Website packageShort version
Would you like your own website for your family or small business? Are you tired of getting other people's email because your free email provider has 782 addresses that differ from yours by only two characters? Would you like more control over your online content than you get on social media sites? Are you ready for the next step?
Creating your own web site is not difficult, but you need to learn a whole bunch of technologies to get a decent result. There are many solutions to this dilemma, but most involve either major expense or cookie-cutter sites which probably don't create quite the kind of cookies that you wanted.
This package is aimed at solving that problem for a very specific audience:
- You want a degree of customization, but you're not expecting something built from the ground up
- You want to create and add your own content, and don't want to employ an IT pro to do that
- You are not in a great hurry, and you won't need immediate assistance if something goes wrong (i.e you're not considering a hostile takeover of Amazon, or, at least, not this year.)
- You'd like to deal with someone local who can explain things in everyday language, not a different person each time you phone for support.
- You don't want to spend over $500 to get going, and you'd like to keep it ticking in future years for way less than that in future years
Sounds good so far? Read on...
I have chosen the Wordpress model because it is well supported, versatile, and has more different themes (looks) than you can shake a stick at, so your site can easily be unique. Best of all, the content (words and images - or even videos) can be changed by you or an editor that you designate, you don't have to pay an IT professional to change your web site if you get a new phone number.
WordPress allows you to change the look and format of your website in two ways. First, most of the "look" is created using your own photographs. The rest is formatting and placement, which is derived from a "theme". There are certainly hundreds, and probably thousands, of good free themes available, and when you change a theme, your own content and photographs are retained and shown using the new theme, with little or no further work to do (depending on the functionality of the old theme and that of the new theme.)
I will create an empty WordPress site and pre-populate it with three themes and some extra functionality (WordPress calls these plugins) that I have experience with and recommend. After you get comfortable with these, you or we can make changes to your hearts content.
Domain RegistrationI will show you how to find which domain names are availlable, and once you have found your favourite, I will register it for you under my account, but in your name. If you prefer, you can register it yourself and provide me the details so I can hook it up. In this case, you will be responsible for future renewals.
Initial website set-up
Once the domain name is available, I will create a new Wordpress site with some sample content. At this point, I'll give you the password and you can start to make changes, with the aid of the documentation I will provide, or we can make changes either physically together, or electronically, where you sit at your computer and I sit at mine, with you able to see the content of my screen while we talk on the phone. There are a couple of customisation options we will set up, such as the name of your site (which doesn't have to be unique, as opposed to the domain name) and whether you want a static site (like this one) or one with a blog. Don't get put off by the word blog - it doesn't mean you have to write something new every day! If the content of your site includes entries that are related by a time sequence more than some structure, a blog format may be what you need.
Making your site your own
At this point, if you haven't worked it out for yourself, I'll show you how to add content:
- Uploading media (photos or videos)
- Adding or editing a post
- Creating or editing a page
and then I'll show you how to change the look of your site using themes and other WordPress features
- Organising widgets (it's easier to show you widgets than to explain them!)
- Adding and changing menus
- Changing menus
- Changing themes
...and now you're all set, except that if you have a question, I'm still around to help you.
The fine print
- I will create up to 5 email addresses initially, included in the package. While there is no limit to the number of email addresses you may add, there is no administration dialogue that you can access to do this, so I would have to do it for you, using up some of your support allocation.
- In the first year, you get up to two hours of training and support included. If you need more, I will bill you at $75/hr. When you renew in subsequent years, you get another hour of support each year. Extra support, if you need it, will be billed at $100 per hour. The clock ticks when I am delivering training, or when I work on your question or request, but not for the standard initial setup.
- I will send a renewal notice by email at least a month ahead of your renewal date, which will be the anniversary of the date we registered your domain.
- If you choose not to renew, I will allow the domain registration to lapse if it was under my name. If you want to retain ownership of the domain name, you will need to contact a domain registrar and request a transfer, which I will accomodate without charge. If you want to transfer your WordPress data I will provide a downloaded backup for a nominal cost. Email messages have to be cleared by you before your account is closed. The hosting cannot be transferred directly, you would need to set up a new account and recreate your site. If you do not renew, you may lose access to your email and website at any time after the anniversary, depending on when scheduled maintenance removes your data. If you ask me to restore your data following non-renewal, the cost will be billed to you.
- Renewing late is not pleasant for you or for me. I'm a small business, I can't carry services which are not being paid for, and in this case that has consequences. If you find you sometimes pay bills late, please consider pre-paying an extra $50 which will buy you up to three months of getting nagged by email rather than losing service if you don't renew on time.