Frequently Asked Questions
Do you custom design or use templates? We do both. Most themes and templates are highly customizable and can be further altered to look even more customized, as our designers know how to work in HTML and CSS to modify design.
Are you experienced with using content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Magento? Yes.
Are your designs tested with multi-browser and cross platform compatibility? Yes. Our websites are built for display in all recent versions of web browsers including Internet Explorer as far back as IE 8.
Who will own the design when it’s done? The client will own the design and all HTML/CSS files.
Will I own the entire website including full ownership, code, copyright, etc.? You paid for it, you own it.
How long would the website take to complete? Ideally we can usually complete an average website project in 3-4 weeks assuming that the delivery of content and communication between us and the client is timely.
Are you able to create online shopping carts? Yes.
How will you incorporate search engine optimization principles into my website? We do not include this by default in web development. SEO/SEM is a separate service offering that is priced based on evaluation of the final site and the goals you have for it.
How visible will my website be to search engines such as Google? Without optimization, chances are it will probably not be terribly visible, particularly if the key terms you wish to target are highly competitive. One of the first steps in our SEO process is the analyze these factors and create a report that assesses the difficulty of achieving good visibility for your desired key terms.
Do you add keywords and phrases to each page so that search engines could find me by searching for my keywords? We do not include any optimization work in general web development. This is a separate service that we do offer. We have several options for this.
Will your search engine optimization harm the usability or professionalism of our website? No, not at all. If it did, it would not be optimization. There are many tactics out there which are considered “black hat” and/or can be harmful to your website positioning. We do not employ or endorse any of these methods. We use only white-hat, “Panda Update” friendly methods for marketing your site on the search engines. The work is done by real, thinking humans — not by bots.
Will I be able to fully maintain the website? Provided that your website is being built on a content management system, you will have a great deal of control and ability to easily maintain the site yourself. However, if there are new functionalities or special needs that come up, we recommend you talk with us about making any new installations or configuration changes. Once you take it over, if it breaks any fixes are additionally billable.
Am I required to host my website with you? No, not at all. We are not in the hosting business. We can help/advise on hosting or handle it all through a third party for you, but we do not manage servers anymore due to the complexity and responsibility involved. We do have a local hosting company that we recommend but the choice is totally up to you.
How long have you been in business? Since April of 2006
How many total websites have you built in the years that you’ve owned your web design company? We do more than web design, but probably 75 or so since starting the business in 2006. Some have long since dropped off the web for one reason or another but we currently have about 30 active website clients whose sites we built and manage.
Are you able to code HTML by hand? <answer><strong>Yes</strong></answer>
Do you have a contract? We have a website development agreement. There is a suggested project timeline with milestones and there is a clause for project cancellation due to lack of communication within a given time frame from client or non-payment at the agreed upon milestones. We do use time-based contracts for services like search engine optimization and marketing retainers.
How long are the terms of your contract? Our web development agreement is not necessarily time-based as in “you have to work with us for one year.” Basically, it states that when your website is paid for in full, you own it. There is no time element other than the proposed development timeline. However, there is a clause that says if the site is not completed by a set date due to lack of communication from client or failure to adhere to milestone requests or payment schedule, then the entire agreement amount will become due or the agreement will be null and void.
What is your experience with building mobile websites? We’ve been working with mobile and responsive sites for about two years. We just built our first iPhone app.
How will my website look on different devices and will it be fit to perform well on other devices? If you requested a responsive design, the site will respond and resize to the device. If you have a mobile site, the site will be an abbreviated version of your full website and the navigation and page flow will be vertical for scrolling on a smart phone.
Will you supply the original graphic files? Although there are some exceptions, we generally have no problem turning over working files as long as there are no restrictions from stock imagery used.
In your honest opinion, what’s the most important aspect of a website’s design for you to consider it successful? Clear navigation. The user should easily be able to get to what he/she wants without having to search.
If I make suggestions on changing the design, and you disagree with these suggestions, what would you do? We always offer our advice based on our experience and education in this field. Whether you choose to take it or leave it is up to you. Ultimately, we will do what the client asks, of course. However, this often leads to discontent with the finished product or lack of effectiveness from a marketing standpoint. It’s always a smart idea to consider taking your designer’s advice into consideration. After all, you’ve hired them for their expertise in this area so you might as well get all that you’re paying for.
Will I have full login details for admin access to the website? Once it’s paid for you own it. Therefore, if you desire to have root admin access, we will happily turn it over. We just ask that you keep in mind that if you break something and we have to fix it, this time will be billable.
Do you provide seamless credit card processing with SSL security? We can certainly integrate on-site payment processing and help you obtain an SSL certificate but, to be clear, the latter is an extra expense and depends on who you host with. There are a myriad of merchant processing companies and payment gateways out there that developers use. You will need to decide what merchant processor you want to use and get your account set up with them. We can definitely give you our best advice on that.
Does your shopping cart provide a secure administration system where I can change prices, add and delete products? All of the shopping cart systems we work with have easy product and inventory management interfaces.
Is your shopping cart search engine friendly? All of the shopping cart systems that we work with are search engine friendly.
Do I have to pay in full? No, but we do require a deposit to begin work; our payment terms are set forth in the agreement but we will never ask any of our clients to pay in full for unfinished work. The final payment is due when the website goes live or is turned over to the client.
Do you have any hidden fees? We certainly don’t hide anything intentionally. There may be additional expenses (such as the SSL certificates, purchase of extra modules or plugins not in the original scope of work, purchase of special stock photo, etc.). These things would be referred expenses (we just bill it back to the client – we don’t charge a mark-up, only straight expense) and the cost would depend on the host you choose to host your site. We will always discuss these things directly and transparently as they come up.
