Frequently Asked Questions about my Academic Web Design and Site Care Services

Working Together

Where do i start?

It’s probably easier than you think. The starting point for an academic website is usually either your cv, for a personal academic website, or a project proposal, for a research project website. That’s all I need to start building a website for you. Of course we can discuss design ideas and incorporate additional content as we go along. To get started, drop me an email using this Contact Form. I’ll discuss it with you and give you a price for the website up front so there are no hidden surprises. I’ve also written some articles about owning a personal academic website which you may find useful.

How will we communicate?

However suits you best. I communicate with different clients in different ways. Some clients like an initial video call and so I set that up using Zoom or Jitsi, or alternatively an initial phone call. From thereon the majority of clients like to work primarily over email with the occasional video call. For example to discuss the design it’s often best to be sharing a screen. Some clients prefer to do everything over email, and that works very well too.

How much of my time will be needed for the web design process?

Not as much as you may think. For example, for a personal academic website, I can work mainly from your CV for the information about you that I need to build your website pages. Of course I’ll need a bit more information. However, I use a simple form to gather the content I need from you. It means you know exactly what information I need, and it makes it easy for you to get it to me. I even make it easy for you to send me images for your website. At two stages in the design process, as well as when the website is ready to go live, I’ll need you to look over my work and give your approval, but it’s quickly done – and it’s fun.

Will you work according to my schedule?

Yes, always. I know academics are usually incredibly busy, particularly at certain times of year. i always work to fit in with your schedule. Some web design agencies can be very strict with their schedules, will not start a project until they have every last piece of content they need, and will impose fines or additional fees to “restart” a project if there has been a delay in a client submitting content. I always work at the speed that my client is comfortable with.

Will you show me how to use WordPress and update my website?

Absolutely. When we agree to work together I give you full free access to my WordPress Playground. This is where you can watch a series of short training videos about the WordPress dashboard, adding content (posts, pages, news, publications, images, video etc) to your website, editing your content, and so on. At the same time you have a demo website that you can use to practice creating and editing your content, safe in the knowledge that you can’t break anything. Within two or three hours you’ll have got the hang of it and you’ll be well prepared to make updates to your new website as soon as it’s ready. And of course if you take out my site care plan, I’ll always be on hand to answer any questions.

Billing

How can I pay for my web design work?

I provide flexible options to pay for your web design work or site care plan. You can pay by bank transfer, debit or credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay and GooglePay. If you want to pay for your website through an invoice to your University or other institution, I can set that up too.

Can I use grant funding to pay for my project website?

Yes. If you want to pay for your website through your University or other institution, I can provide them with the documentation they need to produce a Consultancy Agreement that covers my work for you. Documentation I provide includes: Estimate of the costs of the work to be done; Project Proposal; Terms and Conditions; IR35 Review for HMRC; Certificate of Professional Indemnity Insurance.

What results will I get?

Will you use shared hosting for my website?

No. Shared hosting is where your website is hosted on a server, which it shares with several hundred other websites. It is often used by DIY website owners as it is cheap. However, it’s also slow and unreliable. I use Cloud Hosting. This means your website is kept in its own separate container in the Cloud, away from other websites. This makes your website faster, more reliable, and more secure.

How fast will my website load?

How fast a webpage appears depends in general on how far the visitor is from the website, and how much data is on the web page. I use Cloud Hosting and server caching in combination with a Content Distribution Network (CDN) to ensure your website page loads quickly even for a visitor from the other side of the world. Typically a visitor connects to your website within a 10th of a second locally, and in half a second from another continent. I also optimise the data on your webpages so that even complex pages display quickly. Take a look at this case study for more details and comparisons.

Interested in Working together?
Contact me to discuss your website

If you’d like to learn more about how I could help you realise your website, please click the button below and fill in my contact form.