Assuming you follow our support process (that is, send your query to our dedicated support email) you should receive an immediate reply confirming that your ticket has been created. If you don’t get this within a few minutes, please check your junk mail – and make sure you add our support address to your safe senders list. You can reply to the ticket confirmation with any additional information if you need to, and we’ll reply as soon as possible within working hours (unless it’s SUPER critical). Depending on the request, it could take 10 minutes or 10 days to resolve, but generally speaking most tickets are closed within 48 hours unless we are waiting on more information. Providing lots of context (for example, screenshots, or telling us what you *expect* to happen) can greatly speed up how long it takes to get your issue resolved!
If you are on a care plan, you can simply email our dedicated support email address. You will be provided with this once you sign up for a care plan, and we’ll also provide you with a guide on how to submit support queries to make sure you get the best and fastest response! We don’t provide phone support on our basic plans, as it is too hard to keep track of things. When you email support, you’ll receive an immediate reply confirming your request has been received, and our whole team will be notified immediately (even on a weekend) via both email and phone. Having said that, support queries will generally only be dealt with outside of standard working hours for urgent or critical tasks.
If you would like us to do ‘adhoc’ work outside of what is covered by your care plan (such as custom programming, additional content changes or design work) you have a couple of options. If you have a large chunk of work (e.g. launching a new part of your business and need additional pages created or the home page overhauled) the best thing to do is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, book a 15 min phone call to discuss. If the work is small, you can take advantage of our Block Hours, which provide you with our cheapest hourly rate and higher priority than work billed on an adhoc basis.
In short, Information Architecture (or IA) is the way that information and content is structured to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find what they want and need, in a way that is aligned with your goals. IA is a key principle of User Experience, and we use evidence based methods such as card sorting, tree testing and split testing to ensure your IA is top-notch. You can read more about our commitment to great IA here.
User Experience, or UX, is a process used to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. It involves branding, design, usability and function, and unlike design alone, it relies heavily on evidence based decision making to ensure users are delighted at every turn. We are proud to be members of the Interaction Design Foundation & UX Australia. You can read more about our commitment to great UX here.
Not all website users have the ability to see things in the same way as the designer envisioned them, or interact with a website using standard methods. 1 in 5 people in Australia have some form of disability, and this includes people who are color blind (1 in 12 men, 1 in 200 women), have low vision (1 in 30 people), or are blind (1 in 188 people). While we don’t know the exact numbers, there are also many people who can’t see or use a mouse for whatever reason, deaf users whose first primary language is sign language, and visitors who use assistive software or hardware (such as screen readers) to access the web.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are maintained by the Worldwide Web Consortium (w3). With forethought and planning, it is very easy to achieve the minimum AA guidelines, and we find that we can almost always achieve AAA level without compromising aesthetic design.
Good accessibility means designing a website with all users in mind right from the beginning, so that it provides a good experience for everyone.
WordPress runs over a third of the entire internet. So there’s that… More specifically, over 60% of websites that use a CMS run on WordPress, with the next most popular CMS (Shopify, at the start of 2021) having a market share of only 5.2%. That means WordPress is well supported, constantly updated and it’s definitely not going anywhere! The market share of WordPress continues to increase over time, and it’s also Open Source – which means the future direction of WordPress is determined by the community (which we are proud to be a big part of).
How long is a piece of string? It really depends on the scope of your project. The best way to get an idea of what your dream website will cost is to complete our website questionnaire.
Firstly a disclaimer – the answer to this varies greatly depending on a number of factors. The scope of the project, our existing workload, your existing workload, what resources and content you have already, and any scope changes throughout the project will all impact the final timeline.
Having said that, we generally recommend allocating between six to twelve weeks for a project. We typically include an estimated timeline in our proposals based on the factors just mentioned – which is one of the many reasons why we collect a bunch of information from you before quoting on a project.
Depending on your preference, you can either keep your existing hosting provider or we can host your website. Generally our customers who are on care plans choose to host with us, as it is one less additional cost they have to pay for! Our secure, high performance dedicated servers are based in Perth and managed by us.
After launch & receipt of any final payment instalments due, you own the unique combination of elements that constitute your website. Any themes, plugins or content installed on the site at launch are free for you to use as they are. In order to keep your site healthy and looking great, you will either need to purchase (at minimum) a theme and any site-critical plugin licenses. If you are on a care plan, we will cover any and all licensing costs and conduct all required ongoing maintenance to ensure things are kept in top shape.
For new website projects, we will create a proposal for you that will outline the scope and payment terms for your project. There will be a contract attached to this document that outlines our conditions of working together, and addresses some of the common scenarios that we’ve found arise during a website build. Once the contract has been accepted, we will issue an invoice for a deposit that will secure your project. If at any time throughout the project you’re not happy with how things are progressing and you’d like to part ways, we can terminate our agreement and void any future invoices. Your initial deposit is non-refundable unless otherwise agreed, as many of the costs of undergoing a large project are incurred by us in the first two weeks.
Once your website is launched, there is no requirement to continue working with us. If you would like us to continue providing support and take care of things like plugin licensing and hosting, we recommend purchasing one of our care plans so you can sit back and relax. If you don’t plan to purchase a care plan after launch please let us know up front so that we can provide you with an itemised list of the ongoing costs (and tasks) you will need to plan for to keep your site healthy and up to date.
