Answers to questions about paying monthly for your website

This is our big information page, where we go into more detail about all things pay monthly / website leasing as well as a few more general items. If you don’t find the information you need give us a call on 01970 626035, and we’ll happily answer any questions you may have.

What is pay monthly?

It depends on who you ask, we use the term pay monthly because it best fits our payment model of giving the client extra time to pay for their website (similar to car leasing), which in the first instance is 12 months, but can go beyond that under certain circumstances.

The process isn't that different to the standard service, we take an initial payment as normal, we build the website as normal, but instead of getting paid the outstanding value upon completion, we provide up to 12 months to pay. After 12 months you can either continue on a new monthly rate, or we'll help you move to your new web host with our best wishes.

The difference between what we offer and other pay monthly / website leasing suppliers is that we don't do credit checks, we don't add interest and we don't ask for a balloon payment at the end of your agreement. With us everything’s covered in your 12 month plan and the website is all yours at the end of the agreement.

Will I have to sign a contract?

Yes, it is standard practice and is in place to protect both parties.

When we build your website we spread the cost over 12 months and the contract protects us from non payment for the services we have provided, and protects you should we not meet the terms laid out within it. Some companies will forgoe a contract if they are offering a pay monthly service where the client only rents the website. As you will own the website at the end of the agreement, it is in the best interests of both parties to have the protection a contract gives.

What is the process?

Here’s how everything works:

Discovery – Understanding your website needs.

We spend some time getting a feel for you and your business, to identify what type of website will best meet your business needs. Then we take your initial payment via PayPal and set up your pay monthly agreement Direct Debit via GoCardless.

Build – Content, design and development.

You send us your words and images and we optimise (SEO) them based on our research of your business, location and customer needs. Then we build your website around your content to deliver your perfect customer focused website.

Review – Fine tuning to deliver your goals.

Together we review your website and make any last minute alterations. Post review, we’ll add your hosting, domain and SSL and make the website live. Then your 12 month agreement will begin.

Live – No stress, everything’s covered.

We take care of everything for the life of the agreement, leaving you free to concentrate on your business. After 12 months you will own a website that you know works brilliantly for your company.

At the end of the agreement you can choose to:

Stay with us – The same exceptional service, for (usually) less per month.

If you’re happy with everything, we will continue to provide all your website support needs, including security updates, website hosting, domain name and SSL services at a reduced rate.

Move on to pastures new – Transfer away with our best wishes.

If you would prefer to move on once your website leasing agreement has finished, you can. Although we’ll be very sad to see you go, we will help you transfer to your new provider with our very best wishes.

What we need before we begin:

Your words and images – if you are providing your own content aim for between 200 and 400 words per page, and the very highest quality images you have – we will advise you throughout.

Your preferred domain name, if you don’t have a name in mind we will help you choose the best one for your business.

Your preferred deadline – once we have your words and images we normally quote 2 to 8 weeks per website, but this can change if our diary is full. We will let you know the exact time when you call. If you need to be online urgently we can do that too, although it will add to the final build value.

Your initial payment – this will cover our necessary outgoings.

What is the payment agreement?

It's an initial payment to cover some of our design and support costs, then it's 12 months at a fixed value via direct debit via Gocardless. Once the agreement has finished, you can either move on to a new support plan or transfer away. If you choose to transfer, you will have full ownership of the website and the domain name.

Why is there an initial payment?

In the web design industry it's standard practice to be paid 50% upfront with the remainder on completion. As we offset the cost of the website we still ask for between 25% and 50%, but the remaing % is broken down over 12 fixed payments. The values we ask for are in line with the websites build requirements, and cover our initial outgoings and some of the labour involved.

Is there a maximum website value that allows for a pay monthly plan?

No in the first instance, but this does depend on the project, if the build is bespoke developed or needs many hundreds of hours of work to complete we will ask for a larger first payment in line with the overall value, and we may also change the repayment term if need be.

Can I buy upfront?

Yes, pay monthly is just an alternative way to buy, if you want to pay upfront you can, and there might be savings if you don't want or need our domain, hosting, SSL and support services. Please call us on 01970 626035 for more details.

If I choose pay monthly will I own my website?

As we are offsetting the cost of the website we will retain ownership until the agreement has been completed. Once all the payments have been made ownership will transfer to you in full.

Can I cancel?

We believe in fair play when it comes to cancelling and we will only ask for payment to cover any costs we incur, to that end we have a few cancellation options:

Option 1 - no work done: Once we have received your initial payment we will not begin work for one week. This is a cooling off period, and if you cancel during this time we will return your funds immediately.

Option 2 - some work done: If you cancel once the build process has begun but before the website has been completed, we will ask to cover any purchases and labour expenses incurred to that point.

Option 3 - all the work done: If you wish to cancel during the repayment phase, you will need to pay the outstanding balance as noted on the contract.

Option 4 - future years: If you continue with us after the first year but need to cancel for any reason, we will only ask for the value of any advance expenditure we incurred on your behalf.

Please note: With respect to cancelling your agreement, all cancellations must be made in writing, in both email and letter form. Your rights will not be affected in any way and you will retain ownership of your website domain name should you wish to build a new website elsewhere. Once we have everything we will cancel within 48 hours.

