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You can hire me to create your website only, or to create it and manage it over the years. That’s totally up to you. Either way, it is important that you are aware that designing the website is only one of the steps of the process and that there are other costs involved. You’ll need a domain name and a hosting service to get started, and you’ll need to maintain it once it’s live. So, if you are considering creating a website for your small business, read this introductory guide and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
|Domain names (ex: “mydomainname.com”) are to websites as street addresses are to houses, and you’ll need to acquire and register your domain name at a domain name registrar. Once you decide on a name and check its availability, it should be a pretty straightforward process. Normal domain names are not very expensive to acquire, and you shouldn’t pay a registrar more than $15.00/year to register and renew yours.
Some web designers will buy domain names for their clients, but I strongly believe this is something you should always do directly with a domain name registrar. I mean, it’s your name; you should own it and personally have all the rights to use it, even if you don’t work with that particular designer in the future.
|If the domain name is the street address, hosting servers are the house itself: the place where your website will live online. These are powerful computers that are always connected to the internet to make your website available at all times.
You’re free to choose any web hosting service you want, but, like everything else, some hosting providers are better than others. In any case, you should be able to find reliable hosting for around $8.00/month, maybe less.
Once your website is ready to go, I’ll transfer everything from my development area to your web host, making sure everything is working smoothly. After that, technical support regarding hosting will be handled by your web hosting company.
|I’ll use a WordPress theme as a framework to create a professional website with up to 10 pages, structured to fit your business needs.
The content of those pages (all text, photos, and everything else you want to put on the site) will be provided by you, after we agree on a general direction for the project. I’ll optimize everything to make your website rank better on Google searches, and I’ll make all design and structural changes you want until you’re happy with the final product.
|If you want to manage the site yourself, I’ll deliver a complete, fully functional website and you’ll take it from there, updating its content in the future whenever you want. That’s possible because your website will be installed on WordPress, a Content Management Service that runs pretty much like a blogging platform. You’ll be able to add and edit text, upload new photos, create new pages, and more.
The other option will be to acquire a Support and Maintenance package and let me take care of all that. Content creation will always be up to you, but I’ll put it up on the website making sure it looks good and is optimized for search engines. This includes photos, news about your business, videos, client testimonials, promotions and sales, reviews, media clips, and any sort of content you want to share. It also includes edits on any of the existing content.
|Once the website is up and running, you’ll need to perform all necessary WordPress upgrades, including updates to all installed plugins. WordPress will always let you know when a new upgrade is available and will tell you how to install it. However, you should always play it safe and backup the website when performing upgrades, in case something goes wrong. I can’t stress this enough: backing up your site is very important.
If I’m your webmaster, I’ll be on top of all upgrades and security fixes, and I’ll be responsible for always having your website running on the latest stable version of WordPress. I’ll also perform monthly maintenance check-up to make sure everything is just peachy, and keep a backup of the website to avoid potential data loss.