Frequently asked Questions – Websites, WordPress, Hosting and Divi builder.
What your designer needs to know before creating your website
- Do you require e-commerce? – If so, WordPress may not be the ideal platform if you have lots of products – consider Shopify first. Sunshine Design can still take care of the design and structure for you.
- Do you require lots of information from your new customers via a contact form or similar?
- Should contact from your customer be easy and immediate or require checks and balances like captcha, compulsory field and page navigation? – There are Pros and Cons for both options. Easy is generally better for high conversion, the alternative can filter out some spam if it becomes a problem.
- Do you want your email and phone number to be visible and or click-thru? Privacy versus traffic conversion.
- Do you want your physical address to be listed via google maps? Privacy versus transparency.
- What are your expectations on your website being page one for the first year? Unless you are a niche that is not likely without high traffic.
- How fast, versus pretty do you see your website – Pictures and effects versus information and SEO?
- Do you have a business email in place or do you want advice on that?
- Do you own a domain name?
- Do you have somewhere to host the site?
- Have you seen sites that you’d like to replicate the look and feel of?
- Do you have branding and a quality logo?
- Are you seeking general advertising advice or just a website?
- Are you familiar with SEO?
- If so what keys words and phrases would you like highlighted in copy and titles
- Are you interested in a set and forget website or looking to grow and modify the site over time
- How big is the website? Small is cheaper, big is more likely to have multiple sources of traffic and keywords searches.
- Who will maintain your website and updates over time and information and technology changes? >1 hour – 6 monthly is advised.
- Have you considered how your first 100 or 1,000 leads will come to your site to start the ball rolling?
- Do you require some SEO training or understanding?
- Are you interested in extra attention to enhancing and testing your website with 3rd party plugins to tweak speed and efficiency
- Consider the main goals of your website (eg brand, conversion, information, subscription, ranking well fast)
Websites in general – Frequently asked questions
What is a domain name?
A domain name is like your personalised number plate. Once you have purchased a domain name, no one can take it away unless you fail to renew, in which case it goes back on the open market. The owner has responsibility for payment and renewal (the domain provider sends a reminder) when renewal is due. You can set your account to auto-renew, which is highly recommended. The cost is about $20 a year or less.
How do I get a domain name?
‘Crazy domains’ are as good as any domain name provider. I am familiar with their website, but if you have another provider, that is also fine. When purchasing a name with .com.au, you will need to provide an ABN. If you want to generate ideas for domain names based on keywords, nameboy.com is quite good.
What is a hosting plan?
Hosting is the place that contains your website data. You pay for space, integration, plug-ins, a help desk and a control panel (Cpanel). It costs anywhere from $150-$2,000 a year and requires some basic technical understanding. I can take care of WordPress hosting if you don’t have a provider and also take care of any technical issues if and when they arise. Under the Sunshine Design hosting plan, I include daily backups of your site and security monitoring. Plug-ins are set up to auto-update wherever possible, keeping your site running at the optimum speed—also making your site more secure from malicious international attacks.
Can I arrange my own hosting?
The simple answer is yes and I use and recommend SiteGround for WordPress hosting. It is worth noting that the technical side of understanding your hosting Cpanel can take a while, and if and when your website goes down, you are relying on a chat line to try and sort out any issues that may arise. I do not recommend self-hosting unless you have the time to or an in-house tech person.
Also, note that hosting plans come in many shapes and sizes, from budget packages to thousands of dollars. Navigating what package to choose can be daunting, and it’s tempting to go for the cheapest, which may not have the adequate support and speed required for your website.
It pays to have a dedicated person maintaining and managing your hosting plan. Sunshine Design can host and maintain your site for $330 annually (indexed annually). Half of the cost covers the server space, and half covers an hour or two or so per year to keep the website well-oiled and backed up.
Sunshine Design uses a premium geek package across the many sites we manage. I regularly back up and maintain your site with any significant updates to your design. If the site goes down or gets hacked, we have hard copies of the data stored in 2 locations. The cost of data hosting at this level can cost hundreds of dollars and many person-hours per year. Still, we pass that on to you for a lot less because we manage a few sites under a premium plan separated into individual c-panels.
