Frequently Asked Questions
What is an online storefront?
An online storefront is the online face of your enterprise. The past year has forever changed the way we do business. Your website is often the first and only contact consumers have with you. It is more important than ever for entrepreneurs to have a high-quality, professional website.
In today’s ever-changing business environment, it is important to think outside-the-box in order to meet the needs of their customers and clients. Everyone from retailers to restaurants to service providers have rushed to modify their business plan to include an online sales and service option. Many entrepreneurs have either added an online storefront to their existing business or replaced their brick-and-mortar store entirely with an online storefront.
Whether you are designing your own site or hiring a design firm, keep in mind that your website will be most people’s primary point-of-contact. You wouldn’t want your brick-and-mortar storefront to be dilapidated, with peeling paint and leaky plumbing, nor do you want your online storefront to be second-rate Just as you invest money in the upkeep of a building, you should invest in upkeep of your website.
In today’s global economy, you are no longer just competing with the guy across the street. Your website is compared to everyone in your industry worldwide. Even if you are a local or regional business, customers who Google your keywords are going to get hits nationally or internationally.
How much does a website typically cost annually?
The yearly cost of a website is less than you may think. It varies somewhat depending on the theme, web hosting package, and domain you choose. When we create a site, we budget the following annual expenses:
Domain Privacy: $8*
Web hosting: $60
Total: $183 per year
Remember that the costs of a business website are tax deductible! Our Website Packages include all of these for the first year.
*Domain privacy is optional but highly recommended to protect your personal information. You can find free themes, but they offer less design options. Elementor is an optional WordPress website building that makes building and managing your site much easier. All of our website packages include these options for the first year.
What sort of ongoing maintenance is required to keep a website running smoothly, and how much does it cost?
If you are tech savvy, you could manage your own website. Typically, website management consists of:
- Plug-in Updates
- Theme Updates
- Routine Backups
- Website Security
- Up Time Monitoring
If Content Empowered builds your website, you have the option of purchasing a 1-hour Zoom call once your site is complete to teach you how to perform this routine maintenance. This is a $100 add-on service not included in our package pricing.
Of, if you’d rather not do your own maintenance, Content Empowered can keep your site running smoothly for $49/month.
Is creating a website hard to do?
If you’ve never built a website before, it can feel like a daunting undertaking. These days, there are many apps and tools that make it possible for even a design novice to create a basic website. Online website builders such as WordPress, Wix, Joomla!, and others provide templates and easy to navigate platforms for beginners.
With a little time, effort, and trial and error, it is possible to build your own website. Unfortunately, without knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) and basic design principles, it’s difficult to compete in an ever-expanding online marketplace.
Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from building the business of your dreams. If the idea of building your own website feels overwhelming, hire a professional! Content creators and designers such as Content Empowered can work with you to bring your vision to life.
What website builder is preferred by Content Empowered?
Our preferred website development platform is WordPress. We like to work with a software called Elementor, which makes designing and formatting on WordPress simple, easy, and intuitive. However, if you have an existing site on a different platform, don’t be discouraged! Depending on the extent of the redesign, we can easily switch it to WordPress, or simply work within the existing structure.
What is a domain? What is web hosting?
Let’s run with the “storefront” analogy. If you were going to build a brick-and-mortar store, clinic, or practice, you would need a building and land upon which to put your building. In some cases, you could own the building, but lease the land.
Imagine that your webhosting service is the land, and the domain is the actual building. Consider your payment for a webhosting service your “rent” for the online real estate on which you build your storefront. The domain is the building itself. Once you purchase a domain, you own it, as long as you make your annual payments.
There are so many companies offering domain and webhosting services that sifting through to find the best prices and terms can be quite a process. When you work with Content Empowered, we give our clients the option to choose their own domain and webhosting services. Or, if you’d prefer, we can do the research for you, purchase your domain and web hosting, and invoice you the cost.
This is a lot like hiring a real estate agent to help you find a property to buy. You rely on their expertise so you don’t have to sift through all the listings and negotiate the best price for yourself.
