How important is it to be responsive during the development process?
We understand that you’re an incredibly busy person with a busy practice, and adding a web development project to your plate can sometimes be a little overwhelming. However, as I’m sure you can imagine, having a web development project get delayed only adds to that stress. By paying attention to the outlined due dates to come on your end, you enable our team to meet the important workflow deadlines that follow.
Where can I find all of the access logins?
There are multiple platforms of which we will need access. They are outlined below with helpful pointers in how to find those accesses:
- Content management platform access:
There are many different kinds of content management platforms, and every firm has a slightly different set up. Not sure what your content management platform is? Think about how you add posts or pages to the site! Find that login/ask that person, and you’ll be able to check this one off your list!
- Domain registration access
If you don’t know where your domain is registered, use the helpful tool www.whois.com. Simply plug your web address into the search bar, and the compiled information will include your domain registration. This will be a helpful clue when tracking down the access wherever you keep your password information.
- SSL service provider and access
Check with your hosting provider. This may also be the person who manages your email — but that is certainly not always the case.
- Web hosting provider access
Again, www.whois.com can be a helpful tool to determine who hosts your domain, but not always. If you’re tech-savvy, try checking out the name servers. If you’re unsure, contact your IT personnel or whoever last worked on your website. Your domain registrar may also have some clues as to where you can find web hosting access.
- FTP/Cpanel access
If we can’t get access to hosting platform, we will need access to File Transfer Protocol or CPanel, again, mentioning this need to your IT personnel or whoever last worked on your website is likely where you’ll find this access.
- Email hosting provider
This one is easy! Where do you login to use your email? That will tell you who your email hosting provider is. Examples include Microsoft and gmail.
How are you able to build sites for so cheap?
Matador Solutions (outside of the Consortium) has a team of highly-qualified web development contractors. To develop Consortium sites for such a low cost, these developers work on our sites in between their main Matador projects, and because the Consortium works as a “Co-op meets Country Club” we deliver the sites to you at cost.
How long does the development process take?
This is highly dependent on the responsiveness of the members. The quicker you’re able to turn around any access requests, send revision specs, or schedule review meetings, the quicker we will be able to execute on all of the tasks that domino after that. If all of those project deadlines are met and barring any other major issues or large scale revisions, our Development Team works off of a 7 week timeline from the date you receive an email with template options to your site going live.
What elements of the theme are changeable?
Another reason the Consortium Members are able to cash in on cost-effective and user-friendly sites is because we use website style templates to build them. These templates are incredibly versatile and we’re able to manipulate a lot of the aesthetics to meet our individual Member’s desires; however, it’s important to remember that the further we stray from the template’s original layout, the more likely it is that the project timeline will increase and major coding changes may even will require additional billed hours. That’s not to dissuade you from getting the site you want. Text, images, color, and many fonts are easily changeable!
Can I change my font?
The website templates that we use are incredibly versatile and many come with multiple font options, and some even allow the developer to add code for additional font styles. This is all dependent on the selected theme. If you have a Font concern, check with our development team as early in the process as possible!
Can I swap a picture for a video?
This is very dependent on the placement of the media, but often yes! It’s important to note, however, that we don’t recommend videos in any major “Slider” as these tend to slow the sites down considerably, which can greatly affect your SEO.
What if I have a developer or in-house marketing team that I want to loop in?
Have you heard the phrase, “Too many cooks in the Kitchen?” Having too many developers or in-house marketing guys and gals working on the same project is akin to having too many cooks in the kitchen — rarely is anything accomplished in a timely manner and there’s generally a pretty big mess to clean up. That’s not to say that all situations are inconceivable, but the Consortium works so well because we are able to move fast — as fast as the search algorithms change — and make important SEO and Web Development revamps in timely manner.
What happens if I don’t meet my deadlines?
Our team of developers put together workflow schedules based on many important benchmark deadlines that predate the roll out of the site. We understand: life happens, and our team does its best to buffer in some wiggle room for those benchmark deadlines in the event that you are unable to meet them; but at the end of the day, if a response deadline is missed, it may jeopardize the final launch date, which is often very close to the hard deadline of the beginning of your SEO contract. If missed response deadlines cause a delay in a Member’s launch date, the Member is still responsible for their Membership Agreement at the agreed upon date.
What are the biggest things I should collect or prepare before our first pass meeting?
These meeting are the best way to communicate exactly what you’d like your site to look like. Compile as many revision/editorial notes as possible. Be sure that your notes include what you WOULD LIKE to see — including replacement content, just what you DON’T LIKE in the current draft.
How are these website style templates vetted?
They’re vetted from both and SEO and user-experience perspective. We’ll review things like their mobile responsiveness, speed, code bloat, and UX/UI for conversion.
Does my site have to be perfect before we go live?
It cannot be stressed enough — NO! Think of your site launch as one of the first big steps for SEO rather than the final step of the development process. Even after a site is launched, we are constantly making changes to it, both at the request of members and behind the scenes in the SEO realm. It’s more important to launch a workable site by your Agreement date, than it is to have a site crafted like the Sistine Chapel become a mausoleum of SEO work that was never capitalized on because search engines never saw it.
What other SEO work is being done while my site is being built?
The SEO team is hard at work long before a site is launched. Between auditing what already exists and working foundational off-site SEO — guest blog backlinking, there is plenty of “pre-site” work that’s getting done simultaneously to your development process.
What if my site isn’t ready by my onboarding date?
While it’s not the end of the world, it’s certainly ideal to have the site ready by that date. A lot of SEO work is still being done for your domain in preparation for the big launch date; but making sure you’re responsive to development requests is one of the best ways to keep this question from becoming anything other than a moot point. Members are still responsible for their Membership Agreement at the agreed upon date.
What’s the best way to communicate my changes and share my images, logo files, etc.?
- Content – word document, listing URLs where the content is, and what content is there and what you’d like to replace it with
- Images/files – Google Drive/Dropbox (JPEG)
What if I noticed more edits after my site is queued to go live or is live?
Barring any major misbranding, the site launch will remain where it is in the development queue and those edits will come after the site is live.
Is there any work that would be billed in addition to the initial site-build charge?
While the development team puts together a development plan that can absolutely get a site built with no additional costs, yes, there are instances where additional charges may be incurred to include revision requests outside of the 2 rounds of initial edits, revisions that require extensive coding outside of the theme/template structure, etc. If requests require additional billing, all will be discussed prior to implementation.
Will my content be carried over from my old site?
Yes! And the SEO team will be using that content to begin building the foundations for your SEO plan. If you have content on your current site that you no longer wish to have, we recommend that we bring it over to the new site, but keep the pages from being navigable. That way, your site won’t be pinged with any 404 errors or any other errors that can affect SEO!
Why don’t the links on my dev site work?
Believe it or not, often, making all of the internal site links link to their web development counterpart during the development process — for example: http://mysite.com.php72-36.phx1-2.websitetestlink.com/ vs. http://mysite.com/ — is actually a fair bit of labor that will only be reversed at the time the site goes live. However, you should not be concerned. All of the links will be properly linked when the site is launched.