Allow us to shed some light on a few things.
Hosting vs. Domain vs. Design Platform... what does it all mean?!
It’s confusing, we know. But we’re here to help! Below is a brief glossary of some of those fancy website terms people throw out.
Host/Hosting/Hosting provider – A company with massive servers. Servers are like hard core super-sized versions of a computer hard drive. These companies rent space on their servers for websites, thus allowing other computers to access them at any time. Think of it this way–a hosting provider is like a property manager who rents you an apartment for your website to live. Of course there’s a fee for this service, which you can pay monthly or yearly. In most cases, you’ll pay less if you pay annually.
Domain – This is your website address, and it’s also called a domain name. If your website is housed in an apartment (see above), the domain is your apartment address. (For example, Fangirl Foundry’s domain name is FangirlFoundry.com). The domain name tells every other computer where to find your website. They have to register in an official database, and of course they charge a yearly fee for this. Many people use GoDaddy to register their domain, but there are other (and sometimes cheaper) options. Some hosting providers bundle domain registration with their hosting packages, so check with yours. It might mean your first registration is free!
Website Design Platform – Also known as a website builder or building platform. Every website is created using basic HTML language, but that can get a little boring. Website design platforms offer a little pizazz and are used as a starting point for a new website. Web designers (or in our case, a web-wizard) add content and customize the layout using this web-based interface. If you’re still into our apartment analogy, the Website Design Platform is the architecture for your website’s apartment.
What’s the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com?
WordPress.com is a for-profit website hosting company. Lots of people use it to make their own websites, which is probably why you’ve heard of it. It’s very different from WordPress.org (also known as self hosted WordPress), which is open-source website building software. It’s flexible and happily lives on any hosting server. It’s the world’s most popular website building platform!
Let’s talk SEO. What is it and what do you do about it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When people search the internet, they tend to click on the first few results. SEO is just a fancy dancy term for how high a website appears in search results. No matter what search engine you use, it’s a simple fact that the more visible your site is, the more visitors it will have. It’s all circular too–the more visitors a site has, the higher it’ll rank, which means more visitors, and on and on. (Remember when businesses used to name themselves AAA to be the first in the phone book? Same concept.)
SEO is BIG business. Agencies charge $1,000-$10,000 per month (yep, that’s per month) for extensive SEO services. That’s wild, right? Meanwhile, back in our world, most websites don’t have to worry about that level of SEO. Still, you want your fans and potential customers to find you, right? That’s why Fangirl Foundry includes free foundational SEO services with every website package. “Foundational” is a great starting point, and of course it can be expanded if you want to boost your rank in the future.
What’s your payment process?
Once you’ve selected your services and turned in your order form, we’ll go over it and get with you if we have any questions. Once we’re all on the same page, Fangirl Foundry will email you a neat little invoice via QuickBooks Payments. You can easily pay using all major credit cards or even bank account transfer. QuickBooks is fast, free, and completely secure.
Do you have any hosting company recommendations?
Of course we have thoughts, and we’ll share them with you below. But remember our apartment analogy? We can tell you about the apartment complexes we think are cool and why, but it’s super important you also do some looking around before you sign a lease and back in that moving truck. Fangirl Foundry is not responsible for any problems you may encounter with your hosting provider.
Our top pick:
SiteGround – One of the most popular and highest rated hosting providers in the WordPress community. They provide unique in-house WordPress speed and security solutions to make your site as fast and secure as possible. They offer competitive pricing and you can register your domain with them too!
Okay, but I already have a website. Can’t you just redo that?
Our semi-custom packages are meant to be created from the ground up. If you do have an existing site, let us know in the contact form. Depending on your platform and hosting company we may be able to accommodate you. If not, we’ll happily provide alternative solutions.
What if I need support after my design/website is complete?
A completed website isn’t static–there will always be updates and security improvements. Fangirl Foundry enables websites to quietly update, as much as possible, in the background. In addition, we provide you with a handy-dandy care and feeding guide for your brand new website, complete with tips and all the details a new website owner needs to know. You’ll probably find you don’t need as much support as you thought. Still, we do provide support for one week from the completion of your project. Please note that support does not include any design changes or issues that aren’t related to our work. After the first week, if you have issues or decide on additional services, definitely contact us and we’ll help work out a solution. We offer paid, as-needed website maintenance services at a rate of $45/ half hour.
How long will my design take?
We’re quick, but good design does take time. The time it takes to create and install your design will vary depending on the scale of work required, our design schedule, and your response time. We will be very upfront about our schedule with you when you contact us, so you can plan accordingly.
How much control will I have over my new website?
We’ve all heard the stories. You know, the ones about folks who have no idea how to get into their own websites? Their sites are practically held hostage by the designers, who charge a hefty monthly fee to keep it going. Yeah, no. Fangirl Foundry was founded on our determination to empower creators and business owners with control over their own marketing assets. Whether it’s a custom designed logo or a nifty website, once we complete your design and hand it over, it’s yours! Along with appropriate instruction sheets, of course.
One of the best things about our website design platform is that it’s completely editable. When you decide to change your look, content, or expand your business, it’s not a problem. Same goes for our graphic and desktop publishing. So go ahead. Take over the world. We’ll be here to make sure your website and materials will help you conquer anything.