If you purchase one of Content Empowered’s website packages, the cost of domain and web hosting is included in the price. For all other customers, the cost of domain and web hosting would be applied against your initial down payment.
What if I want to start a blog and/or send regular emails to my list, but I’m not a writer?
Content Empowered is more than happy to help you with your blog and/or routine emails. During our meetings, we can discuss what you’d like your blog and/or emails to look like, how regularly you’d like to post, the length of posts, and/or emails, whether you’d like to assign blog and/or email topics or you’d like us to develop a list of topic ideas, and whether you’d prefer us to ghostwrite these or post under our byline.
Whoa… What’s ghostwriting? What’s a byline?
Great questions! Ghostwriting is when you hire a professional writer to “clean up” your own writing, or the professional writer researches and writes the entire work, but your name is on the final product. A byline is the author’s notation, usually appearing after the title and before the text, or sometimes at the end of a written work.
Note that freelance writers depend on bylines to attract future work, so if they aren’t credited, they have less future income potential. For this reason, the charge for ghostwritten work is higher than a credited byline.
How can I learn more to decide whether Content Empowered is right for my business needs?
We offer a free ½-hour introductory Zoom or phone meeting so you can get to know us, ask your burning questions, and give us an idea what you’re looking for. We’ll email you a brief questionnaire to return to us before the introductory meeting. This gives us an opportunity to get to know a little bit about you and your business, so that we can get the most out of our ½-hour together.
Do I have to buy a Website Package in order for Content Empowered to create my site?
No! We can modify any of our plans to meet your unique business needs. Contact us to chat about your options.
How many revisions do the website packages include?
Here’s the breakdown:
Basic Option: 2 revisions
Advanced Option: 3 revisions
Premium Option: 4 revisions
Basically, the deeper the site (this means the more pages your site has) the more revisions you’ll need to make sure it’s just right.
How long does it take for Content Empowered to create a website?
Each project is unique, so the length of time varies by project. For typical sites, plan on 4-6 weeks for completion. If we anticipate your project to take longer, we will provide an estimated completion date. Keep in mind, we can’t maintain deadlines unless everyone is invested in the agreed-upon production schedule. This means the client must schedule meetings and return revisions with requested changes in a timely manner.
Do I get charged for emails exchanged with Content Empowered during the contract period?
No. Clients are welcome and encouraged to reach out to Content Empowered with questions, comments, concerns, and all your great ideas! We do ask that our clients compile a list of questions into one email per day, rather than send multiple emails in a 24-hour period. This minimizes confusion and streamlines communication. Content Empowered will do our best to respond to emails within 48 business hours.
What are Content Empowered hours of operation?
Content Empowered is based in the United States, in Mountain Standard Time. We do our best to limit our work to a standard Monday-Friday work week. Unless otherwise agreed upon in advance, Content Empowered does not typically work on evenings or weekends. All emails and phone messages will be responded to within 48 hours, Monday-Friday. Messages sent on Friday may not be answered until Monday.
Exceptions can be made to accommodate clients in international time zones.
Do you have a payment plan?
Yes, we do! We want to make it as easy as possible for you to build your business. Payments can be made in two or four installments. The first installment is due once we have an agreed upon service contract and prior to our first 1-hour Zoom meeting. (This is after your free ½-hour introductory session, once you’ve decided that we will provide the content and tech support of your dreams!)
For clients who choose a customized plan, a down payment of $150 is due prior to the first 1-hour Zoom meeting. (Again, this is after your free ½-hour introductory session.) Thereafter, ongoing clients and those on a modified plan will be billed monthly at our hourly rate.
Is creating and managing an online business fun?
Absolutely! We sure think so, and we hope you will, too! An online business allows you the flexibility to work on your own schedule, so you can be present for the most important things in your life, like family, friends, hobbies, and community. And, it’s the best way to turn your passion into a career, on your own terms. We will do our best to keep things light, encourage creativity, and inspire you to build the business of your dreams!