Frequently asked questions

Answers to the most common questions about our websites. If your question isn't answered here or you'd like more information, please get in touch.

Site design

Can I use my existing website design with your system?

In principle, yes. There may need to be a couple of tweaks to make it fit our content management system, but the system is pretty flexible. This is an unusual request, but if you've got a design you're really happy with and just want to use it with all the features of our system then get in touch and we can discuss it.

Are all your designs original?

Yes! We never reuse designs and we start from scratch for each site. All designs produced are bespoke for your site and are based on whatever input you give us. The exception to this is if we're designing two (or more) sites for the same organisation and they're meant to look similar, for example websites of two sister companies.

Content management

Can I upgrade to a newer version of your system after my site has launched?

Our website system is continually developed and minor bug fixes as well as new features are regularly added. The good news is that these updates are automatically pushed to your site once they've been tested by us. You won't even know we've done an update until you notice improvements to logged in tools!

Do sites go offline while the system is updated?

No - not even for a second! The automatic system upgrades are designed specially to be completely seamless. If you're logged in and using to the site during an upgrade, you'll be able to carry on still logged in afterwards. If you load a page for editing before, it'll still save afterwards. The only change you'll notice is the addition of new features or small layout or operational improvements.

Does the system have a name?

Our system is called phpShadow. It is developed exclusively at Silhouette Websites so we know it inside out, and can add new features to it if your site has a particular need not currently catered for - see the "Extras" box on our pricing page.

To learn more about phpShadow, see our site features page.

Hosting and domains

Can we use our own hosting for a website you have designed?

Websites that we design and run our content management system (learn more) have to be hosted on our servers. This means you don't have to worry about managing your own server. Our pricing page includes all hosting costs - if you had to pay for hosting separately instead of using our servers, you would probably pay more overall anyway!

Occasionally we design websites but do not package them with our content management system. Once we have designed the site it is up to you to host, update and manage the website on your own server. Get in touch for more information on design only services.

Can we use our own existing domain name with our website?

Yes. You will need to tell your domain to look at our servers by updating its 'nameservers' (or 'DNS records'). This is fairly straightforward with most domain name providers, and we can help you with it if needed.

If you don't already have a domain name though, it's generally easier if we buy and manage the domain name for you. We'll make sure it's renewed each year and will update the 'nameservers' if our server changes location. We'll also send you a single invoice that contains both the hosting/website package and the domain name which is easier than dealing with two different companies!

Can we buy a domain name along with our website?

Yes. Our common domain name prices are shown on the pricing page, but we can buy almost any type of domain name for you at similar prices, just let us know what you'd like. We'll keep your domain up to date and linked to your website on our server, and renew it each year for you.

Other questions

Help! I think my website is offline?

We are very proud of our good uptime record, but occasionally our systems do suffer downtime. If you think there's a problem with your site, first check the phpShadow system status page - if anything is reported there then we're aware and working on it! If not then it could just be an issue with your internet connection, but alternatively could be a problem with your website. Give us a call or email us just in case, or use the submit a support ticket if you don't have our details to hand - we'll look into it and get back to you as soon as possible.

How long have you been making websites?

We launched our first website on our old content management system (called "Silhouette CMS") in 2009. Our new revamped content management system, "phpShadow", was launched at the end of 2010, and has been continually developed since to make it more powerful and easier to use. Read about some of its features.

Where in the UK are you based?

We're based in East London, and Salford, Manchester.


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