Frequently Asked Questions

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Free Quotes

Does your company offer Free Web Design Quotes for web development projects?

Yes.  Please visit our Free Web Design Quotes page to get a quote emailed to you.  Or, you can visit our Custom Web Development page for Free Quotes as well.

How long will it take to get my Free Quote?

Simple web development projects will not require much time to prepare a quote, and you will receive your quote within a couple hours, during normal business hours.  More complex web development projects require more time to prepare a quote.  Complex projects may take up to 3 business days to prepare; again, depending on the complexity of the quote.  Our business hours and days are listed on our Contact Page.

eCommerce / Shopping websites / Online Store

How much does it cost to have an online store built?

The cost to have our company build you a custom online store depends on many factors.  We will need to know how many regular (static) web pages (not shopping pages) your site will contain, how many products your store will carry, if we need to load the initial products for you, will we need to format all the photos of your products, etc.  There are many factors in determining the cost to build your online store, which is mainly centered around how much time we will need to spend to get your site up and running.  We provide Free Web Development Quotes.

How do online stores work and what's the good, the bad, and the ugly about starting one up?

Disburse the idea that you will get rich overnight and that as soon as your site is up, you'll start getting orders.  It doesn't work in that manner.  Do not be fooled into thinking that as soon as your site is done, you will be swamped with customers.  We don't want to crush your dreams, but, just because you have an online store built, does NOT mean that you will become a millionaire overnight. It takes months, if not years, for your site to earn placement in the search engines. Folks come to us with false ideas that they will be flooded with orders as soon as their site is up and running.  Don't be fooled by false advertisements about online stores.

After any online store is built, it must be submitted to the search engines for placement, which can take up to 4 months.  Ranking, once listed with the engines, can take up to a year achieve.  websites must be not only submitted to the engines, but must be optimized as well to achieve good placement and ranking.  

If you do not list your store with the search engines, your online store is guaranteed failure as nobody will be able to find your website. We want you to fully be advised of the above to make sure you know that any online store will take time to get established and it's not going to happen overnight.  An online store is just like a real storefront ... it has to have time to grow and you must advertise it, just as you would a real storefront.  Don't be fooled by false advertisements about online stores.

Did you know that Yahoo, Bing (formerly MSN), and all those other major websites that provide merchant accounts, are selling you nothing more than a mere lease of their shopping cart?  Why pay them money to "rent" their shopping cart when you can have your very own shopping cart and website, and pay no monthly fees?  Those corporate giants are corporate giants because folks do not take the time to understand what they're purchasing from them.  You only need a website and a shopping cart ... that's it!  Don't let those giants suck you into paying high fees each month when you can have your very own and pay NO MONTHLY FEES!

We're here to help!  We provide Free Web Design Quotes.

Project Design Process and Rules

What is the Design or Building process after I pay your company to build me a website?  How does it all work?

We have an entire page dedicated to the Design Process, Guidelines, and Statement of Liability on our building of websites.  Please visit the Web Development Procedures and Rules page to read the details.

Graphics Creation

How are your graphics made or created?

We generally create all graphics from scratch using the latest version of Adobe Photoshop.  Some projects will require that we obtain ready-made, generic photos for displaying on the site.  We purchase these types of photos, on your behalf, from www.Fotolia.com, where they are royalty free.  We will not accept photos from you that are not royalty free to use on your project, nor do we steal graphics from other websites.

Can I furnish you with graphics to use on my website?

Through many trials and errors, we have learned that your furnishing graphics to us, which were created by a non web design graphic artist, is much more trouble than it's worth.  We prefer to create all graphics ourselves.  However, if you are confident that your designer can furnish to us web-ready graphics in layered Adobe Photoshop files (.psd format), then we will accept the graphics.  However, this will not institute a price reduction in the cost of your project as past experience has shown, we will spend just as much time formatting these graphics for your project.  We will not accept flat, un-layered graphics for your design project.  All graphics must be layered so that true transparency can be achieved, if necessary, for your design.

Payments to Designs by CM

Why am I required to pay a retainer or down payment to get started on my project?

A non-refundable retainer fee is due before the project begins; no exceptions will be made. We require a retainer fee in proportion to the amount of the web design services you are purchasing. Our reason for this requirement is that website design and development is purely service work and our time cannot be recovered. A retainer fee ensures that we'll be paid for the time we spend on any project. Installments are available for projects $7,500 or more, to be agreed upon by both parties prior to the project's start, usually via written contract.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards, PayPal, Personal Checks, Business Checks, Money Orders and Cashier's Checks.  Personal checks will be required to clear our bank before any work begins on your project.  We also accept wire transfers via Western Union.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Packages

Please visit our Search Engine Optimization page to read all about our packages and information vital to your website.

Website Maintenance

Please visit our website Maintenance and Support page for further information about maintaining your website.

Website Hosting

Do I get web hosting with my design package?

Most all design packages and quotes that we provide come with free hosting for the first year of your site's operation.  We will designate to you if hosting is not included.  website statistics are not included with free hosting.

Where is your hosting located ... what company?

We use www.GoDaddy.com for the hosting of our customers.

Can I manage my email accounts and database and such myself through your hosting?

If you choose to use the free hosting provided to you for the first year of your site's operation, you will not be able to manage any aspect of your hosting.  We manage it for you.  You will be provided with FTP access so that you can upload and/or change your site's files on your own, if you wish.  We maintain any databases or email accounts you may be using for your site.  However, we can set you up with your own hosting account for an extra fee.