Geelong web developer FAQs

GOOP Digital demystifies responsive web design, WordPress website development and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for small business owners.

What do you guys do?

First and foremost we build websites that work. It is the core of what we do. Websites that work are carefully planned and delivered with passion, expertise and attention to detail – we have a whole team of professionals who put together a different piece of the puzzle that makes up your website.

Once your website is up and running – this is when the real fun begins. We do not have a “set and forget” mentality. In fact, we work with you while encouraging you to take charge of your online marketing and boost it to the next level. Your online marketing can include blogging on your website, posting to social media accounts and sending eNewsletters to your database. GOOP Digital is all about strategy – once your website is live, what is your online marketing strategy? Where do you go from here? We think the answer is UP and we’d love to help you.

Are you the right website developer for my price range?

If you’re looking for a website that’s only going to cost a few hundred dollars, then you don’t want GOOP Digital, and in fact you really don’t want a website at all. A few hundred dollars will get you next to nothing as far as a decent website is concerned.

And if you’re hoping to spend between $1000 and $3000, then a GOOP Digital website is not for you. That amount of money just might get you an attractive website but it won’t do anything like what you need it to do to effectively market your business online.

If you’re a small established business with about $6000 to spend then GOOP Digital is the ideal choice for your new website. For your money, GOOP Digital researches the key words people are using in Google to find your products and services, plans and designs your website to perform in Google and then our professional copywriters create the text and metadata that helps make your website particularly appealing to Google.

We also train you in how to use your website for effective marketing.

Importantly, we’re accountable for how your website performs. We provide you with reports on your website’s performance using Google’s own analysis tools. If you’re website is not prominent for what it is you do, where you do it, then we keep working until we’re all satisfied with the site’s prominence in Google.

GOOP Digital is the perfect choice for a serious, established small business that has plans to grow with the help of a strongly performing website and online marketing strategy.

PS: GOOP Digital is also not the company for you if you’re looking to spend $15,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more on a marketing plan that incorporates a website and other more traditional marketing mediums. But we can point you to Geelong companies who provide excellent service for that money.

PPS: No responsive website without special features should cost more than $10,000 – and that includes SEO, design and copywriting.

Where are you and where do you service?

GOOP Digital is physically based in Geelong but we have clients Australia-wide! You do not have to live in – or near – Geelong to take advantage of our web development and online marketing services. Online goes everywhere and that is the beauty of what we do. Our focus is small businesses in regional areas, including: Ballarat, Bendigo, Colac, Daylesford, Horsham, Lake Bolac, Lorne, Maryborough, MurtoaTorquay, Warracknabeal, Werribee and Warrnambool. However, we also have clients in Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, the Sunshine Coast and service Darwin and Tasmania. If you have a small business in Australia please call us and see how we can help you with your online presence.

What’s included in a GOOP Digital website?

We tend to think of a GOOP Digital website like a burger with the lot: jam-packed with layers of ingredients that complement each other and leave you satisfied. A burger with the lot comes with all the tasty essentials – you don’t have to fork out extra money to add sauce, egg, lettuce or tomato. They are included in the price.

Read on to find out what we include in the cost of a GOOP Digital website:

  • strategic planning and research
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) copywriting
  • responsive design
  • development
  • Google Analytics
  • support/training.

If a GOOP Digital website includes design, SEO, development and the rest, are you guys jacks of all trades but master of none?

No way! Our employees are individual masters of each layer of a website – each specialising in their own field. For example, our team includes an account strategist, graphic designers, copywriters with journalism and public relations experience, developers and support staff. While we all have a good idea of the overall process involved, each person has a specific role in building each website. GOOP Digital is not a one-person show.

How much does a GOOP Digital website cost?

How many online geeks does it take to change a light bulb? The answer to both questions is subjective and cannot be answered in a single breath, sentence, paragraph or page. Basically you can buy a custom-designed responsive website that works on different-sized devices for under $6000. However, depending on whether you choose any of our awesome website extras (for example, if you want to sell stuff online), the cost may change. Give us a call and we’ll happily discuss your needs and put a price on them!

