Brenda Simon, Website Designer
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website designer
Trying to decide how to create your business website? Here is a place to find answers. Visit my blog for more answers. Your first website? Visit this special blog entry: Your Custom Website.

every business needs a website
Why do I need a website?
The best way to reach the most people. Today every business needs a

custom website.

With so many businesses online take the advantage by creating a unique one-of-a-kind website to get in front of your competitors. Your website is the cornerstone of all marketing and socail media. Every platform you use to promote your business will point to your website where you are in complete control of your message. Read more about why design matters.

why hire a professional?
Why not let my daughter/friend design my website?
Web design is no longer a hobby. Nor is it a do-it-yourself project, anymore. It is a serious challenge to compete online. It requires a dedication to trends, statistics, new technology and new platforms for web design visually, structurally and code; and marketing.

A professional web designer

follows the ever changing algorithms of Google's indexing, W3 standards, browser compatibility and more. Your business needs the skills and experience of a professional. Read more.

what's in a name?
How do I choose my website name/domain name?
Short domain names are hard to find, and ".coms" are premium. If your business name is your branding—stick with it. But if you are looking to gain Internet traffic you might consider a two step approach. Many of my web clients use their business name as their website domain (aka URL) to be spoken—given over the phone. The second domain name they choose is their “real” website name containing a keyword for their business. Ex. Your business name is “Cute Name, Inc.” and you sell clocks. Buy two domains (if available): and The market now is flooded with new domain extensions, from .co to .tv and locale extensions. Despite all ".com" has the best sticking power.

Read more on Brenda's blog entry: Secure Your Domain Name.

custom designs mean business
Why a Custom Website?
Template websites offer the cheapest website. The allure of a "free" website comes bundled with the need for some understanding of code, page layout, heading tags, meta info, photo editing and optimization. Plan to devote time to learn SEO practices, spamming no-nos, optimization of photos and content; keyword do and don'ts; meta description and meta title and keep yourself updated to the 500+ changes from Google annually. Maintaining a free website requires plenty of time.

A custom web design streamlines every element to be visually pleasing,with easy navigation, solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and use of meta tags (hidden) to aid search engines. Image optimization is critical for site performance. Speed matters and Google considers this when it ranks your page. The entire structure of the website must work together to maximize SEO. This means the hidden code supports the content on the pages. A website without all these elements working together will not produce the results you are seeking.

Read a side by side comparison of template versus custom web design.

hiring a designer
Can I hire you though I don't live near you?
My clients live from California to New York. Email and phone makes this simple. As I build each website my client and I view it together on a private site and chat by phone. This is the process whether you are local or across country.

one size doesn't fit all
How long does it take to complete my website?
Each website is different—number of pages, interactive elements, photos, etc. Once I have all the content from you (images and copy) the site takes approximately 30 days for a small website. I have completed websites in as little as 14 days. If speed is important let me know in the beginning.

a trendy risk
Can I have just a one page website?

It's a surprising trend and can work for the right business, or the launch of one product combined with an aggressive marketing plan. Clearly it isn't for everyone. For most businesses it's not enough to compete against the sea of web pages. Google indexes a website's content to understand your business so it can, in turn, let people searching find your business. This doesn't mean beginning with 300 pages—your website is an ongoing project you will grow. A good starting point is 7—10 pages.

methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics
What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means building your website with a strong, clear message about your business, but in a way which "teaches" Google who you are and what you do. SEO changes constantly as Google refines its algorithms. A typical year sees well over 500 changes. Applying SEO techniques to a website is critical and needs to be thorough. Being online is competitive, you need to utilize the best practices for a sound presence. SEO is considered "organic" verses "pay-per-click" advertising. A strong organic website entering the paid advertising has a huge advantage over a poorly optimized website. It is crucial to the success of each business website and that is why I include it in every website design.

it doesn't look the same
What is browser compatibility?

A website has to be viewable on a multitude of configurations from mobile devices to PCs to Macs using an array of browsers. It won't look identical on each browser. Out of date browsers present the biggest challenge. If your clientele might be using older browsers it is important to be sure they can see your website. Chrome, Firefox and Safari, on a Mac, vary greatly in displaying your website compared to Microsoft Edge, Chrome or Firefox on a PC. Also user preferences can change how the web design is displayed. Many people increase the font size on their browsers. And then—mobile devices are a whole different platform to code for.

a vote for your website
What are reciprocal links?
Linking within your website, out of your website and TO your website continue to be a way of ranking your website for Google. Getting other websites to link to your site has great value. Blogging and tweeting can be a part of this. It is ongoing and time consuming, but worth it.

Read more about Webmaster Services.

time for a face-lift?
Why should I refresh or re-do my website?
A website which remains unchanged moves down in its rankings. Content which changes daily ranks highest, so leaving a website unchanged for years is not a good idea. Add to that: The Internet changes and things which were once trendy are replaced with better ways to serve your content. New browsers offer a much richer web experience through styling. If your website is 3 years old or more and you haven't created a make-over, having it analyzed for improvements could help you decide if your site is dated.

Not all websites look great after 3 years. It takes less than a second for someone to form an opinion about your business when they visit your website. It's not enough to have a website today—create a visually, good-looking custom website to deliver your message.

Read more why pretty matters.

How do we start?
Find websites you like. Collect your logo, photos and content for your site and list any ideas you have. I strive to make this simple for you. Read more.

I don't have a logo.
You may not need a logo if you are a startup business. It's an expense you may be able to budget for at another time. I can create a custom logo for your business. If your budget is limited, there are options for your website. These may not have the impact of a fully designed logo, but will look better than a cheaply designed image. Read more about creating a logo.

Once I have my website up and running, now what?
There are a lot of things you can do to drive your website. Visit my blog, for Internet changes, trends and updates for small businesses. I offer Webmaster Services to my clients post launch. This is the cornerstone of your advertising, have a plan for using it effectively.

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