Effective eCommerce and Design

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some typical questions we hear from prospective clients.

  • What kind of branding do you do?

    We do visual branding, which means website design, GUI design, logo design, and other visual design that expresses your brand ideas and ideals. Based on your input and our research, experience, and talent, we represent your company’s personality visually — in the form of a logo design and a website design. Our projects are all Web based, as opposed to a true branding company that works across media and physical spaces. However, we do create print and advertising materials to support our Web clients. Many examples are available in our branding section.

  • Do you do SEO?

    Magento provides the tools your SEO specialist needs to do his or her work. So, for example, meta tags, title tags, alt tags, and content are completely editable for all products and static pages. Also, product URLs are “cleanable,” which means the URL path itself can be named with keywords. We ensure that all pages can be properly indexed (nothing blocks indexing or spidering). We create a Google map.

    SEO is its own discipline. You’ll need an SEO expert to get the best results. The rules of the game change quickly and frequently. Small mistakes can get a website penalized. We can offer referrals of qualified SEO specialists.

  • Can I host anywhere I want?

    We’ll provide guidance and recommendations on reliable, fast, and economical hosting as part of the project’s consultative component.

  • I’m new to this. How does the process work?

    During the project, we have a well-structured and clear process for navigating the complexities of an ecommerce project. We use a helpdesk ticketing-system to keep communication well organized. As consultants, we can provide expert advice on ecommerce best practices, Web standards, current technology, and guide you through the many technical and creative options available.

  • How about documentation?

    We provide a user’s manual, complete programmer documentation, training videos, and personalized training. Magento is the world’s most popular eCommerce engine, so the documentation is great, including many free user forums.

  • Will I be able to manage the website myself?

    You won’t need to rely on a developer after the project is done. You’ll have everything you need to maintain and update your own site. Everything runs through a standard Web browser. No tech knowledge is needed.

    We’ll provide training tools (including videos), guidance, examples, and documentation to make sure you understand how to run and maintain your site. Magento projects come with 60 days of after-support, which includes training.

  • Does Magento work with 3rd-party software? For example, we have a legacy system for order-processing.

    In most cases, the answer is "yes," as long as thorough documentation (such as a developer's guide) is available. Your current system doesn't need to be PHP-based to work with Magento. And, your database can by Microsoft based or use another format, as long as a file export is available or through documentation (API) is available.

  • Are there any hidden fees, besides the up-front cost?

    We don’t charge recurring fees or a percent of sales. We usually provide a closed-ended proposal and bid, based on your project’s size and requirements. You’ll need to pay recurring fees for hosting and your payment gateway — but not to us. Shared hosting will run about $70 a month (Magento requires a specialist host). Your own dedicated server will cost $400 per month or more. Payment gateway pricing varies by plan.

  • Tell me about Magento licensing and ownership.

    Magento and is Open Source software. This means that you have the right to use it and modify it as you please and to use it for commercial purposes. You take possession of all the source code we create for you at the end of the project, along with programmer documentation, design files, and a user’s guide.


  • Could you do just the designs, and then we’ll use some other cart besides Magento?

    The short answer: Yes, we do design-only projects. The longer answer: There are unpublished limitations as to what’s visually and logistically possible with a an off-the-shelf cart, without a major rewrite of the code. However, the cart’s developer should be able adapt our designs to their system while keeping the overall look and feel. We’ve done designs for many hosted carts.

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