Common questions

About True inSite

What's your background?

I have a business degree from Acadia with a focus on Marketing and a degree in Applied Computer Technology from ACI. I started True inSite in 2001 because I saw the need for marketing when it came to websites.

My family moved to Nova Scotia from Germany in 1984, giving me a different perspective. I am very much focused on my clients, aiming to provide the best customer experience possible.

Who are your preferred clients?

Small businesses, especially self-employed individuals like myself.

The best fit are businesses looking to improve their overall marketing or seeking a more effective way to showcase their products or services.

Can you help?

It depends. Do any of the following scenarios apply to you?

I do not have a website
My website is very old

It is sometimes possible to breathe new life into an old site but depending on how it was built, it may be better to start from scratch to ensure it meets all current design standards.

If content on your old site has not been updated, it likely means your website content could use an overhaul as well because every business evolves over time.

I want more inquiries through my website

Whether someone reaches out to you will depend on whether the website resonates with them.

  • Does it answer their questions?
    • Unless they find answers to questions important to them, they will likely move on to another website.
  • Can you solve their "problems"?
    • An example of a problem may be the lack of curb appeal of someone's house, making the owner feel it is not really a home they enjoy looking at. If you are a landscaping company, a particular photo of one of your projects may be their "solution", enticing them to reach out. It is all about establishing whether you are the right fit.
    • A website should not be created with the intent to "push" information. Content needs to engage. Make it all about the person visiting your site and focus on how you can help.
  • Is it easy to use?
    • How easy is it to find information in your website? Is the menu intuitive? Is the menu accessible at all times or do you need to scroll up to see it? Once a button is clicked, will visitors know what page they are on? Is the phone number clearly visible?
  • Is your site mobile friendly?
    • Mobile friendly websites are a must these days. According to CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), 57% of Canadians are surfing the Internet on their phones. A mobile optimized website will change its layout based on the space available. Your website may display information in 4 columns on larger devices but should collapse into a single column on a phone.
    • All features used on a website need to be easy to use on phones, including slideshows and phone numbers to dial automatically. Font sizes should be larger on phones to make text easier to read.
I want to be found on Google

Getting found on Google can be accomplished in two ways, paid and "organic".

  • Paid
    • Pay Google directly so your website displays at the top when certain words are used in searches. This will result in a little box displayed next to your website with the word "Ad". This can be quite effective but costly.
  • Organic
    • This TRUE ranking is based on the quality of the website and reflects your credibility instead of your advertising budget. Organic rankings are achieved through Search Engine Optimization, part of a larger online strategy to improve traffic to your site.
I want to show off photos

Photos are often the heart of a website because they support the claims the business is making about its abilities. Many websites do not have a well-organized portfolio, making it challenging for visitors to find the kind of photos they are interested in. In a lot of cases the photos cannot be updated by the owner.

With my projects you are in control: add photos and even create new galleries, helping you organize them into logical categories. Why pay someone and wait until they are available when you can make changes yourself within minutes?

I want to be able to update the website myself

Many business owners are stuck with websites they cannot update. Even if the are able to make edits to text, the process is often complicated, especially when Content Management Systems are used that require regular maintenance to keep the website secure. With my projects you can change text within seconds.

I want my website to better reflect my business

Online, perception is reality, meaning people will judge your business based on what they can see. If the website is not making a favourable impression, the visitor may move on to your competition.

I take the time to get to know you and the business so we can come up with a strategy that works best and paints an accurate pictures of who you are, what you do and what you stand for.

I want to feel more comfortable about my marketing
I am not happy with my existing website designer

Unfortunately this sometimes happens. Personalities may not mesh, the skill level may not be at the level you seek or the person is not receptive to your ideas or as responsive as you would like them to be.

Before you switch to someone else, I recommend collecting all website and online marketing related information and login credentials because this may be a challenging to obtain once you sever the relationship.

Considerations:

  • Domain ownership.
    • Domains should always be registered under the name of the business and/or owner. If you are unsure, I will be happy to look it up.
  • Website backup.
    • Switching website designers may involve changing hosting providers. If you have invested time creating content and want to use it as a foundation for your new site, ensure it has been backed up or copied so you do not lose it.
  • Login credentials.
    • In case your website designer has been managing aspects such as email addresses, Social Media and your Google business account, ensure you have all the account and login details.

About domain names

What is a domain name?

A domain name is your online identity, a unique address that connects people to your website. It can also be part of your email address, such as sales@YourDomainName.ca

Who should register a domain?

It is always best for the owner of the business to register their own domain. Some website designers may offer the registration as part of their service but often register it under their identity because it is easier. If you were to decide to switch designers or there was a fall-out, you may have a challenge getting the domain transferred to you.

Where should I register a domain?

Don't ever have your Internet service provider (Bell or Eastlink) register a domain because you will not have access to it. If you wish to make a change, the hoops you need to jump through are not worth it and providers often mark up their prices.

How can I find out what domains are available?

Typing the domain you are considering into a search may not result in a website being found but that does not necessarily mean it is available. Someone may have registered it but has not connected it to a website.

