For any common queries you may have regarding what we have to offer.
Do you use templates?
No. We don't use templates. Each website is designed to meet the requirements of the business and match existing or required branding. Each page layout can be different in order to make the most of the content provided and customised accordingly. In fact, we rarely start the design until we have all your content, so we can decide what will work best for you.
Note that there is less flexibility available for the 3 page startup website but this will still include your business logo and branding colours to give your website a distinct look.
Does the website work on mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices?
Yes. All our latest websites have responsive designs which means they adapt to provide the best view of the content on the device used.
Do you charge VAT?
Yes. All costs are quoted without VAT and VAT will added at the current rate. If you are VAT registered then you can claim back the VAT paid as part of your business. Registering for VAT is a business decision and you should consult your accountant for advice about this.
Do I need to provide the content for the website?
Yes. However, we will guide you in the structure and content required for your website to meet your objectives for the website. You will then need to provide us with the text, images, any related marketing material and additional documents necessary. You don't need to worry about the style and format of the content as we will be taking care of this in the website design to make the most of your content. We will also do our best to make changes that will improve the representation of your business and optimise your content for search engines. We will also advise in the use of stock photo images if you don't have the images you need. Ultimately, you are responsible for the content of your website and will have the final say.
We can also recommend copywriters if you would prefer the help of a professional writer.
Can I upgrade from a 3 page start up website to a full business website package?
Yes. You will need to pay the additional setup costs and you will then pay the extra monthly fee due for the package once the upgraded site is live. We will expand the website to add the additional pages necessary for a full business website including testimonials, galleries, case studies etc. You will also benefit from our ongoing support and maintenance included.
Am I contracted for a fixed term for my website?
No - unless you have a contract that specifically states a minimum contract period. You just need to give us one month's notice if you decide to leave Activ. If you no longer wish to keep the website, then we will remove the website and any associated emails. If we administer your domain name for you, then we can transfer it to another supplier but there may be a small admin fee to do this from our Registrars.
See information on transferring to another supplier below.
Can I edit and update my website myself?
A full content management system is available for our full brochure website and online shop packages.
Many clients find that the news/blog feature allows them to blog, add news, offers etc. is an easy way to add content to their site. Together with our support and maintenance, many clients find this the ideal combination.
However, if you would like to edit or add pages for your brochure website, then we can provide full content management at no extra cost and training is available, if required, at an additional charge. Please contact us for details.
What happens once my website is launched?
It can take between 24 and 48 hours for your website to go live across the internet. We'll let you know when this has happened and provide details to access your emails if we are providing this service. We will also be registering your website with search engines in order to prompt them to index your website. In theory, it can take a few months for Google to index your site but in reality it usually takes a few weeks or even days. Until you have been indexed, your site will not appear in search results. Your ranking for different search terms will improve over time but is of course dependent on competition for similar websites in your sector. Please see our SEO service for information on how to improve your search engine ranking.
How will I access my email?
We can set you up on a free email service or you can continue to use an existing email provider. If we setup the email, you will be issued with login userIds and passwords for each email address after the website has been launched. The emails we provide can be accessed via a web browser on any internet connected device, similar to gmail and hotmail or via a mobile app. In addition, it is also possible for you to setup an email program like Outlook, MAC mail or a mobile device to access your emails. We will provide you with the necessary settings to do this. The setup will vary slightly depending on the program or device. The email service is for free setup with a 3rd party and we don't provide ongoing support for emails.
If you want more IT Support for your emails then we can recommend suitable alternative providers.
How secure is my website?
Activ operate dedicated servers to run websites for our clients only - all of whom we know personally. All sites are vetted to ensure we have no dubious sites in operation on our servers. Software is updated regularly to ensure stability and security of the website. We also run regular backups to a separate location so in the unlikely event of a hacking issue or other operational difficulty, we can restore sites in hours (maybe a day!) but nothing like the weeks that many others wait in this situation.
What maintenance and support do you provide?
Our website packages all include ongoing support - it is fundamental to what Activ offers clients. We maintain the security and operational efficiency of your website by regular software updates for the server and website as required. We include support by email and phone in the use of your website and related online marketing. We will also provide minor updates and changes to your website; most small tasks that take 5-10 mins will be included e.g. add a testimonial, change prices, add an image etc. Website funstionality upgrades, adding new content, features or work involving the redesign of the website is not included and will be charged at the current hourly rate. Any regular or scheduled content updates are not included unless agreed when the website order was completed. This includes adding news or blog articles - the content management provides an easy to use function for this and Activ will provide support where necessary.
We will always tell you when charges will be applicable and can provide a quote for work on request. You will also receive emails from us offering further advice to support you in developing your website as a key marketing tool for your business.
