FAQs

General FAQs

How long has Pinnacle Communications been building websites?

Pinnacle Communications has been building websites since 1995. We were founded as a partnership in 1995 and then incorporated in 1997.

Where are you located?

We are conveniently located in Toronto, Ontario near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East.

Do you have your own staff of designers and developers?

Yes. We have in-house graphic designers, website developers and digital marketers in our Toronto office to cover all your needs. When working with us, we provide you with a project manager and direct contact to our staff so any questions or issues can be resolved quickly.

Do you contract work offshore?

We never send work offshore. We’ve heard of too many horror stories from clients who went with designers who contracted offshore. Our clients admitted that the inexpensive price looked extremely attractive but the quality of work was poor, communications were slow and their websites were often delivered late.

We think of each client as a partner and it is our goal to make each relationship long-lasting by delivering outstanding value, prompt communications and quick service to our clients.

Will a dedicated project manager manage my project?

Yes, we assign a Project Manager for each project. You will have an assigned Project Manager, who will be your main point of contact through the entire project.

What web services do you offer?

We offer a comprehensive range of web design and related services including:

  • Information architecture
  • User interface design
  • Web site design
  • E-commerce development
  • Custom application development
  • Software integrations
  • Content creation
  • Copywriting
  • Digital Marketing
    • Email Marketing
    • Display ad creation
    • Social media advertising
    • Retargeting advertising
    • Pay per click advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Maintenance & ongoing support
  • Graphic design services
  • Domain registrations
  • Website hosting
  • Secure certificates
What types of industries do you work with?

We work with a wide variety of businesses ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-nationals. Our clients are involved in both B2B and B2C businesses.

We have clients in the following industries:

  • Architecture
  • Arts
  • Bio-Sciences
  • Distribution
  • Finance & Investments
  • Film
  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Oil & Gas
  • Retail
    • Apparel
    • Booksellers
    • Furniture & Furnishings
    • Office Products
    • Safety
    • Sporting Goods
  • Service
  • Technology
  • Unions
Why do I need a website?

Websites are used to:

  1. provide information or entertainment
  2. promote yourself or your company
  3. establish credibility and build your brand
  4. generate leads and sales

Websites are the most cost-effective way to distribute your message to millions of people around the world.

Do you work with companies outside of Toronto?

Yes. We have clients across Canada, in the United States, Europe and Asia. All the information we need to design your website can be easily communicated through email, Skype or regular telephone. Even with our clients in Toronto most of our communication is with email or telephone.

During development we upload the latest versions of your website to our staging server so you can keep track of our progress. This, combined with frequent contact, allows for peace of mind, rapid updates and ultimately successful websites that meet or exceed our clients’ expectations.

Can we meet face-to-face?

Absolutely. Our offices are always available for meetings. It’s best to book an appointment to ensure we have a particular time slot available.

Do you offer consulting services?

Yes we do. Our initial consultation is always free to help us understand your goals, your company, your market and your project. We also provide in-depth consultations for a fee to companies that need assistance in developing their online strategy.

Can you help? I am in dispute with my designer and I am afraid of losing my domain.

When working with a designer to set up your domain name, always insist they register the domain in your name, or your company’s name and always ask for the name of the company where it was registered and the login details for your account. Many developers register domains under a single account which is not ideal for the client. We’ve heard many stories where the developer holds the client hostage for extra payment to release the domain name to the client. We can provide helpful tips and assistance to help you get control of your domain.

What platforms do you support?

We build all of our websites on open-source platforms including:

  1. WordPress
  2. Joomla
  3. Magento
  4. Prestashop
  5. osCommerce
  6. Shopify
  7. BigCommerce
What is required to build and launch a website?

We understand setting up a website for the first time can seem like a daunting task. We’d be pleased to discuss the complete details with you but to get started here are the four vital steps to a successful website:

  1. Register a domain name (e.g., yourcompany.com): It’s best to register a name that is short and memorable. There are many services that provide domain registration. GoDaddy.com is the largest. To help your site rank well in search engine results, it’s best to register your domain for 5 or 10 years into the future.
  2. Design your website: A professional design company can provide these services. Look for one that’s been in business for a long time and has expertise in design, user experience, lead generation and conversion optimization. Careful attention to these factors can make the difference between a website that’s successful and one that fails.
  3. Host your website: Hosting means you’re renting disk space for your website files on a computer that is always connected to the Internet. Look for a service that has fast servers and fast Internet connections.
  4. Market your website: To make your website as visible as possible on the Internet you’ll need to promote it through search engine optimization, search marketing, email marketing, social media marketing and display advertising.
Do you offer a warranty?

