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As an Atlanta website design company who works hand in hand with many small business owners, we see first-hand the strain this virus pandemic has put on all of us. Small business owners right now have no choice but to lay-off employees and even close down businesses for an unforeseen amount of time. One client in particular, a bankruptcy attorney in Atlanta, has seen an influx of new cases and thinks it’s only going to worsen.
According to Chase, the average business holds cash reserves to cover only 27 days of expenses. If this is you, you already know that the clock is ticking and soon you will run out of money to pay your bills and mortgage.
The CARES act (an acronym for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) is a stimulus package that can help small business owners going through financial hardships. The key here is to figure out which one you qualify best for:
EIDLs were created in the event of a natural disaster. The Coronavirus was recently declared a new type of disaster. Now businesses nationwide are eligible to apply for ‘Economic Injury Disaster Loans.’
Here are some quick notes on it:
To apply directly via the SBA go to www.SBA.gov/disaster. When applying, be sure to apply for Economic Injury for the Coronavirus rather than physical damage due to a disaster. You have to have been in business since January 21, 2020 to qualify. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus.
As of now, there is no guaranteed timeline as to how fast you’ll receive the money, so the best advice is to apply now.
Time and time again, I will have a concerned client forward me an email, and it always seems to be the same culprits. If you have several domains in your domain/hosting account, you have probably seen these yourself. I hope this article gets shared enough so that small business owners understand what this is and how to avoid them. We are going to walk you through it all. After each confusing message, we will translate it in highlighted text. Please share this article with your colleagues and friends who own domains.
This message is to inform you that your invoice no. 815082095 to be due on 2020-03-28 is SUSPENDED. In this first paragraph they are doing several things. First they invent an invoice number as if you already have an outstanding balance that is due, and about to be suspended somehow. They want you tho think that your domain (Since they mention it so many times, will expire and be available to the public. There is no such invoice so don’t worry.
Please ensure that you make payment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid any TERMINATION of service to yourwebsite.com. Termination of what services, exactly? They are trying to make you think it’s about your domain. They are also making it sound as if you have an account with them that will be TERMINATED. There is a 100% chance that you have never done business with these con artists.
More scare tactics from a scam company. Here is ‘legally’ what they are telling you. That if you don’t pay this scam company, they will delete your information from their systems. 1st off, they won’t delete you, they will keep scaring you year after year. However, this isn’t how they make it sound. The idea is to have you think that your domain company (who they are trying to falsely perpetrate) will have no choice but to let your domain go and erase any of your information- so basically, your domain is free to anyone who wants it….if you don’t send them that check. Dirty scumbags.
https://domainwebstation.com/?n=yourwebsite.com&r=a&t=1585364304&p=v1- Here, they conveniently give you a link, personalized with your domain, to make a payment.
Disclaimer notice: We can not be held legally liable for any claims, damage or loss that you may incur because of the cancellation of yourwebsite.com. So this is the shameless part. Here we go again with the term, ‘cancellation.’ Nothing is getting cancelled, but the fact that they have all your information, and are trying to perpetrate themselves as your domain company could make it seem really scary. Scary enough to fork over a payment to the scam artists.
Any such damages may include but are not exclusively limited to: monetary losses, deleted data without backups, loss of position in search rankings, missed appointments, undelivered email and any other service, business or technical damages that you may incur. Gotta give them credit for their creativity of things that will happen if you don’t pay the scam artists.
For more information please refer section 19.a.3.f of our Terms of Service. As if it really existed (wink wink).
This is the final renewal message that we are required to communicate in regards to the expiration professionalofficesuitesllc.com. They say it’s a renewal message, although you never had a contract with them to begin with, so using this term is probably unlawful.
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT: https://domainwebstation.com/?n=yourwebsite.com&r=a&t=1585364304&p=v1 Their fraudulent website seems pretty straight-forward, but you’ll notice there isn’t a whole lot of information about them. They do have an address on there but who knows if that’s real.
All online services will be restored automatically on professionalofficesuitesllc.com upon confirmation of payment. We thank you for your cooperation and continued business. In other words, services that never existed to begin with will be restored.
This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Your Company Name (http://yourwebsite.com)
Your domain is sitting in your actual account. That could be Godaddy, Bluehost, Host Gator, SiteGround, or any other legitimate domain company. If you’re not receiving an email from any of the above, then everything else is garbage and spam.
