Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a freelancer?

No. Whilst I may be self employed I do not consider myself to be freelance. The work I do I consider to be my full time employment and treat it importantly as I would any other job.

I am incredibly focused on the work that I do and I strive to always deliver results that are at the best of my ability each and every time.

Can I manage my own content?

Of course! I don't build the cheap 'static' websites advertised by some companies. Every site I create has a private control panel, accessible only by the owner that allows quick and easy management of content on their website.

Should your website feature non-standard functionality, the management of these functions will be designed employing as much common sense as possible.

You don't need a degree in computer science to use my websites, they just do what they're meant to!

Can I spread the cost out?

Yep, in fact I insist that you do; I want to make getting your business online with a professional website as easy as possible for you. Whilst my prices are already competitive, I can certainly appreciate that spreading the cost out helps make a website even more affordable.

Projects are split into either two or three payments depending on the overall value of the project. Your first payment will be due at the start of the project to help cover my initial costs, the final payment will be due when your site is complete and you have signed off the project.

Can you guarantee top ranking in the search engine results?

No, but in reality, if anyone tells you they can, they're lying! Good position in the search engine results pages (aka 'SERP') doesn't just rely on good code, as some say - Content is King. It is certainly true that well written and engaging content that's relevant to your market will help you get traffic, which will help improve your SERP position.

So to that end I do my best to ensure that your target market can find you, thanks to solid keyword research and integration with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more.

I provide ongoing SEO support as part of my web hosting & maintenance packages, so please ask if you're interested.

Do I need special tools or skills to operate a website?

No. Your website's control panel will be accessible from any normal web browser and if you can use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Open Office, then using the control panel will be a piece of cake.

I will provide basic training and take you through each section of the site if you require. It should only take around 30 minutes to pick up a solid working knowledge of your website.

Do you charge for updates?

Given that any work on a website must be planned for, developed and tested before being made publicly available, I'm afraid that it is not possible to provide ongoing updates free of charge, however I offer a number of competitive solutions should you need to make an update to the site that falls outside of the text and image content you'll be able to control.

I can either provide maintenance on an Ad-Hoc basis which is billed on an hourly rate and invoiced monthly, or I can create a maintenance agreement which entitles the client to a pre-agreed number of hours each month, for a fixed fee that is billed quarterly.

The obvious exception is that I don't charge for correcting a mistake I've made. As rare an occurance as this is, any typo, design issue or functionality mistake that is not picked up during testing would of course be fixed completely free of charge and as quickly as possible.

Do you outsource any work?

Never! All work I deliver is hand coded in Hereford by myself. I will never sell work on your project to the lowest bidder, as so many companies (and hobbyists) seem to be completely happy doing these days.

How long do websites take to build

The answer here all depends on the requirements you have. Typically I suggest a development time of about 4 weeks, but for larger, more complex websites this can take longer. Likewise, websites with only simple requirements can take less time.

The first portion of development is typically spent identifying the requirements of your website and developing the user-experience and visual design. You should begin to get feedback from me within a few days of starting the project.

Something to bear in mind is that web design is a process, like fitting a kitchen for example. It's a job that takes time, planning and careful attention to detail and if you do it wrong, it'll annoy the hell out of you until you replace it.

Web developers who claim to be able to design a website in a matter of days will deliver a product that is of poor quality and has little consideration for your business's needs and goals and will ultimately not give you the return on investment your business deserve.

How much does a website cost?

This is always the first question anyone has! The simple answer that it is not quite as simple as I'd like it to be. The fact is that the cost of your website is defined by the requirements you have, the desired features, the number of page types and type of design that is required - as all these factors will affect the development time and consequently the total cost of a website.

But ultimately the best advice I can give for anyone looking to have a website built for them is to request a quote and the main thing to remember is that a website is not a cost, it's an investment. One that should pay you back many times over.

I already have a website, can you update it?

As there is no way of knowing the quality of the source code of a website built by a 3rd party and that I would be personally held responsible if something went wrong that was oustside of my control, I'm sorry to say that I don't work on websites built by other developers.

If you're looking to make significant changes to your website that you've had for some time then an alternative would be to consider having the site redeveloped. It does not have to be a hugely costly endeavour, if you're in this situation please get in touch and I'll see what I can do to help.

I don't have a logo, is this going to be a problem?

Unfortunately this will be an issue, given that a logo is one of the most critical branding elements on a website and is something that many designs works around. Not having such an important design element will seriously hinder the effectiveness of your website.

