One of the most complicated aspects of being a creative small business owner is websites. After doing consultations and coaching calls this is by far the most complex. People get lost in all the terminology; Domain Name, Hosting, Shopping Carts, Payment Gateways the list goes on.
What is the difference between a website designer and a website developer?
A web designer creates web layouts and focuses on the overall style aesthetic of the site. A web developer focuses more on the backend of how the site works. In addition to, how customers are using it.
How does one go about finding a website designer or developer for their project?
The best way is word of mouth. You don’t just want to look through the yellow pages and hire someone. You want to vet them. It’s best they come from someone you know. Currently I refer Davon to clients and others. He was referred to me from a childhood friend. He does amazing work.
Where can I buy my domain name?
You can purchase your domain name from Go Daddy Hosting or Host Gator. I highly suggest purchasing your domain name for 3+ years versus renewing it each year. It’s fiscally smarter for your bottom line. Renewal can be very expensive and that’s how companies get you with the .99 promo code for your domain.
Where can I buy hosting for my website?
You can also purchase hosting from Go Daddy Hosting or Host Gator. As mentioned in the Number One Rule In Web Hosting buy from a reputable company. Save 30% off Host Gator with this “IMPERFECT30” promo code at checkout.
Would you suggest buying a template for my third-party shopping cart?
Yes, if you are on a small budget of $300 or less for design. You can purchase from TemplateMonster. They have a wide variety of templates from companies such as: Wix, Joomla, Magento, WordPress, big commerce and more.
How much is a custom-built website?
It really depends if it built from scratch or if they are building off a template. Not all website designers are created equal or are honest. To be completely truthful…so many designers will say they will build a site from scratch and it’s from a template. Which takes more time and runs your cost into the thousands. I would suggest finding a template you love and telling the designer how you want it.
Do you know a website with pre made templates for bloggers who want to use WordPress?
Yes, you can use BluChic. They have some really great designs if you are solely focused on blogging. Also if you run a service business they have some amazing options too. I really like the Isabelle, Jacqueline and Beverly.
Is it hard to go from a shopping cart like Squarespace to WordPress?
No, you can export a majority of your current information over to the new site. You would need to have a plethora of patience or hire someone to do it for you.
What payment gateway should I use for my site?
Stripe is an amazing payment gateway! I can’t sing their praises enough. I have not used PayPal in over a year. This is my go to payment gateway. We did an entire series on Payment Gateway.
What are plugins?
Plugins are used on websites such as WordPress (self hosted) which add extra features on the website. Such as installing Google analytics, mail chimp, jet pack, stripe, PayPal and many others. These features do not come standard. You install plugins for these features. Most times they are free.
Does it cost to install plugins to my website?
The person you hire will have a maximum number they will install for free. Others will charge a small fee to install plugins. Remember if the plugin actually has a fee attached to it you must purchase it.
Who handles my sites monthly maintenance?
You are responsible to handle your websites monthly maintenance which is not very hard at all. Or you can ask the individual who built it if it is something they offer. Also, check out Manage WordPress it’s a great resource.
If I use Big Cartel, Squarespace or another shopping cart do I need to buy hosting?
No, hosting is included in your package. The company is hosting your website, but you do need to purchase your domain name.
Here are several great articles I have written on the subject to help you:
Number One Rule of Web Hosting
Determine Your Hosting Company
Understanding Your eCommerce Site
Lots of questions finally answered for your small business. Do you still have questions on website design?
This post has affiliate links.