If you are not sure exactly where your domain account is, then you really should make a note of it, so you could avoid scams like this. In case you don’t remember, do a search in your inbox or ask your website design company, who helped you set everything up.
Once you do access your account, be sure to check your settings so that you will always receive important messages from them. Set your products to auto-renew every year. This way you never have to worry about your domain every expiring. Also be sure to check the expiration date of the credit card on file.
Make it a habit to sign into your domain account every once in a blue to make sure everything looks as it should.
Solution 1: Pay for Domain privacy in order to hide your personal info:
If you are receiving these fraud emails, it probably means that you declined the offer. Should you decide not to purchase the privacy add-on, you are choosing to expose all your information to opportunists, such as annoying web design companies who want to build you a website, or a graphic designer who wants to create your logo.
They now know your name, your domain, your phone number and maybe even your address. You will also expose yourself to scam artists who try to make you think that your domain will expire.
The easy solution is to pay the $10-$15 a year to privatize your personal information and do away with all the marketers and online scam artists.
Solution 2: Add Google ReCAPTCHA to your contact forms
When these companies cannot find access to your email, they resort to filling out a contact form on your website. So even if you do pay for domain privacy, you are not in the clear. To prevent spam bots from blowing up your contact forms, use Google reCAPTCHA. You’ll need a Gmail account to set one up.
Solution 3: If you’re still unsure, it’s best to contact your website designer. Personally speaking, we have been connecting domains, transferring domains, renewing domains for our clients, adding dns text records and much more. Therefore, we also usually know who you are, and who you’re not hosting with.
Ready to fight back and put these dirt bags in their place? Report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Here is a link to their page. Click here.
A long time ago, it was easy to manipulate a website so that it got to the top of Google searches. I hear it all the time, “Ish, our website used to be number 1 all over the state or even the country, and now we have plummeted.” Since then however, Google has changed it’s stance on what matters and what doesn’t. Websites that are using the same formula from years ago that have awarded them in the past, are now being left behind in the dust.
Google has now adopted a formula that makes total sense in my opinion, and essentially, it’s this: The more love you put towards your website, the more Google will take notice.
As someone who builds websites for a living and offers search engine optimization (SEO) services in Atlanta, I can attest that this is truly the case, because I have seen it for myself. I have clients who ask for a website and once it’s done, they never bother to update it. On the other hand, I have clients who are always sending me new material to add to their site. Which person are you?
Instead, do something that’s much easier– fall back in love with your old passion. You know what i’m talking about- your job, your profession, the business you run. Remember the early days when you discovered you were really good at that one thing, and you decided to leave your 9-5 to pursue your own business? And now years later, you’re running your own business doing what you love, but perhaps it has become a bit mundane. If this is you- then you’re not the only one who has taken notice- so has Google.
Google has learned to think the same way a person would think when they visit your website. The ultimate goal now has become- the longer we could keep a visitor on your website, the more Google will take notice.
The more content you cook up, the more you enhance your website and your visibility. Me personally, I am ALWAYS ALWAYS thinking of topics to add to my website. I keep my phone as a handy device for when an idea quickly surfaces. I grab my phone and make a note of it before the idea leaves my head. By the end of every month, I have 2-3 new topics to discuss that I think people will find useful.
Most of my ideas spring into mind when I’m in the middle of performing my job.
Think about a typical work day for you. How many clients do you talk to? How many prospects call you asking questions. After a while, do you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again? Bingo- you’ve got a good topic.
How about a funny experience that occurred while on the job? Would that make a good article topic? Of course it would, do you know why? Because that’s a better topic than no topic at all. It also demonstrates to your visitors that you’re human, and not this big corporation.
Keep adding to your website. Think of new sections to add. Compose an FAQ page. Talk about an experience you had. Talk about common misconceptions. Sound like a human being, because this is what draws people to you. Always be alert for new topics you could add to your website. The more you do all of the above, the longer people will stay on your website, and perhaps they will keep returning for more. In the end, Google will take notice of the engagement your website produces, and in 2020, that’s what it’ll be all about.
I see a lot of business owners making the same mistake. They purchase dozens of domains and then they forward all of them to their main website. As an Atlanta SEO company, this is the equivalent of scratching a chalkboard with your fingernails.