What should I include in my website?
Sites are flexible and easy to edit, but you should carefully consider your title and description as a starting point. Your call to action/contact details and key messages for the home page is vital as this is the prominent page people will find on search engines. On the individual pages, relevant headings that tie in with a well thought out google description and title will help lead customers to niche topics and help with SEO.
Other considerations would be menu items, social links, colours etc. Internal and external links give relevance to your site and let the reader navigate easily through your site to the information they need. Google favours sites that are mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, informative and relevant.
What is SEO?
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. It’s an umbrella term that means lots of things, but the aim is to have the optimum relevant content for your business and attract as many relevant visitors to your site over the competition. The most important thing to make your site attract the correct traffic is considering plenty of engaging and easy-to-read content. A title, description and keywords also help you to get found by search engines such as Google. These words and sentences should be relevant to the traffic that would engage with your site. Plugins, content placement and backlinks also have an impact on optimisation. I use a plug in to populate relevant content into the description of your pages that helps direct the appropriate searches to those pages. This plugin also gives real-time feedback on how efficiently the SEO is performing. Some companies, mainly overseas, will email you to offer a monthly SEO optimisation subscription. Monthly services can be costly (200-500 a month). Many companies will include writing blogs and backlinks from other not necessarily ethical sites, such as Casino and Porn promotion sites. Bad backlinks can have a negative effect in the long term, so buyers beware.
Google is smart and constantly changing to keep up with these SEO tricks and scams. Sunshine Design can provide monthly services for you with reporting and goal-driven strategies. Blogs are written within your website structure or on reputable peer sites, and SEO is accurately and transparently reported to show search engine growth within particular key phrases.
The main applications we use are Google Search Console and Yoast plugin which are free, plus our invaluable subscription service of SE ranking.
What Sunshine Design does to get you started.
- Hosting – We can organise this at below retail cost per year through our shared plan. (currently, $320 per year in advance and one year is included as part of your website build).
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – Defining the Title, description, and relevant keywords for search engines such as Google. These words and phrases should be relevant to the traffic that will be using your site.
- Title graphic – (this could be an existing logo) or can be created in Photoshop using your business name. Simple is best, and websites work well with the logo in landscape… typically fitting along the menu bar.
- Installation of the Elegant Divi theme – this is the theme I use unless otherwise specified. Divi Builder is tried and tested and easy to edit for new users. It retails for $70 but is included free of charge with your design.
- Setting up the essential communication for your business through UI design, imagery and words.
- Less critical information in the hierarchy is shown via menus or by scrolling. Images can be in the form of animated sliders, a static folio etc
- Contact details and links: email, address and maps will be included as required to generate a better user experience and web traffic.
- Social media links will be included
- Listing your business on Google Maps for high visibility of local traffic within your industry searches.
Can I edit my own website once its finished?
Yes, you can. By default, you are added to the site as a user, and you can access the backend of the website here – www.yourdomain.com.au/wp-admin.
Sunshine Design can provide a user name and password to access the backend. As a general rule, you will have access to privileges as an ‘Editor’, which gives you all of the required access to make changes to your content without affecting the code or complex features of the theme.
Within this webpage, I have made a video to show how easy basic edits are. Also there is a link to a longer video by DIVI.
What edits can I do to my website?
You can change almost everything within the website if you have some practice and know-how. The Divi theme is quite intuitive, and there are many free tutorials available online if you get stuck. Sunshine Design is always available for any advanced training or design tweaks if required. One hour of sufficient basic training is part of the handover process.
What is responsive design?
A responsive website design means that the layout changes when viewed in different situations like different sized screens, desktops or mobile phones. Effective, responsive design practices utilise the best use of screen space and data speed to optimise the experience on each format.
What is a WordPress theme?
