Piccante Web Design logo

What does the design process involve with Piccante?

After initial contact from client to Piccante, we try to arrange an obligation-free meeting if possible. The purpose of this is to reach an understanding of what is required from each party in terms of design, content and delivery. A consultation at this early stage is essential for the ultimate success of the design and satisfaction of our clients. Once we understand exactly what is required from your website and what the client wants it to look like, a 25% non-refundable deposit* is required to undertake the draft design process. Once the draft is completed we will again consult to make sure it meets all requirements. Fine-tuning is carried out and when satisfied with the outcome the remaining pages are constructed. Final client approval is received before the payment balance is required and the website is uploaded to the World Wide Web.

Want to continue or get a quotation from us? Simply send us an email with your requirements.

* for CMS and e-commerce sites the deposit required is 75%

The Piccante - Client checklist

In order to get your website up and running quickly and smoothly, here is a useful checklist with items that need to be completed before site publication. It also gives you an idea of how the design process works with us after the consultation. If you haven't submitted some of these items or we haven't talked about it during the consultation please contact us to make sure that it will be taken care of.

Initial contact by email or skype / phone or one-on-one interview

Pass ideas regarding your website design (links to sites you like are a great way to get your ideas across) and functionality - i.e. what it should look like and what it should do

Provide a 'sitemap' or a breakdown of the content by page

Review quote provided by Piccante Web Design and if acceptable pay the 25% deposit

Submit homepage content (your logo or logo ideas, images and text content, menu item list - or a complete sitemap)

Piccante Web Design will then produce the hompepage concept based on this information

View concept website homepage as created by Piccante Web Design

Provide feedback to Piccante Web Design regarding homepage design and submit final content for homepage.

Review homepage and provide further feedback if necessary.

'Sign off' on homepage as being final so we can start work on the remaining pages. Changes to menu items, layout or design may incur costs after this point.

Send us an email with all remaining page content (images and text content). Important note: please only submit final and complete content. It must be proof-read and checked for errors. Significant changes to your submitted content may incur costs after this point. A word document or powerpoint file are great for doing this. Don't over-do the formatting, but make sure that you have indicated any headings, sub-headings, desired links etc. When you send us images, please make sure that filenames are used so we can easily understand where you want the images to appear.

Have a contact us page with a contact form? Great! Please make sure you have told us: what form information you need to collect (for example, name*, email address*, phone number, question or inquiry) and also which of these fields are mandatory*. Also let us know to which email address you would like the form data to be sent to.

Email us a keyword list for each webpage. Approximately 30-40 search terms (separated by commas) that a user might 'google' when searching for your website or products. For example, if you sell apples, your list of keywords might look like this: "apples, apple, fruit, granny smith, red fruit, healthy snacks for children, gala, golden delicious, organic fruit"

Email us a short description for each webpage. Three or four sentances that summarise each page, this is used by some search engines and also by Facebook to detect the page content in short. Using the example above, the description for the apple-selling website might look like this: "Bob's Apple Orchard grows the finest, crispest and juciest apples in North Carolina. Our organically grown trees are not subject to inorganic pesticides and we have been certified organic for over 12 years. We specialise in red delicious, gala and granny smith varieties and supply many of the local supermarkets and restaurants."

Review the entire website for accuracy and when you are happy simply pay the outstanding amount owing and we will make your new website 'live'.

E-commerce, or selling online

What is a purpose-built e-commerce site?

A complete shopping trolley site that allows you to add products at will, group them in categories, maintain customer lists and view orders made online. This type of site normally utilises PayPal (as standard) so that you don't have to worry about handling your customers secure credit card details. Other payment gateways may involve extra costs, please ask us.