Domain name considerations

Choosing the right domain name is important because it determines how easy it will be for people to access your website. It can also affect your search engine rankings.

  • No special characters.
    • Stay away from dashes. Keep it simple. The more complicated, the less likely someone is able to remember it.
  • Easy spelling.
    • Don't use words that are uncommon or have more than one way of spelling.
  • Try to register CA and COM.
    • This will lock out anyone who could potentially ride on your coat-tails. If you register a CA, your competitor could potentially register COM.
  • Add a geographic location.
    • By adding the area you are doing business in, your domain will assist with search engine rankings. Instead of CustomAwnings.ca, consider HalifaxCustomAwnings.ca    This will also give you more of a selection of domain names to choose from because it is more specific.
  • Keep it short.
    • A long domain will be more challenging to remember. It is also more difficult to fit a long domain on a business card and still be readable.
Can I keep my domain with a new website?

You sure can! All that would be required is link your existing domain to the hosting account where your new website is located. If you are staying with your current hosting provider, no changes are necessary.

About hosting

What is hosting?

Think of it in real state terms: a website is the house. You need land a house can be built on. Hosting is your land. You lease the land on a yearly basis so hosting needs to be renewed.

Choosing the correct hosting package

Not all website are created equally and may have different hosting requirements. A website displaying a lot of high resolution photos will require more space. Certain features of a website may require specific hosting settings to work.

In order to guarantee hosting to be compatible, the scope and features of the website needs to be established.

Do you offer hosting?

True inSite uses hosting services from a high-end hosting company in California to ensure no service interruptions. Tech support is outstanding so if there were ever any issues, it will be resolved quickly.

If your website requirements were to change over time, I can easily accommodate them. About 90% of my clients have their hosting with me.

Why consider hosting from True inSite?

Having True inSite look after the hosting means I am responsible for everything. In case there is ever an issue, whether it's website or email related, I am the only person you would need to contact.

How much is hosting?

Hosting prices can vary and often depend on the features offered. Unless you are tech-savvy, buying hosting directly from a hosting provider may not be best choice because they generally do not offer services I include, like creating and helping install email accounts on your devices and offering trouble shooting.

Once we establish the scope of the website I can give you a price. I can also offer hosting if you already have a website and are just looking for a better hosting provider.

Adding security.

Have you ever noticed the little image of a lock to the left of the website address? It signifies your website is “secure”, meaning any sensitive information transmitted from and to the website is encrypted, helping protect your visitors' data from being misused by attackers.

A significant benefit of SSL certificates: they help gain your visitors' trust. Your website will be displayed with a security padlock in the address bar of the browser. This will indicate that the connection is secure and will show your website's visitors that you take their privacy seriously. If your website does not have a certificate, some browsers may label it as unsafe, causing some visitors to look for secure websites instead.

As a bonus, Google gives websites with safe/encrypted connections a slight ranking boost. Although the boost may not be substantial, having an SSL will give you an advantage over your competitors who may not have certificates yet.

About email accounts

Why your email address matters

Considerations:

  • Service provider addresses.
    • Using addresses that service providers like Bell or Eastlink offer is never a good idea. The email addresses are owned by the provider so if you ever wanted to switch, you would need to ask all your contacts to switch addresses.
  • Free addresses.
    • Free email accounts like Hotmail or Google may suggest you don't know how to set up a proper business email address or don't think it's worth your time to investigate better options. Using free accounts does not reflect well on the business.
  • Proper business email address.
    • Most hosting packages will allow you to create email addresses containing your domain name. If your website address is www.MyCompany.ca, you should consider an address like sales@MyCompany.ca   You are now the owner of this address and it will never change.
Can you help me set one up?

Certainly. Depending on the hosting package chosen, I can set up as many email accounts as you wish and help set them up on your devices.

How do I choose a website designer?

Where do I start?

There are a lot of website designers to choose from. Here are a few ideas to find one.

  • Online search
    • Finding a reputable website designer via an online search could be a good starting point but just because someone has good search engine rankings does not necessarily make them a good choice, especially since some designers are paying Google for top spots.
  • Check with your network.
    • Ask other business owners if they can refer someone.
  • Check copyright notices on websites.
    • If you come across a local website you like, see if there is an indication of who designed it.
Things you should consider

Picking a website designer that's right for you can be challenging. Here are a few tips that may help:

Are they taking time to get to know you?

Someone who does not understand what you do will not be able to create a website that reflects your business, the reason I spend a lot of time in the beginning. The better the foundation of the website the more effective it will be.

Do they answer all your questions?

If, after meeting them, you still feel there are gaps, they may either not know the answers or are not placing enough value on transparency. I will spend as much time with you as required to ensure you feel comfortable.

Do you like their ideas?

Does the website designer offer suggestions you like and can relate to? If they do not have any, it may be an indication of how much you can expect later. I will brainstorm ideas and tweak them with your input.

Making the final decision

Trust your instincts. Creating a website takes time and effort so being able to work as a team is important. You need to feel comfortable with the person who will be your main contact for the entire project. Since businesses evolve over time, your marketing (especially the website) needs to be adapted. A long-term relationship with a website designer is beneficial since they already know you and the business.