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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Clarke Design has tried to answer most of the frequently asked questions about our website design services, hosting, domain names and other related internet services.

Website Design

Website Design

Everything about website design from Clarke Design.

Of course you can.

Clarke Design are sympathetic to limited budgets, especially if you are just starting your business or are unsure if a web site is right for you and don;t want to spend too much at the moment.

We can engineer a basic web site for you for around £400.

This will still have the look and feel of a professional web site, just with a limited number of pages and less functionality than a premium site.

Clarke Design do not use website generating tools

We hand craft every single website using standard text based editors and graphic design applications.

We do this as we find that website generating tools, never let you quite do exactly what you want with a web site. They add in bits and pieces of code that may not exactly meet web design standards and stop us from creating the perfect site for you.

Yes, some of our editors help us a little bit with everyday editing, but everything else is down to our website design experience and hard work.

We find that this works best for everyone.

No. Clarke Design does not use website generating tools in it's website development.

We find that tools hamper our creativity and take too much control from the exact nature of a website.

Thus, we do not feel it is our place to recommend design tools.

Plus, we might be doing ourselves out of some work :-)

We are more than happy to update an existing website, even if it wasn't originally developed by Clarke Design.

We can update your website with fresh content or with new graphics and navigation.

We will naturally need full access to your web site from your current service provider so we can update your pages. We'll need the address and a username and password before we can access your site.

We can provide any aspect of web design from a single graphic to a completely new site. If you wish us to mimic your existing corporate image or some aspects of your existing site, no problem.

Yes - Please visit our online portfolio at and or just click on the ''portfolio'' button at the top of this page.

You can also read our client testimonials to see what some of our existing members have said about our website design.

Clarke Design can offer you an annual maintenance package to ensure that you get the best value from us. The packages offer differing amounts of pre-paid maintenance at reduced costs from our standard hourly rates.

If one of our packages does not suit your business needs, we can also provide maintenance as you require it, at a standard hourly rate.

As part of the design process of building a website we will of course build you a mock-up design to show you what your website could look like.

We do this as part of every project. We''ll create you an example of what we think your website should be. You can then give us feedback and your thoughts and we can refine this initial concept design as much as is required before we start to convert it into a working website.

What we cannot do is build this mock-up BEFORE you engage with us, or as part of the tendering process.

Think about it. We are website designers and that''s what you are hopefully engaging us to do for you. So if we create you a website design for free, that just doesn''t make sense. It''s like asking a kitchen fitter to fit most of your new kitchen before you decide if you want them to install all of your new kitchen. It just doesn''t make sense.

What we can do is showcase the hundreds of website designs we have done over the years to prove that we can create the right website for you. Just as the kitchen fitter will showcase their portfolio of stunning kitchens they have installed, but won''t lift a screwdriver until you have signed up with them.

So please don''t be surprised or offended if when you ask us if we can design you a website before you agree to engage with us, that we politely say no.
About Clarke Design

About Clarke Design

Helping you understand a little more about us.

We've been designing websites since 2003 as Clarke Design and became Clarke Website Design Ltd in 2010 as part of out continued growth.

At Clarke Design, we believe that the web design services we offer, form a complete and unrivalled package to help provide you with the quality web presence that you and your clients deserve.

We are quite happy just to have a chat with you about website design.

No obligation · Just want to ask us a quick question, great!

Just get in touch anytime you want, we are here to help.

Whilst we only do website design, we do offer different types.

We are based in Sandbach, Cheshire. Whilst many of our customers are local, we have an extensive customer base throughout the UK and find that geographic location has never been a hindrance.

Please get in touch.
Website Hosting

Website Hosting

Hosting of your website on the World Wide Web.

Hosting (also known as website hosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more websites. This is no more than a fast computer. More importantly though, it is connected to the rest of the internet via a very fast and reliable connection and is available all day every day.

So why do I need to buy it, can't I just do this myself?
Typically, an individual business hosting its own site would require a similar connection and that is far from cheap. Using a hosting service lets many companies share the cost of the fast Internet connection for serving websites.