Piccante's purpose built e-commerce sites are tailored to your specifications complete with your corporate or business branding, logos and colours. We also include a handy User Guide that will help you with some of the more common features of these excellent websites. These e-commerce solutions are very flexible and versatile websites. A great advantage is that you or your staff can make changes as often as you like by logging in as an 'administrator'. It is particularly good for large numbers of products and/or with lots of 'product variations' - for example, if you sell T-shirts online you can easily add product options selling red, blue, green and white shirts in S, M, L and XL sizes. New pages can be added, products updated, prices changed, sale items introduced, shipping charges added or changed and promotions advertised. You can even specify multiple languages and currencies. Clients are required to login before purchasing products using so you can easily generate newsletters or emails to them.

There are a few other points that you should be aware of regarding purpose-built e-commerce sites.

Firstly, the basic functionality and layout is slightly more rigid than a 'traditional' HTML website. This means that we can customise your e-commerce site to give you the 'look and feel' that you want (logos, images, fonts etc) but are limited in its core functionality and in some ways, how it appears on screen.

We ask that you read our Terms and Conditions to ensure that you understand our conditions regarding these websites that involve third-party software installations.

Secondly, hosting through Piccante Web Hosting (rather than through an external provider) may be a requirement. This is not for commercial reasons but because not all web hosters can support and install the e-commerce software.

Advantages:

Easy (and free) for you to update | Change product information and prices at will | Add extra administrators so your staff can also update your site | Orders made securely and automatically | Easy to update order status with automatic email notification to the customer | Ideal for sites selling multiple products or services | Customers can purchase products immediately | No upfront or monthly fees required if you use PayPal for accepting payments

Tell me more about PayPal integration into standard websites

Each website is a unique design created especially for your business by Piccante. More flexible in layout and design than a purpose-built e-commerce website, these can be perfected to your exact requirements in 'look and feel'. It utilises the security of PayPal so you can accept credit card payments (without having to handle the secure information yourself) and can also incorporate a full shopping trolley if you want to sell more than one product.

Advantages:

Absolute control over the 'look and feel' of your site | Better suited to one, or a handful of products | Orders made securely and automatically | PayPal shopping trolley can be included | Customers can purchase products immediately | No upfront or monthly fees required if you use PayPal for accepting payments

What is the database and site backup service that Piccante offers for my purpose-built e-commerce site?

This file backup service is offered by Piccante Web Design as a type of 'insurance policy'. If you purchase this option we will back up your entire site (including product database) every month and store this information independently of the web server. In the unlikely event of server corruption, data loss or malicious attack (i.e. hacking) Piccante will restore your site to the last-saved condition free of charge. We can also restore your site if you make a serious error in your site administration, however some cost may be incurred for the restoration.

Content Management Systems

Tell me more about purpose-built Content Management System sites

A Content Management System (CMS) is a very flexible and versatile type of website. Although it looks a lot like a regular website, the real advantage is that you can make your own changes and keep it up to date yourself. This independence means that you or your staff can update your site as often as you require. New pages can be added, products updated, promotions advertised and latest news items displayed to give your customers and staff perfectly up-to-date information. You can also keep your clients informed through RSS (Really Simple Syndication or 'news feeds'), create mailing lists and email or print PDF pages from your website. Our CMS sites are based upon an award-winning, widely used and proven Content Management System. They are tailored to your specifications complete with your corporate or business branding, logos and colours. We also include a handy User Guide that will help you with some of the more common features of these excellent websites.

There are a few other points that you should be aware of regarding our CMS sites.

Firstly, the basic functionality and layout is slightly more rigid than a 'traditional' HTML website. This means that we can customise your CMS site to give you the 'look and feel' that you want (logos, images, fonts etc) but are limited in its core functionality and in some ways, how it looks on screen.

We ask that you read our Terms and Conditions to ensure that you understand our conditions regarding our third-party software installations.

Secondly, hosting through Piccante Web Hosting (rather than through an external provider) may be a requirement. This is not for commercial reasons but because not all web hosters can support and install our chosen CMS.

What is the database and site backup service that Piccante offers for my CMS?