What exactly is “SEO” and does my website need it?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and yes, your website needs it if you want to rank in Google. SEO affects the visibility of your website in Google without you paying for it. Google’s paid advertising is known as AdWords. Organic visibility means Google likes your content, finds it easy to index and therefore pushes it up high in the search results list when someone searches for your products or services using key terms or phrases combined with the location in which you operate.

For example, GOOP Digital is a Geelong company which builds websites and if you type “web developer Geelong” into Google, GOOP Digital should be prominent. To be prominent in Google’s search results without paying for AdWords, you will need SEO. Our copywriters are trained to write SEO copy that is unique to your business and compelling for the user to take desired action, which could include picking up the phone, sending an email enquiry or purchasing your products online.

What is responsive web design?

A responsive website is designed to work across different screen sizes. The design “responds” to the screen it is being viewed upon. This means Internet users can comfortably view your website on their smartphone, tablet or desktop computer with no need for scrolling and zooming. Images, text and other elements of the design grow and shrink without distorting to fit the screen any user is viewing, anywhere. We consider responsive to be the standard in web design as more people use the Internet from mobile devices. Our web developers specialise in responsive design, so you can rest assured clients can find you and see what you’re all about with ease.

Why do you develop websites using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS)?

Because WordPress is awesome! Here are just a few reasons why we use the wonderful WordPress CMS:

  • We think it’s the most user-friendly and intuitive CMS available for small business users, and enables users to add content including text, images, videos and PDFs.
  • WordPress is SEO-friendly, which means it’s Google-friendly.
  • WordPress is the most used CMS on the planet.
  • There is a long list of impressive extras our WordPress web developers can use to customise your website to include features you might require!

Do you build only WordPress websites?

Yes. WordPress is renowned as the world’s easiest and most powerful website and blogging CMS for a reason. We’ve tried others and WordPress is best for what we do.

I’ve built a website using a WordPress theme. Do you use off-the-shelf themes?

No, we don’t use third-party themes. We custom-design and develop each and every one of our clients’ websites. By doing this we not only ensure that our websites are unique and designed to fit Google’s strict SEO guidelines, but they’re also safe, secure and free of the bugs that can sometimes trouble website themes.

I know I want a website but I don’t know what should be in it or how it should look. Can you help?

Here’s the thing – you’re an expert at what it is you do. We’re the experts when it comes to websites. As part of our website development process we work with you to gather as much information as we can about what it is you do and where you do it. We then analyse all that information to create the structure of your website, from design and pages, through to key search words and content.  Importantly, we extensively research Google to find out the key words people are using when searching for the products and/or services you provide. We then use those key words in our strategy to boost the search engine optimisation of your site.

Plenty of people can build a website but it takes skill and expertise to build websites that meet  exacting requirements for prominence in Google. That’s why you need GOOP Digital. We build websites that work.

I want a website but I’d better get a logo first. Do you design logos?

Short answer: Yes! Contact us so we can discuss your requirements. We’re website developers and online marketers and understand the important role logo design has in your online presence. We can deliver the whole package, from logo and branding through to designing and developing your new website and other online collateral.

I’ve signed off on the plan and the design of my new website but now I want to make a few changes. What are the chances?

This happens more often than you might think and while it can be a problem, it’s not the end of the world if you let us know early enough.

Yep, circumstances change and people change their minds. We’re only human after all. If you let us know early enough we might be able to accommodate your changes with a minimum of hassle and no extra charge. But – and please take note of this – once your website build reaches a certain stage, making changes becomes a major headache and will require a lot of work and a lot of time. No two changes are ever the same so if you need to change your design or website structure let us know as soon as possible. We’ll can absorb the cost of the changes to a point but please realise that after a certain stage in the process we will have to discuss the cost of those changes.

I have a lot of images and files that I want you to include in my site. What’s the best way to get them to you?

GOOP Digital has an online file share where you can easily upload your files. We’ll set up a folder for you and provide you with log-in details. This is the best option because the size of your files doesn’t matter, unlike emails which can often fail to send if attached files are too large.

We don’t accept images sent attached to individual emails but we will accept files on flash drives or CDs. If you’re not sure what to do, just ask.

