You’re probably here because you know little to nothing about websites. The best way to describe how websites are built and how they work is to liken them to a property. The analogy mostly works. 🙂 If you have questions about any part of this, please call or email, we’re happy to help.
All Active Websites require 3 things:
Your domain is your internet address. It costs about $15 per year. It is paid to a “registrar”. AZHG does not upcharge nor profit from this. When we procure the domain for you, YOU are the owner.
A hosting package is required for all active websites. AZHG charges $144/year for this. You may also choose hosting elsewhere. *Note that we do not monitor, guarantee or fix sites hosted elsewhere.
This means the platform and content. We build the platform and structure, and you supply the content. Our websites start at $600 for up to 6 hours of static content. Commerce sites start at $1200
Q: I don’t understand the terminology, can you explain?
WHEN WE SAY….
IT’S A LOT LIKE..
|Domain or URL|
Ex: yourwebsite.com or yourcharity.org
Domains cost about $15 per year.
|A street address. Renting this means when people type this address into their GPS, it shows up as wherever you say it is.|
Your domain is your “address” on the internet.
|Hosting package – Required to maintain actively visible website.|
Hosting costs about $180 per year, or $15 per month.
|Your mortgage or rent. You must pay to keep using it. |
This fee does not include website “development”.
|Platform, which is usually WordPress. |
It’s the structure we use to build your website. It allows website to be built easily, with most basic functions built in.
|The building’s foundation, dictates what you can build on top. |
We tailor the platform to fit the host, so everything works together seamlessly.
|Web design and development. This is where we design the site using the content (text and photos) you give to us. The fee for web design does not include hosting fees.||Constructing a building. Construction based on the materials you give us. We need to know what the building will be used for.|
|Back end development. Plugins that expand the capability of the site. Can also mean CSS and other coding. If special coding is required, it’s usually in addition to the web package pricing||Support structures and things you may not be able to see, but improve the functionality of the property, like plumbing, or a central vacuum.|
|Web content. All the information, photos and links you’d like on your website. We do not supply content, we just organize it, make it look nice and easily functional.||This is like furnishings, where you tell us what you want and we move it into your home, put each thing in the right rooms.|
|Web design, and aesthetics. This is the final step for a basic website, where all the content is in, and we can now add design elements, like graphics or mega menus or other elements that make the site more appealing.||Specific room layout, paint, and furniture. It’s hard to do this right before knowing what the building will be for.|
|Ecommerce, Products or Payments, if you are selling items online, or take money for any reason, this is a commerce site. You supply all photos, descriptions, dimensions and cost for shipping.||Now your building is a business, where customers come to see what they might like to buy from you.|
|Traffic – meaning, people who come visit your website. Just because a website exists, doesn’t mean it will be seen. That is a secondary service, and a universe of options.||If you just put a building up in the middle of nowhere, people aren’t going to comb through the phone book and come visit, you’ve got to get the word out. See this article to learn how.|
How do we get started?
- We always have a conversation first, via phone or in-person to ascertain the type of website you need, and your options for your domain name and domain registrar and hosting. Your hosting package with AZHG includes your first year of your domain (a $15 value).
- We will send you a link to the right website listing on our website so you can buy it, and then also buy the hosting package if you want us to host it. You must have all 3 (as stated in the blue blocks at the top) for an active website. Each type of website comes with a set amount of hours of our time. The first 1-3 hours are spent procuring your domain, setting up the hosting package and installing WordPress and site security, and any plugins relevant to your site.
- Once you have purchased the site and the hosting package, we procure the domain, setup the CDN, hosting package, and begin building the basic skeleton of the website. This takes 1- 3 hours over the course of 2-5 days. At this time, we create a task list on a Google spreadsheet and share it with you so you can see where your time is spent. Please check this list regularly.
- You gather all information for all pages you’d like on the site, and send us one complete email per page, with content written just as you want it, in the order you want it, and photos that go with that page. Send us your logo at this time also. Photos should be named to coincide with the page and area or paragraphs they go with. Please do not send photos named dcim_2302.jpg. When we spend time trying to guess and sort photos, it is deducted from your web development time. The more organized you are, the less time we have to spend. We do not do research, nor create content for you. Research and editorials are outside the scope of the original agreement but might be negotiated as an add-on service.
- Your content is added to each page you requested. This is when you are asked to review your website at most stages of development to ensure things are going in the right direction. The layout may not be quite perfect at first, but it’s important that all content is in the page before we arrange it, so we know what fits and how. All the content should be there before we adjust the layout to your liking, and make it user friendly. You can easily run out of design time if you worry too much about aesthetic details before putting in all the content and then having to update a bunch of times. This process can span days or weeks, depending on how much content you have, how well your organized it when you gave it to us, how many changes you make and other factors.