This file backup service is offered by Piccante Web Design as a type of 'insurance policy'. If you purchase this option we will back up your entire site (including database) every month and store this information independently of the web server. In the unlikely event of server corruption, data loss or malicious attack (i.e. hacking) Piccante will restore your site to the last-saved condition free of charge. We can also restore your site if you make a serious error in your site administration, however some cost may be incurred for the restoration.

Content Editing Systems

Tell me more about the Content Editing System

The Content Editing System (CES) is a very simple concept. Piccante Web Design will build 'blocks' of editable content into your site that you can update yourself. No knowledge of web-coding or HTML is required, you simply need to login using a secure password, select the 'block' that you want to edit, make your changes and then save them. Your updated content is immediately viewable online.

How do I change my editable content that Piccante Web Design has set up for me?

Please follow these instructions carefully. If at any step you cannot proceed, or encounter an error message please contact us with the details (it will help a lot if you can copy and paste the error message - if any - into your email).

  • Login to your CES admin panel. Normally you can do this by a URL that looks something like this:
    http://www.yourdomainname.com/edit
    - and using the password supplied to you by Piccante
  • If you are successful you will see a list of 'blocks' with names that relate to the webpage that you want to edit
  • Click the appropriate block name and you will see the block content open up in a 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' text editor. Edit the text as required, formatting it (if needed) using the toolbar above the text box. Using the dropdown menu next to 'Normal' is a useful way to get pre-defined styles in the same theme that exist on your website.
  • If you're finished, click 'Save' and you should be able to review your changes on your website.
  • Adding an image. Place the cursor at the point in your block that you want to add the image. Click the small 'picture' icon on the toolbar, then click on the 'Browse server' button. If the file (image) has already been uploaded, select it and click "Select". Otherwise, to upload a new image click 'Choose File' and navigate to the image required on your computer. Click 'Upload' and wait for the file to transfer. Then, select the filename of the new image and click "Select". Type in any Alternative Text if required and click 'OK'. If a link is required, you can enter this by clicking on the 'Link' tab. Insert the full URL for the link, i.e. http://www.thedomainname.com/thispage.html and set the target to 'New Window/Blank' to open the linked page in a new window or tab on your browser. You can also select at this point the alignment of the image, whether you want it positioned left or right of the text (wrapped). Click 'OK'.
  • Click 'Save' when finished and review your changes on your website.

Hosting

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is basically the hiring of 'web space' on a server where your website resides. This web space includes a certain amount of disk space (for your website, it's images and files and your email) and bandwidth (the amount of data per month that your website uses sending and receiving information to and from internet users.

How is my site hosted through Piccante?

Your website is hosted through our own service via an upstream provider which offers a 99.9% network uptime guarantee. Technical support is available free of charge.

What do I get for my hosting fee?

Hosting fees cover the cost of utilising space on the World Wide Web and includes an unlimited number of email accounts (spam/anti-virus protected). Your minimum site storage limit is 100Mb - ample for most business' requirements, however, some larger organisations with requirements for email storage may need a Plan 2 or Plan 3 hosting package with greater capacity. You can view the cost of our hosting plans on our prices page.

Can I change my hosting plan?

Certainly. Web hosting plans may be upgraded free of charge if you find that you are reaching your webspace limit, require more databases or access to AW webstats for analysis of your site traffic. The difference in cost is charged on a pro-rata basis for the remainder of the year. A downgrade to a plan beneath the existing plan may take effect immediately, however, no refund will be made for the cheaper plan until the end of the hosting year, at which point the reduced price will take effect.

How do I access my Piccante web hosting Control Panel?

Enter your domain name followed by "/cpanel" in the address bar of your web browser - for example, www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel and press return/enter. (You can then bookmark it or add it to your favourites for easy access)

Enter the username and password provided to you by Piccante.

You may need to accept site certificates as being valid to continue. From the Control Panel you may add, edit or delete email accounts, access webmail, backup your website, view logs and analysis information and change domain information.

