Frequently Asked Questions

I compiled a list of frequently asked questions about my services. Feel free to contact me if you have questions not covered here.
Last updated: 2013
  • General

  • What do you do?

    I design & develop websites. I design marketing collateral for your business. I help to distinct your business image from your competitors and communicate clearly who you are to your target audience.

    I concept and produce. I code and design. I do conceptual copywriting. I can manage and work on your creative project from concept to delivery.

    If you are a business owner, I can design your marketing collateral to present your visions, your objectives, and your products and services to your audience graphically, coherently and vividly. I can design and develop a website to streamline your business operations, to manage your digital assets, to tell your prospects what you do, to keep you connected with your customers, and provide insights to understand your customers' behaviours and preferences.

    If you are an individual with an idea, I can provide the basic marketing tools for you to start-off on the right foot more affordably.

    If you are a software/website developer, I can improve and design the user interface of your product to increase its aesthetic value. My understanding in client-side scripting languages will make sensible contributions to improve the User Experience of your product.

    If you are a story teller/writer/presenter, I can enhance the impact of your stories/writings/speech by creating meaningful graphics to produce a memorable visual experience for your audience/readers/prospects.

    If you are a designer, I can present the ideas of your design in written form or turn your design into web pages with lines of codes.

    If you are a SEO marketer, I can design and develop website with SEO semantic markup and present your client's textual/graphic/video content in a SEO friendly manner. My background in SEO will give you a peace of mind to collaborate with.

  • Do you work with subcontractors or employees?

    I work independently most of the time. My intention is to produce the best result for your project within the capacity allows. Depends on project requirements, I will collaborate with other professionals who have skills and equipment that I don't or who can do a better job for a certain aspect of the project. For e.g. printer, hosting service provider, photographer, 3D designer, voice over artist, to name a few.

  • Are you familiar with (... fill in the blank ...) industry?

    I enjoy learning about different industry. I begin every project with some research and information gathering. It does not matter which industry or field your business is in, my work process will take care of it.

  • What information should I include in a project brief for a quotation?

    You can use my project brief worksheet here. The more information you can provide, the faster I can respond and the more accurate the preliminary estimate will be. All information exchange is treated with strictest confidence.

  • Can we meet up today/tomorrow to discuss my project needs?

    I appreciate all enquiries about my services. However, I work independently, my immediate attention is to my clients and work on hand. I am unable to attend impromptu meet up most of the time. When I start on your project, you will receive immediate attention and full commitment from me too. It will also be more productive if we can have an initial understanding on what to expect on both sides before we meet.

    To begin, you can email me your project requirements. You can use the project brief worksheet here. I may ask a few more questions to understand better. I'll be direct if I can't deliver what you are looking for. I may direct you to someone who is more suitable than me. If I can meet your project expectations, we can schedule a meet up to discuss further. All information exchange is treated with strict confidence regardless if we can work together.

  • I'm not from Singapore, can we still work together?

    I do work with overseas clients. Geographical location is not a problem if you have consistent access to the www, email and or phone. Distance doesn't diminish quality of work if there is adequate communication to and fro.

  • I requested for a quotation 30 mins ago, I've not received a respond from you?

    It takes time to provide a quotation. I try to reply to all email enquiries the soonest I can. Do indicate your urgency in the contact form and I will prioritize to respond to it asap.

    You can use my project brief worksheet here. The more information you can provide, the faster I can respond and the more accurate the preliminary estimate will be.

  • Will my budget exceeds my project needs?

    The situation of budget exceeds project requirements rarely happens. More often than not, the budget will determine the methodology of your project, the amount of time spent and the resources I can use for your project.

    For e.g. On images, if you have more budget, I can spend more time to design custom images, tailor a photography session or purchase higher quality photos for your project. If your budget is tight, I can use cheaper source of stock images for your project.

    For e.g. On website development, if you have more budget, I can spend more time and resources to tailor features and functionalities to sync with your business operations. If you have tighter budget, we can workaround with some ready made resources.

    For e.g. On design, if you have more budget, I can spend more time to work on more concepts and provide more design options. If you have tighter budget, we can limit to fewer concepts, less design options and revisions.

    The list goes on, you know how this work.

  • Will I like the end result?

    It is a valid concern. It is also important to understand you have a say in how the end result turns out to be.