If you don't have a logo I can provide a design service that will deliver a striking, quality logo that will help your business be remembered.

Is there anything you can't build?

Within the normal scope of websites, most things are possible. I've built booking systems, customer databases, product catalogues and more.

If you have a specific requirements I'd love to discuss them with you and I'll provide honest information even if it turns out that I can't help you out - in which case I can put you in touch with another developer who may be more suited to your requirements.

My business is small/not computer related, do I need a website?

A common misconception is that you don't need a website if you're running a small or non-computer related business, this simply isn't the case.

Every business can benefit from having a professionally made website, no matter how small or niche your business is, by having a website as part of your marketing arsenal you take a big step towards being found by new customers, both locally, nationally and indeed, internationally.

In conjunction with tools such as Google Local Business directory, you can come to be the best-known and most trusted at what you do in your area.

What about social media integration?

Social Media Integration is all part of the service. I can seamlessly integrate any Facebook social plugin or plugins from Google+ or Twitter for that matter!

Social media is exceptionally important these days and I don't want my clients to miss out on opportunities to meet new customers, so ensuring your social media policy works with your new website is a priority to me!

I use the AddThis.com Smart Layers, which provides an effective and reponsive all-in-one solution that allows your content to be shared at the click of a mouse or tap of a finger, to one of many hundreds of social bookmarking and community websites.

What is responsive design?

Responsive design is a process in which after your website is designed, additional versions of the layout are created to provide an engaging user experience for those visitors who are accessing your site on a device that the 'full size' design cannot cater for.

This often results in slight layout changes, text sizes and image positions. Responsive design is also about ensuring that your website loads quickly on mobile devices, so part of the process to ensure that when delivering your content, the most appropriate image sizes are used to ensure that even on a 3G connection your website loads as quickly as possible

Responsive design is a standard feature I offer to all my clients.

What other costs are there?

When you run a website there are two additional things are required, a domain name and web hosting, both of which I can provide at a great price!

A domain name is your address on the web, for example this website's domain name is G-Effect.net. Every website requires a domain name to be found online. Equally important is having a domain name that is easy to remember. If you don't already have a domain name I can provide advice in choosing the right one for your business.

Web hosting is also a requirement, without it your website simply won't exist anywhere it can be accessed. I offer hosting package that also includes the purchase and renewal of a domain name (.co.uk or .com) for your business, with prices for standard hosting starting at the low price only £16.00 a month, with 10% discount if you purchase for a year.

Who creates the content for my site?

Normally, text and images are provided by my clients, although I do offer a copywriting service if you need text content written for you and if you're relatively local to me I can also provide some photographic assistance. My rates for both are very competitive and I offer discounts for clients who require both a website and content assistance.

I can also purchase stock photography for your website if you wish, however the cost of purchasing images for you will be added onto the final invoice for the project. Such purchases are discussed before any action is taken.

Who do you build websites for?

Anybody who wants one! Actually this is almost true; whilst I am happy to work on both big and small websites for all manner of client types, I specialise in building bespoke websites for small to medium businesses across the UK.

As I am an army of one, there are limits on the size and complexity of the projects I can deliver quality, effective results on. If I feel that a project is either too large or complex for me to build effectively for you, I will be honest and tell you up front. In these cases I either bring in additional help or I can refer you to an agency run by a friend of mine, who's standard of work I can personally vouch for.

What equipment do you have?

I own a range of photographic equipment which lends itself well to property and product photography.

My camera is a Canon EOS 60D, which offers exceptional image quality via it's 18.1 Megapixel sensor. I also own a range of lenses that cover all of the bases of the type of photography:

  • Canon 18mm - 55mm USM Image Stabilised
  • Canon 10mm - 22mm USM Wide Angle
  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 MK II, aka "The Nifty Fifty"
  • Canon 70mm - 200mm f/4 L
  • Tamron 70mm - 200mm Macro

I also own a pair of 5500k Softbox lights and a 36" photocube which are a perfect combination for product photography.

What format do you deliver the images in?

My photographs are delivered in a high resolution, low compression JPEG format, in most cases at the original 18.1 Megapixel resolution my camera takes them in (which equals a resolution of 5184 x 3456 pixels, although if the subject is extracted from the background, then the delivered images may be slightly smaller.

I can either send a copy of the images to you on disc, or upload them to my dropbox account for you to download.

Are there any limitations?