I get free space with my ISP
Your Internet Service Provider may provide you with some free space for a website. Please don''t try to use this for your business website. This is fine for pictures of your favourite pet, but not for your business. While these services are free, they are also extremely basic and can be less reliable. You don''t get anything for nothing.

No - Clarke Design can administer your web site no matter who you host your web site with.

You will need to provide us with the relevant account details to allow us to do this.

We would prefer that you host with us, as this eliminates communication issues that can exist with other 3rd party hosts and also the time delays often encountered when asking others to maintain your domain and web space on your behalf.

We are very familiar with the hosting that we provide and by using our hosting we believe that we can provide you with the best possible service.

Your web space is hosted with one of our our 3rd party providers in an advanced data centre.

They have invested heavily in security and reliability, with features such as Advanced Fire Suppression Systems, Climate Control, back-up generators and Uninterrupted Power Supplies to protect your web site.

Meanwhile, CCTV, access systems and security guards are in operation to safeguard the centre and your data.

Yes - You do not have to have a web site design from Clarke Design to purchase our web space.

We provide the web space; you provide the site.

Our standard terms and conditions apply to all of our website hosting.
Domain Names

Domain Names

All about website domain names (the www bit).

YES of course you can and we won't charge you a penny

Clarke Design does not charge for moving a web site domain name to be administered by us.

Just get in touch and we can talk you through the simple process of transferring your domain name to us.
Once you have started the process it usually only take a couple of days to transfer and then we can administer your name for you.

Please note that some other companies may charge you to leave them and as such may ask for an administration fee to transfer the domain name to Clarke Design.

Web site domain names are very cheap.

A domain name is usually the cheapest and the most popular.
A .com domain name is a little dearer.

Please goto our domain services page to read more about our pricing structure and to see if the domain name you want is currently available.

If you would like to see if a web site domain name is available, please just send us a quick email, detailing the domain names you are looking for.

We'll check their availability for you and let you know the associated costs.

Put simply a domain name is the address that people use to find a specific website. It's what you type in the browser's address bar to go to a specific website.

For example, our domain name is:

What happens when I type in a URL
Your Internet Service Provider manages an internet address book for you. When you type in a URL it looks up this address, and forwards you across the Internet to the appropriate web site location.

Do I have to type http://
No you don't. Most modern web site browsers assume that you are looking for a web site and will add this part in for you. Just type '' and the browser software will do the rest for you.

Yes - Clarke Design can register any available domain name on your behalf.

Each domain name comes complete with email access and is the foundation of your web site.

Please call us to register your domain before someone else does.

Yes - Clarke Design only acts as your administrator.

You are the legal owner.

If we purchase a .uk domain name on your behalf, you will receive a certificate confirming this from the Internet governing body Nominet, once your domain name has been registered.


Everything about your web site email accounts.

If you web site is hosted with Clarke Design then you will probably have associated email accounts.

Clarke Design will provide you with a setup guide to show you how to configure most of the common Email software applications to access your email. If you need any help with the guide or need another copy, just ask.

You can also access your email online from any internet browser using WebMail.

Emails works in two directions; incoming and outgoing.

- Your incoming emails come directly from your web site into your email software.
- Your outgoing emails are sent via your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Clarke Design suggests that you check the following items:
- Confirm that you can connect to the Internet via a browser.
- Confirm that you can receive emails from your web site.

If you still cannot send emails then you will need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for further support with this problem.

As many as you want within reason.

There is no limit to the number of email accounts that you can have with your Clarke Design web site hosting.

Standard POP email accounts are FREE, however Clarke Design may make a small administration charge when you exceed about 10 emails account as these naturally do take some time to setup.

IMAP and Exchange email account do carry an annual charge as we are storing your email content indefinately.


If you wish to register a domain name, you can just have an email account without having an associated web site.

You only need to purchase the domain name and let us know which email accounts you would like and we will do the rest.

Emails works in two directions; incoming and outgoing.

- Your incoming emails come directly from your web site into your email software.
- Your outgoing emails are usually sent via your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Thus sometimes it may be that your incoming emails works fine, but you are unable to send emails via your ISP.

