Here are links to supporting services you may need with your web project. If what you’re looking for isn’t here, please ask.
Hostmonster.com is the preferred hosting provider of Birdwing Designs, as it tends to exceed standards of quality and reliability, is affordable, has great customer support (real humans on the phone), and they support all the technologies you’ll need for your site including WordPress. Purchase a multi-year plan to get the lowest rate. You don’t need any of the add-ons.
Tip: Hostmonster offers domain name registration and may even offer you a free one with your hosting purchase. We do not recommend this, as it’s easy for domains to get confusing when you have them registered with multiple providers, and Hostmonster’s renewals will be more expensive than GoDaddy, our recommended registrar.
registering your domain name
Your domain name is the web address for your site. Most businesses have several, with one that is the primary address and others that point to the primary address. Domains are purchased through a domain registrar. Some tips when registering your domain:
- Register all the domains you think you could need and can afford. It prevents competition (that may not even exist yet) from encroaching on your brand or taking traffic that might otherwise go to you.
- Registering domains that include your top keywords will help your search engine rankings.
- Registering your domains for longer terms (5 years +) can help your search engine rankings.
- Transferring domains to new registrars is a pain in the butt. Use GoDaddy the first time and save yourself a lot of headaches. (But if you already have domains registered with a very expensive registrar like Network Solutions, it is worth the trouble to switch.)
Our registrar of choice is GoDaddy. Click here to get a $5.99 .COM domain from GoDaddy. You don’t need to purchase any of the add-ons.
FYI: We know it’s tempting to keep all your tech needs with one provider, but we do not recommend website hosting with GoDaddy. We have experienced security issues with them and they have a poor control interface.
Birdwing Designs is familiar with all the major email marketing providers, and we use and recommend iContact. iContact has some of the top customer support in the industry and its design options and feature set are top-of-the-line. We can provide you with training and setup for your e-mail marketing needs, including e-mail newsletter design and online marketing best-practices. Next choices behind iContact are MailChimp and Emma.
Moo is our favorite provider of business cards. They have a lovely, oversized template and offer rounded corners if you choose. They also have mini-cards and you can upload as many different designs as you wish. Click here to get 10% off your order from Moo.
For very fast, high quality postcards, we use Overnight Prints. Click here to get up to 50% off your next order.
writing for the web
Putting together all of the content for your website is a big job. But it may not require quite as much writing as you think.
branding & design
Before & After has hundreds of great resources for logo development and accessible, short graphic design tutorials.
optimizing your website for search engines
Whether you already have a website and are wanting more visibility, or are writing content for your new site and want to make sure it attracts the attention of search engines (and therefore new customers,) there are specific steps you can take to get the results you’re looking for.
Our search engine package is designed to do just this, and you have the power to augment this dramatically – both through your content writing and by finding other sites who link to you.
Blogs are already built to seduce the search engines and they’re the world’s simplest way to write on the web. Starting a blog is easy, free and it’s super way to augment your online marketing strategy.
We recommend using WordPress.
I recommend to my clients that every quarter they do a comprehensive check of all the links on their site, since links to other sites are ever-changing. Here’s a good one: drlinkcheck.com
Guess what the number one question we get from our clients is? You guessed it. It’s “what’s my password again?”
Is that how you want to use our $95/hr? It is a much more effective use of your time and money to have a reliable password management system of your own – not only for your site related activities but for everything. I urge every client to set up an account with Passpack. It’s free and you can leave the tab open in your browser all the time, making it easy to jump in and grab whatever password you need right when you need it. Get it. Use it. Love it.