Site management and updating

How do I update my site?

Simply send Piccante Web Design an email with your required changes (including the text content, photographs etc) and we will update your website as soon as possible, normally within one or two working days. You will be charged to the nearest minute for the work required at the hourly rate published on our prices page. If you have a purpose-built e-commerce or CMS site you can make any changes yourself - simply refer to the User Guide that Piccante provided with your completed website.

Email marketing

What is email marketing all about?

Email marketing is an extremely effective method of generating extra business or interest in your site or commercial activities. This marketing technique targets a select group of people that have indicated to you that they are interested in hearing from you and keeps them updated with your latest news, views and product information.

Each month (or more frequently if you wish), Piccante will mail out an update to your list of selected recipients with the content that you would like displayed. Up to 500 emails can be sent - for a larger campaign please send us an email asking for a price confirmation.

Piccante will create professional-quality HTML-based emails that have much greater impact than standard text-based ones do. Included in the email marketing package are 12 emails, one per month for a year (or more often by arrangement) to promote your latest news, events, product launches or simply to keep in regular contact with your clients.

Google Analytics Package

How do I access my Google Analytics account?

If you have paid for Google Analytics to be included in your website, follow these steps once your site is online to view your analytics account.

  • Go to www.google.com
  • In the top right hand corner of this page click on "Sign in"
  • Enter the email address for your Google Analytics Package as indicated by Piccante Web Design
  • Enter the password for your Google Analytics Package as indicated by Piccante Web Design
  • Click the'drop-down' arrow indicator by your profile name in the top right corner then select 'Account'
  • Under 'Account tools' select 'Dashboard'
  • Click on 'Analytics' and then your website name (if this option is not available please contact us)
  • Click 'All Website Data'
  • Please take some time getting familiar with this page and its features. A help function is available on this page, or simply do a google search with any questions that you may have in the first instance

A note regarding Google's Privacy Policy

WIth effect 1 March 2012 Google has amended their Privacy Policy so that they may collect and use search and web history information from Google account users. If you do not wish for this information to be used it may be manually de-selected in the Google account settings.

Domain names

What is a domain name?

In simple terms, a domain name is the identification, or address of a website. For example, www.piccantewebdesign.com is our domain name. Domain names can end with .com, .net, .info, .org, or be suffixed with various countries, i.e. .co.uk, .co.nz etc.

Your domain name should be memorable and reflect the name or nature of your business. This is very important for search engine recognition. For example, if your company is 'Smith's Apparel Ltd' and your main area of business is selling T-shirts you would be better off getting a domain name like smiths-t-shirts.com than smithsapparelltd.com

You must purchase a domain name before your website can be published online, however we can start working on your website before this is obtained.

What is a re-directed domain name?

A redirected domain is a domain name that you have registered and purchased that re-directs automatically to your main website domain. For example, you might purchase smiths-t-shirts.com but because you do most of your business in Hong Kong you might also want to get smiths-t-shirts.com.hk and have this automatically re-direct to the .com domain.

How do I get a domain name?

Finding available domain names can be a challenge, particularly if you want a .com domain or are using common names or words. Plenty of imagination helps! Domain names can be searched for, and purchased from many online suppliers or registrars. If you wish, we can obtain your domain name for you. Just send us an email with as much detail as possible (domain names you would like to try, and what domain suffix you want - i.e. .com, .co.uk etc). We will get back to you with a price for this service - unfortunately we cannot publish the cost here because domain name prices change depending upon the suffix. If you want to get a domain name yourself, a useful place to start is with GoDaddy.com or Melbourne IT - but remember to shop around for the best prices!

How do I direct my domain name to the Piccante hosting servers?

