Questions about working with Collins Brook Group

How long does it take to create a website?

Depending on the size of the site and the availability of existing content, it typically takes 4 or 5 weeks to develop a new website from scratch. We generally will have a template design to review within 2 weeks. Of course, your availability to review our work-in-process is another factor.

Can I save money by using existing content from my current site?

Absolutely, we offer discounts if we're able to use existing content from your existing website on a new site.

Will Collins Brook Group take new pictures for my site?

Yes. We will take photography of your business and products to incorporate in your site. If your have an extensive set of products, there may be some additional charges above our published prices.

What costs are incurred for a new website?

In addition to our fixed price development cost, you will need to sign-up with a hosting provider, if don't already have one. Costs vary from $10/month to $35/month or more for some high performance platforms and security features for eCommerce. We work with many providers so you'll be able to select one that works for your budget.

What support do you provide after the site is completed?

We provide updates and changes for 90 days for any updates we make to an existing site, if we did not develop the original site. We provide free updates and support for 12 months for any site we develop. Following these periods, we offer low cost annual support agreements that cover site content changes and software updates (if required). These generally cost about $250 per year for a WordPress or Joomla site.

Do I have to keep my website support with Collins Brook Group?

No. Building on popular CMS platforms and ensuring that all the accounts required to operate your website are managed by you means you have all the information you need to easily move to another developer. We provide our clients with all login credentials for accounts and provide them their own back-end accounts with full administrator rights for all content management tools.

Why are your prices so low when compared to other Agencies?

Our business is very low overhead. Tom Camp, our owner is a retired business and technical executive who enjoys website development. As a caring business owner he strives to make web development accessible to small business owners on tight budgets. Also, we use a number of our own custom developed tools to help us keep our costs low. We generally try to use free template plugins or use software that allows us to reuse it on multiple sites. Finally, we reuse any of our own code and constantly look for ways to save our clients money.

Content Management Questions

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) helps you store and manage all your information (content) to simplify the creation and ongoing maintenance of a website. It saves you from having to write all the program code necessary to render (or display) you content.

What types of Content Management Systems are there?

There are two main types of Content Management Systems available today.

OpenSource CMSs (e.g. WordPress, Joomla & Drupal)

OpenSource CMSs are the most popular and sophisticated. OpenSource CMS tools require software to be loaded on a web server provided by a hosting service (e.g. GoDaddy, Dreamhost, Bluehost, etc.). and may need a separate database to operate. They also require frequent software updates to avoid hacking and obsolescence.

Website Builders (e.g. Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, Big Commerce, etc.)

Website Builders offer a simpler approach to building a website and eliminate the need for a separate hosting account/provider. They offer easy to use page editors and simplify the process of adding content to pages. They don't require the user to update any software, but are typically constrained in what can be added to the site.

What is the most popular Content Management System?

The most popular content management system is WordPress. If you exclude the large number of sites on WordPress.com, WordPress has over 30% market share. Popular content management sites also include Wix, Joomla, Drupal and SquareSpace.

Check out W3Tech's data on CMS Market Share.

What Content Management Systems do you work with?

We work with several CMSs. Our fully repsonsive sites are built using WordPress or Joomla. For eCommerce, we work with Shopify. For Website Builder sites we work with Wix and SquareSpace. Feel free to talk with us about other CMS platforms, as we're open to working with others, too.

Do you provide hosting services?

No. We do not directly provide hosting services. We believe it's important for our clients to own and control the relationship with the hosting provider. This simplifies the process should you decide to move to another web developer.

What hosting providers do you work with?

We are currently supporting sites on Dreamhost, GoDaddy, WPEngine and Bluehost. However, we are able to work with most propular hosting providers.

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website automatically adjusts when the browser is reduced. This means that you website can be designed to look great on any size device, e.g. Large Desktop, large tablet, small tablet, phone, etc. Content Management Systems like WordPress and Joomla provide responsive templates that can be customized for a variety of devices. Although most CMSs offer a minimum of desktop/tablet view and phone view they may not offer the wide range of options of fully responsive systems.

Questions about Search Engine Optimization

What do you mean by Search Engine Ready?

There are several key technical components of a website that impact search engine ranking. When we update or create a website we ensure that the common SEO components are included to make your site ready for the search engines to scan or crawl your site. These include such items as Page Title, Page Description, ALT text for images and schema.

Why is local search important?

Based on your IP address, search engines have a good idea where users are located. Unless the user is purposely hiding their IP address (e.g. using a Virtual Private Network or VPN), search engines will often provide results that are local to the user or the user's specific request. Many searches for products and services now include a map. Google recently announced that it is now using neural matching to help it understand a query and tie it to a local business regardless of keywords and information included in the business name and description. This means it's important to use and align all the information that search engines use to understand your business.

What are the most important aspects for local search?

The most important aspect of local search is having your business location on the web. Google offers Google My Business as a convenient way for local business to be found in search results regardless whether or not they have a website. If your business has a website that includes your business address, you may also appear in a local search. It's important that your business listings across the web (e.g. on Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp and other directories) and your website all have the same information (e.g. address, phone, web address, hours, etc.) to avoid confusion and help ensure the critical information is displayed in the search results.

What features should my website have to help with local search positioning?

First, ensure your key business information (e.g. address, phone, hours, domain, etc.) is consistent across all directories. Include this information on your website and include a local business schema using the apropriate business type, if available.

What's a local business schema?

Google, Bing and Yahoo have developed a methodology of structured data to assist websites in telling search engines what the webpage is about. This structed data is called schema. Local search schema is important to help search engines understand exactly what business the website is in. Schema can be implented by integrating into the web text (html) or as a standalone script written in JSON-LD script. Google prefers JSON-LD.

Here's an example of a JSON-LD local business schema.

What type of local business schema does Collins Brook Group provide?

We provide all our clients a JSON-LD local business schema for all our client's sites.

What specific type of local business schemas are there?

There are about 30 different classifications of local businesses, including Dentists, Doctors, Self Storage, etc.

List of Local Schema types from schema.org

Will you help us with our Google My Business and Bing Business listings?

Yes, we will help ensure your listings are accurate and up to date. We help ensure our clients have direct access to their listings and understand how to update them on an ongoing basis. We welcome our clients to provide us access to their listings as contributors so we can help, if needed.