Is there an ideal format or size for images that you can use in my website?

Nice question! Obviously, the better the quality of the image files we receive, the better the end results when your site goes live.

Here’s a guideline of what we require:

  • Photographs: This is a case where bigger is better! We will resize your images for optimum display but although we can reduce the size of files, we can’t increase their size. Provide images as large as you can – 250KB is a good minimum size. We accept images in the following formats: .jpg, .psd, .ai, .eps, .png and, tiff. We won’t accept photographs pasted into Word Documents in PDFs or PowerPoints. And remember you can upload your images directly to our online file share, so you don’t have to worry about attaching large files to emails.
  • If you don’t have images, we can source stock images for you but they do come with a cost. We will discuss the price of stock images with you before proceeding with their purchase.
  • Illustrations: If you have illustrations, we need them as vector images. A vector image is a file which allows a lot of flexibility in its use and will have an extension such as .ai, .eps or .svg.
  • Logos:We need your logo in a vector format with a transparent background because it allows more options for its use. If we receive a logo in a .jpg or .psd format that has a non-transparent background then we’re limited in how we can use it and we’ll have to charge you if you want us to recreate it with a transparent background.

What if I want to add more features to my project after I approve the estimate?

Look, it’s not impossible but obviously your website build will go much smoother if you’ve thought long and hard about what it is you hope to achieve with your website before even approaching us.

If you need to add new elements to your website, it can certainly be done, particularly if the features you’re adding are consistent with our overall plan and design. But if you’re heading off on a different tangent from what we’ve discussed and planned or we’re well advanced in the development of your website, then we’ll need to talk to you about additional fees for the extra work involved. Sorry, but between the various team members involved we invest weeks of labour in your website and out-of-scope work can quickly blow the budget.

Think long and hard about what you want from your website but also listen to our site planners and follow their advice. They know what they’re doing.

Why’d you clutch your heart when I told you to use images and text from another website?

Sorry, cough, cough! Phew, we’re still recovering from that one. You cannot steal images or text from other websites. It’s as simple as that. You’ve heard of copyright, surely? Well, ripping off words and images from other sites is breaching copyright. Not only that, Google penalises duplicate copy so your website has no hope of achieving prominence in Google if you plagiarise text.

Let us help you legally find images for your site or, better still, hire a photographer and get original shots. We work with a group of outstanding photographers who take sensational shots for reasonable prices. Or, if you’re okay with a camera, take the photographs yourself.

And as for the website text, provide us with plenty of information about your business and our professional copywriters will create original text for your website. More information means better original content and a better chance of ranking prominently in Google.

Nobody likes a cheat, so don’t try to cheat on copyright and plagiarism rules.

We’d like to get together for a face-to-face meeting. Can we do that?

Of course you can! We love meeting our clients face to face. Not only are meetings an opportunity to put a face to the name, they’re a great opportunity to ask and answer questions about the intent, design and content of your website and also help build a relationship

But don’t fret if you can’t get to a face-to-face meeting with GOOP Digital because we can still have a virtual face-to-face meeting over Skype and there is always the good old-fashioned telephone if all else fails.

GOOP Digital is based in Geelong but we often travel across Victoria and interstate to meet our clients, so there is every chance we will get together.

I’ve already got a website but it’s useless. Can you fix it?

Sorry. The answer is always no. Bitter experience has taught us that it’s easier and much more effective – from both financial and time perspectives – to start from scratch. We can produce a website that will look like your original site if you really want, but we’ll do it from scratch.

You insist on hosting your clients’ websites. Why?

GOOP Digital insists on hosting our clients’ websites to ensure their sites are online, as secure as possible and up to date. We host your website so we can look after it.

Managed hosting means GOOP Digital takes care of all your server-related issues. It’s similar to getting a full warranty with free oil changes and maintenance when buying a new car. If we don’t host a website, we cannot ensure it will keep working and cannot provide the service you require for a professional website.