What if I just decide to stop paying?

With respect to non payment, if you cancel your direct debit and don’t formally cancel your agreement following the terms laid out above, if monies are owed we will seek to reclaim them. When we build your website we do so in good faith, we are trusting you to make good. We are a small business and if you don’t pay us for the work we’ve done we can’t cover our bills and it puts us in a horrible situation.

Saying that, if you’re having cash flow problems, talk to us, we will do everything in our power to help you out.

What happens after my payment plan has ended?

We will contact you ahead of time to discuss things in more detail, but if you wish to stay with us, we will create a new support plan that meets your needs over the next 12 months.

If at some point you do wish to move on, we will provide support services to the end of that month, then cancel your direct debit and send you an email informing you so. As with our cancellation processes above, your rights will not be affected in any way.

What is included in the support plan?

All the time you are with us we will take care of all your support needs. Here are just a few of the tasks we will undertake on your behalf:

Core theme, hosting, database and infrastructure updates.

Repair or replacement of broken or obsolete elements.

Daily secure backups.

Fast response and return to service if the website is compromised, usually same day or up to 12 hours if the issue happened outside our working hours.

Small site content changes and updates, changing text and swapping images etc.

The relicensing of any themes / templates or additional security software used on the website.

As part of our support plan we will also provide:

Website hosting with ultra reliable 99.9% up-time, 2gb storage to start, 25gb of bandwidth and up 25 mailboxes.

A .co.uk domain name which is better for UK based businesses wanting results from local search, but we can pretty much add any domain you wish.

A security certificate (SSL) that will secure and validate your website and has a $100,000 US warranty, 2048bit encryption, trusted commerce seal and 99.9% browser support. E-commerce websites will require a higher grade SSL, we will advise you of the right option during the discovery phase.

If you need a more bespoke support plan, we can create one with more support time, upgraded hosting and security options, please call us on 01970 626035 for more details.

How much does the support plan cost?

That very much depends on your needs, some websites only need a few hours a year, others a few hours per month. Once we have your project brief we will provide a range of support options for you to choose from, from basic support to full maintenance.

Can I make changes to my website?

Yes, you can make real time changes to your website, but if you would prefer us to do it give us a call on 01970 626035, tell us what you need and we'll put together a quick quote. Some of the things we can do include:

Integration of new elements such as galleries, blogs, forums etc.

Addition of new content (SEO’d at source).

Updating of existing content (SEO’d as we go).

Replace and customise the professional theme in place.

Upgrade to a bespoke design.

Add e-commerce/shopping cart functionality and products.

If the changes are small and infrequent we don’t charge for those, they are done under our standard support plan.

What search engine optimisation (SEO) work is done?

All our websites are search engine friendly, and by this we mean that they allow the search engines to effectively index your website pages according to their content. This helps people find your website when they are performing searches relevant to your products, services or location.

SEO is a highly complex area and Google, Bing et al are always adapting their algorithms, for that reason you should be wary of anyone who guarantees they can get you on the top of page one.

There are methods that can be employed to build links and authority ranking to a website (known as off-site SEO), however this activity is labour intensive and is therefore not included in our pay monthly website plans.

Here’s a quick rundown of the on-site SEO work we do:

We will build you a mobile friendly (responsive) website, which Google etc. actively encourages over non mobile websites.

We will provide secure UK hosting and an SSL, both of which help boost ranking.

We will help you choose the right domain name.

We will make sure your content (words and images) is in line with the key terms your potential customers will use when searching for the services you provide.

We will do all the necessary meta work under the hood to make sure Google and the other search engines understand who you are, where you are located and what your services are.

We will tell Google, Bing etc that your website exists and needs to be crawled.

We can provide many other post build SEO services such as new SEO’d content, PPC and link building, but as they can be very specific to the needs of your business we prefer to quote on an individual basis.

Please be aware that there is no way to determine exactly how long a new website will take to rank well, there are too many variables in play, but if you work in an area of low competition you could be looking at a few months, however, if you do have competition and they are actively engaged in ongoing SEO themselves it will take longer.

In the past you could get a website to the very top ranking position, but there's increased competition and increased SEO knowledge within businesses now so ranking anywhere on the first few pages is great. To get higher comes down to the ongoing work done and the budgets available, think £50 to £500 per month for small businesses working in areas of low to mid level competition, £500 to £2,000+ for businesses with higher competition or a national reach.

In the end, we do all the necessary onsite SEO before your website goes live, but after that you will need to work on adding to your website to improve your page rank/position. SEO is an ongoing process, if you add a blog to your website and regularly add new and engaging content with links to other websites it will help. Or if you prefer, we can do it all for you, just give us a call on 01970 626035 and we will put together an SEO plan that will work towards getting your business higher up the search engines.

What content work do you do?

Whatever's required, from SEO editing / proofing your words and images to full SEO copywriting and depending on the logistics we can also provide limited professional photography services. With respect to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) content, unfortunately due to the individual nature of GDPR content we can only edit / proof / optimise your existing policy / policies where appropriate.