You have questions, we have answers! Here are some of the most common questions that we get, but if you don’t see what you are looking for, please visit our contact us page and ask away!
As soon as we start on your site, we give you a Dropbox account to upload your logos, images, media, etc. Generally speaking it takes us 2 to 4 weeks to complete most sites if there is good responsiveness by the client to our requests for information. More complex sites are bid out with a very specific timeline that is agreed to before the start.
We do not require that you host your site with us but our website hosting fees are very low by industry standards. We do this because it saves us in technical support time and costs compared to situations where the site is hosted somewhere else. When you are on a shared hosting plan somewhere else, you can see slow performance and interruptions in service due to other sites on that same server. Updates of the operating system, databases, WordPress plugins, etc can cause problems with your site. On our servers, we make sure that only our clients with our code are being served. This keeps things clean and simple. If we have to fix technical issues with your webpage that are caused by your hosting company and not due to our code, we will charge an hourly fee. We do not charge an hourly fee to fix issues if your site is hosted with us.
Its simple, just visit our page : click here to search for a domain name. or other registrar and do a quick search on your idea for a domain name. Once you have a name that you like (and is available) then go ahead and purchase that domain right online. It typically costs around15 dollars per year for the domain name which is basically a license plate for your site.
This is very common. First, we setup a test site for you on our server and build your new site. Once you are satisfied with your new site it is time to go live. We will go into your registrar (godaddy, etc) and change the nameserver information so that your domain name no longer "points" to your old server and will instead point to our server. Your prior webmaster will never know that you are working with us until after everything is switched over.
No. All our sites are designed to be mobile-friendly from the start. This is called a "responsive" design which means that the menus, images and content on your website will have a different view on smaller devices by design instead of just "smooshing" the images and content so that it fits on a smaller screen.
You will need a merchant account to process credit cards. Typically users will use PayPal or Authorize.net. We provide the gateway and insure that payments are processed seamlessly without ever having to leave your site.
An SSL Certificate is very imporant for several reasaons. It will protect your data and transactions, your clients will trust your site more and it actually improves your site's rankings. We provide a SSL Cert to ALL OF OUR HOSTED SITES AT NO CHARGE.
It is preferable that you use the .com extension for most sites as the average internet user will key that in by default. But there are plenty of different extensions. Here is a list of them and when they should be used.
.biz is a good alternative to .com for a small-business-related site.
.net stands for "network." If your site’s purpose is to provide some kind of web-based infrastructure (i.e., hosting, ISP, etc.), then you can use this one.
.org stands for "organization." Reserve this one for non-profit groups, professional or other associations, and sites purposed for a non-commercial mission.
.info, of course, stands for "information." Use this one for sites intended to serve as authoritative resources.
.mobi stands for "mobile." Reserve this extension for site built for mobile device access and usage.
.us is the country-specific domain for United States websites. Because it’s relatively new, it has a larger inventory that’s still available for use.
.bz originally was intended for Belize websites. Now, however, given that it’s unrestricted, it’s beginning to be used by small businesses who couldn’t get their preferred domains using .com or .biz.
tv (for "television," of course) should be reserved for multimedia sites, particularly those oriented around entertainment or media subjects or niches.
.name, interestingly, remains the sole extension meant for personal sites. It’s not generally a good idea to use this one for business sites.
A computer system that is complete with an operating system (what your software runs on), CPU (Central Processing Unit..aka "the brains", storage (usually a hard drive or two) and an Ethernet card to connect via hard wire to a router and/or internet. Servers used to be individual PCs linked together but now each server is a "blade" about the size of a notebook PC that is slide into place in a rack mounted system. Each rack can handle as many as 50 servers.
A client will pay to have their website, email, data and more to be hosted in one of these Server Farms. Essentially, they are renting one or more of the blades in a rack.
There are basically two types of common hosting plans, Shared and Dedicated. A Dedicated Hosting Plan means that the entire server is yours. A Shared Hosting Plan means that you are one of several (and in some cases many) users that pay a smaller fee to have your site on the same server as other sites. This offers a large cost savings vs a Dedicated Hosting Plan but is never recommended for high bandwidth applications or any site that has non-public information (such as bank accounts or credit card numbers).
It is important to check your hosting plan to see how data is protected and backed up. Common setups include dual hard drives in the same server that write at the same time so that if one dies, the other is still going without skipping a beat. Other methods include an automated backup of specific directories, files or even the entire hard drive to an offsite location. Also a "mirrored" system may be utilized. This is where a larger server farm operation has different geographical locations and they can "mirror" or duplicate all the activity on one server (for example in L.A.) with a server on their farm in a different location (for example in Houston). If the LA facility catches on fire or earthquake, then the Houston server is still going strong and the data is up and ready.
All servers use an operating system such as Microsoft ASP.net or a version of Red Hat Linux. The servers use the operating system in the background to handle all of the tasks of your site. Websites can be created in several different ways. The most common is usually though a CMS but the best sites are created by using a programming language.
Content Management System. The world’s most popular CMS is WordPress, others include Drupal and Dot Net Nuke (DNN). Using a CMS means that you don’t really need any programming background to create or manage a website. Using an administration panel, you just drop modules or “add ins" into place to get your site running. For example, you could just drop in a Contact Me addin and in a few seconds, it will add a Contact Me page to your site. CMS are for non-experienced programmers. These are almost always on a Shared Hosting Plan. If you are approached by a “programmer to set up your business’s site using WordPress….RUN! And find yourself a real programmer.