There are a couple of software, but none of them are imposed by me. BigCommerce is what is known as a 'SaaS' application, or 'Software as a Service', where you pay an ongoing subscription which covers the licensing and hosting of your site. Since your site is hosted by BigCommerce and not by yourself or me, the source code cannot be changed, which means I cannot add new features to the site for you, only BigCommerce can - and they don't do this on individual requests.

New features are often added free of charge in addition to the already exceptional suite of tools they provide, for what really is a very modest price.

As far as visual customisation is concerned, there are very few technical limitations, I can generally implement whatever I can design and whilst it is on occasion possible to implement a design solution or work-around to a particular limitation, it isn't always the case.

Even with that in mind I feel that BigCommerce offers the highest degree of customisation when compared to all similar services.

How does BigCommerce work?

Its very simple, you effectively rent your store from BigCommerce directly, which in itself is a fully-feature eCommerce platform that I truly believe is the best in the industry outside of costly enterprise solutions such as Magento. Your rental is in the form of a subscription than you either pay monthly, or annually at a 10% discount. Pricing starts at just $25 (£15) a month and unlike many competing services, you don't pay any fees to BigCommerce when someone buys something from your store.

The benefits of a BigCommerce store is that you get access to selling tools that would otherwise be exceptionally costly to acquire and access to all the new tools that they are constantly developing.

How long does it take?

As with the cost, it all hangs on how much you'd like to get changed. The minimum turn-around time is a week for simple design modifications (not including consultation), full conversions will take around 4-5 weeks, in addition to consultation time, to complete.

How much does a template conversion cost?

It depends on the extent of the conversion, but generally the more serious the modifications, the more it will cost. The most simple conversions can be done for around £300, which would involve creating a version of your logo to use on the store, modifying the text fonts, sizes and colours, plus converting the emails on the store to make them unique to your business. It sounds like a simple task, but a great deal of caution must be used when modifying BigCommerce themes, as it is possible to break functionality if mistakes are made.

Total conversions are more expensive but still offer good value for money as not only will you have a fully feature eCommerce store, it'll look superb and have a design that's absolutely unique to your business, so unique in fact, that your clients won't even know it's a BigCommerce store!

Can I order multiple versions of the same design?

Absolutely, I am happy to make as many versions as you need for your members of staff, should the only the name, job title, email and telephone number change. This would be done at no extra cost. Any design changes to the layout would be at additional cost however and would be charged at an hourly rate.

Do you have an online design tool?

Nope, sorry but that's not the kind of service I offer. Rather than provide you with an off-the-shelf design that is a loose fit for your business, leaving your to fill in the blanks, I create a truly bespoke design that matches your existing branding is and meticulously proof-read!

There's no chance your competitor will have the same design (something I've seen happen with off-the-shelf cards) and you'd have a card that you can be proud to hand out!

Do you provide a "Design Only" Service?

Yes! Whilst its true that most of my clients prefer me to handle both the design and arrange the printing of their business cards, I am more than happy to provide only the design of the card for you, where the finished design is provided in the Adobe Photoshop (.PSD) format so that you can secure your own printing solution.

When you request a quote it will contain both the price of designing your cards, plus the cost of professionally printing them in various quantities and finishes, plus the fee for shipping the cards to you.

How big are these cards?

My cards are printed on card stock that, after cutting, measure 85mm x 54mm, which is exactly the same size as a credit card, so they'll fit in your wallet no problem what so ever!

If you don't want me to arrange printing on your behalf, I can create a design based on a different size, should you require it.

How long does it take for my finished cards to arrive?

Normally I advise my clients that a typical turnaround time from project start to delivery of the finished cards is around 2 weeks depending on both the time of year the order is placed and how much work I have on at the time.

The design is usually finalised within 2-3 business days of starting the project, once you've signed the design off and paid the invoice, your job is booked in at the printers.

It usually takes around 8 business days to recieve the printed cards and then a further 2 business days for me to verify the quality of the final product and arrange delivery to you.

On the first order, I will have the cards shipped to myself so that I can verify the quality of the print, colour accuracy and trimming so that I can be sure the quality of the print job is up to the standard I expect and you deserve.

Needless to say I do all I can to minimise any delays and ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the finished product!

How much do reprints cost?

I do my best to keep reprint costs to a minimum, in most cases they cost no more than the original printing cost of your card (should you choose the same print number and refinements).