Yes. We offer a 45 day warranty from the time your website goes live. During this time we will fix any bugs free of charge. After this period, we can resolve any issues at our hourly rate or as part of a maintenance plan.

Do I own the completed website?

Yes. You have complete ownership of your website.

Do I need to have all my content prepared in advance?

No. First we’ll discuss the content you have in mind for your site. Then we’ll recommend how to set up an optimal site navigation. Once the navigation has been determined we can get started by using placeholder content while you work towards completing your content. We’ll provide you with suggestions on the type of text and images that would perform best on your website.

I've been told I should use a large agency for best results. Is this true?

We focus on providing great value for our clients. We do not cut features or services but offer savings compared to large agencies from our streamlined operations. From experience, we’re comfortable knowing that our projects often exceed the quality of large agencies at a price that’s a fraction of theirs.

Can you finish my incomplete website?

We would certainly be willing to examine the current state of your site to determine if it’s feasible to continue. We’ve had many clients come to us with this situation. Often, there are only minor issues to fix to get your site up and running. However, sometimes it’s clear that your previous developer was in way over his head and unable to implement a working solution. In these cases, it’s sometimes faster, and less expensive, to start fresh rather than build on a partially flawed base.

Timeframe, Costs and Payments FAQs

How long will it take to build my website?

Designing a great website takes time – anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Typically, the amount of time required to build your site depends on the following factors:

  1. The complexity of design
  2. The amount of content in your site
  3. Custom or any advanced features that may be required
  4. When your content is ready
  5. Your timely feedback on any questions

The single, most common delay that we experience is waiting for clients to provide content.

How much does a website cost?

This is the single most frequently asked question we hear. While we understand that you are looking to keep your costs low, we encourage you to think of your website as an investment – similar to leasing a store and investing in leasehold improvements to sell your products. We also believe we should deliver outstanding value for your investment dollar. This approach often means we are not the least expensive design service, but dollar for dollar we do believe we provide the comprehensive solutions and best service for your investment dollar.

Before providing you with a quote or proposal, we take time to discuss and understand your website goals, your business and your target audience. This helps us to provide you with a realistic quote that delivers great value.

What costs are associated with web design?

We provide you with a firm quote, or proposal, that details all costs for your website. This includes the one-time design costs, ongoing costs for hosting, domain registration, secure certificates, SEO and digital marketing.

Are there any recurring costs involved with owning a website?

Yes. We outline all recurring costs in our quotes and proposals. Here are the most typical recurring costs:

  • Web hosting (usually an annual charge)
  • Domain registration (annual or longer)
  • Secure certificate renewals (every one or two years)
  • Website maintenance package
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Digital marketing services
I have a relative/friend who makes websites. Why should I spend the money with your company?

We live and breathe web design, e-commerce development and digital marketing. When it comes to design, we know the subtle differences that make the difference between a successful design and an average design. For content, our copywriters know how to write for the web to entice visitors to become customers. On the development side, our experienced programmers know how to code custom features, integrate with corporate systems and troubleshoot the intricacies of shipping & payment gateways. Our digital marketers know how to implement successful online promotional programs and structure your site to rank high in search engine results. By comparison, it’s unlikely that your relative or friend has the years of experience or the expertise in these disciplines to ensure your complete success.

Another company said they can build a website for under $1,000. Why shouldn’t we use them?

We have many clients who have come to us after trying to work with services that offer low prices. Here are some of the comments we’ve heard:

  • My developer has disappeared
  • My developer started my site but can’t finish it
  • My developer doesn’t know how to implement a necessary feature
  • My developer wants more money and hasn’t started work
  • My developer can’t implement e-commerce
  • My website loads too slowly
  • My developer doesn’t know schema tags
  • My site design isn’t what I asked for
What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards. We also accept company cheques and email money transfers.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, we do. We ask our clients for an initial deposit of 25% for larger projects and 35% for smaller projects. For projects with a timeline of 2-3 weeks we require a 50% deposit.

What is your payment policy?

For most projects, we offer a multi-part payment plan: a deposit to begin work, one or two interim billings based on development progress to bring billing up to 90% of quote, and a final 10% when your site is ready to go live.