Our online shop package also includes an initial onsite training session to get you familiar with updating and running your online shop.
Other support arrangements including onsite training and support can also be agreed. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
Do you provide SEO as part of the website package?
All our sites are optimised for search engines. We use code that is friendly to search engines which means it is easy to read and index. We will discuss your key marketing terms which you expect people to use when searching for your products and services. The website will then be built bottom up based on those terms. This gives you the best chance of being found for these terms on Google and other search engines. However, you are open to competition and so exact positions in search engine results cannot be guaranteed. Good ranking results also depend on how much other promotion of your business and website takes place online. We do provide other monthly SEO services for clients who wish to further improve their ranking for search terms related to their business - see our SEO Service
What's the difference between SEO and Pay per Click (sponsored ads)?
Pay per click are the sponsored ads shown at the top and bottom of Google search results. These are paid ads shown by Google for clients using its Adwords services. You decide what key search term you wish your ad to be shown for and then Google will display it when a user searches with the same phrase. You pay every time a user clicks on your ad. Where you appear in the sponsored results depends on how much you bid to pay per click compared to the competition and to some extent the relevance of your site to the phrase you target. This is basically like other advertising and can work well for businesses, driving traffic to their website. However, it is possible to waste a lot of money if not done properly and like all advertising, once you stop paying you have nothing left.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is about increasing your website ranking in the 'natural' or 'organic' search results on Google for your key marketing phrases. It requires a combination of a well optimised website (see above) and promotion of your website online across the internet for the key marketing terms you target. There are no easy solutions to this and Google constantly changes the way it indexes websites too. However, often local businesses can do very well, picking up business for search terms related to their business in their local area. It takes a lot of effort on a regular basis to achieve good rankings and this what Activ SEO is doing for many of its clients with a monthly SEO service. Approximately 40% of users never click on the sponsored links\ads on Google; prefering to trust the natural search results. Unlike Google Adwords, SEO is more of an investment in your website as all the information that is published on your business on the internet stays there working long after you may have stopped your SEO efforts. You can read more about our approach to SEO.
SEO can be a confusing topic so please contact us if you would like to know more.
What if I have a bespoke requirement that is not standard to your website packages?
Our website packages provide everything that most small businesses need for a professional online business; saving you time, costs and generating business - all for a fixed price. Our develpment platform allows for extensive funcionality that can be integrated into your site for an additonal setup charge and in some cases; additional software licensing costs. We also have a bespoke development team that can add or adapt functionality or even develop a completely bespoke website from scratch based on your requirements. Don't feel you are limited by our standard packages as we have the resources to develop complete flexibility. It also means that our clients can be assured that we can continue to support them as their business grows and their requirements adapt over time.
Can I transfer my website to another web designer?
Many of our clients have been with us for years now and we continue to adapt their website to maintain and develop it as a valuable marketing tool. We don't think you'll find the need to leave us and we're always happy to discuss options for redesign or upgrade to make sure you are entirely happy with your website and the service we provide.
Websites launched prior to June 2020
If you want to move to another supplier, then it will be their responsibility to setup the website and copy any material required from the existing Activ site before the hosting expires. They will be responsible for supplying you with a content management system to manage your website going forward.
Websites launched from June 2020 onwards
In the event that at some point in the future you wish to no longer use Activ for your website and marketing requirements, you are fully entitled to take with you all of the files that make up your website.
If required, we can provide you with an entire backup of your site along with its database and any commercial plugins that have been used to make your site function (fees apply for this service)
Backups are created in various formats by different backup methods, and our backup method may change over time, however you can rest assured that whenever you receive a backup of your site, we will inform you as to what software is required to restore that backup onto a new server. It will of course be up to you, or your new provider to actually carry out that restore.
It is also important to understand that there may also be paid, or ‘professional’ plugins used in your website to create looks or functionalities therein. You, or your new provider may need to purchase new licenses to ensure that those plugins work, and that all of the functionality is the same with your site at its new home.
In addition, we may use proprietary, or private plugins to create certain features or functionalities on your website, which would not be able to be migrated to a new provider. The new provider would then need to find an alternative solution to recreate these functionalities or features in their own environment.
In reality, if you move to a new web designer, it is likely you will want something different anyway.
If we administer your domain name, you will need to arrange to transfer this to a new provider and there may be a small admin charge for this from our Registrars.
What other online marketing services do you provide?
In addition to our web design and SEO services, we can also support you with a wide range of related services including email marketing and content creation - see What We Do. We also have close relationships with a number of suppliers for printing, photography, video production and editing, copywriting, branding/logo design and more. If you are not sure if we can help, then just ask us. If we don't think we are the right people for what you need, then we will say and do our best to recommend someone else. We only take on clients that we believe will be entirely happy with what we provide .
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