    My work process involves stages of approvals from your end. You won't have to handle unpleasant surprises. Your feedback and approvals are needed along the way to proceed with the project. I offer you my solution but you have the final say in what you want to do with it. My responsibility is, to the best of my knowledge, to keep you informed of the possible consequences of each decision you make. Together, we explore the possibilities. I trust that you know your business best and respect your final decision. I'll make the best out of your decision with my skills, experience and knowledge.

    So, at the end of the day, we need to take responsibilities of our own decision making.

  • Website Design and Development

  • What are the materials require to kick-start a website design project?

    • 1. Project Brief
    • 2. Your logo
    • 3. Branding guidelines (if any)
    • 4. Your content (text/images/videos...etc)
  • Do you work with multilingual website?

    Yes I do. In one of my earlier corporate employment, I have designed, developed and maintained a multi-lingual and multi-regional site that offers content in 9 languages in 3 geo locations.

    In terms of language ability, I speak fluent Mandarin. I have worked on projects to translate English articles to Chinese. I was a budding writer in school days and have articles published in Chinese magazines and local Chinese Newspapers. I can work with your traditional and simplified Chinese content with ease.

  • Do you provide website maintenance service?

    Yes I do but it depends on the development platform of your website. I offer both ad-hoc and scheduled maintenance package.

    I work with websites hosted on linux platform. I work with client-side scripting languages like PHP, HTML/CSS and javascript. I work with open source applications such as Wordpress, WooCommerce, osCommerce and Opencart.

    I don't work with sites hosted on Windows Platform. I have background in Pascal and Foxpro but I don't have enough exposure to maintain websites developed in ASP.NET with Visual Basic and C#.

  • What is your website design process?

    You can learn about my website design process here

  • I am a startup, do you have a more economical solution?

    I have packages for startups who want to test their business ideas more affordably. You can contact me with your project brief, budget and requirements, we can start something from there.

  • Do you custom design websites or use pre-made templates?

    I provide custom design service mainly. For clients with tighter budget, customizing a quality pre-made template can be an option.

  • I have a web page designed in PSD, can you convert that to HTML/CSS?

    Yes. I can convert your design to HTML/CSS. If you are still obsessed with W3C compliant, you are in good hands.

  • Do you develop mobile application?

    I don't develop mobile application. I can work on the UI/UX of your mobile app.

  • Do I still need a website when I can use social media platforms to market my products and services?

    I think social media platforms and website complement rather than substitute each other.

    There are few situations you need to consider to make a decision. On social media platforms, your business may disappear in the next second, your account can be banned for baffling reason, and the support is hard to reach. If you rely on social media platforms solely, you are building your entire business on the mercy of others' hands. Nonetheless, if you know what you are doing, what to expect and are prepare for it, I wouldn't say it is a bad idea. It is a good avenue to build brand awareness and you can very much do so at a low cost with effective collaboration.

    Website serves as a landing point of your marketing and advertising efforts. It is ideal to have the call-to-actions direct to your website where you have more control over it.

  • Can you redesign a single page of my website?

    Yes. I have the skill, experience and knowledge to. However, it might not be a good idea to redesign just one page of your website if your existing website does not have consistent branding elements. I can advise better if you send me your website url, page to redesign and let me know how you would like to do it.

  • How much does a basic website cost?

    Your interpretation of a basic website could be different from mine.

    I can design and develop a basic website that streamlines your work process, sell your products and services, keep you connected with your customers and provide you insight on what your customers are looking for. Your prospects and customers will know what you do, what you provide and how they can reach you. The cost and scale of it depends on the resources you have and plan to acquire.

    I could provide an estimate after I have understood your project requirements. I don't charge what you don't need, hence, I do need to know what you have and what you need first.

  • SEO

  • Do you provide SEO service?

    Not anymore. What I continue to do for my clients is to code with SEO in mind. I use SEO semantic markup. It means I use SEO-friendly coding techniques and methods to improve your search engine rankings. It makes your website more favorable to search engine compared to websites that don't use SEO semantic markup.

  • Does seo semantic markup helps to improve SERP ranking?

    Yes, it helps. My suggestion is to use it as part of your SEO strategy but don't rely on it solely. Anyway, there is no reason not to use it.

  • Can my website gets organic traffic without generating content?