Reprints are however, not subject to shipping fees - as a result of the design being approved and validated on the first print run, reprints ship directly from the printer to your door, as I don't need to verify the standard of the print.

What is Spot UV?

Spot UV is a process in which an ultraviolet light is used to cure a varnish that is applied after printing. The result of which is a partial gloss coverage of the card.

As part of the design process, I will create a Spot UV template that will indicate which areas of the card should feature a gloss coating, and which should remain with a matte finish. Used correctly, Spot UV can add a level of style and flair that adds helps acheive a standard of quality not possible via printing alone!

What is the price of shipping?

I do what I can to offer the best value shipping possible even though the costs of shipping goods around the UK has increased quite significantly over the past few years.

Shipping is charged at a flat rate of £7.99 per order and is sent via an insured, next business day service to the address that you provide, however if your business within Hereford, I am happy to personally drop them off at no cost!

Orders over £150 receive free delivery!

What kind of card stock do you use?

The card stock I use is amongst the finest available. It has a paper weight of 350g/m² (grams per square meter), which offers excellent rigidity and helps prevent bending or fraying of the edges of the card over time!

What type of finishes do you offer?

My cards feature a satin matte finish on both sides as standard. This is a smooth finish providing a soft and elegant look to the card, while helping fingerprints evaporate without a trace. This gives the cards an excellent quality look and feel that is easy to write on, should you have the need.

You can (at additional cost) opt to have a full gloss coating applied that provides a slick look that enriches the full colour print, while at the same time protecting the ink from fading and moisture. Also available is a partial gloss coating, known as Spot UV.

I can also arrange for your cards to be given rounded corners should you require it, although admittedly this is quite a costly service which unlike the gloss coatings, does not become cheaper with larger orders so I normally advise against this option unless you only want a small number of cards printed.

What type of printing do you use?

While some printing companies have opted to use cheaper laser or digital printers (and consequently, struggle to provide acceptable print quality), the printing company I use remain committed to the superior quality offered by offset lithography.

This is the same type of print process that is used by magazines, that provides exceptional print quality far beyond what can be acheived with cheaper alternatives.

Offset printing employs a high-resolution, 4800 dpi screen for crisp, clear print and increased colour gamut. Thanks to offset printing your cards will have pin-sharp, high quality graphics and letters that give a look and feel more professional than could otherwise be acheived through standard printing techniques!

Are there minimum terms for the hosting and maintenance packages?

Yes, Web Hosting is subject to a 12 month minimum term, to be paid in advance each calendar year. It is most likely your first invoice will be due at the point your website is signed off and ready to go live.

Maintenance Packages are subject to a 3 month minimum term and as with web hosting are due in advance. Whilst you can book and cancel a maintenance package at any time, you can only change the number of hours in the package every 3 months.

Should you decide to cancel either your web hosting or maintenance package, you are of course entitled to pre-paid time remaining on your account.

Do you offer Ad-Hoc Maintenance ?

Absolutely, since each business will require a different level of ongoing support, I do offer Ad-Hoc maintenance to all my clients. Ad-Hoc support is more suited for businesses who feel that they do not require a pre-set amount of ongoing maintenance.

All Ad-Hoc maintenance requests are charged at £20 per hour with no monthly fee applicable. The minimum charge for Ad-Hoc Support is £20.

How much are the maintenance packages?

The price of maintenance packages depend on how many hours a month you wish to reserve. There are also other factors to consider, such as client loyalty rewards, where additional discounts are given for long-term customers.

Maintenance packages start at £64 a month for 4 hours, the equivelant hourly rate drops every 4 additional hours reserved.

How much does hosting cost?

Depending on the requirements your website, not very much at all. If your site does not feature any processor or memory intensive tasks, you will most likely be charged my standard hosting rate of £14.99 a month.

Should you require something more substantial, I can source VPS or even Dedicated Server hosting for your business at a substantial discount compared to publicly available retail prices.

If I don't use all my hours will I lose them?

If you don't use all the hours you pay for in your maintenance package by the end of the package's term then you will lose the un-used hours, as it is not possible to carry them over between terms. I will do my best to make you aware however, of any un-used time so that you can use it up in time.

Likewise, you are free to use the time you reserve as quickly as you need to, using up to 8 hours for one task. If you use all of your time before the end of the term, you will be able to book more time at an ad-hoc hourly rate specified in your maintenance agreement.

Is there anything that's not included in a maintenance package?