Does the budget have anything to do with how professional the website appears and performs? To some degree; we work mostly from open source software and sometimes the functionality that’s desired simply isn’t available in out-of-the-box open source. In that case, additional paid augmentation items like modules, widgets, plugins, etc. must be purchased to meet those needs. In this case, since these additions cost more money, the budget can definitely dictate what functionalities and features are available to use on the site. Also, sometimes custom programming is needed to meet a desired functionality request, which can quickly become costly.
How do you test your work? All of our development is done on a staging environment and we test in all current browsers and in IE as far back as IE 8. For ecommerce, we place test orders in sandbox mode until the site is ready to go live.
Do you offer any maintenance training? If so, how much maintenance training is included? One hour of training is included. This should be more than sufficient to learn how to manage the content of your site.
If I were to have a question about the website after you were finished building it, would you charge for any of the questions asked and would you answer them? Like any business that’s income is largely time-based, we do hope that clients will understand and respect our time and refrain from make excessive demands on that time. However, we are happy to answer any questions here and there as they come up. If the question involves us going back to the drawing board and doing more web development, yes, we would need to provide an estimate for that work. We will always let you know when that’s the case.
Do you outsource? Occasionally — but we try to avoid it. If we come across a complex custom programming request and there isn’t a plugin or open source solution of some kind that already addresses it, we may outsource to find a solution.
Do you use tables or frames for layout? No frames, ever. There is the occasional table in all ecommerce sites to list an array of items, but the design framework of websites are all tableless HTML/CSS.
Do you create wireframes before designing the website? Sometimes we do but not too often these days — only if custom design is chosen and the project requires it. About five years ago that’s how we did everything but there’s more time involved in this method and thus more expense (this business is time-based). Therefore, many clients opt to go with a template because there are so many great ones out there to choose from and it saves them money for us to work from one.
Will there be an easy-to-restore backup if disaster happens? That depends on your host. Most shared hosting providers do perform daily backups and can restore a site pretty easily. Also, we can add a back-up administration plugin in WordPress, but if you’re doing the ongoing maintenance of the site you will need to perform the backups.
Will I talk to my designer directly or a project manager? Both — we’re a small company. We all wear many hats.
If my website needed to be changed or updated in a way that I could not do so, in any case would you have to redesign the entire website to make that one specific change? If your website is built on a content management system, adding features or extending the functionality is usually fairly simple. However, it’s important to be clear that if your requests are in addition to the set of features in our original agreement, there may be additional development costs involved.
How will you build a website that will load fast, capture the attention of the visitor within seven seconds and keep them coming back again and again? By creating a compelling design based on the target audience, keeping the images to minimum, using real text in place of image text whenever possible and suggesting the integration of supplementary marketing techniques which give the user a reason to return.
Are you readily available by phone and e-mail? Yes. Responsiveness is one of our biggest priorities.
Do you have an office? Our office is located at 302 Jefferson St., Suite 100, Raleigh, NC, 27605.
What anti-hacker security steps do you take to ensure my website won’t be hacked and taken down? We make sure that when your website is completed it is running the latest secure version of the CMS. If you are taking over the website upon project completion it would be your responsibility to keep it properly updated as new, stable secure versions are released. Hacking is a constant and growing threat and the web is ever-changing. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are open source, which makes them vulnerable because anyone, anywhere in the world can learn the architecture and figure out how to hack it.
How long will it take to provide a first draft of a design, and how many drafts will you create? 5-7 business days is stated in all of our proposals.
What happens if I don’t like any of your drafts? If we’re starting from a template-based theme, we don’t build drafts or comps per se. We install the template and then can tweak and customize it on-the-web on a staging environment until you’re happy with it. If the design is custom, there are no limits to design revisions. We keep drafting until you’re happy with it. We just finished a site with 12 design comps. It’s important to note here that communication is key though. If you don’t like something, to be fair, try to communicate what it is that you don’t like and work with us proactively to get to a design you love. If you just say, “don’t like it – next,” it won’t wind up being a positive experience for either party. When you’re fair, respectful, communicative and kind — good things happen.
How many revision rounds are allowed, and what constitutes one round of revisions? We don’t limit the number of revisions with custom design; however working with templates is a bit more limiting.
Is my website going to be expandable? Yes, if it’s built on a Content Management System, it is completely expandable. In fact, CMS’s exist as a “free” product so that people will extend it by buying its many add-ons and extensions.
You’re not going to put up advertising on my website, are you? We do put a “designed by” line at the bottom of each website but if you don’t want that or it’s a problem, just let us know and we’ll leave it off.
Why should I use 90 Degree Design and how is 90 Degree Design different from any other web designer? You should use 90DD because we’re confident that we offer the best value for the cost in terms of caliber of design, expertise, individualized customer service, responsiveness and the extra little details that larger companies may not take the time to do. We’re small, friendly, responsive and tend to form long-term partnerships with many of our clients. When they have successes we get genuinely excited!
“As a small business owner, I am honest, forthright, communicative and stand behind my word even when it costs us money. I tend to hear stories to the contrary about most web developers – so I suppose that’s how we’re different. I know there are a few other design firms that can best us in creative merit (but really not too many locally). However, the price of their work definitely reflects their talent level. On the flip side, I also know there are many that are nowhere near as good and most of these charge the same price bracket if not more for their work.”
– Julie Hammer, Owner/Creative Director