When you ask them why they are doing that and what they are trying to achieve, they usually respond by saying something like, “It’s probably good for SEO…..Isn’t it?”
Wrong answer: If you’re doing it because you have very keyword-friendly domains (such as ‘atlantawebsitedesign.com) and you think, by having them forward to your main website, it’s going to help your SEO, then I feel bad that you’ve spent so much money and time. You should have spoken with your Atlanta website design company first! More on this below.
Correct answer #1: “I purchase dozens of domains because they are just variations of my website’s main domain and I don’t want anyone else to have them.”
Correct answer #2: “I buy a lot of domains and I create landing pages or websites with original content for each of them.
Correct answer #3: “I buy and sell domains for a living. This is my business.”
The bottom line is no. So long as the domain is doing nothing but just forwarding, it’s considered completely obsolete to search engines. Forwarding your domain to a website does not give instant power to that domain. It’s nothing more than a “parked” domain that is being told to direct people to a different destination. So why would Google want to make these domains with “no home” relevant?
If someone does a Google search that matches word for word with the domain that you are forwarding, Google is not going to list your domain in a search result and then take the visitor somewhere else. How would that make Google look?
Also, think about it. If this did work, then everybody would be doing it. Google is too smart for that.
If you are forwarding a bunch of domains to your main website, let’s just say that you are muddying the waters and making it difficult for Google to understand who your true identity really is. You are essentially masking your website with the 20 domains that are forwarding to it. Let’s not confuse Google, okay?
The only time forwarding a domain to another website is a good idea is if you had an old website, and for one reason or another, it was time to shut it down. You can then funnel anyone who was aware of that website to your new website. Or, if Google had that website indexed, you can send that traffic to the new site or new business.
Well if you don’t want anyone else to have them, I suppose you could just hold on to them. You could try to sell them perhaps, but that’s a hairy business. Your only other option is to create websites for them, or maybe landing pages. Will they rank on Google searches? Only if you give them the same time, dedication, and love as your main website- or else, it won’t stand a chance against all of your competitors. Also, don’t forget to give it 100% original content. Perhaps you are starting to see all the work that you would inherit by doing it this way. That’s why Google will tell you that the best thing to do is to give your main website 100% of your focus.
It’s time that someone talks “normal” language when it comes to website hosting. Too many times we feel like we’re at the local mechanic getting are car fixed and having to take the mechanic’s word that “there is a problem with your vehicle.” We don’t know what they’re talking about, never heard of that part before, not sure if they are ripping us off or charging fairly, you get the point. We are here to talk to you like a human, so that you are aware of your options. We will also give you some great advice that will save you lots of money, because a lot of times you will be talked into buying a bunch of add-ons that you don’t really need.
Too many times we feel like we’re at the local mechanic getting are car fixed and having to take the mechanic’s word that “there is a problem with your vehicle.”
Founder of Webstuffguy.com
A topic we have to explain to owners of a new website. Your website needs a home. That home is a server. This special server talks to the internet via a unique DNS address. This is how your website is displayed anytime someone types in your domain. (We’ll discuss domains in another article) When your website designer builds you a website, it comes in the form of thousands of files. These files must sit in a “server” where it “hosts” your website files. These files speak a language that forms a beautiful website, but it cannot be seen on the world wide web if you do not have hosting.
If you want your website to display on the world wide web, then yes, you need hosting. Even the largest companies in the world cannot escape this truth. Every website you visit is paying for hosting, so it’s not just you. While some of this sounds confusing, your trusted website designer should be able to handle all of this for you. But just understand that your website NEEDS hosting period.
Along with the fact that every website needs hosting, there is another truth. And that is that you will pay YEARLY for your hosting if you want it stay live on the internet. There is not a one time fee for hosting. Most people or companies set their hosting to auto-renew every year just in case they forget to pay by accident and their website shuts down. Most hosting companies offer incentives to sign up with them so you may save money your first year of hosting. After the specials all go away, expect to pay anywhere from $115 to up to $300 a year in hosting- all depending on who you decide to go with and what matters to you. Keep reading.