- Sometimes, we have some design time left over when we both agree and accept the site as finished. Having a bit of time in your “bank” is good, because someone will always think of a few last things to add or edit, and you’ll be able to ask for that without paying more. If your time is up, you can ask for edits in 15 minute increments at $25 each. These edits will be noted in your task list.
Who owns the domain when AZHG registers it?
You do. There are 2 options for account holders. One, we register your domain under our CDN. You are the owner, and we are the technical contact. On our CDN, Cloudflare, it’s another layer of protection, caching and uptime. You can transfer your domain to your own single account at anytime. Just ask us and give us your chosen registrar and we’ll begin the transfer process. Allow 2-4 days for this process.
The second option is that you use your chosen registrar and buy the domain yourself. They run anywhere from $15 to $20 for basic .coms. We will need some info from you after that to point your DNS to your hosting package.
How do I choose a Hosting Package?
Our first discussion about your website will include information on this, and answer all questions you have. AZHG offers hosting that includes almost all of the features that other hosting companies make you pay for per feature as a monthly addon price. While the popular hosts Go-Daddy, BlueHost, and HostGator look good with lower initial prices, you’ll quickly find the features lacking, requiring extra money and attention. We’ve had very bad experiences with Go-Daddy’s policies of over solicitous emails, and selling your name to many lists so you are bombarded with spam, as well as charging extra for every little feature almost every website needs to function. With bluehost, their main issue is SSL glitches, and downtime. Bluehost is down more often than 10 other hosting companies we work with combined. HostGator comes in a bit better, but they charge more than we do for far less services. Please feel free to contact us, we’re happy to answer questions.
Can I change my mind about hosting providers after my website is made?
Yes, with 3 important notes and warnings:
- TIME FRAME: It can take days to get unlock codes and then up to 1-3 hours to migrate (your site will be down during that time). We can work with your new developer to hand over the “keys”. If you don’t have a developer, we offer migration service at our current hourly rate – minimum of $100.
- DISCLAIMER : We build your site to work with our host, so we offer NO GUARANTEE the site will work the same on a different host. Plugins may not work, code may require re-writing, etc. We can’t know this until you migrate. If it requires configuration to work, and you’d like us to do it for you, it is billable by the hour.
*This would be like asking me to build your house on a piece of flat land, then you move it to land with hills, and it doesn’t quite fit, so it takes a bit of work to get it working again. This is something your new developer will handle.
- REGISTRAR: When you move your hosting package, you must also take your domain. This is also for your new developer to handle. You will need to pay for another year of your domain, but it adds a year when you do it, so you’ll have your year from us PLUS another 12 when you move. It’s usually around $15.
Weather you are bringing a site to our hosting package or leaving AZHG to go elsewhere, the fee is the same. Also note, if you are leaving our hosting package, we will not guarantee compatibility with your host, and we will no longer monitor, update or fix your site, and you may also lose access to free SSL. If you drive your car off the lot and get into an accident, it’s not the dealer’s fault. 🙂
Can my site be hosted on an existing host that I already own?
Sure. We will need access to your hosting site with name of host, login and password. Please decide this BEFORE we develop your site. However, please note that once we finish the website, we are fully done. We don’t manage, fix, update or guarantee anything.
Can I add or edit things on my website?
Yes. We will create a user role for you on the site. Please watch the videos found at the bottom of our Website Training listing to learn the basics. Note, if you change the password we supply, please create a very strong password for your site. Weak passwords are how hackers get into sites and ruin them. If that happens as a result of your weak password it may require many hours for us to fix and restore your site which can cost you hundreds of dollars.
Can I get a refund if there is any unused time? If I’m unhappy?
No. But it is “banked” for you. You can ask for edits or additional pages. As noted above, all time is tracked on a spreadsheet that we share with you for complete transparency.
If you are unhappy with the way your website looks or functions, we should have a conversation immediately. Remember, all content is provided by you, and you will be engaged and asked for input at every step of content creation. You should be looking at your website at least daily. Contact us immediately if things aren’t going right. Web devs typically work at night so we send questions and input requests to you via email. Please refer to the task list spread sheet often to maximize your time by working on your top priorities over minor details. If the website is completely done and you aren’t happy, please contact us. We will work to make you happy within all reasonable efforts.
If the website isn’t finished, and for some reason you must cease operations, we can stop where we are and take the website down. In this case you would be refunded for time not used. If the website remains live, there will be no refund. Also note, if the website we created is installed on another server, you will be billed the full amount of our original plan.