Your domain new is your web address – www.yourname.com. There are plenty of registries out there that offer affordable domains for around $10/a year. EMGraphics can also easily register a domain for you. If you choose to register a name yourself, remember to:
- keep a record of your username/ID number, password and email you registered the name with.
- keep your account email, credit card information and phone up to date. If you miss a renewal notice or your card is expired, you can loose your name.
- Try to keep your domain short and memorable. Also, try to get a .com or .net domain if you are a business, .org if you are non-profit. Obscure endings (.tv or .biz) are not as memorable and often look third-rate.
Remember, just because a website doesn’t pull up in your browser doesn’t mean it is available. Someone may own it and not have a page up yet. NEVER publish a domain on print material until you own it. You can use whois.com/whois/ to check on the ownership or available of a domain.
A host puts your web page information on a special computer called a server. This computer can be accessed around the world by various browsers to see your website. Browsers are the type of software program you use to view a website – Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc. You are essentially paying to rent a certain amount of memory on one of the host’s servers.
EMGraphics resells hosting from a company called Britebytes.com (formerly Northtone.com). However, we are transitioning to Stablepoint. Hosting starts at $8month and includes basic email accounts.
If you choose to set up hosting elsewhere, you will need the address of the server where your site will be hosted. This is a name like name.name.net or a number like 10.0.0.1. This tells the world “I own www.myname.com and the information for this page is on the server named name.name.net. EMGraphics will also need any passwords/logins for third-party hosts.
Remember, you own your domain name and any information you host on a server, not the hosting company. You have the right to move your website to a new host if you want to.
EMGraphics can set up basic email accounts through your hosting control panel. We do not provide migration services, support for Mac Mail/Outlook or other email software, OpenOffice or GSuite set-up.
If your email or website is down or acting wonky and EMGraphics is not immediately available, you can contact the host yourself. If you are not sure who your host is, go to whois.com/whois/and pop in your domain name. You will get a list of registration information for the name. At the bottom of the list you will see Name Servers. If it says something like ns1.britebytes.com you are at Britebytes (formerly Northtone). If it says ns1.mysecurecloudhost.com, then you are at Stablepoint.com. You can then contact their support staff.
If you see another name there, like ns45.domaincontrol.com, worldnic.com or others, they are a. something you set up yourself (and should have paperwork/bills from them) b. probably one of the biggies – godaddy.com, enom.com or networksolutions.com. If you are not sure, pop the name server plus keywords like “who owns” into google and they will direct you to the real owner of that name server.
When contacting tech support, be as specific as possible. Saying “it doesn’t work” is as helpful as going to the doctor and saying “something hurts.” Try to provide information like:
- What time the problem happened
- Did it resolve or is it still going or sporadic
- Does it work on one browser/computer/device and not another
- Can you access other websites or email accounts
- If there are oddities in your email, can you provide examples
- Can you send a screen shot of a web problem
- If you are getting an error, what does the error say
- What platform (mac/pc/linux) are you on?
- What browser and version are you using (Firefox, Safari, Chrome)
- Were you using a computer, tablet, phone, other?
- Have you have the problem before, and did we resolve it?
If EMGraphics is not available, you can contact the host for a limited number of issues. These include:
- website is down
- hosted email is down/not sending
- security warning on the site
Other issues with the actual functionality of the site will need to be investigated by EMGraphics and the host cannot help you with them. These include:
- you are locked out of the site
- parts of the site are missing, broken or look odd
- parts of the site are not functionality correctly, such as the cart, contact form, or image gallery
- other upkeep issues on the content of the site
Even if there are only 1 or 2 employees at your business, you may find it useful to have email accounts such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. These can all be separate accounts or all forward (empty out) into one account. Take full advantage of having an email with your domain name in it. Nothing looks more unprofessional than having a great new web page but an email like email@example.com!
Remember to keep track of all your hosting, domain name and design invoices and receipts. They are all tax deductible as business expenses.
EMGraphics will ask you A LOT of questions about what you want in your site, target audience, sites you have seen and like (or disliked), feature you would like and more. We will then come up with 3 or so rough designs based on your suggestions. The final designs are then combined and tweaked into a final look and feel for your site. This design is then made into a template to be used on your WordPress site.
Things to consider for your site are:
- Target audience?
- Why am I creating this site? What are my goals for this site?
- What information do I want on this site? Do I need product or portfolio images, contact information, hours, location map, Frequently Asked Questions, request for information form, client testimonial, links, my logo, professional association logos, history, spec sheets, pdf forms, etc.?
- Have I seen sites that I like? What elements do I like – layout, colors, links, images?
- What is my budget for now? What are the most important areas to get done first? Can I do part of the page now and add other sections later? For instance, add a cart at a later date.
- How often do I plan to update this page? Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly? Will I update this site regularly so information does not become dated, or should I put more generic information on it?
- Am I writing/gathering new text and information for this site, or can I pull it from previously created pieces such as brochures?
- Who has final authority on the site design/content/launch?
- Do I want to make changes myself, or perhaps blog?
- Do I want to sell products online via my site or another third-party entity?
- What are the keywords you want to use for your site meta (hidden keyword for search engines) tags?
- Do you have social media accounts or email lists set up to integrate into the page?
This is one of those vague questions like “how much does a car cost?” It depends. Are we talking a junker with500,000 miles or a brand-new Porsche? After discussing the various features and amount of content required for your site, we will provide you with a written proposal and contract spelling out what will be included in the site, ballpark estimate and other information. The contract and 30% are needed to start any project. EMGraphics will always let you know if the project is about to go over budget.
Clients are responsible for providing their own written text, product images, pricing and text. Clients are also responsible for the content’s veracity and the rights to use any images/media provided. EMGraphics does not edit text nor check to make sure you have copyright to images or videos. If you have questions about using certain content, please ask. EMGraphics can always help you find stock images and will be glad to provide feedback on content if asked.
If you need help writing content, using social media for marketing, creating print pieces and more, EMGraphics can recommend some excellent businesses.
EMGraphics will test the site on various browsers and platforms. Once the page is ready to launch, we will put the new site on your host’s server and register it in the search engines. The page will then be live.
Getting a site launched is only the first step. Simply registering your site in the search engines is no longer the only way to advertise your site. Social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) are vital to getting your message out and are now standards. A mailing list through a company like MailChimp, plus other forms of advertising will make sure you reach people on lots of different platforms.
On an average day, I work on 12-25 different jobs. If I had even a brief conversation with each of these clients each day, my entire day would be eaten up. I dislike having my concentration broken and focus dragged elsewhere when in the middle of a job (and don’t forgot, this may be your job being interrupted!). With email we both have a clear, succinct written record, rather than jotted notes. Want to talk with me on the phone? No problem, just email or leave a message and we can set up a time.