I'm afraid so. Whilst my maintenance packages cover a great deal of day-to-day tasks and allows for regular small design and development tasks, there are a few tasks that the maintenance agreement cannot cover. Maintenance packages do not cover any of the following tasks:

  • The purchase of stock photography or other materials
  • The writing of any substantial amount of text content (for example, a blog post)
  • The purchase of any 3rd party product or service
  • Any single task that will take more than 8 hours to complete
  • Or any 'Design for Print' services such as business cards or other stationery

What happens if I use all my pre-paid maintenance time?

I try to advise my clients to pick the right level of maintenance time when building a quote for them, however sometimes it is possible to run out of pre-paid time.

In these instances, you can either wait until the next calendar month to continue to task at hand or continue the task on an 'Ad-Hoc' basis.

The hourly rate at which you pay for additional time is based upon the number of hours contained in your maintenance package, with clients purchasing more time in the pre-paid packages getting a discounted rate.

What happens if I want to move to another host?

Well first of all I'd be pretty sad! If you do decide to move away I to another host I will do what I can to help with the migration of your site.

I will provide the most recent database backup and file-structure backup of your site on a password-protected disc, or alternatively I can directly assist in setting up your website on your new hosting solution.

What's the benefit of pre-paid maintenance packages?

Simply put, it is the peace of mind you get knowing that should you require something doing to your site, provided it's in the agreed terms of your maintenance package, it's just gets done.

I don't prioritise one client over another, you just send me an email with what you require and I'll get it done the next chance I get. It really is as simple as that!

Who will host my website if you manage my hosting?

When you purchase web hosting through me, Heart Internet takes care of the hosting. Hundreds of thousands of customers rely on Heart Internet every day to power their websites, emails, applications and much more.

Their customers span a wide range of individuals and businesses from bloggers, freelancers and agencies and even to large national companies with complex requirements.

How can I find out more or apply?

If you're interested in helping me out, that's fantastic! Please get in touch with me and I'll send you a media pack which explains the details of the service and the offer I can make to you in return for your business's assistance in fine tuning the software.

How does this service work?

Effectively, it is an all-in-one solution which rolls all of the costs and responsibilities of owning a website into a low cost one-off setup and design fee and a great value subscription.

The initial setup and design fee covers the creation of a completely bespoke design for your website that will be unique to your business. The ongoing subscription is available at a number of price points that includes different features and represents exceptional value for money.

There are no other fees and no commission on bookings you take, which allows this software to give you an unbeatable return on investment.

For more detailed information and for current pricing, please request a media pack by getting in touch with me.

How much will this service cost?

Whilst the pricing for this service has been finalised I am not yet ready to release it, however it is true to say that this service will offer unbeatable value for money, as the quality of the website you will receive will be far beyond what should be expected for the asking price.

What is expected of those helping you test the software?

The main responsibility of those who elect to help me refine this software would be to ensure the functionality of the website provides the features my clients require and handles them in a manner that is both easy to use and delivers an engaging user experience for their visitors.

Due to the assistance these first few clients would provide, I am offering what equals up to an 80% discount on this service as there is immense value to me in outside assistance in validating the goals and objectives of this service.

What kind of features will this service offer?

I'm not yet ready to publicly disclose the features at this time, however I can say that the software is far beyond the usual information portals that B&B's seem to settle for.

It has been designed from day one, to be a complete solution for B&B's looking to have a website that does far more than just exist; it's been designed to provide a complete solution to increase your exposure online, help get you more, higher quality bookings and create a stellar first impression for new customers.

Not the answers you're looking for?

No problem! Please drop me a line and I'll do what I can to get the answer to you as quickly as possible!

Contact Me

So why hire me for your next project?

I'm proud of the results I deliver

As a self-employed developer and designer, the quality of my work reflects directly on me, not the company I work for. This means you can be certain that I give 100% on each and every project to ensure my clients end up with the return on investment they deserve.

What my clients say about me

We've worked with Paul at G-Effect for several years and have always been delighted with the high standard of results produced, attention to detail, and personal approach. It's nice to be able to deal with a real human being who can explain complex processes and systems in a straight-forward and easy to understand manner - it really helps as we don't like having our minds boggled!! We cannot recommend G-Effect highly enough!

Dale Adams BA Hons Managing Director, ML Sports Limited

Recent projects

I'm available for new projects!

But to ensure I deliver the best results I can I limit the number of clients I work with at once.

So if you understand the value of great design please feel free to drop me a line, maybe we can work together!

Request a Quote Now!