If you do not decide to renew your hosting after a year of it being live, your hosting company will discontinue the service and cut off your website’s connection to the internet- meaning your site will go down. If this happened accidentally, then you have a reasonable amount of time to pay what you owe and get it connected again no problem. If you wait too long to renew it, you may lose all the files in that server and you will be blindsided with costs as you will not only have to pay for a new server, but your website designer (assuming they have a backup of your site) will have to re-upload all your files back to the server. You will surely have to pay them for that. So bottom line is- don’t ever let your hosting expire. Keep an updated credit card on your account every year to avoid your site going down. Also keep an updated email address on file as well, as most companies will give you several fair warnings well before your hosting expires.
This is a very important question, and an area where people make the most mistakes. It matters where you host your website. Our advice is that you go with a 3rd party hosting company, and avoid the hosting packages that many website design companies “throw in” as part of their packages. This is because any website design company that offers you hosting will give you the same server that any 3rd party hosting company will offer you, only they will jack up the price to make a profit on top of it. You are paying for the same thing.
Apart from the warning above, another negative is the following: When your website designer hosts your website, you are essentially tied at the hip for as long as your website exists. This means that if things don’t work out between the both of you, you still have to deal with them because YOUR Website is on THEIR servers. It’s sort of like an ugly divorce when kids are involved- you will always be in contact with your ex-spouse.
When building a website and the topic of hosting comes up, make sure to let your website designer know that you want the site hosted on your personal hosting account. Create an account with a Godaddy, Host Gator, Blue Host, or any of your favorite hosting companies and put a credit card on your account. Once that is done, give permission to your website designer to pick out the best hosting for you. Now you are keeping them honest- they have no dog in this fight. They will pick out the hosting you need and can’t worry about any commission they make on top of it. Also, when things no longer work out with your website designer, you can walk away from them freely knowing that your files are safe on YOUR hosting account. Be sure to change your passwords though and remove any permissions they have to access your account or hosting.
Let’s go over some of them here and give you a description followed by a recommendation:
Everyone has their own preference, and every website designer has already dealt with numerous companies and may be able to recommend a good one for you. The bottom line is make sure to do a little research. But here are some things to consider for those times when your website goes down unexpectedly.
We hope we helped you in making a choice of who will host your website. Stay tuned for more advice. Have a topic? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section below.
You may have your own special reason to launch a new website in a hurry. Perhaps you never got around to it and now you have deadlines looming. Perhaps your previous website designer did not perform as you expected them to and now you are looking for someone new. Or perhaps there is no urgency at all. Perhaps you are just wanting to know simply how long it will take.
Every Atlanta website design firm works differently, so this is an important question to ask. And it’s a question that we get asked very often. There are several factors that play into the equation of how long it takes for a company to complete your website. Some of those include:
If launching your website sooner rather than later is important to you, then it’s important to know how much of a workload your website designer currently has. Now while not all website designers are willing to come forward, it doesn’t hurt to ask anyway. At the very least it will communicate to them that you are needing for them to put a rush on it, which isn’t such a bad thing. Some website designers may skip you to the front of the line if you offer them a good enough incentive.
If we are redesigning your website, then we are not “inventing the wheel.” All your content is already there, and as a website designer, we have a good idea of what you are wanting. It certainly helps to move things along if a website already exists. We can pull the content, we can migrate all the imagery, we already know what the navigation menu structure will consist of, and much more. So chances are, if you already have a website running, your website designer should be able to complete your website a lot faster than if you are starting from scratch. If you are starting from scratch, then read below!
In our last article, we discussed all the benefits of working together with your website designer and not leaving it all up to them to make all your decisions. If you are pressed for time to get your new site launched and are starting from scratch, then the best way to move forward is to help your website designer help you. Provide them for content for every page. Start with the homepage, as this is usually where we will most likely start. Provide them with content and imagery so they could begin designing. Remember, as a website designer, our job is to “design” your website. We put it together for you, but we still need you to give us the pieces. The more involved you are, the faster things will move along. So stay involved, and don’t leave it all up to us.
Which brings us to our final point. Are you easily and readily available should we need to ask you something? If not, did you appoint someone on your staff to help us move along? Communication is key to helping get a website completed. The bottom line is we need your input and feedback. So if you want your website to be completed sooner, get more involved! Now some website design companies may not need all the communication, especially if you already provided the info mentioned above. If that is the case, we will let you know that we have everything we need and that we’ll be in touch. That is usually a signal to call off the dogs, and let us do our thing. At the end, you could be assured that the company is working hard on completing your project.