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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions you might ask

Answers provided by Philips Ekuma

  1. What can a website do for me and/or my business?
  2. There are companies online that offer free websites, e.g. gnbo.com (Get Nigerian Businesses Online) from Google. Why should I still pay for a website?
  3. How much does a website cost?
  4. Why can't I get ALL the features of a website for a flat rate?
  5. If I could use a template to create a website, why should I hire the services of a web designer?
  6. Why should I invest money to acquire a website for my business?
  7. My product/service cannot be purchased online. Since I can't then make money from my website, why should I own one?
  8. Changes in my business are erratic and dynamic. How would I be able to translate that in terms of updating my website to reflect the changes in my products/services?
What can my website do for me and/or my business?
  • Your website could serve as a cost effective, automated marketing tool which you could integrate gracefully into you overall marketing campaign to reach a wider clientele base and generate leads who could be interested in your product/service. Your website is the only tool with which you could launch and wrap up your online marketing campaign and develop the web presence that you need to position you business as an authority to reckon with in your industry.
  • Since the advent of the internet, small businesses have the footing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and look in the eyes of much bigger and powerful competition. A well-designed website helps make a small business look big, or remain small but grow fast by reaching more customers and making big profits.
  • Businesses who believe that the easiest customers to sell to are the ones who have already bought from them, make a good point of establishing efficient post-sales support systems, and your website could serve as a post-sales outlet where you completely handle customer complaints, provide generic help and support to product/service issues, provide answers to frequently asked questions, and generally build a deeper relationship with your customer in a way that guarantees customer loyalty.
  • With your website, you could collect customer data regarding product expectation and perception, demographics etc. using online forms, and analyse that data to help you measure, track, and build a product/service that truly provides value to your customers, while keeping them loyal to your product/service.
  • A website is essentially a virtual real estate or store which is open to the public 24/7, unlike your offline brick and mortar business premises. This means that your website could function like say, a tourist guide, giving your potential customers an exciting tour through your product/service so as to help them have a better understanding of how your product/service works, how to use it, and how it could benefit them. This helps them make informed decisions and position them to identify with your business in a way that establishes a long term relationship. In other words, your website could be a product gallery where you display your products and provide all the information that will encourage and redirect your customers to your offline location where sales would take place.
  • Your website will help you take more advantage of social media to define a niche market that interacts with you in a way that helps you define a product/service that meets customer expectation.
  • Your website is an essential brand building tool that defines the satisfaction your customers should derive from your product/service, and helps you build brand image.
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There are companies online that offer free websites, e.g. gnbo.com (Get Nigerian Businesses Online) from Google. Why should I still pay for a website?

There are several reasons why free websites do not provide the ultimate solution for peoples' and businesses' web needs as they come with a lot of limitations. They include a combination of some or all of the following and much more:

  • Limited bandwidth: there is a limit with free websites to how many connections can be made to the website at any given time. When a free website begins to attract more site traffic, and who doesn't pray for this to happen?, issues like connection timeouts, server busy, network congestion, begin to occur. Some people might not even be able to reach your website during peak hours relative to one's country.
  • Limited or no storage support: most free websites do not offer, or offer very small storage space to hold files that pertains to the website.
  • No FTP support: most free website to not allow files to be uploaded or downloaded from the website using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This is one way by which changes made to a webpage can be published on the web. This also is the only way by which downloadable files like, PDFs, Word Documents, images, sounds, flash and video, and application software can be published online for user access and download. Like in the above-stated point, there is a limit to size allowable, if at all you are allowed, for uploading files to the free website.
  • No customizable email addresses: most free website providers do not allow you to create custom email addresses in the form of [email protected]. Where they do, the domain name of the free website provider must be appended to the email address like so [email protected]. Some are not so user-friendly in their composition.
  • Advertisements: most free websites are able to stay in business by placing advertisements on your website with the hope that visitors to your site will be enticed by these ads and decide to do business with the advertiser. The disadvantages of this are that:
    • You have, in most cases, absolutely no control over the nature of advertisements that are placed on your free site. They may contain material that your site visitors may find offensive instantly or much later when they begin to use the service the ads provide, or they may be contradicting to their faith e.g. ads on condoms and contraceptives, Viagra etc., and these could potentially cause your business to lose image as customer/visitors will assume that those ads appear on your site because you approve of them. It is with these ads that some of the free website companies are able to stay in business.
    • Some advertisements may provide the same service as you do at a discount of with a treat that gives their product/service an edge over yours. This will most certainly redirect traffic/customers away from your website to the website of the company who's advertisement appears on your website. In other words, you lose customers to the competition.
    • These advertisements, which often appear as banners occupy the whole header position, take up vantage space on your website and cause you to place important material at locations further down the page where they have less visibility.
  • Linkrot: You will have to deal with issues of broken links, also known as "linkrot" when you might have gotten fed up with the gross limitations of using free websites to launch a brand building campaign for your business, and have opted to invest in and migrate your website to a "permanent site". Customers who have bookmarked links to certain pages/locations on your website will get an error message after you've shut down the former free site in a bid to fully establish and concentrate effort on building your brand on your new, more liberal, paid website.
  • Limited features: there are limitations of features which you can integrate in free websites. Some do not even allow you to create a simple image slideshow or picture gallery. Most do not allow user authentication and restricted access, monetization and e-commerce functionality, or even a to customize a feedback form.
  • Limited styling and customization: there is a limit to how stylish you can make free websites appear, thus robbing you of the creativity to customize your website to suit the brand image your business stands for. This limitation is because you are not allowed access to the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) which stores all the code that determines how your website looks. Even Google's gnbo.com websites, as at the time of writing, do not allow access to websites' CSS.
  • Domain name: just as free email companies like Yahoo!, Gmail, MSN and so on, allow you to create a free email address which must end in their domain name e.g. @yahoo.com, or @gmail.com etc., so also free website companies allow you create free websites that have the company domain name appended to it in the form of www.yourdomain.freesitedomain.com e.g. www.myfreewebsite.yahoogroups.com or www.myfreewebsite.gnbo.com etc.
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How much does a website cost?
  • For a basic website, which we call BENIGN websites, it costs a flat rate of N40,000 and this amount is subject to review due to economic factors.
    Picture a basic website as a mobile phone equipped only with the basic features that include voice calls over a 2G GSM network, text messaging, emergency calls and a standard calculator. It's a very basic communication device and its features meet certain requirements for certain purposes but its overall performance is grossly limited and will not meet most modern day requirements of a mobile phone.
    In modern day communication, the uses of mobile phones are far advanced. Phones now come with advanced built-in features which include: voice calls over 3G and CDMA networks; MMS, Email, Instant Messaging; external memory cards, photo and video capture, GPS, longer battery life, lower decibel noise suppressors, broadband internet, FM radio and music player features, scientific calculator; Wireless LAN, Bluetooth and USB connectivity; and flexibility to install 3rd Party application software that extend the performance of these phones. The list of possibilities is ever increasing.
    This description is likened to our customized website package plan which, quite self-explanatory, we call BESPOKE websites. Just as phones come in several combination of features and you get to pick a profile which best suits your purpose, so also our clients get to choose which website profile/features that best meet their requirements and we'll simply build the website to specification…from scratch. The cost of a BESPOKE website therefore depends on the combination of features which our client is willing to integrate into the website design.
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Why can't I get ALL the features of a website for a flat rate?
  • Like the illustration with mobile phone features in Question 1 above, the list of possible features for a website are nearly endless and would be impractical, even in most cases, unnecessary, to incorporate just about every technology which the website project would mostly not require.
  • It would cost you so much more and you would either be paying for a technology your website would not need, or one which neither you nor your website visitors will never use.
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If I could use a template to create a website, why should I hire the services of a web designer?
  • For one, the use of templates for designing websites gives rise to "a homogenous web". This is a scenario where every website on the internet looks very much alike save for differences in colour schemes, and minor layout adjustments. You've probably come across several websites that look like clones or sister copies or some other websites. This is because the designers of such websites are just one out of millions of people all over the world who have access and the choice to reuse those templates.
    Imagine that all ladies' evening dresses came in the exact same design but in varying colours. The dresses would draw far less inspiring compliments as against if the fashion industry were allowed to unleash its creativity. Remarks such as, "You look gorgeous?", would sound so heavily clichéd.
  • The use of templates does not give room for creativity, which is the soul of companies' branding campaigns. The internet, and by implication, a company's website, is a vehicle for accomplishing corporate branding and it is necessary that the quality that makes a company unique and socially significant be reflected in the company's website if it must attract the kind of customer it has in mind.
    The job of a web designer is to create websites that make people go "Wow! Look at this!" when they first view it, and then voraciously tour your website in a bid to savour every detail of beauty and information which you intend for them to digest. The web designer presents your information on the web in a way that engages the audience like a showman while essentially communicating your brand, service, product or information in an interactive and interesting way: in a way you will be willing to pay to have it done.
  • Basic templates come with very basic features that are suited for basic websites. Even so, some level of web design and programming skill is required to optimize the template for your intended use. Advanced web templates cost much more and integrate advanced web technologies and as such a great deal of web design and programming skill is required to customize them to desired taste and performance. This skill, already acquired by the web designer over the years, stands the designer in the best position to handle such templates adeptly. Since every website template was created by a web designer or developer to be distributed commercially, it only makes good sense to have a web designer create your own unique template for your website project, if you want a website that is unique to your purpose. In every case, you need a web designer to deliver the exact website that will meet your specific and unique need and appeal to your site visitors in a way that is appropriate for your image.
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Why should I invest money to acquire a website for my business?

