Questions for a Website Developer
Posted on August 10, 2017 in Development
Q: How long does it take to create a website?
The project timeline varies depending on the overall size and scope of the website. (On average 3 to 4 months.)
Q: What is Spinternet?
Spinternet, our proprietary Content Management System (CMS), puts the power in your hands to update your website's text, photos, products and much more. Spinternet is web-based, so content can be updated from any computer with an internet connection without the need to install software on your computer.
Q: Do you offer responsive sites?
Spinutech offers only responsive sites. (Responsive websites are now the industry standard.)
Q: My site only has a small percentage of mobile traffic, should I still consider a responsive design?
Absolutely. Roughly three-quarters of the American population uses smartphones, and the numbers don't seem to be slowing down. Having a website that is mobile ready is now more important than ever.
Q: Will I be able to make changes to the site after launch?
You can change most of the content that you have added to the site after launch (via Spinternet). We can always help out with changes or enhancements post-launch as well.
Q: What helps speed up the web design/development process?
Organized clients. Clear communication. Having stakeholders' buy-in from the beginning and getting their feedback throughout the project. Having as few decision makers as possible (or only one) - not too many cooks in the kitchen. Starting on the content adjustments right away.
Q: Do we offer any design templates? If so, what? If not, why not?
Within Spinternet, we will create ready-to-use html templates that you can use as a starting point for customizing your content.
Q: What is included with support?
We have a dedicated support staff who can help answer questions about your website. This is mostly used to answer questions like, “How do I create a link?” “Where do I go to edit this content?” “How do I add a new page?” etc. But the support team is also there to help discuss enhancements or help solve other issues you may have on your website.
Q: How do I get my products onto my site?
For most ecommerce sites, there will be a Product Admin where you can upload your product details, photos, pricing, etc. However, a product import option can also be made available if that is deemed necessary. We have also worked with 3rd party systems and can explore all options depending on the needs of the client.
Q: Do you offer an email program to send newsletters or messages to customers?
We offer an email marketing solution called U-Mail. We would be happy to provide a demo of this system to showcase its features!
Q: What kind of maintenance does the site require?
Nothing from you! Spinutech is responsible for all technical maintenance. Our tech team:
- Applies routine operating system, security, and managed software updates
- Monitors and adjusts server performance
- Identifies and implements internal and third party security requirements
- Runs scheduled hourly/daily data backups
Q: How should I organize my content for a new site?
If you have an existing site, take inventory of the pages currently on your site. If you don’t have an outline of your site handy, sometimes this consists of the tedious task of clicking around the site and creating an outline of the pages you have. Sitemap creators can help. They provide a list of urls/pages on your site. After making an outline from this ask yourself, can you make it better? Are the categories clear?
Analyze your page of content, then use size, color, contrast, shape and position to create a visual hierarchy.
- Size: Use larger text (headings) to break-up the space and allow the user to scan the page quickly. If headings aren’t provided, add headings to create hierarchy.
- Color: Text that is a different color can be used sparingly to create emphasis.
- Contrast: Bold text can be used to create contrast
- Shape: Put some text in a box for a callout or the call to action
- Position: Use a side column or an aside to emphasize some content or place the call to action
Ask us for help with this! We will work with you to provide guidance during the content process.
Q: Should I have a blog on my site?
You should have a blog on your site IF you can publish articles on it semi-frequently. Blogs help SEO, because you are giving Google much more content to index. Thus, you’ll show up in searches far more often.
Q: Will a new website help our SEO?
A new website, with the right CMS and content plan, can definitely help your SEO.
Q: Are there SEO tools available within the CMS?
Spinternet offers many SEO-boosting features, such as the ability to update URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, add alt text to images, and create rich linking structures to relevant content that will keep the user on your site.
Q: Can I embed video into my new site?
You can! In the content editor click the video icon and insert the link of the YouTube or Vimeo link you’d like to embed. You can also add the code to embed the video in the Source View of the content editor. We have worked with other 3rd party video players as well, so just ask if you are wondering about a platform other than YouTube or Vimeo!
Q: Can we add new functionality to the site after it’s live?
Yes, and actually many clients do.
Q: What happens if the site goes offline?
Spinutech offers secure hosting services, with 24-hour server monitoring and a dedicated support staff. All data is backed up every two hours. Our servers are located at an enterprise-class data center in Northern Virginia and run within the same proven network infrastructure as Amazon.com. We run nightly snapshots of every production server; snapshots are stored in 2 separate geographic regions with 99.999999999% durability, using the same security access controls as the original production environment.
Although very rare, site outages do occur. The server and website use a proprietary monitoring solution that captures any errors a user may encounter while interfacing with the website. As soon as an error is received, multiple parties at Spinutech are notified via email and text message along with the exception information captured. Should your website be down for any reason, our team will begin to re-deploy your website to a substitute server and/or substitute data center. Spinutech operates multiple servers in a variety of data centers. Given the assets that make-up your website are backed-up to multiple locations, our team would simply pull the files from backup and configure the site on one of the existing and currently operating machines.
In certain scenarios an organization has the requirement for a high-availability fail-over solution. In this case, we can deploy a custom solution to instantly replicate web files and data from your primary server to a secondary server in an alternate data center. The secondary server is operational at all times and can be redirected to in the case of a disaster at the primary data center. In most cases, a DNS change is required, but your down-time is limited to the amount of time required for DNS propagation to occur.
Q: Is our website secure from hackers?
We take the privacy and security of our clients very seriously. Our hosting infrastructure has achieved the following certifications/accreditations: PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, and HIPAA. The website and database are on the same machine and reside behind a firewall. Remote access to production servers is limited to Spinutech personnel, and connections are only accepted from a specific IP address within our network on an undisclosed port range. A total of two control persons manage access to the environment.
We take precautions to ensure our hosting environment is not vulnerable to malicious intent. The AWS platform also affords us many controls to prevent potential security vulnerabilities & minimize risks. Below are some resources that address these items specifically:
AWS Risk & Compliance Whitepaper - this evolving document addresses the primary topics of certifications achieved, security & audit controls, monitoring, DDoS, etc. AWS can provide the supporting reports with an NDA, if requested.
AWS Security Bulletins - we also monitor bulletins from US-CERT for general security vulnerabilities, install required server updates upon release, and run enterprise anti-virus and malware detection on all servers.