General Web Design & Development
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WEB DESIGN AND WEB DEVELOPMENT?
In short, design is the look / layout / composition of information that is displayed in the web browser while development is the structural work that makes the design appear.
If we were asked to do only web design we would create a static mockup that contains the layout, sample text and images, colors, etc. However, a mockup will not be interactive or indexed - which is the single biggest advantage of a maintaining a website. It would be like constructing the shell of a car but leaving out the engine, chassis, and other parts that make the car useful as a car.
Likewise, if we were asked to only develop a website we would take out our programming toolbox and build a dynamic website that displays certain information based on numerous user-submitted and global criteria. However, that website may be completely unusable if it lacked a thoughtful design - much like a car can be driven without a shell - but would you really want to?
CBMediaCo offers both web design and development. The two fields can be tackled independently; however there are advantages to doing both with one service-provider and at the same time.
WHAT IS WORDPRESS?
WordPress is shortly defined as a Content Management System (CMS). The content is the information you want to present to the website visitor - text, images, and everything in between. The management system is a way to wrangle all these elements via a familiar interface rather than through methods normally used by web professionals. It similar to the dashboard and interior of the car. In fact, dashboard is the term used to describe the back-end interface.
WordPress takes a lot of the normal, repetitive development work of the website creation and standardizes it for quicker concept-to-deployment flow.
While WordPress offers some easy methods of setup it can be the part that is most technically challenging. To ensure proper setup and to extend the built-in benefits of WordPress it is recommended that web professionals like CBMediaCo perform this work.
WordPress is supported through both open-source and authorized contributors - as such it is not a company in the way Microsoft or Apple are structured. It is a collection of dedicated developers that offer the product free with frequent updates. The latest WordPress version is 4.8.1 and was released August 2, 2017 - some version of WordPress powers 1 out of every 4 pages on the entire internet.
WHAT IS RESPONSIVE DESIGN?
This describes a website that is designed to adapt to any device (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops) that accesses it. There is a lot of planning and know-how to design and develop a site in this way. Responsive design is also a key factor in grading a site for SEO. CBMediaCo excels at responsive design and is the way we craft every website.
WHAT IS SEO?
Search Engine Optimization.
In recent years, SEO has transitioned from a set of techniques to force a website/webpage to rank higher when a user searches for a term, such as ‘Used Cars For Sale Near Lancaster, PA’.
SEO now encompasses a set of best practices to setup your website to be usable for a visitor and indexed by search engines. The difference between these approaches is subtle but crucial to understand. It is now imperative to provide quality content rather than employ quick tricks.
CBMediaCo will build every website to SEO industry standards. However, the process of optimizing the website through specialized content writing, keyword research, and/or strategic link placement will be subcontracted to trusted professionals as an additional service.
HOW DO I RANK FIRST ON GOOGLE?
Make a quality website containing original, quality content that is updated frequently and give it time and this will give you a chance at ranking first (or very high).
The quality of the website will be rated on how accessible information is, how the site appears and performs on all devices (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops), and whether certain key bits of code are present and formatted properly. Naturally, CBMediaCo makes quality websites - so we have you covered there.
Quality content is simple in concept - just write with the best skill you can with your own ideas. Do not copy-and-paste (or paraphrase) from other sites. No worries, though - we can take care of writing for your website project as an additional service.
The other two components to ranking - frequent updates and age - might seem paradoxical. However, the idea is to update your site with new information (usually via blog posts) as much as possible while keeping the content already present enough time to fully index.
There is a wildcard here and that is social media exposure. Some call this virality - when a web page is posted on Facebook or Twitter and gets a lot shares. But achieving success on social media is a separate specialty (sometimes call Social Media Optimization). A suddenly viral page can have a positive effect on the ranking of the entire website.
HOW DO I GET MORE LIKES ON FACEBOOK?
This is called building an audience and the best way to build an audience on any social media platform is through traditional networking (such as word-of-mouth) plus frequent posts that are original and high quality. Sometimes buying ads on a given social media platform will help but this method is more pass-through - a user might not stop to follow your page but go right through to whatever call-to-action you have broadcasted.
Services & Procedures
DO WE SPECIALIZE IN A CERTAIN TYPE OF WORK?
Web design and development is the primary line of work we provide across all industries. However, since a website is essentially a collection of graphics, text, photos, and videos we are equipped to supplement a website project with these related services.
While we can work with your existing media or website when you first start working with CBMediaCo we will analyze your present media and website for areas of improvement or revisioning.
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FOR CREATING A WEBSITE?
Our website creation process has three phases: Planning, Production, and Publishing.
The Planning phase is where we collect information and ideas for website concept, create mockups, compile the content, and square away technical details.
The Production phase is where the heavy lifting occurs - developing the concepts into a working, interactive website. Sometimes the content is not fully compiled by this stage - that is quite alright because we are able to make edits to the pages.
The Publishing phase will take the site from draft and release it to the public. From here you will be guided on how to manage the site.
WHAT IS A MOCKUP?
A mockup is one or multiple pages of the site that contains the layout, sample text and images, colors, etc. However, the mockup will not be interactive and likely will not include text, graphic, or photos that would be considered final. We usually put place-holder content so that you can critique the design based on the composition, palette, font styles, etc.
On a normal site we will do mockups for the home, default, contact, blog index, blog post pages. Through these five templates the majority of design decisions will be conceptualized and critiqued.
Only after the mockups are approved do we move into developing them into an interactive website.
DO YOU SERVE CLIENTS OUTSIDE LANCASTER, PA?
Absolutely. We can work globally with clients who write/speak English (as CBMediaCo grows we will add support for other languages, however at this time we can only support English). We mention Lancaster, PA quite a bit as this is our home base and we have a lot of pride for our little city. If you can travel here we would love to show you around!
CAN YOU WORK WITH A DEADLINE?
For sure! For most projects we do not operate under a timeline - we make progress as quickly as possible while also making sure standards are high. We can accommodate special circumstances where you might need a website by a certain date - one-month would be the shortest turnaround before being considered a rush order. Rush orders are billed at a higher rate.
WHAT WORK DO YOU DO IN-HOUSE?
We do web design and development, print design, and branding in house. When possible we do photography and video as well, but since we can’t be everywhere at once we might contract/collaborate with someone else. Like, if you are in Atlanta, GA, you wouldn’t want to fly us in (as fantastic as we are) just for a few photos. FYI: some of our staff photos on this site were taken by another photographer since it’s a little difficult to do ourselves. A side benefit of subcontracting is that it creates opportunity for another small business.
Although we may subcontract services - all work is guaranteed to meet our high standards and guided by our policy of inclusivity.
Pricing & Billing
WHAT DO YOU CHARGE?
We don’t have a pricing sheet available as projects vary greatly. We think we hit the sweet spot - not too high, not too low. Most projects are billed in a flat rate while others are hourly - in either scenario you will be notified before the project is commissioned.
HOW ARE PAYMENTS HANDLED
We accept checks or credit card via Stripe. Your invoice will give you instructions on how to pay in your preferred method.