Your domain name 'points' to the web hosting servers as set by the Domain Name Servers (DNS). To set these correctly for Piccante hosting you will need to enter the following primary and secondary Name Servers in your domain name Control Panel. You can access your domain name control panel by following the login instructions given by your domain name registrar when you first signed up for your domain name. You will then need to navigate to the DNS settings for your domain name. Set the primary and secondary Name Servers to the following:

(1) Primary DNS

ns1.piccantewebdesign.com

(2) Secondary DNS

ns2.piccantewebdesign.com

Email

How do I access my email account?

First, you should use how to learn 'webmail'. Webmail is a very simple browser-based way to access your email from any computer or device that has an internet connection. Webmail should, and can be used if (for whatever reason) you are experiencing problems with email set up on your computer or device.

1. In your web browser, enter your domain name, followed by /webmail, i.e.
www.yourdomain.com/webmail
and press 'ENTER' or 'RETURN'

2. Enter the email address and password as supplied by Piccante Web Design. From here you can read your mail, or reset your password if required.

Note:Webmail should be accessed from time to time to check that old emails are not remaining on the server. Old, undeleted emails can remain in the Trash, Junk, Sent or even your Inbox if the email software or client on your device is not deleting them. If your email account reaches its disk space limit, your email will stop working so it is important to check it regularly and delete emails in all folders that are no longer required. Large attachments in emails take up disk space and your limit may be reached quite quickly. If this happens regularly, you will need to delete these emails using webmail more regularly or increase your hosting package.

Setting up email on your device

The following are recommended settings for your computer, tablet or phone.

Account type - POP
Incoming / Outgoing Mail Server - mail.yourdomainname.com
User Name - youremailaddress@yourdomain.com
Password - as supplied by Piccante / setup by yourself
Port numbers - 995 Incoming (SSL) / 465 or 587 Outgoing (SSL). Note: if outgoing port 465 or 587 with SSL does not work, try port 25 (non-SSL).

Note: When setting up your POP account on your device, ensure that emails are 'deleted' or 'removed from the server' immediately, or soon after they are retrieved. If emails with large attachments are allowed to remain on the server your account limit may be reached which will prevent your email account from working.

Problems with email

If you experience problems with your email, please follow these instruction..

Step 1. Login to webmail using the username and password provided.

If you have been unable to send or receive email on your device, your account may have reached its disk space limit. Check Inbox, Sent, Trash and Junk folders and delete old emails, particularly those with large attachments.

Attempt to send / receive a test email using webmail. If this is successful, you may have solved the problem by clearing old emails, or the problem will be with your device settings and NOT the server. If webmail is working, go to Step 3.

Step 2. If webmail is not working then either your account has reached its limit or there is a server fault. Check your hosting account Control Panel (cPanel) if you have been given the login information for this in your web browser by going to
www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel
and entering the username and password that may have been supplied to you. Click on 'Email accounts' to check useage is within limits.

If there is a server fault, then Piccante Web Design will probably be aware of it - our email runs from the same server, but please contact us to let us know you are having problems. Copy and paste any error messages you are getting into your email to us.

Step 3. Your device settings are probably incorrect, your ISP may be blocking a certain port or your network connection has failed. Changing location can often cause port number issues - for example, your iPhone mail was working fine at home, but it fails when using a hotel wireless network. Try changing your settings in accordance with the recommended settings above (remember to change them back if you return to your 'normal' location or ISP. If this still does not work, please copy and paste any error message and send them to info@piccantewebdesign.co.nz using an alternative email address.

Contact forms

Why should I use an emailable contact form on my website?

Emailable forms have the following advantages over a simple 'click to email' link:

  • They look professional!
  • They provide instant feedback that an email has successfully been sent (or an error message can be generated if necessary information has been omitted, such as a name, or email address). Additionally, an auto-reply email can be generated with your chosen message to the sender.
  • Web-based email users (such as those with Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! accounts) can contact you from any computer in the world.
  • They reduce spam. Automated web-robots crawl the web looking for simple email links and addresses, and bombard them with junk email.