There are a lot of products and each client's situation is unique. We can discuss all these when we start your web project.
Here are a few things you may want to think about before we get started. (No need to feel overwhelmed when Laughing Fox has your back!)
First Step: Setting Up Hosting
We can initiate the call with the host of your choice and walk you through the process of ordering exactly what you need and help you avoid confusion, or purchasing unnecessary products.
What Hosting Service?
We work with the hosting company of your choice, but we resell for GoDaddy, giving you discounted rates.
- The prices are good.
- Customer support is 24 hour.
- Customer support is fast and just amazing!
- They perform auto backup every night.
Type of Hosting Plan to Choose?
Unless you do this all the time it really can be confusing. For example: Some people chose Weebly Drag and Drop, thinking it sounds easy. Drag. Drop. A reasonable thought, but unless you know what all the products are exactly, it's hard to know.
Laughing Fox recommends WordPress Managed hosting.
- It's less likely to get hacked.
- User friendly on the backend.
- If you decide to manage your site yourself at any point, with just a little bit of training that we can provide you, you won't be a Web Designer... but you can login, insert images, edit text or add items and posts to your menus!
- HIGHLY geared for SEO.
- Each image, each page, each post, is seen by search engines as it's own website; meaning 4 page site with 4 images is technically 8 sites!
- WordPress done right, (and we will do it up right!), is lightweight and fast so load time (time it takes the site to pop up on the screen when you type it into browsers), is quick!
Names you may be familiar with that use WordPress
Chicago Sun Times • Angry Birds • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus • Garth Brooks • Alanis Morissette • The Herald Sun • The Jane Goodall Institute • Vogue India • The Clorox Company • Boston Market • thisisFINLAND • Canada.com • The San Francisco Examiner • Toyota Motors Brasil • Glamour Italy • Bloomberg Professional • Microsoft News Center • SiriusXM Canada • Mercedes-Benz • Rush • Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art • Kaiser Family Foundation • Lily Allen • New York Post • IFC • Canadian Museum of History • The New Yorker • Time.com • Fortune • Beyoncé • Facebook Newsroom • Justin Bieber • Georgia State University • LL Cool J • Van Heusen • Snoop Dogg
Domain / Domains Choices
Some hosts give you a free domain with each hosting plan you purchase.
- Your domain name may be your company name.
- Or, you may want to use your company name as your site title, but have your site set up on a different domain name for SEO purposes.
For example: You sell carpet fiber. Your company name is Flying Carpets. How will people find you? Will they already know your company name, are you already very established, or will it be carpet weavers looking online to buy carpet fiber? Maybe instead of FlyingCarpets.com, you might choose: CarpetFiber.com.
We can run a keyword search to help you pin down what keywords your target audience is likely to use when they type into browser searches to find you. Then you can make your domain name decision.
- Domains vary in cost. Occasionally hosts may have a sale so you can pick one up for $2.99 per year; but usually the cost is around $15.00 a year.
- The more coveted a domain name is, for example anything with a city in it, like syracuseplumber.com, may be twice that or a few hundred.
Already own your domain name? Great!
- We can initiate the transfer for you!
- We can even set up a subdomain up to begin the build out of your site even before the domain arrives.
- When your domain transfer completes, we can then move the site from the temporary subdomain to the actual domain.
Happy with your current host? That's good too. We work with any U.S. hosting company you desire.
Tricky-Tricky: Be aware, if you have your domain through a host that has a fill in the blank website, (where you just fill in the blanks in a locked theme), besides having horrible SEO and limited options; sometimes those hosts will not allow you to transfer your domain. It's a nasty little trick they sometimes spring on you. They will pay the yearly renewal fee to keep your domain name in their system, and put it up for resale with a ridiculous markup.
- What then happens, is you chose another domain somewhere else and go on to build a real site. Then what the former host will do is hold your domain name hostage. They will continue to offer to sell you, or anyone at all, this domain name you used, knowing you obviously used it so it has relevance to you. Maybe it's already all printed up on the business cards you stockpiled, or maybe you are upset because your domain name was perhaps your name, and you don't want someone else to snatch it up and sully your reputation.
- Relax. We've been in this business since 2003 and have never seen that happen. What does happen is that after usually a year, the original host gives up, ditches the site.. and you buy it back on the open market for $17.00... if you still want it.
Domain privacy is not the same as as Security Products.
When you purchase a domain it is just like buying a house. Your name is out there on a list.
Because all the data is there for the taking, spammers and marketers mine the WHOIS database, harvesting registrant data including addresses, fax numbers and email addresses. (WHOIS is an organization that manages all data regarding domain registration.) In the meantime, people wonder why is it that shortly after they register a domain name, you start getting all kinds of marketing spam in their mailbox along with emails and phone calls. This is because their email address is being harvested by robots.
Domain privacy is a service offered by domain name registrars / hosting services. A user buys privacy from the company, who in turn replaces the user's info in the WHOIS with the info of a forwarding service. Current to this writing, the service costs roughly $12.00 a year.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a way of transferring files between computer networks. It is also both a noun and a verb.
If your site is built somewhere under xyz.com at say FatCow, and you need to move xyz.coms site to a new domain abc.com at say HostGator, the files can be moved with an FTP program or through a migration or cloning plugin.
***Sometimes during a FTP, widgets will not come through and need to be reinstalled by the developer. Also, text often comes out of alignment, images won't show up anymore, or suddenly you will have sidebars when you didn't used to. Every time you will need to adjust your permalinks to show the change. These kind of things are normal and require some tweaking by the developer.
Most hosts charge $200 or more for FTP. Your developer may do it for you at a different cost, or may insist your host perform the FTP.
Absolutely you must have security.
You are already paying a Web Designer to create up your site up front. If at a later date, your site gets hacked, has malware or a virus inserted, or worse case scenerio you have a site that takes credit cards or other financial information from clients and all of a sudden their cards are being charged outrageous amounts and those charges show as coming from YOUR site... OMG, you don't even want to consider that scenerio! Get security installed up front!
- SiteLock automatically scans your website for malware. it will either fix the issue or notify you of the issue, along with steps you need to take. There are different levels of protection / different packages or levels of SiteLock you can purchase.
- WordFences is a plugin that helps secure your site from hackers.
- SSL Certificates encrypts all data going into your website, whether its information being entered by the Web Designer, yourself, or clients entering their personal info on your contact form or making purchases in your online store.
Some people use basic gmail address (ie: JaneDoe@gmail.com) for their contact.
To lend more professionalism, most people chose to use a .com, .biz or .org type email.
(ie: Jane@JaneDoe.com, Jane@JaneDoe.biz, Jane@JaneDoe.org)
HOW to set up your emails is always a more complex and extremely important decision that you will be making in the beginning.
Consider these things before purchasing an email plan:
- How many people in your company need a company email address?
- Will these email address simply FORWARD to their gmail, yahoo or whatever personal email addresses they have?
If you chose only forwarding, are you aware that when they respond to emails sent to them at their company email address..it will be coming from, and showing clients, only their personal email address?
- Are you going to purchase and use Outlook email to manage your emails?
- Are you going to use Google Business Manager to manage your emails? (I personally recommend this one).
Email products with the exception of forwards, cannot be set up by myself, but will be installed onto your personal computer / laptop and android / cell / iphone, as email products will need to be registered and installed through the email service provider.
Also note, to have a Company Profile Page on LinkedIn, it is necessary to have a domain name email (like Jane@JaneDoe.com).
Laughing Fox is a reseller.