    I did this site some time ago, it doesn't have any content writing but landed on first page top 3 in SERP for consecutive months globally. It even ranked higher than the official website and with sites that use targeted keywords as domain name. With zero marketing & advertising, it brings in 100% organic and targeted traffic. It is done simply by SEO semantic markup. At the time of writing, with current SE algorithm, for a website to achieve similar result solely by SEO semantic markup is very unlikely.

    Can your website gets organic traffic without generating content? Yes, you can if you are in a very niche field. The main question to consider is how much organic traffic you would like to have?


  • Is SEO dying?

    I don't think SEO is dying but you have to approach SEO differently than it used to be. There are many ways to search the WWW now. You will benefit more by approaching SEO holistically.

  • How can I improve my Search Engine Ranking?

    SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking used to be the effort to produce result. It is the opposite now. SERP ranking is more of the result of your consistent effort. You have to adopt a holistic approach to improve your SERP ranking.

    Unless you did something to become the next internet sensation, there is no shortcut to improve your SERP ranking overnight. My suggestion is to use SEO semantic markup, focus on building good and fresh content in the form of text, images, sound and videos, find good avenues to distribute your content and do it consistently. Build customer loyalty, build brand awareness and don't overlook to reach out to prospects offline. Be consistent with your effort, it will produce desirable result in the long run.

    We are in the filtered bubbles of the WWW, with every click on your content, it increases your credibility in the user's browsing history and preferences. It will push you higher in the personalized SERP of the user's. When you have gathered enough personalized clicks collectively, your overall SERP ranking will improve.

  • Should I focus on social media optimization?

    Depends on the result you want to achieve. Your SERP ranking can be influenced by your content and popularity on social media platforms. If you are expecting social media to bring you good amount of traffic to your website daily, the result may not be that satisfactory.

    Social Media audience expect to view the full content within the social media platforms itself. They are less likely to click on the links to visit your website. They may check you out on your website if you have been consistent in sharing good, relevant and fresh content. If you are selling products or running a promotion, you will have a higher chance to increase the CTR (click through rate).

    My suggestion is to use SMO as one of your SEO strategy, not to focus on it solely.

  • Email Marketing

  • What is eDM?

    eDM stands for electronic direct mail. It is a tool use for Email Marketing Campaign. It is similar to the flyers handouts you received but it is send electronically to your email box. eDM is also known as HTML email commonly.

  • Is eDM(HTML email) similar to the normal email we use daily?

    The normal email we use is plain text email and images are delivered as attachment. eDM(HTML email) is similar to having a web page deliver to your email box. It can be styled and displayed like a web page. It can incorporate your corporate branding. The images are embedded into the HTML email.

  • Do you provide email list for email marketing purpose?

    I don't provide or lease email list. However, I can help to add a mailing list subscription feature on your website for you to build your list.

  • Can I copy and paste the source code of my web page to send as eDM(HTML email)?

    eDM requires a very different coding approach. It is very unlikely your webpage will work as an eDM(HTML email) without extra effort to enhance the code.

  • Do I send the eDM(HTML email) as attachment?

    No. It is not supposed to be sent as attachment unless it is your intention to. It is made to display in the email box like a webpage.

  • How should I send my eDM(HTML email)?

    You can use an EMSP (email marketing service provider) to blast your eDM(HTML email).

  • What is considered spam?

    A spam is sending unsolicited emails in bulk. Is interesting to know sending unsolicited emails is not considered as spam. Sending bulk emails is not considered as spam. When you send unsolicited emails in bulk, it is considered as spam.

  • What do I need to run an email marketing campaign?

    I can provide all the steps for your email marketing campaign.

    1. You need to get an eDM(HTML email) properly designed and developed.

      It should be tested with major desktop-based and web-based email clients, and different types of mobile devices. You want to ensure your eDM(HTML email) look consitently across all platforms and devices.

    2. Ensure your eDM(HTML email) content abides by the anti-spam requirements.
      • You have to include an <unsubscribe> feature in your eDM(HTML email). You need to provide the recipient an option to opt out of receiving future emails from you

      • You have to include sender's contact information in your eDM(HTML email)

      • You have to indicate it is a promotional email in the subject title. In Singapore, you have to use <adv> in the subject title of your eDM(HTML email).

      • You have to remind the recipient how/where/why they have opted in to receive your email

      • Don't use spam filter trigger keywords in your subject title and content
    3. Do a spam test on your eDM(HTML email) to check if it can get through the gatekeepers' protocols.
    4. Schedule a time and date to start your email marketing campaign
    5. Use whitelist IPs to send your emails
    6. Send it to people who have given you permission to receive your eDM(HTML email)
    7. Track and analyse the results of your email marketing campaign
  • Can I send it on my own using email client like Outlook?