But our hosting fee provides much more than continuity, security and currency. Here’s a sample of what you get with GOOP Digital’s managed hosting:

Hosting

  • Your website is housed on a server created solely for GOOP Digital , and each site is allocated 1.5 gigabytes of space. This means there’s plenty of room for your website and its files.
  • Our servers are based in Australia, ensuring planned server updates and maintenance are scheduled outside peak operating times.
  • GOOP Digital servers are monitored 24/7; if issues arise, we address them as soon as possible. GOOP Digital strives to be pro-active and not reactive.
  • Our servers are backed up daily – so if problems arise your site can be reinstated with minimal interruption.
  • Our servers are regularly monitored to safeguard your CMS and content.
  • We can host POP3 domain emails – i.e. infoyourdomainname.com.au. Please note that POP3 is very basic and can only move emails from our server to your computer. It cannot sync across multiple devices.
  • We provide an email monitoring service and offer basic email support.
  • We can ensure your website’s storage requirements grow with your business.
  • GOOP Digital keeps track of the performance of the various keywords associated with your website until it has acceptable prominence in Google.

WordPress

  • GOOP Digital installs WordPress, one of the world’s most popular Content Management Systems, for your website.
  • We provide a document library of detailed instructions for WordPress and social media, where applicable.
  • Your WordPress database and files are regularly backed.
  • GOOP Digital staff members are available instantly during business hours to answer your phone calls and respond to your queries about your website content.
  • While our service is designed to be “set and forget” for our clients, it’s not for GOOP Digital. We are constantly monitoring our servers to ensure they deliver maximum performance around the world, around the clock.

I need a website by next week. Can you build me one in that time frame?

Wow, you really should have started planning a little earlier. No, we can’t in all good faith build you a professional-standard website in that time frame. While we could cobble together a functioning website in a day or two, it wouldn’t be a website either of us would be proud of.

With the amount of careful planning and detailed work that goes into creating a GOOP Digital website, we ask that our clients allow us about eight weeks from the signing of the contract to the completion of the site.

Of course, the timeframe can depend on the structure of the site, its features and its content but we can give you a more accurate timeframe once we know the work your website requires.

I’d like a breakdown of the schedule of work to create my website. Is that possible?

Not really. Website design and development is part science and part art with a touch of common sense thrown in. While we can tell you it will take about eight weeks to create your website, we can’t break the process down to various days and dates for each phase.

Sometimes inspiration strikes immediately, other times it requires hours of painstaking thought and research. Sometimes the design flows easily while the words only trickle out, other times the words come out in a flood and the design progresses in fits and starts. There is one thing GOOP Digital is not going to do and that’s rush the creative process. We’ll hit the ultimate deadline but we won’t put unnecessary or undue pressure on people to fit schedules during the build stage.

You want the best finished product and we want to deliver the best finished product and that’s why the only schedule we can commit to is the eight weeks from the initial signing of your contract.

I need an email with my website and I need it to work on all my devices. Can you set up emails for me and help me fix them if things go wrong?

GOOP Digital will build you a website that incorporates your current email service – if you have one – or can recommend the best email options for you. We can provide POP3 emails for your website, but do not recommend them for most clients. POP3 emails are limited in their functionality and versatility. They do not allow you to view your emails across a variety of devices and are best suited if you require only one email address on one device, such as a desktop computer.

At GOOP Digital we recommend that clients requiring various email addresses or who need to view emails across a variety of devices take advantage of the email service available through Google Apps. Google Apps allows clients to create personalised, professional email addresses incorporating the client’s domain name, such as boss@yourbusinessname.com.au. Messages are stored on a central server at Google and can be viewed across numerous devices. There is a cost paid directly to Google.

GOOP Digital is an online marketing company which specialises in creating websites that work and are prominent in Google. We’re not an IT support or computer repair business, which is why we offer only basic POP3 emails and limited email support. We’ll happily direct you to an IT company who can help set up the most appropriate email for you and provide you with ongoing support.

GOOP Digital’s email service comprises:

  • Set-up of POP3 email accounts on your computer. POP3 emails need to download permanently onto a nominated main/central device (usually your desktop or laptop) to ensure you have a copy of your emails on your computer. You cannot access POP3 emails to one address on a variety of devices.
  • We do not permanently store emails on our server so it is recommended that you have your own backup procedures in place.
  • We provide remote email access so you can check your emails when you’re away from your desk. We provide instructions for accessing Webmail.