There are several reasons why your business might require a website. These include:

  • To sell your products or services online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By incorporating a process of technology known as "website monetization", you can convert your website into a virtual store/outlet where customers from across the globe could purchase your product or service at ANY time of day. Because the internet does not sleep or close for the day, this store is ALWAYS open to customers and demand for your products is always available and your products accessible.
    Monetization of your website makes it possible for payments to be made, and e-commerce software help with processing orders, serving up product catalogues, and tracking sales.
  • To provide detailed information about your product or service round the clock that would help people understand how to use your product or service and make it easier and encouraging to purchase them online and/or offline.
  • To provide after-sales support to customers without distance being a barrier. This will help you retain customer loyalty.
  • To be able to reach a potentially large number of customers by taking advantage of internet marketing techniques. Effective internet marketing helps you leverage on the global outreach of the internet and the fair playing field which it offers to compete and survive against bigger, more sophisticated and established competitors.
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My product/service cannot be purchased online. Since I can't then make money from my website, why should I own one?

You may still need a website for the following reasons:

  • The internet is a very efficient and cost effective medium for modern day marketing. You can ensure a more persistent marketing and brand building campaign on the internet with the advantage of reaching a wider audience demographic with less cost than offline solutions provide. You can therefore use your website as an electronic billboard to provide contact details, as well as product and/or service information which your customers require to help them decide how and where to purchase the services you offer at your offline brick and mortar business premises. In summary, you promote your business online, where there is a greater outreach and growth of the market you intend to target, thereby fanning in new customers and providing service help and support to already serviced customers.
  • With the use of forms on your website, you can collect relevant information from customers and prospective patrons of your business, and after analyzing the data, use the information to fine-tune your product or service to meet specific customer demands. Customer expectations are dynamic and a website offers a seamless solution to help gather information regarding this change in expectation and help you secure a greater percentage of the market share, while ensuring customer loyalty.
  • Your website could serve as your virtual gallery where you can showcase your product or service allowing site visitors to acquaint themselves with the product or service you offer, and in the exact manner you want it presented to them.
    Levi's, a leading jean-making company, owns a brick and mortar store on Regent Street, London. Regent Street is one of the most expensive business locations in the world, and obviously, Levi's does not sell enough jeans in this store to cover the rent. So how are they still in business? They benefit from the fact that Regent Street is one of the most vibrant and exotic retail marketplaces in the world, and hence, a grand place for Levi's to showcase its product. They are still able to rake in revenue from several of their retail outlets across the globe. Your website has the potential to serve this very purpose for you online as it has and still does for many brick and mortar businesses.
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Changes in my business are erratic and dynamic. How would I be able to translate that in terms of updating my website to reflect the changes in my products/services?
  • We strongly believe that our relationship with you is not on a "one-off" basis. We'll continue to assist you after your website has gone live in maintaining, updating, troubleshooting, and "babysitting" your website to help ensure that it grows together with your offline business, or even faster, and creates the desired effect that will contribute to the marketing and brand building process of your business's growth.
  • If however you are internet savvy, or any member of your staff is, and you would like to directly influence the updates to your website; given that you opted for a BESPOKE website package plan, we would usually provide you with Content Management tools that will help you upload site updates and edit content from the comfort of your home, office or anywhere, anytime.
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If you would like to take advantage of any of these benefits, then your business will need a website after-all.

If you have any questions which you would like to ask, use our feedback form to submit your question and provide information via which we could reach you with answers.

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