Just about all sites use one (or a combination) of high end programing scripts. This almost always includes Java Script and PHP which is a server side script (runs on the server and not on your desktop browser). HTML is the glue that holds it all together and the more advanced HTML5 runs smoothly on mobile and standard platforms. There are many other popular programming languages, the key is to use the appropriate language based upon your specific needs. A good programmer can utilize these languages to create any site, app or product that you want. This gives you the greater customization, flexibility, performance and speed over any site built with a CMS.
This is probably the most important issue for your site and the data on your site. While each industry might have unique consumer privacy and protection standards, every business needs to focus on the highest measure of security possible.
The first line of defense is at your Server Farm. There, the administrators have high-end monitoring systems that block or destroy malicious threats while they pass through their system’s routers and firewalls…before even reaching your server. But besides a direct attack on your server, some systems will try to "grab" your data from point A (the user’s desktop or mobile device) to point B (the server). The most common form of protection against this is via a SSL Certificate.
Secure Socket Layer. Essentially, the data is encrypted between point A and B by putting a very lengthy encryption key on the server side. Levels of SSL vary but the industry standard is 256 bit and can go as high as 2048 bit. The higher the level of encryption the better. However, many of today’s current browsers cannot handle the highest level of encryption…so that is not a good option for online stores, etc. You purchase a SSL Certificate from one of several authorized agents (like Comodo) and install the credentials and key on your site.
All websites at their most basic form, gather information (for example, through entered fields on a site) and that information is stored in a database. A website server can then retrieve that information from the database and do calculations on it, display it, etc. So, the database is a very important part of your website.
Most servers have this database installed on them. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS). Data can be stored, retrieved. sorted, indexed, etc by using SQL commands (a form of a programming language). This is most commonly achieved via APIs with PHP programming.
Application Program Interface. For our purposes, we will identify an API as a library of routines, data structures, variables, basically a remote call. APIs are often accompanied by a Key that grants access to a library of fields or data sets. An example of this would be google maps. Many sites utilize google maps and they do this by accessing the google maps library of functions and passing data (say an address) to google maps and returning a map or a route. The API is the bridge between the website and google maps…so it’s the way two programs are “talking" to each other and accessing features on a third party site.
In the case of LON and LoanQB, LON can only access the key words, tables, databases (MySQL) and process that LoanQB allows by making a secure library available to LON. Not ALL keywords, etc may be in that library…it depends on what LoanQB wants to make available to outside third party vendors. These vendors (like LON) need to have an extensive knowledge of the API library and have a key granted to them by LoanQB.
Software Development Kit. This is set of development tools that can allow for the quicker creation of applications. For example, if you wanted to make an app for an Android Device you would utilize a SDK with Java, for an iPhone with Swift. But it can also be a set of tools that enables a programmer to easily access API libraries and program with them.
This is basically an access point. It’s a way of utilizing APIs to access information on another server or site. A good example of this is your basic electric company. You log into their customer portal and access your account information (stored in their database) and pay your bill, etc. The rest of their server which serves their corporate needs is not accessible by the customer through the customer portal.
This is best described as a paint job on a car. (or lipstick on a pig). A programmer will create a site or web page that might look or feel better than the underlying system that provides the functionality. Often this is when a third party will program a website that is hosted on their server, and that site will access another site/server via API. It may look like you are on the first site all times but the main lifting is done on the other site.
This is usually when you have a system that is installed on a different servers or partitioned on the same server so that the same program can be run independently of the other and have a different database than the other.
It is very important to do the work upfront, invest your time in designing what you want and even create tables, macros and flowcharts to show and test your processes. Once you are satisfied with that, use it as a communication tool with your programmer. It is never a good idea to give a programmer a broad idea of what you want and need without also giving them very detailed processes and examples. This will prevent "spaghetti" programming which is when a program is constantly changed. Instead, a very linear approach by you and your programmer will yield the best results. This will end up saving you time and expense at the end of the project.
Customer Relationship Manager. Some good examples are SalesForce.com and SalesSquid.com or older systems like ACT or Goldmine. These systems enable companies to easily keep track of emails, calendars, tasks, meetings, accounts, sales lost and sales won, calls, notes, documents and project management.
(also spelled vapourware) is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled.
Business Processing Outsourcing. BPO is typically categorized into back office outsourcing, which includes internal business functions such as human resources, finance and accounting, and front office outsourcing, which includes customer-related services such as contact center services. BPO that is contracted outside a company's country is called offshore outsourcing. BPO that is contracted to a company's neighboring (or nearby) country is called nearshore outsourcing.
Stands for Graphical User Interface. A good, clean and simple to use UI is always best. Its how the user interacts with the system. Entering data into a field, checking a box, etc are all examples.
Domain Name System – it’s the industry standard set of protocols that map IP addresses to their sites. For example, you may have a domain name like McNeeSolutions.com that you purchased from a registrar service like GoDaddy. But then you need to tell GoDaddy where the server is that is hosting your site. So, you would enter in the DNS address for that server and it would be linked to the website name.
Internet Protocol. Just about everything has a IP address, its part of a systematically and interconnected, laid out grid that governs traffic in the internet. It makes two-way communication between sites, devices, etc possible as they will each have an IP address to route to.