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About us: FAQs - frequently asked questions

Our answers to your questions

web site questions

search engines

web hosting

graphic design

information about E-Commerce


What type of web site do I need?

The type of your website depends on the type of your business. We are happy to guide you through the various options, and generally, we know exactly what you need after just a few questions. Those questions would be your type of business, your budget, your time pressures, the size of the site (the amount of content), and the objective of the site.

So a coaching business would be different from a landscaping business, and a small budget and strong time pressures would indicate that you'd need a quick and simple web template, which can be done in days rather than months. If you have heaps of content, a content management system would be of interest, so you can keep what you say fresh, correct and always add more to it. The objective could be selling your goods - that would point to an online shop system, or communicating with your customers, which would require a blog, or a more static portfolio which won't change very often, which would require a beautiful custom-made site but not necessarily a system to edit the pages.
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What is a template web site?

We offer two templates you can choose from, a more business-orinted one and a more visual option. Web sites built from templates resemble each other because we cut out the design process: there is one design you and other customers can choose, and we will change the colours, the photos and the contents of the site for you. This provides you with a quick solution that helps your business to its first professional presence on the internet. They still look very individual, which makes them successful. The same careful approach as with our custom-designed packages goes into them to make sure that the HTML code sitting behind the site is perfect. The website is easily accessible by search engines as well as people, quick-loading and compliant to latest regulations.
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What is a custom-made web site?

In your web site, you want to put your customers first. We help you with this by putting your customers at the heart of the design process of your custom-made web site.
It is not only your needs and wishes that need to be satisfied in this process, but in order to get the message through to your target group, this message needs to be packaged in a way that these targeted people will understand, like and approve of. That is where design experts come in - our graphic designers evaluate your competitors and your target market and suggest three different ways of presenting your company to you.

Whether you are running a small or a big company, your brand and your web site area visual representation of you and the individuals behind you. Chances are that you have started up your business because you are passionate about what you are doing and because you decided you will live your dream. Think of Richard Branson - he still stands behind his company as an individual who cares, who is successful and someone to aspire to. You also want to do your job (sell your products or services) exactly the way you think is right and not have anybody stand in the way and dictate you to do otherwise. It's your vision, dedication, values, even your own personality that needs to shine through in your web site, and we can help you with this.
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What is a CMS or content management system?

Our systems are particularly affordable because they use "Open Source Software".
What is that? A bunch of programmers sat down to create a content management system. Many people need one, and instead of re-inventing the wheel every time, they decided to create a community and feed their solutions back into that community. So every time one of them needs a system, they can use the basic system and add all the specific wishes of the customer to it. That means that the basic system often does not cost you anything. All you pay is for us to install it and test it on your web space (which we can also provide) and then customise it to your specific web site. That usually slashes half the cost, and allows your budget to ask for these little specials that a more expensive off-the-shelf product just wouldn't allow for.

Our systems can be easily managed. If you have hundreds of pages which all talk about different sections of your company and you therefore need maybe four to five different looks to go with the corporate identities of your company sections, then the system will be a bit more complicated. But fear not, you can take a support package out with us and we will be at your beck and call for as many months as you need.
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How long does it take?

A sample timeline might look like the following:
Week 1: Finalisation of paperwork, contracts, deposit for site. You would fill in our questionnaire to help us get an idea of what you want to convey with the site.
Week 2 to 3: We would send first design mock-ups for website. Customer to respond with wishes for amendments. Please note that web site mock-ups can take 1 week before they can be sent to you.
Week 3 to 4: By this time, we should have had several emails going back and forth, possibly arriving at mock-up series no. 4 - down to how long it takes to get customer's expectations 100% right as to whether the website design is tied up or goes into...
...Week 4 to 5: We'll either still work on your design mock-ups for web site, or start creating the web site HTML. Week 5: If you'd like any type of system, be that a Wordpress one or a Content Management System or a shop or forum, we would start building this now.
Week 6: Depending of the complexity of your site, this week could see the finalisation of your website build. More complex systems generally take around 2 to 3 months
Week 7-8: Test, corrections and amendments.
All text and imagery need to be with us by week 3 please, and hosting needs to be ready (with database and PHP enabled) for the start of the project.
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What is search engine optimisation?

The most important thing to do after having your website built is to market it. People often forget this part of the process. Once your site is finished, it is important to notify people of it, and there are various ways to do this.
Search engine optimisation is a mixture of making sure that your site says the things that are being searched for, and of making sure that lots of other websites link to you. It is a lengthy process and depends on the amount of competition you might experience in your field.
Search engine marketing is a string of marketing that requires quite a level of expertise. We can recommend various experts to you if you are interested in getting help in this area.
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What are meta tags?

Meta tags are hidden fields on a website, where you can repeat the most important words mentioned on this page. They go up and down in popularity with Google and the likes. We would say that it is important to have them, but the most important thing is the text on your pages. So if you haven't got time to perfect your meta tags, it isn't going to cause you lots of problems with search engines, but it is advisable to spend as much time on them as you have got.
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Is the domain name important?

