FAQs About Web Design & Development
Do you create WordPress sites?
Sure. WordPress has some design and technical limitations, so we prefer our own proprietary Content Management System (CMS), Ibex. We can customize it to do absolutely anything. But, if you're a WordPress fan, we're happy to work on their platform.
What is Ibex?
Ibex is a propriety Content Management System (CMS) developed and maintained by 360ideas. It's designed for businesses with an easy-to-use interface. Ibex is fully customizable so it can adapt to your business and marketing needs. Ibex lets you keep your web and mobile site up to date, and offers many advanced and custom modules for things like accepting and managing job applications, blogging, employee and customer intranets, document management, product databases, online payments and more.
Which costs more, Ibex or WordPress?
At the end of the day they're about the same. WordPress is open-source, so to many people that means "free". Costs with WordPress come in a few places though. If you're buying design templates or add-on modules there are fees, these are usually pretty minimal. Custom development is also possible with WordPress, that'll cost your developer's hourly rate just like with any other site.
The other, often unnoticed cost with WordPress is in the maintenance. WordPress releases frequent updates. It's important to keep your site up to date or you could face problems with your site or security issues. Also, if you have used any add-on modules they will also have updates. Those updates will need to be compatible with your WordPress version. It can be a bit messy, but proper maintenance is important. These costs will just depend on if your IT team or someone internal is doing the work, or if your web developer makes the updates.
With Ibex, standard updates are just handled for you. The upfront cost might be higher than some sites, but their support and maintenance is built-in. For a lot of businesses which CMS is less of an issue than design, service and support.
If you're considering an open-source CMS like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, just make sure you talk to your web developer about how many add-ons will be used, how custom development is handled and how maintenance of the software is handled and billed.
Why would I use Ibex over WordPress?
Because WordPress is a free, open-source platform, security and maintenance can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you're going to manage your site on your own after it launches. Adding features or customizing WordPress is often done by installing third-party modules, or creating add-ons that may have compatibility issues when a newer version of WordPress is released, which is often.
With Ibex, 360ideas is 100% in control. We're not reliant on another company or any third-party developers to ensure security or continued support for new browsers or devices. Plus, unless you're using a straight off-the-shelf free version of WordPress with no add-ons or customizations, the cost to set up and design around Ibex is about the same. Both platforms are great for managing a site, but most of our clients prefer the simplicity, flexibility and security of Ibex.
What's the difference between custom design and templates?
If you're paying for a new website or mobile app, this is a question you should know the answer to. It's really easy and inexpensive to install a WordPress or similar CMS site and buy predesigned templates. For many web designers this is a common practice.
With template sites, you're getting a design and layout that is not original, and it probably has some limitations on how it can look, how content is displayed and how it functions. It's also not going to be exclusive to your business, meaning other businesses may have the exact same web site as yours. If you're looking for a specific design aesthtic or if you want a site designed around your brand a template can be risky.
If you want a site that is fully flexible in its look, function and scalability, you want a custom design. If you do opt for a template site, we'd advise finding one that is fully functional across the most current web browsers and platforms. Also look for one that has a mobile version and/or responsive design to ensure it works on phones and tablets. And plan on updating or changing templates at some point. In general, template web sites have a shorter life span than custom designs.
What should I do after I launch my new website?
Well, it depends... However, the answer is almost never, "nothing". The internet is an active, real-time environment, and most consumers and business use it constantly to learn and interact with each other.
No matter your goal, it's important to have a plan for making your website successful after it goes live. We offer consulting, marketing, advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, Adwords, social media management, and maintenance plans for both your post-launch activities and your ongoing monthly and annual plans. These ongoing services, regardless of their scale, are important for most businesses.
If you're going to manage your own internet marketing and post-launch activities, start setting goals, defining your strategy and allocating resources before your site is live. Allow your website and marketing to live, grow and adapt.
I have an idea for an app, will you build it?
We'd love to help you with your app idea. iPhone and Android app development is big business. Just like with any other business plan, you will have to make an investment to get your idea off the ground. We do not develop apps for free with the hope being paid later. Not all apps succeed, so it's not a risk we are willing to take. We do consider profit sharing for ideas that we believe we can collaborate on, but this is rare. If you're serious about app development we're happy to consult, share our ideas and suggestions, and provide guidance on your budget, technical needs and business model.
What platforms do you work on?
For mobile app development we provide native iOS and Android development for phone and tablet apps. For web and integrated development we work primarily in PHP and Ruby on Rails. We also work in Java and Objective-C.
Why should I pay for a professional designer or developer?
There are lots of do-it-yourself services out there for web and mobile design. Just remember you get what you pay for. Even if you're a hardcore do-it-yourselfer, don't underestimate the amount of work involved or the importance of small details. Ask yourself if you CAN do it, then ask if you SHOULD do it. 360ideas does a lot more than build websites.
Our team consists of professional designers, developers, writers and business development experts. We not only provide great design and custom development, we're also well-versed in cross-browser and cross-platform requirements, design for mobile, visual communication, online sales strategy, SEO, search marketing, lead generation, social media strategy, market research and evolving technologies. Hiring a good designer will not only get you a product you can be proud of, but one that will help accomplish your business objectives.
What's the difference between responsive web site and a mobile site?
A responsive web site is one that is designed to scale to fit on multiple screen sizes e.g., computer monitors, widescreens, tablets, even mobile phones. Responsive design is a great way to ensure your content is seen correctly on many devices.
A true "mobile site" is different in that there is a unique set of code and sometimes content used to create a page. This means you can further customize the experience for mobile users. Generally a responsive site is good for most websites, and in general it is the method that Google prefers for search indexing. However for large, complex sites, and those that may be media heavy, a mobile version may be better.
How much should I pay for a web site?
What you pay depends on what you expect to get out of your site, plus the amount and quality of service you're going to receive from the designer/developer. Cheap is great, as long you're okay with template sites, minimal design and not much service.
One the low-end, you can get a do-it-yourself, canned template site with no service or customization for less than $10/mo. A modestly experienced designer may charge $1500 or so depending on their skill level and the amount of content the site will have. On the high end, large sites with 100% original design, custom apps, intranets, a custom CMS, integration and ecommerce could be well over $15,000.
The important thing is to know exactly what you're getting from a technical aspect, design aspect, level of quality, services included, SEO considerations, content development, and ongoing support. Compare estimates fairly and ask lots of questions before accepting the lowest bid. We like to relate the value of a project to the return you expect. Some projects will be high, some low. Focus on the results you expect and work with a team you trust to get the job done.
Can you guarantee me top placement on Google?
No. No one can. People say it, and there are certainly things you can do right to get good placement, but no one can truly guarantee any search results. Search companies make those decisions. Google, Bing and other search engines often make adjustments to the results they show. Because everyone wants to be at the top, search companies adapt quickly to tricks. In addition, many companies, not just yours, are working to get top placement. So results also change due to competition and new content being added to the web.
360ideas provides strictly white-hat SEO services. We execute all the fundamentals that Google and Bing suggest. Then we work with our clients to create content and products that users will see value in. Good content and simply being better than your competition in your web, mobile, social and marketing efforts will naturally lead to good placement. Good SEO is about a good technical foundation, good content, and ongoing strategy.
How are you associated with 360Wichita and/or 360Directories?
360ideas created the 360directories platform for local directory sites and licenses the software around the world. 360Wichita is a site that operates on this platform, 360ideas manages this site as well as 360kc and 360dallas.