You may need to contact your ISP to allow you to send email via their redirection service. Some ISPs do not allow you to send email from a different address from the one that they have provided, without turning on some options first. So it's always best to content them when you are setting up your email account for the first time. let them know what you are doing and they will be able to help you with configuring your outgoing email.

Most outgoing emails problems need to be resolved directly with your Internet Service Provider.

If you received an error message (553) while sending an email via Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird or other PC/MAC based email software, your alternate eMail address is probably not verified.

This problem may affect you if you are using Sky or BT Yahoo! as your internet service provider.

This is a security requirement by your ISP. If you are trying to send email from via BT Yahoo or Sky, you need to tell them about your email address to allow you to use their email servers to send your email.

You must verify your NON-BT email address with your ISP in order to send emails via their email servers.

Please visit the yahoo forum for more information or contact your Internet Service provider and explain the problem to them.
Search Engines

Search Engines

Everything you always wanted to know but were to afraid to ask about Search Engine Optimisation.

Many website owners seem to think that this is the be all and end all of their website.

They believe that if only they can be number one on a search engine for their particular product then somehow all will be OK. They get angry because their competition are rated higher than them. Should you be worried about search engine optimisation? Are search engines really worth all the effort?

We've written many articles to help answer your question

One of the the main rules in search engine ranking involves the location and frequency of keywords on a web page.

Imagine a search engine looking for a web site about "bananas"...
It makes sense that they first look at sites with 'banana' in the title. Pages with the search term appearing in the HTML title tag are often assumed to be more relevant than others to the topic.

Search engines will also check to see if the search keywords appear near the top of a web page, such as in the headline or in the first few paragraphs of text. They assume that any page relevant to the topic will mention those words right from the beginning.

Frequency is the other major factor in how search engines determine relevancy. A search engine will analyze how often keywords appear in relation to other words in a web page. Those with a higher frequency are often deemed more relevant than other web pages.

Naturally there is always a compromise between just using your keywords in your text and making it appealing to a human audience; and yes - that's the hard part.

Deciding which keywords to use throughout the text of your web site is a major decision.

You want to use the keywords that Joe Public is using, subtle differences count and can make or break a web page being targetted by a search results page. The difference between two words, say "child" or "children" can have dramatic results.

Clarke Design can help you to decide which keywords to use by providing you with 'real' figures from the major search engines for your suggested search keywords. We will also provide you with some alternative suggestions. This will give you a much better idea as to which keywords Joe Public is typing into the search engines and thus which ones will benefit you.

If you are looking at undertaking sponsored links within a search engine then yes we can help with this.

We can determine the most appropriate keywords and review your advertisement and associated placement on a regular basis.
Sponsored links work like an auction, the more you are willing to pay the more chance you have of being nearer to the top of the list. Placement and thus cost of your sponsored advert does however depend upon how much your competition are spending !
The Internet

The Internet

Making the technical not so technical. A few explanations of the technology behind the internet

Without an ISP you wouldn't be reading this page.

An Internet Service Provider provides you with an internet connection to allow you to process email and to surf the world wide web.

BT, Tiscali, Virgin Media, Nildram, Pipex are just a few examples of Internet Service Providers in the UK.

You must have an ISP to gain access to the internet. They take care of your connection to the internet and may provide you with some personal email services.

URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator.

This is the location of a file on the Web. It's unique and is basically an address of a web page on the internet. When you type the address of a Web page into your browser, you are typing a URL.

The most common format of a URL is illustrated by the URL of this page:

There are lots of other types of URLs for file transfer and secure web pages, but the above format is the one that most web users will type in and see.

Do I have to type http://
No you don't. Most modern web site browsers assume that you are looking for a web site and will add this part in for you. Just type '' and the browser software will do the rest for you.

Firstly, the public and thus your client base now expect businesses to have a website; one that as a minimum provides basic information and a means of getting in contact. A website has become nearly as essential as a telephone or printed brochure and in some cases is replacing printed material.

A website will also help your business increase profits. More and more people search the web rather than a telephone directory when looking for a service or product. If they don''t find your business represented, they will find your competitor's.