    The only reason you want to send using Outlook is to save cost. However, this is not to your best advantage to do so.

    When you use email client like Outlook, you are unable to track and analyse your email marketing efforts. Outlook lacks of the features to manage your email marketing campaigns properly. You risk your IP getting blacklisted for sending bulk emails. In addition to that, the codes generated by Outlook are not optimized for cross platforms compatibility. Your HTML email could look different in different devices, browsers and platforms. There is also a possibility for your email to end up in a spam folder due to not using a trusted IP for bulk sending.

  • Is it worth investing in an email marketing service to run my email marketing campaign?

    Unless your intention is to disseminate information blindly, there is every reason to use an EMSP (email marketing service provider) for your email marketing campaigns. An EMSP provides the tools you need to manage and measure your email marketing efforts.

    For instance, you need to be able to manage the unsubscribe list. You don't want to send to the people who have opted out. An EMSP (email marketing service provider) can help to manage your new sign ups, unsubscribes, soft bounces and hard bounces. Soft bounce means the email address is valid but email can't be delivered due to reasons such as recipient's mailbox quota is full, recipient's email server is down or offline, or the message size is too large. For soft bounces, you can try to send them again at another time. Hard bounce means the email address is permanently unreachable. It can be due to reasons such as invalid email address, domain name does not exist or the recipient's email server blocked the delivery completely. In these cases, you want to remove them from the list. You have to be diligent in keeping your subscribers list updated which is an important step in running an email marketing campaign. List management is one great advantage provided by EMSP (email marketing service provider).

    With an EMSP (email marketing service provider), you can segment your recipients' lists by setting certain parameters. For eg. age, gender, income level, geographical location, product preferences ... ...etc. It allows you to send more targeted and personalized information to your customers to improve your CTR(click through rate).

    There is a limit on how many emails you can send within a stipulated time before triggering the spam filter. If you have a huge list of recipients, an EMSP (email marketing service provider) can automate the process to use several IPs at once or send them in batches. If you use your own IP, or web host to send bulk emails, you risk getting your IP blacklisted by your ISP and webhost. An EMSP(email marketing service provider) uses whitelist IPs which reduce the chance of your emails ending up in spam folder.

    You can schedule the date and time to run your email marketing campaign with an EMSP (email marketing service provider). You don't have to manually start the campaign each time. It is extremely helpful if you are targeting subscribers of a different time zone. You want to find the best timing to deliver your emails.

    EMSP (email marketing service provider) can provide a set of statistics to help you fine-tune your email marketing campaigns. You get to know your consumers behaviours better. You can track who open your emails, what they do with your emails, which products are more popular among your recipients, which set of information entices their interests... ... etc. You do want your email marketing efforts to produce intended results instead of sending out information blindly.

    Other than the cost concern, there are no reasons not to use an EMSP (email marketing service provider) to run your email marketing campaigns. Scrimping on that cost is not to your best advantage.

  • Printing

  • Do you provide printing service?

    I don't have the capacity to print in house. I work with different printers to provide print brokering service for my clients.

  • Will it be cheaper if I order printing service from you?

    I don't compare quotations among printers to offer you the cheapest in town or one that gives me higher profit margin. Most of the time, I am able to fetch a good price for my clients and I do have clients who prefer to work with their regular printers too.

    You are free to use my print brokering service or work with the printer of your choice. Either decision will not affect the quality of work and my commitment to your project.

  • How do you choose a printer for my project?

    I have few printers that I work with on a regular basis. They have different economies of scale and I select suitable printer based on your quantity, print requirements and timeline.

  • Do I have to use your print brokering service?

    I provide print brokering service mainly for the convenience of my clients. You are free to use my print brokering service or work with the printer of your choice. Either decision will not affect the quality of work and my commitment to your project.

  • Payments

  • What is your payment term?

    My payment term is 50% upfront and 50% upon project completion.

    For smaller scale project, due to its fast turnaround time, full payment is required before starting work. Examples of smaller scale projects are flyer design, banner design, eDM design, eDM updates, website maintenance, bugs fixing, templates updates...etc.

  • What kind of payment mode do you accept?

    I accept Cheque, Paypal and Bank Transfer.