I have an existing website and a domain but my previous developer has the log-in and password details and won’t hand them over. Can you help?

Sadly we come across this situation all too often. Your domain name should be your property and you should have access to the domain name password. No two cases are ever the same so we will need to discuss with you the exact nature of your problem before we can decide on the best course of action. Please get in touch with us so we can advise you.

Will you show me how to use my new WordPress website?

That’s the beauty of working with GOOP Digital. Once we’ve built you a website that works and it has gained prominence in Google, we want you to be able to take the reins of that website and ensure it continues to perform.

Each new GOOP Digital website comes with training in how to use the website to successfully market your business. If you can use a computer you can use WordPress and we’ll spend an hour after your website goes live showing you how to blog, add images and take advantage of other features of your new website. You can organise your training session by getting in touch with GOOP.

And don’t worry, we can lock down parts of your website so you can’t easily break it.

Do you provide other services?

When it comes to online marketing, GOOP Digital provides a range of services that complement its website development, ranging from support and one-on-one blog training, e-newsletters and social media set-up, through to e-commerce set-up and  full-blown online marketing plans. Talk to us to find out about which of our products best suits your requirements.

What are your payment terms?

We require a deposit of 50% upon your acceptance of the contract and the balance at the completion of the project.

Why do you need an upfront deposit before work starts on my website?

Creating websites takes a lot of work by a lot of people. From analysing keywords, planning the site structure, through to design, development and copywriting there is literally months of labour poured into your website and as much as we enjoy building websites that work, we have to pay our team members. They do like to eat and pay the rent, after all.

By paying half the fee up front, you’re displaying a commitment to us and ensuring we complete your website but also holding us accountable and making sure we fulfil out end of the agreement.

Your planners keep pushing me for more information about my business. Why do you need to know all this stuff? And why can’t you build my website without it?

We need as much information as possible so we can build a website that best reflects and markets your business and its products and services. The more information we have, the better the end result. We can’t tell your story without first knowing the details, can we? The more information you provide for our planners, designers, copywriters and developers the happier you’ll be with your completed website.

And we want all your information before we start because that way we ensure you build process goes smoothly and there are no surprises along the way. Experience has proven that if we don’t get all the information we require before starting on a new website, we end up missing deadlines and the whole project can go pear-shaped.

We provide our clients with comprehensive build forms which guide them through the information-gathering process. Follow those guidelines, talk to us if you have questions, and everything will go smoothly and to plan.

I’ve heard that WordPress updates pretty often. Will I have to update my website’s CMS?

No. We’ll look after the updates for you and that way we can ensure your website and all its features continue to work as they should. We don’t want our clients to worry about breaking their website so we handle its administration, including updates, and the cost is covered in your hosting fee.

I know you answer the phones during working hours, but what if my website has problems out of hours?

The beauty of modern-day communications is that help is never far away. If you need help outside regular hours, send an email to our support desk and we’ll assess your problem and determine whether it’s urgent or can wait until the next business day.

If the emergency is the result of something we’ve done – and that’s unlikely – then we’ll cover the cost. But if the problem with your website is something you’ve done – and that’s also unlikely but not impossible – we will have to charge for the repairs, as well as an out-of-hours fee if the repairs are urgent and outside traditional working hours.

Please note, we do not guarantee we will be available out of hours and we cannot help with email problems that are not GOOP Digital-provided POP3 emails.

I’d like to know more about your web development services. What’s the best way to contact you?

For general inquiries during business hours you can always call our Geelong headquarters on (03) 5222 4220. We will answer the phone and won’t leave you waiting on hold for half the day. If you’d rather, send us an email or complete our contact form.

We certainly hope we’ve answered some of your commonly asked questions about our web development process. If you’re still wondering about SEO, custom web design or Internet marketing and how they can work for your business, please make sure you contact us to discuss them in more detail! Sometimes a personalised answer is all you need.