The WordPress theme is the premade code that works quietly behind the scenes. The theme determines the design and functionality of the website. Some themes are free, but good ones can cost up to $300. A good theme will continually update with emerging technology and resources
. The theme I love to use is called ‘Divi’, which also has a design-builder. I use this theme because of its flexibility and ease of use. Divi theme has been purchased and downloaded over 200,000 times worldwide. Divi also has many cool widgets to add a wow factor to your site…things like animated counters, animated graphs etc. If Ddoesn’tsn’t suit you, other themes may work better for your site.
A theme adds typically a particular flavour to your page..slick, loose, fun, elegant, corporate etc. before the designer gets in and tweaks to suit your needs. Once the site is populated, a theme can be switched over to another while retaining the core text information, data and images.
Some design tweaking will be required to make the new theme work, but the content will remain the same.
Divi tutorial – a 5-minute video to get you started on fundamental changes to your web content.
Website FAQ – more info if required.
Registration of a domain name and hosting
The domain name is like a personalised number plate that you own. Note: (com.au domains require an ABN)). The domain company where you register the name will remind you and bill you when this is due to renew – it costs about $15 per year. The client should organise the domain name and registration – the owner has responsibility for overpayment and renewal (the domain provider sends a reminder). crazydomains.com can take care of domain registration. It’s sometimes difficult to decide on or secure the perfect domain name. nameboy.com is an excellent free site for generating ideas and confirming availability. Crazy domains will give you availability but not necessarily provide alternative word combinations except for .net, info etc.
Hosting (think of it as registration which runs out after 1-2 years) It usually costs about $100-$150 a year if you look after the control panel yourself and requires some understanding of Cpanel and other technical terms. Hosting cost through Advert Ideas is the server cost plus maintenance of the site through the Cpanel. We also run regular checks to make sure plugins are updated when required. Backups of the site are also done after any significant changes to the content or technology.
Installation of WordPress
I install WordPress & assign a Theme (The coded style sheet that sets the rules and determines some design functionality). The theme I most commonly use is called ‘Divi’. I use this because of its flexibility and ease of use. It also has many cool widgets to add a wow factor to your site…things like animated counters, animated graphs etc.
Getting the website started and functional
These are the basic things that make your site functional and ready to edit
- SEO (Search Engine optimisation) – Defining the Title, description, and relevant keywords for search engines such as Google. These words and sentences must be relevant to the traffic that will be using your site.
- Title graphic – (this could be an existing logo) but can be as simple as a nice font with your business name.
- Elegant DIVI theme – this is the theme I use unless otherwise specified. It is tried and tested and easy to edit for new users.
- Basic design – communicating your business with imagery and words that is easy to see when the site opens. Less important information is shown via menus or by scrolling. Images can be in the form of animated sliders, a static folio etc
- Contact: email, address, maps will be added as required
- Social media: links will be used as required
I assign the purchased domain name to the hosting plan. I require the login details for your domain name to make this happen. These 2 addresses are entered into your name server preferences (ns.inmotionhosting.com and ns2.inmotionhosting.com) Sometimes, 24 hours is needed for the website to appear online.
Once the website is live, I upload the default ‘Divi’ theme to your site (this retails for $60; however, I waive this fee for my clients)… An example of the ‘Divi’ theme can be seen on my site, and other websites link on my front page at ‘advertideas.com’. Using the style sheets embedded into the Divi theme, I populate a design with the client’s elements, copy, colours, logo etc. Once this basic information is in place, the site can be edited from any authorised login. Some training may be required; however, the process is reasonably intuitive with a bit of practice.
I will provide your login details. The login location address will be www.yourdomain.com.au/wp-admin
Once the site is ready to take over, you will need to provide me with the IP address to edit your site. To obtain this, you go to getip.com, and that should give you a number to pass on to me (it should look like this – 167.876.890.74 as shown below). I will then add this to the allocated list of users. I am also able to access the site if required.
Editing your newly designed WordPress website
I will provide your login details. The login location address will be like this example www.advertideas.com.au/wp-admin.
Once you’re in, you will see the back end of your website. The sidebar is pretty intuitive, but if you have trouble, I’m a phone call away – 0414 505 393. Otherwise, youtube is great for answering basic WordPress questions.
Copy changes and images are easy to edit. Other things like design and integration may require some additional training. I can offer this at an hourly rate.