Server and Certificates
It all depends on who's hosting! If you are hosting your website with Digital Dan, your website will be hosted on a Linux platform. Otherwise, you have the option of hosting your own website, in which case you choose which platform you will be hosting it on.
Definitely. We make backups every single day, and keep them on hand for the last 30 days. In case of a catastrophic failure, we can have you up and running in no time flat.
You do not have access to the backups which we make, as they are for internal use only. If you want to make your own backups, you may do so. We can assist you in that, if you need help, by installing backup software on your website, for a fee, or by simply charging you a one-time fee for each full backup we make. This backups end up being a zIp file, and can be used to restore your website and database on any server, and are great as a security measure, or if you wish to transfer your website to another web server. Ask us about plans, which will enable you to receive periodic backups (e.g. monthly) of your entire website, available by clicking on a secure link. We'll help you, and we think this is actually a good idea. Please note that we do not support leaving backups on our web server, and will remove all backups that are found there. Backups are intended to be downloaded to your own computer once they are made.
Assuming you will be hosting with us, your website will using Apache with NGINX technology to speed things up. Apache is the web standard world-wide. NGINX is used for load balancing and speed performance. These technologies are time-tested and proven. The features available through them are practically endless. Along with this, we are proficient at working with .htaccess files, mod rewrite, and virtual hosts containers. These are some of the more fundamental things that you should know, if you are in a business like this! (Mind you, not everyone does.)
Once again, assuming you are hosting with us, the answer is "Yes!" To ensure that your data is protected in the highest manner possible, all web sessions on our our servers are configured to use the https (secure) protocol. Even if someone should visit your website using the insecure http protocol, it will automatically be switched to https "on the fly" and be rendered as a secure session. So we've "got your back"!
By default, we use secure certificates issued by Let's Encrypt. We will not charge you any extra for this service. These certificates are as robust as any other secure certificate. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to use another certificate which you felt more comfortable with. That's no problem, too, but you'll have to pay for that. We don't see a reason to pay for something that you can get entirely for free, but if you insist, sure, we will provide you with another expensive brand name solution. It'll cost you, though — we didn't say it would be cheap!
Building Your Website
We are going to build it with WordPress. WordPress is a great platform. Like any platform, or any tool, it has to be used correctly. And like any fine instrument, it needs to be tuned correctly. We'll build it, and tune it, so that it works!
Every WordPress website must use a variety of plugin modules, and it would not be uncommon to have 30 or more present in a single WordPress installation. Some of these are free, and some are paid. In some cases, a paid plugin module will have to be purchased outright to accommodate your needs. But in many cases, we will be able to provide you with GPL plugin modules, at a greatly discounted rate. We will discuss all these things when we provide you with your free assessment.
The length of time it takes to create your website is determined largely by your needs and your own readiness. Before creating your website, we will perform a free assessment, based on your requirements.
The free assessment will provide you with an estimate of how much work will be required on our part to create your website. The assessment itself may require that we communicate on several occasions, as we need to understand your detailed needs. Do you want us to take pictures? Will you be providing them? How many pages and what types of pages would you like? What type of functionality do you want to see? Do you know your color scheme? Do you have a logo? We'll discuss these, and much more, and also provide you with some suggestions as you give us an idea of what your overall objective is.
We will also provide you with options on how you can help us to get the job done faster (saving you money). Finally, we will provide you with a written assessment of the costs, which you will use to determine if you want to go forward or not. We will also provide you with the opportunity to revise the assessment, should you decide you wish to make changes. There is no obligation on your part. Your cooperation during the assessment phase is vital and you should expect to spend at least 3 hours of your time so that it is done properly. This communication will likely occur in multiple stages, so bear with us, as it is critical to obtaining the impression you need, to do business with your competitors. We are thinking of you in the final analysis, and would rather spend more time with you at the beginning, than provide you with a substandard website that you will not be happy with in the end.
Once you are happy with the assessment that we have provided, and decide to move forward in that assessment, we will then provide you with our standard contract (two pages, plus an addendum), which you can then review and sign. We will then collect a 40% deposit from you, for the website portion only (not for any hosting fees which will be addressed later, if you decide to host with us). This deposit is non-refundable. We believe you will feel entirely comfortable at this point in time, as we will have already meticulously gone through the assessment, which we went through before this time (please see earlier assessment tab).
Once we have created your website for you, we will present it to you, and make as many changes as necessary to ensure that you are fully-satisfied. We will not charge you extra for any alterations, unless you are requesting new features* not previously agreed upon.
(* In that case, we would have to sign a new contract, or create an addendum to the existing contract.)
You certainly can host your own website if you want to. When we meet or correspond, we can tell you the difference between hosting your own website and hosting with us. We will provide you with detailed information on what the differences really are, so you can make an informed decision. Our two-page contract (and addendum) contains all the information you will require in order to make that decision. Up front, we will tell you, this is not a decision you should take lightly, as you must be aware of all of the implications of hosting your own website, and all that will involve.
If you decide to host with us, the "go live" date is the date on which we inform you that you should now be changing the DNS settings with your domain name registrar (we do not handle domain names for your benefit). On the other hand, if you do not decide to host with us, the "go live" date is simply the date that we hand over your website to your control, to be installed on your own web server. Once you have made the changes to your DNS settings (which take about 10 minutes of your time), you should expect your website to be visible to the outside world within about 24 hours (sometimes much earlier, and sometimes a bit later).
Certainly! You will be able to edit and add new pages, or posts, and manage every aspect of your website, whether that means managing an on-line store, adding or editing web pages, managing or viewing mailing lists, viewing contacts gathered through lead generation, viewing hit statistics, or any other feature available from your on-line WordPress website.
Assuming you are hosting with us, help is always available by email. We will also provide you with a 1 hour free person-to-person tutorial on how to easily manage your website through your WordPress platform. Please contact us to set that up.