If your website sells glass Easter eggs, the best thing to do is to call your site glass-easter-eggs.xxx. A domain name is also searched through by search engines and this will create a small advantage. However, this isn't going to give you a huge advantage over other businesses in the same industry. The main importance is to work on your ranking by advertising yourself on many other websites, be that by blogging or responding to blogs or any other means.
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Hosting

Your website needs a home. Like a flat that you rent and furnish with your own furniture, you need to rent that flat on a hosting firm's server. You could also host it yourself in theory but most people avoid this by renting webspace for a small fee. There are many companies to choose from, and we also resell hosting space. Read more.
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Buying domain names

You are selling these Easter eggs and have decided to buy glass-easter-eggs.co.uk. You don't actually buy the name but you rent it from the 'web authorities'. Domain name fees are generally very low and often included in the price of web hosting (this is the case in our web hosting packages). You shouldn't pay more than £30 - the cost of a domain rental for a year varies from £5 to approx. £30, depending on what domain ending you are choosing and where you buy it from.
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What is a Corporate Identity?

"People buy from people" -millions of well-designed but neutral company identities leave us cold. Nowadays, customers go back to relying on recommendations, gut feeling and respond to an emotional appeal. Therefore, we want to help you to create a personality for your business that conveys your values and speaks to your customers without the need for words. Your beliefs, high standards and what you want to achieve with your business should be visible immediately.
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An introduction to e-commerce

The future of retail is e-commerce
Having an e-commerce web site work for you when you sleep, lunch, network and do your accounts is the way forward for every trading business. From £11 billion in 1999, internet-based retail spending jumped to £73 billion. In order to be a part of this change in consumer behaviour, you should be aware of a few things before you get your online shop started.
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Which ecommerce solution to use?

We want to help you get your perfect online shop.
Moustique Design have built ecommerce shop systems since 2003. All our online shops are built on an open source system called OsCommerce which we have fine-tuned and developed over the years.

When we started our e-commerce building career, we built shops on Actinic. Actinic is one of the most widely known online shopping cart that can be bought off the shelf. However, it needs to be bought before we can even start customising it to the look of your site, and to the way you want the shop to work, and it has its restrictions.
Nowadays, we build all our shops on an "Open Source" product. "Open Source" means: Instead of re-inventing the wheel every time a shop is needed, a few programmers created a community to create an online shop system together and fed their solutions back into that community. So every time one of them needs a shop, they use the basic system and add the customer's specifications in. That means that the basic system does not cost you anything. All you pay for is installation and testing it on your server (we can provide hosting) and then our customisation to your specific needs. That usually reduces the cost of your shop by nearly half, and allows your budget to ask for these little specials that an off-the-shelf product just wouldn't allow for.
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OS Commerce

What we use is called OsCommerce. It is an open source system, We will create a quote for every customer but generally, you can expect such a shop to start at a price around £2,000+VAT, with most customers settling for a medium solution of around £4,000+VAT.
The E-Commerce shop lets you update your products, you can monitor stock levels with it and you can offer special promotions if you wish. It is an online based system, so if your own computer crashes because of a virus, you only need to go to another machine and you can continue working from there. You can print invoices and packing slips from it, and generally monitor the delivery status and stock level of your goods if you like. It is a very powerful tool and we can customise it to your liking.
The shop itself takes us two full working weeks, which usually spread over four to six weeks. The various elements we need to work on are the development of the shop; installing and setting it up, customising it to your requirements, setting up and testing the integration with your chosen payment provider, entering a set of products to get you started and testing if these products are all input correctly. We also need to test it in various browsers to make sure that the site looks good in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. The reason why the development of quite an advanced system takes only two weeks is that we use this ready-made system called OsCommerce, which has been developed over years by other people who have then given it "back" to the developer community. In the years to follow, everybody in this community adds something and also gives it back into the community. This is commonly called "open source", as it is open for everyone to use.
We do not charge you any licenses for the software, only for our time to set it up and create extensions. Read more.
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Payment systems

Sagepay is our favourite system. It offers a very good way of taking payments on your site. We have built our own module which is thoroughly tested and we can quickly set this up on your site. Sagepay's platform allows you to use templates which make the payment pages look like your web site. This offers a seamless shopping experience to your customers.

Another system that we work with is Worldpay. RBS Worldpay is very reliable and robust and we also highly recommend it, but it is more costly than Sagepay for pretty much the same service, therefore we tend to recommend Sagepay.

Last but not least, we often install Paypal for customers. It is the most affordable option and takes us a fraction of the time of any other system to set up. It doesn't charge a monthly fee, which is useful for start-up companies, and it is often used in conjunction with other systems to offer the website's customers an alternative to Sagepay. It used to be frowned upon as less professional but more and more bigger companies offer it to their customers, too. Customers like the convenience factor because they don't have to enter their credit card details again.
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Question and answer forums

We are happy to create an online forum for your web site, where people can share their thoughts with you and the world. The forum will be customised so that it looks exactly like your web site, it will not have any advertising placed on it, as it is not a remotely hosted forum but one set up for you on your own web space. You can create multiple forums or just have one, depending on how much you have got to say. From your web based administration area, you can manage, comment and delete messages as a moderator. Your site visitors receive passwords through automated emails and have their own log in area where they can send and receive private messages to other users of the forum, create an "avatar" (image), a signature and a short profile. They can receive notifications telling them that someone has posted a message in reply to their post. They can use smileys and a simple word editor to highlight text or create web links. And you can collect their contact details and email them individually or in bulk, as you require.
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