Our care plans can be cancelled at any time with 14 days notice – we believe in earning the loyalty of our clients!
Block hours are discounted prepaid hours that are purchased in advance and can be used for services rendered by House Digital. They are a discounted alternative to paying our standard hourly rate. You can find out more about block hours here.
All projects are assessed differently for risk, environmental factors, resource availability and timing considerations. These are taken into account when quoting a project, regardless of size. For this reason, whilst our expected number of hours to complete the work is factored in when quoting, it is not the primary determining factor and as such we typically do not include it in quotes and proposals.
We use a prebuilt base theme, called GeneratePress, combined with a blank child theme. We do this so that we can create a 100% custom design but still reap the benefits of a well-supported, reputable parent theme that provides ongoing updates. That means that websites built with House Digital won’t end up being obsolete in five years time, and we’re not locking you in to a crazy custom environment only we know how to use. For our care plan clients, all theme and plugin licenses are included in your plan – as are ongoing updates and security patches.
Nope – we specialise in creating and maintaining websites. SEO is always rapidly changing, and you really need to live and breathe it – just like you need to live and breathe website development if you want to be at the top of your game. For this reason, we’ve partnered with Blue Cherry Online Marketing and work closely with their team to provide SEO & Google Advertising services to our clients. If SEO is important for your project we will often provide a quote from Blue Cherry to provide initial SEO services as part of your website project. We don’t take a commission or charge extra and we are more than happy for you to engage Blue Cherry (or an agency of your choice) directly if you prefer.
Nope. UX designers and graphic designers are not the same thing, and for branding we very much recommend working with a branding specialist. If you want to work with us and you don’t yet have a logo and/or branding guide, we’ll recommend having a chat with our friends at the Brand Foundry. To get started on a website project you’ll need (at minimum) a high resolution, transparent (png or vector) logo, as well as basic colour and font selections. If you only have a logo we may be able to proceed, but please note that it is likely to cause delays to the project timeline.
That depends! If you’re looking for someone to help you make minor changes to your website, we’re probably not what you’re looking for. We prefer to partner with our clients long-term rather than doing hourly work. If you’d like to become one of our clients, check out our care plans – for a fixed monthly cost you can have your own development team looking after your website! Additional design/development work is also discounted for our care plan clients, and we have a range of options for this including our recently introduced block hours.
Absolutely – in fact that is all we do. We go through a four step process for our builds, from discovery (planning) to design (wireframing & mockups) to development (making those designs dynamic) and finally, deployment. We use dedicated UX design software to create our mockups, and we’ll share them with you using a link so that you can provide feedback and add comments.
Great question! We’ve provided some examples here about what is and isn’t covered. Basically, if it is related to keeping your website healthy, it is likely covered. If it is a change, it will depend on the complexity of the change and the level of care plan you are on.
Example 1 – A new version of WordPress is released and updates cause a plugin conflict.
- In 95% of cases we’ll identify and fix the issue before you even know about it! This is covered.
Example 2 – Some functionality that we created for you to do something specific on your website (e.g. adding a particular type of user with special permissions) is no longer working as intended.
- We’ll troubleshoot the bug and fix it for you until it’s working like new! This is covered.
Example 3 – You want the ability to add a different payment method to your website (e.g. Afterpay) in addition to your existing options.
- This is not covered and would be billed at our standard hourly rate.
Example 4 – Code created by a third party (e.g. original web developer if we didn’t create your site) is malfunctioning.
- This is not covered. There is a lot more work involved with editing someone else’s code as we first need to find it, then interpret it, then fix it. We also can’t guarantee the quality of code not created by us!
Example 5 – You’ve updated a few of your products and you’d like to replace the photos on your product page with new ones but can’t remember how.
- As long as it’s what could reasonably be accomplished in an hour or less, this would be covered if you are on a professional care plan or higher.
Example 6 – Changing the name of a menu item – e.g. replacing ‘Our People’ with ‘The Team’ or ‘Products’ with ‘Shop’.
- As long as it doesn’t require design changes to the header, this would be covered.
Example 7 – Replacing the logo with a different one that is not the same colour/shape/size.
- This will likely require changes to the header code to accommodate, and possibly redesigning (depending on how different it is). This would likely not be covered.
Example 8 – Adding logic to an eCommerce store so that certain functionality (e.g. shipping options or pricing) is only available to specific user types.
- This is not covered, UNLESS this is functionality that has already been implemented on your site and we’re just updating the specifics for you!
Example 9 – Your website becomes infected with malware and/or gets hacked.
- Keeping your site clean is our responsibility so this would be covered. Fortunately for us, we have lots of security practices and preventative measures in place to make sure this rarely (if ever) happens!
Nope. We do however partner with the team at Devhouse who create amazing web applications. If you’re looking for an internal app for your business or organisation they’re a great place to start!
We don’t lock people in to contracts for website care and maintenance, although we do offer a 12 month included care plan with our DIT Package. If you’d like to cancel your care plan you just need to give us 30 days notice, and ensure you have everything set up to take over.
If you aren’t on a care plan, you’ll need to (at minimum) arrange hosting with SSL & basic ‘non-negotiable’ licenses, such as your theme & any site-critical plugin licenses. If you are on a care plan, these licenses (plus many more) are already included, as well as a premium security solution, lots of neat little addons, and premium daily backups stored offsite. You can find out more about what is covered by our care plans here.
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