For smaller projects, we offer a 2 installment plan of 50% deposit and 50% when work is completed and ready to go live.

Our installments do not include recurring charges for domain registration, web hosting, secure certificates, website maintenance, ongoing SEO or digital marketing. These services are billed separately as incurred.

Is there a clear procedure for billing for extra features or work outside the project’s initial scope?

Yes, we will always notify you in advance if a feature request is outside of the original project scope. We will provide you with a Change Request Form outlining the additional work to be done and the cost of this work. Once you approve the expense we will begin work on the feature.

Are references available?

Absolutely. We display a number of testimonials on our website for your consideration. We can also provide references prior to signing contracts. (As a courtesy to existing clients and to limit unnecessary phone calls, references are not provided until we are the chosen website designer.)

Maintenance

My website needs to be updated. Can you help?

Yes, we help companies all the time with this type of request. We would be pleased to review your current website and provide a quote for the update.

What happens if my site is inaccessible or displays incorrectly?

Please contact us right away. We’ll first check to see if your domain registration has expired. If so, you will need to renew it. Otherwise, if your domain is valid, and your site is hosted with us, we should be able to resolve the issue quickly. If you’re hosted with a third-party, we’ll let you know if we think the issue is at their end so you can contact them directly.

Do you charge for technical support?

If you have a monthly maintenance plan with us there is no charge for technical support.

How much do you charge for website maintenance?

Our hourly rate for website maintenance is $100/hr. If you have a maintenance plan with us, then maintenance is included in the monthly plan. We have a number of plans available to meet the varying needs of our clients.

Can I update my own website?

We have clients who prefer to update their sites themselves and others who prefer we handle the updates for them. We offer a range of maintenance plans to save our clients’ time & money and ensure that your website is always fresh and up-to-date.

Will I know how to maintain my website once it is live?

Yes, We provide comprehensive training on how to update your website. If you’re unsure about how to do something, just give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

How often should I update my website?

Just like your car, your website requires regular service to deliver peak performance. This includes fresh content, SEO updates, security updates as well as platform and plug-in updates. As a minimum, you should update your website at least once per quarter and ideally more often. We have maintenance plans that cover all of these types of updates. Please contact us for details.

What kind of service can I expect from Pinnacle after my site launches?

Our team of designers, developers and digital marketers keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and marketing advancements. We’re always available to discuss how your site can benefit from the latest developments.

Hosting & Email Services

What is web hosting?

Web hosting refers to renting disk space on a web server that stores your website files. The web server is always connected to the Internet, usually with high-speed connections, and allows visitors to view your website.

Do you offer website hosting services?

Yes. We offer “fully-managed” web hosting and take care of all the details for you.  When your website is hosted with us we automatically back-up your site nightly for added protection. All accounts are also protected by AnyCast DNS.

Can I use my existing web hosting?

In most cases you can use your existing web hosting depending upon its features (e.g., PHP versions, web server software, storage space, performance etc.)

How do I switch from my current web hosting company to your web hosting?

Switching from another web host to us can get technical but we take care of all the details for a smooth transition.

Could we host our website on servers in our country?

Absolutely, especially if you’re targeting a local market it would be beneficial to host locally.

How much does web hosting cost?

We have four unlimited bandwidth plans to cover all your needs. Here’s our pricing as of May 2018:

  • Small microsites – $100/year
  • WordPress information sites – $250/year
  • Woocommerce sites – $390/year
  • Prestashop/Magento Ecommerce sites – $550/year

Occasionally some websites become so successful and attract so much traffic that they require a dedicated web server. We can help arrange for a dedicated server if required.

Can I setup and manage my own emails?

If you host with us we can provide you with the ability to manage your email accounts. You can set up accounts, delete accounts or set up email forwards. There is no restriction on the number of email accounts or email forwards you can set up. All accounts are automatically protected by anti-virus software and spam filters.

Can I check my email on any device?

Yes. Our email services allow you to access your email from any device. We have instructions to help you set up your email account on iPhones and Android smartphones.

Can I check my email from a web browser?

Yes. When you set up a hosting account with us we will provide you with a secure url where you can login and check your email.

Can you help me setup my email account in Outlook?

Absolutely. We have complete step-by-step email setup guides available for many versions of Outlook.

READY TO GET STARTED?

To learn more about how Pinnacle website design or digital marketing solutions can work for you, give us a call at 416-421-2689 or fill in the form below.