webpage content to improve a website’s relevance ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). Basically, it helps a user find your website using a site like Bing, Google, or Yahoo.
Domain names can be purchased via Web Hosting companies such as GoDaddy, Yahoo, Register.com, and Network Solutions. If your preferred domain is not available, it may be possible to purchase it from the owner of the domain (not recommended).
Yes. We build all websites in a test directory that will be separate from your existing website. All files will remain there until final approval has been given to launch the site.
I am on a budget. Is it possible to build a basic website and expand on it when I have the money? (back to top)
Yes. While we encourage our clients to build websites that are as useful as possible to their target audience, we place no restrictions on how much of a website is completed prior to launch. It is always possible to add new features post-launch, provided that we are aware of plans for future expansion.
Yes. Fargo Design Co. provides web hosting using a data center based in Virginia. We use Linux-based servers that we can fully customize to fit your needs.
Common costs for building a website include:
- Domain Purchase – The web address for your website
- Domain Hosting – The physical space that your website will occupy
- Design and Programming – Web Designs and Layouts are chosen by you and are built by the Programming Team.
- Image Purchases – Any stock photos or custom photography that must be purchased for your site.
Typically, the next thing that happens after a website is built is building a user base. This can be accomplished via promotional, advertising, or search engine optimization campaigns.
We request that all content is provided to us in a Microsoft Word or Open Office file and that it is proofread and approved by you. This will help to streamline the revision process and ultimately will reduce the time it takes to launch your website.
As web developers we are fluent in many programming languages and platforms. Our specialties include:
- PHP – Programming language that is commonplace on the web
- MySQL – Database language that is used with PHP to create dynamic applications
- XHTML – Language that is read by a web browser to display a web page.
- CSS – Used to style websites and give them a rich appearance
- XML – Data language that can be read and manipulated. RSS Feeds are xml based.
- Adobe Flash Actionscript 2.0 & 3.0 – Programming language that allows the creation of interactive Adobe Flash animations, applications, and websites.
- Wordpress – Open-Source blogging software that is frequently used as a simple CMS system.
- Joomla – Powerful open-source CMS software
- Adobe Flash – Internet software used to deliver rich media content such as streaming movies, animations, and games.
- Linux and Apache – Hosting environment that is common throughout the web.
We offer Search Engine Optimization through our SEO Partners. Although we will implement some best practices while building a website, Fargo Design Co. does not and will not offer SEO services in house.
Advertisements can generate money as well as annoy your users. The key to deciding whether or not to place advertisements on your website lies in the mission of your website. If you plan on generating revenue with your website, then advertising can prove to be a steady revenue stream.
Fargo Design Co. does not offer marketing services. However, this tip can be used to start your advertising search. The key is to find companies that are interested in advertising and share the same user base as your website
Fargo Design Co. has writers available that can assist you in writing content for your website.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of implementing a content management system (CMS) on a website? (back to top)
The ability to edit content can be both a blessing and a hindrance, depending on your personal situation. Listed below are some quick pros and cons of content management systems.
- Freedom to edit content – CMS systems allow you to edit many different aspects of your website depending on which system you choose. This can all be achieved without needing to know HTML.
- No content-related maintenance costs – The ability to edit content removes the need for periodical content updates through the web developer. This will save you some money.
- Customization of website functions – Fargo Design Co. can customize the CMS to provide the ability to edit all of the website’s information from one simple panel.
- Learning Curve – All CMS systems will take some time to get used to the way that things function. This may take a couple of hours to a couple of weeks depending on the user and the CMS chosen.
- Development Cost – Almost all CMS systems require an installation and configuration by the developer. This cost is usually relayed back to the client.
- Hosting Cost – Due to increased dependence on the server for resources, a business-level hosting plan is usually required as opposed to an economy plan that a plain html site may use.
Yes and No. It may be possible to add on a CMS if you only want to edit existing web pages. However, in most cases a website will need to be reprogrammed to use a CMS from scratch.
The CMS system that Fargo Design Co. chooses will generally vary depending on the size of the job and the client’s hosting situation. Typically we use the following breakdown:
- Small Sites (No Database) – For sites requiring editing of few static (non-database) pages and no changing of the navigation, we typically use a custom editor that we built in house.
- Small / Medium Sites – For medium sites (or more advanced small sites) we tend to use Wordpress, which is most commonly known as a blogging platform.
- Complex / Large Sites – For large websites or websites that require the navigation to be editable we use Joomla! which is a powerful open-source CMS that allows heavy customization.
Depending on your web hosting (do you have a database and scripting language), any website can have a blog added to it.
E-commerce can be a great way to capitalize on your website’s earning power. To accept credit cards online, there are a few options:
- Basic payment processing – The simplest way to setup ecommerce is to use another company (like Paypal) to accept credit cards for you. All that you would need on your website would be a link to the user’s shopping cart.
- Advanced payment processing – Using this solution, the user will complete their transaction on your website. To accomplish this, three things will be needed.
- SSL Certificate – This is a security certificate that will allow your site to be encrypted and accept secure transactions.
- Payment Gateway – You will need an account with a payment gateway like Authorize.net or Paypal that will allow you to process the payments online. This is how you will capture the funds from the credit card company.
- Shopping Cart – This is where we come in. You need a form programmed so that when a user enters their credit card information, it will send the transaction to the payment gateway and either approve or deny the transaction.
- What is included with my logo package?
- What is the difference between RGB & CMYK?
