Here you'll find many of the question we're asked and some of the answers but if you'd like to know more, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page.
You've probably seen TV ads from a number of companies offering 'free' or very low-cost web design and, if what they're offering fits your needs then, hey, why wouldn't you go for it? Check first though that what they offer truly meets your needs and allows you to grow in the first 12-24 months without adding costs. Also check on the 'add ons' you might need. Typically you'll need to pay more for social media integration, e-commerce modules and even search engine optimisation and it all adds up! Don't forget your time - Most people think they can make a website themselves using these free tools and, indeed, some can and do successfully but do not underestimate the time you'll need to dedicate to building, maintaining and tweaking your site as it can really mount up and leave you short of time to actually run your business! 60% of our current clients have come to us after less than 12 months with a so-called 'free' provider because either they have found it's not flexible enough to adapt to their changing needs or the costs have far exceeded their expectations or both.
How do I choose the right domain name for my business?
Choosing the right domain can be tricky and coming up with a practical, usable and search-engine-friendly name is a bit of an art in itself. We can help you come up with the right name and what's more, we can probably buy it on your behalf cheaper than you can. All domains we buy for our clients become their property to do with as they wish. If going your own way though, there are some general rules - keep the name as short as possible because it's good if it's memorable but practically because it needs to fit on business cards, letterheads, vans etc. without looking ridiculous. Make the name as relevant as possible - such as aceplumberskent.com is short enough to be useful and it leaves people in no doubt as to what you do and where you do it but rjwilkinshernebayexcellentplumbing does all this but is way too long and complex and likely to have a detrimental impact on your site's effectiveness.
.co.uk or .com does it matter?
Technically no, it doesn't matter at all. However, if you're a local business hoping to attract mostly local customers then a .co.uk domain name is beneficial but a .com might be more appropriate if doing business internationally. Some people register both to protect themselves against someone else registering the other version but that's up to you.
What about other domain name extensions?
There are now over 100 different domain name extensions available including .london .wales .tv .radio etc. but honestly, for most businesses, they're best avoided unless you have a very specific requirement.
Hosting - what's that?
In order to have a website which the public can see, the code and all associated files have to be accessible on a web server. Hosting means renting some space on a server, typically for a monthly or yearly fee. Our hosting fees include the provision of email services too and we only charge around £13 per domain, per month. Choosing your host is important - it needs to be reliable (ours has a 99.9% uptime record), defended well against hackers and regularly backed-up which our are. Be cautious of 'free hosting' deals - there really is no such thing as a free lunch so read the small print carefully.
How much does a website cost?
It varies widely. You can be quoted anything from around £150 up to several thousand pounds for the same sort of site with the same sort of features. Sadly some design firms will charge according to what the market will stand - for example, if you intend selling Cartier watches on-line, they will at once know it's likely to be a high value business and charge accordingly. We, on the other hand, do things rather differently. We know how much we need to make per hour (currently £45) and we're good at estimating how long a job might take so we simply multiply one my the other then add-in any licence fees which we have to pay and that's your price. Fixed. We would advise getting a minimum of two quotes and ideally three but we don't like to be beaten on price so make sure you speak to us before doing anything else!
How do I find a good, reliable web designer?
It's difficult but trust your instincts. We would always recommend meeting someone face to face and then you'll get a good feel as to what they're like and you'll know pretty quickly if it's an amateur working out of their back bedroom and who may not be around in one, two or three years! Always ask to see work they've completed before, ask how long they've been in business and ask for third-party references - then follow them up!
How much input do I have to have?
Simply as little or as much or as little as you like. Some clients who have a creative streak will want to be involved in the design phase and may wish to come up with the design themselves. That's fine. Others though will ask us to do everything including designing colour palettes, logos etc. and others somewhere between. Here's something we're rather proud of - we have NEVER had an instance of a client not liking our first design proof of concept and that's because we take the time to properly understand something about the business, its owner and its purpose before we put pen to paper - or rather, fingers to keyboard!
What's included in your costs?
The price we quote will be the price you pay and includes everything you need for the first year, including hosting, email accounts, domain registration, design, development, the lot! Beyond 12 months we will ask you if you wish to continue hosting with us and, if the answer's yes, we'll invoice you £13.99 (at current levels) per month or you can pay 12 months in advance for a 10% discount. Important to note that our hosting fee also includes some maintenance such as performing backups and minor text and graphics changes to the site itself which will take up to two hours. If you need changes which we estimate will take more than two hours, we'll give you a price for the difference although to be fair, we can do quite a lot in two hours!
How come you're so cheap?
We prefer to think we're good value rather than cheap! It's simple really, we have low overheads, we manage our costs carefully and we don't seek to make a big profit, just enough to keep the wolf from the door and perhaps the odd beer if we've earned it. We also understand that a website is a big investment for a small business, especially a new start-up so there's no point in us quoting ridiculous money. We're in this for the long game and we'd much rather grow with you as your business grows than 'snatch & run'. That's genuinely our ethos.
Why Grass Media?
We're professional, well-established, reliable, honest, and good at what we do. What's more, we're unlikely to be beaten on price and we have an enviable reputation. What more could you ask?