What can a website do for me ?

  • Expand an advertisement: The addition of a website address to an advert, even a very small one, means that interested customers can immediately access much greater amounts of information about your company.

  • Save time: Much company time and effort is often wasted by repeatedly providing the same information either by phone or in person. Have a section on your site that provides answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Be Dynamic: The information on a website can be dynamic, changed at a moments notice. As soon as you add a new product, change a price or provide a special offer, the website can provide this to your customers.

  • Help your customers: Make it easier for potential customers to find you. Include a detailed road map on your site, and make things even easier for customers by indicating parking and transport options.

Support and Resources

Support and Resources

How you can get in touch and what to do when you contact us.

We have a great help section as part of this website.

We've written a few help guides and hopefully this explains some common topics in a lot more details.

- Visit the Help Section for more information.

Yes - Clarke Design can use remote software to login to your computer (only with your permission of course) and can then show you how to do something.

This is great for things like configuring email accounts, maybe demonstrating a feature in a content management system or just for showing you a website in front of you.

Yes we do.

You can find this at Sitemap

Clarke Design just love to write about websites and the Internet. Our dedicated articles website contains a series of ramblings about websites, domain names, website hosting, eCommerce websites, email marketing, search engine optimisation and other Internet related topics.

Please visit our dedicated articles website
Billing and Renewals

Billing and Renewals

Website hosting, domain names and all of those little extras that need renewing every so often.

For website hosting and website domain names, we always invoice 60 days before the renewal/expiry date.

This is to allow for the delivery of the invoice and to give you 30 days to pay the invoice should you wish to renew (which we always hope that you will)

Should you choose not to renew a domain name or your website hosting, this allows you to give us sufficient notice so that we can hand this over to you or terminate your account. This is at least 30 days as per our hosting terms and conditions.

We have to renew many domain name components at least 30 days before their actual expiry date, so if we renew a domain name and invoice you, then you decide that you do not wish to renew it, we are out of pocket and that's clearly not fair.

We always automatically renew your annual hosting and domain names, so that you don't have to worry about them. If you do decide that you don't want to renew them, it's always best to tell us as soon as possible.

Please don't wait until you receive your annual invoice.

We can take credit card payments for any invoice payable to Clarke Design.

There is currently a 2.5% surcharge on all payments made by credit card as we are sadly charged by the credit card companies to take payments.

We prefer to take payment by electronic bank transfer. We also accept cheque and cash.

We always prefer to receive payment for invoices by Electronic Transfer.

It's quicker for everyone concerned and there are no other banking overheads for either party.

All of our invoices give details of our preferred bank account. Just give us a call if you need to talk about this. (We don't publish our bank account details online for hopefully obvious reasons)

We can take credit cards with a small surcharge.

You can always pay by cheque as well if you want, and sometimes for smaller invoices we do take cash.

Clarke Design would just like to remind you that domain names and website hosting are always automatically renewed for you so you have peace of mind that your website will continue to operate smoothly.

We will do all of the necessary work involved with your renewals thus ensuring your continued presence on the Internet.

For website hosting and domain names, we always invoice 60 days before the renewal date. This is to allow for the delivery of the invoice and to give you 30 days to pay that invoice as appropriate.

We have to renew many domain names and hosting components at least 30 days before their actual expiry date with our suppliers, so if we renew a domain name and then invoice you, you may then decide that you do not wish to renew it, we are out of pocket and that's clearly not fair.

We always automatically renew your annual hosting and domain names, unless we receive at least 30 days notice of your intention to cancel.

Just not paying your renewal invoice is not accepted by Clarke Design as notification of cancellation.

You do not have to wait until you receive your annual invoice to inform us of your intentions. It's always best to tell us as soon as possible.

Our hosting terms and conditions are available online.

We send all of our invoices electronically to your registered email address in PDF format straight to your inbox.

This means that they get to you fast, we don't waste paper, they don't go missing in the post and everyone is happy.

Of course if you also want a paper based invoice we can send you one of those as well. Just let us know your preferred method.