- What is the difference between a "vector" and a "bitmap" image?
- Why should I pay for a professional logo when there are so many $99 specials online?
- Do you offer RUSH services?
- Do you offer Printing?
- What "support services" do you offer?
Print Questions and Answers
Fargo has several logo packages to choose from or we can customize one to fit your needs. All logo packages include your final logo in a variety of formats including the "vector" version. This is our actual working file. Once your logo has been paid for, it belongs to you! We have packages that include business card design, letterhead and envelope design and we can also set your items up in Microsoft Word of Publisher so that you can print items from your desktop printer as needed
Monitor colors or colors on paper are complicated. Monitors use tiny LEDs that light up while printing uses various colors of inks. To reproduce the wide range of colors, most technologies use the three primary colors, Red, Green & Blue (RGB) or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK) that are positioned very close to each other so that the eye mixes the colors together into one. However, different media has different requirements. RGB is used mainly in displays while CMYK is used in printing.
RGB is an additive color mode because the background of a monitor or screen is black. The individual LEDs light up in varying intensity adding light to black. The variations in intensity of each color determine what color the user sees. CMYK is subtractive because the paper where it’s printed on is white and the ink subtracts from the brightness of the white paper.
It can be broken down like this: A vector format image is a drawing. A bitmap format image is a photo.
When you draw something, you draw lines, make them different thicknesses, and then color them in. When you shoot a photo, you expose a piece of film to light, and millions of tiny grains on the film register the light, creating a grid of dots that are so close together, it looks like a photo instead of a bunch of dots.
Formats like .gif and .jpg are bitmap formats. That means that they’re basically using different organizing and compressing methods to store a grid of colored dots. But vector
There are advantages to each. Vector formats can generally be stretched to various sizes without losing quality, but they’re terrible for photos because even a small 100 x 100 thumbnail photo has 10,000 dots in it. If you tried to define each dot as a colored circle or square, you’d get a really huge file that took forever to turn from that set of instructions back into a picture.
Bitmap formats are really easy to use for photos and are fast to display because your monitor is already just a grid of colored dots, so to display them, you’re just changing the color of the dots that are already there. But if you try to stretch a bitmap, you just make all those dots in the photo bigger than the dots on your screen and the photos get fuzzy and blotchy.
If you’re going to use a vector image on a web site, you generally need to convert it to a bitmap image, because web browsers handle bitmap images much better. On the other hand, you have a lot more freedom in terms of the final size of that image, because you’re starting from something that’s easier to stretch.
So in short:
Vector Format: Great for drawings, bad for photos, bad for the web, easy to stretch, easy to convert to bitmap.
Bitmap Format: Okay for drawings, great for photos, best for the web, hard to stretch, hard to convert to vector.
The easy answer is that you get what you pay for. By the same token, more expensive does not always mean it’s a better logo. It does not have to be one extreme or the other but a medium sized professional company, like Fargo can offer you an affordable package that will look far better than an online logo site and will not cost as much as a high-end Ad agency.
Cheap online sites often use clipart or re-use icons and design elements. These companies do NOT take the time to understand your business, your demographic or who you are selling to. Professional designers like Fargo have multiple awards in logo design to back up the "unique factor". While awards don’t guarantee every logo will be an award winner, it is a guarantee that we take the time before the pencil hits the paper to do a lot of market research that will guarantee your logo will greatly improve your business presence and appeal to your customers/clients.
When you purchase a logo through a service that just lets you browse through a collection of pre-designed logos, you won’t be getting a unique identifier. It’s still relatively rare to run into someone who has bought the same logo as you have — but it happens. And as more businesses purchase logos from these sites, the likelihood of encountering someone in your city using the same logo is going up.
When considering your logo design options, taking a look at what professional graphic designers can offer you are a good starting point. There’s no cost for browsing through designers’ portfolios and seeing what they’ve been able to do for other companies. You’ll notice some key differences if you compare a professionals portfolio to the offerings of a logo service. One crucial difference is that many professionals incorporate the name of the business that they’re developing a logo for, as opposed to logo services, which tend to simply print the name below the logo — after all, if the name is closely tied into the logo as a whole, it’s harder to swap in a different business name when it comes time to resell a logo.
You may also see that many professional designers will go a step beyond designing just a logo for your business. You can get a complete identity for your business — a logo that matches your website, which in turn matches your business card. While you can purchase a logo and put it on a business card or a website, you’ll likely find that they don’t quite seem to go together. Even little things, like not having access to the font that was used in your logo, can make it difficult to present your business with a cohesive image.
In the end, the upfront cost of working with a professional is more than purchasing a logo from an online service. But a unique logo is more valuable in the long run, as your customers associate that logo with your business, and your business alone, you’ll see both increased interest and increased loyalty. You’ll get a return on the investment you made in your company’s brand.
Absolutely. While the cost may increase depending on your delivery needs, Fargo understands that "emergencies" happen. You can often find us working late hours or on weekends to try and help our desperate clients anyway we can!
While we do not print here in our studio, Fargo has discounted arrangements with many local printers as well as vendor accounts for less expensive online vendors. We charge a small service fee for the leg work but do not mark up our vendor’s prices.
Fargo is a One-Stop-Shop. We can provide custom photography, stock photography, creative writing, proof reading, photo retouching, small run silk screening, character development and branding strategy advice. Just ask, we are a really creative bunch! If we don’t specialize in it, we have an amazing list of vendors, subcontractors and resources that can.