anatomy of a website
- domain name/URL (www.yourbusiness.com)
- web hosting (where your website files are stored for access by the public)
- website design (the basic structure or theme of your website and the menus, pages, copy, images, etc.)
cyclone press provides all three components. If you have one or more of these services already, we’ll figure it out and manage all of it for you – one bill, from one company, for everything website related.
Check out the toggles below so you can impress your fellow entrepreneurs with your knowledge of domain names and website hosting!
Your domain name (or URL) is what potential customers will type into their browser address bar to access your website. Generally this is your business name followed by .com. The .com portion is called a TLD (Top Level Domain), and because it seems most of the good .coms are taken these days, don’t be afraid to consider .co, .net, or industry specific TLD’s like .ai or .art for your website. Domain names are purchased through a registrar, which is separate from a website host (although many hosts offer domain name registration).
The average domain runs $10-50, depending on the TLD (more unique extensions can cost more) and they renew every year. we purchase, renew and monitor domain names for our clients, so you don’t have to worry about expired credit cards, phishing emails or annual review notices.
It’s not enough to have a domain name for your website; you also need storage space where you’ll keep the files that will be accessed by the public. This is the server where your website lives – the platform core files (WordPress), photos, the copy, contact forms, downloadable PDF sales sheets, etc. The cheap hosting you see advertised across the web is going to be shared hosting, which means the provider puts everyone’s accounts onto the same server. If another website on the server is a resource hog, that can affect your website, or cause more severe security issues.
cyclone press provides hosting through reputable web hosts on VPS servers only (Virtual Private Server). It costs a little more, but it’s absolutely worth it for overall security and speed. Our hosting cost includes maintenance (weekly updates, backups and security monitoring), so you know someone always has an eye on things.
After purchasing your domain name and hosting, it’s time to design your website. If you’re going with WordPress, like most of our clients, this requires installation of the WordPress platform on your server, followed by general setup, theme install, customization of colors, fonts and logos, creation of pages, page layout, menus, contact forms, choosing and uploading stock photos and adding copy. If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. Fortunately, you won’t have to do any of it. The most difficult part of building a website, for our clients, is writing the copy. We’ll walk you through how to do that, and we generally only need something rough we can polish. If even that sounds like too much, you can hire us to write the copy as well.
The website design stage is the most expensive and most involved part of designing a website, but once it’s done you can update pages and posts as needed. WordPress is great for blogging, fantastic for SEO, and easy to use for non-developers. If you aren’t inclined to log in and make updates yourself, never fear – we can do that too. Once your website is up and running, we offer on-demand hourly web design or monthly package pricing.
We also offer simple HTML websites for businesses who need what amounts to a landing page. If you don’t want the maintenance of a WordPress website, don’t plan to blog and very rarely need to make changes to your website, this might be a good option for you.
You can have custom email (email@example.com) without a website, but generally these services are provided together, so here’s a quick overview.
We do not recommend cPanel email, which is the free email you can set up through most generic hosting plans. Our hosting and email accounts are kept separate for multiple reasons (example: if your website server has to undergo maintenance, it won’t affect your email). This is why we don’t include email in our hosting plan. The following is what we offer for email accounts:
- Free email forwarding. This is nothing more than a redirect from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. It’s not a long-term solution, but for startups it’s a good place to start.
- Third party, secure IMAP email. We use a third party server that specializes in email, and this is our default for most clients. It’s $4/month per account ($48/yr). IMAP means messages are stored on the server, so you can check your messages from browser webmail, your laptop, or your phone and you’ll see the same synced emails every time.
- G Suite email accounts. G Suite is the business version of Gmail. It works the exact same way, except that you can use firstname.lastname@example.org with it for $6/month per account ($72/yr), and it comes with extra storage space and other business features. If you want to stick with what you know or you’ll be using a lot of Google products for your business, we can set this up for you. It’s billed directly through Google.
super awesome features!
We obsess over how to constantly improve everything, which is invaluable when it comes to web design and maintenance. Check it out:
The best contact form
We include a subscription to a easy to use premium form builder on all client websites. It includes all the form fields you might need, plus specialty options for digital signatures, PDF’s, and integration with many popular platforms.
Easy website access
We create WordPress user logins for our clients, so you can make page changes yourself, post blogs, download form entries and anything else you need to do. The danger of DIY is in learning (and executing) the initial site setup – let us handle the hard part for you, and you’ll have access to the easy-to-use dashboard once we’re done.
Easy website customization
We use a responsive drag and drop theme for all our websites, meaning you have the ability to access all the features we did when we first built your website. If you want to create a new page entirely yourself, the tools are there for you to do so, no coding required.
We don’t disappear once your website is built. Let’s say you’re having trouble setting up a third party integration. Give us a call and we’ll walk you through it or make you a screen recording. Alternatively, if you decide your time is better spent writing proposals, we can set up that integration for you.
Google Analytics setup
We’ll set up an Analytics account and connect it to your website (with a basic overview in WordPress itself) so you can see your traffic and monitor demographics, if you’re so inclined.
We build our websites with speed in mind, and included for all our clients is a fantastic premium caching plugin to make sure your site loads quickly.
Free SSL setup
We set up security certificates for every website we build at no extra cost (https:// – shows the little green padlock in the address bar). Read more about what SSL is and why it matters.
- Maintenance included in hosting
WordPress theme and plugin updates are released every week (core updates every few months). Occasionally an update will break something, so you also need to be running regular backups. When you see those “as low as” hosting advertisements, they do not include maintenance. Weekly updates, backups, security and uptime monitoring are included in our hosting costs.
No hosting upsells
If you purchase hosting yourself, you’ll have to educate yourself on the different types of servers, how much storage/bandwidth you’ll need and other un-fun technical things. Hosting renews annually, and hosts will often try to upsell you on products or features you don’t need. Our recommendations are tailored to you. We’ll only suggest an upgrade if your business really needs it, and we’ll explain why.
We’re familiar with the most popular plugins and integrations for WordPress, so we can make recommendations on what will work best for your business, as well as be most cost effective.
We are designers first and foremost – you aren’t working with colorblind codemonkeys who’ll make something functional yet hideous. Our job is to make you look good, and we take it seriously. Clean, professional, and consistent branding are what we do.