How to rate your web site host? Easy

I host my clients’ web sites, and that’s a lot different than just having a URL that’s hosted by a “GoDaddy” solution. Friends don’t let friends use GoDaddy.

I need my clients’ web sites to be up 24/7, to have email work correctly once configured, and not to spend a lot of time troubleshooting geeky things about hosting.

Some time ago, I had a bad experience with InMotion Hosting.

So I went to BlueHost. I highly recommend these folks. Their pricing has been clear and fair. They are up 100% of the time (in my year with them), and they have a phone number that someone actually answers. YAY.

But BlueHost is making changes. They’re ditching their Reseller program, which means you can’t host your clients’ web sites under an agency account. I can, because I’ve been grandfathered in, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be sticking around.

BlueHost has also changed its policy for support — they won’t spend as much time helping you. I think a premium support plan must be on the way.

How to rate your web host

I do realize that there are many hosting providers out there. And if you need to give good or bad feedback about them, try this link:

Customer Hosting Reviews
Who Is Hosting This

Look — the only way others will know what’s going on vis-a-vis web hosts is if you vote.

"Do I need a web writer?"

What ever happened to white space used well??

What ever happened to white space used well??

We get this question a lot: “Do I need a web writer?”

My answer is always, “Yes.”

  1. It takes a good web writer to write economically (i.e., not too much but not too little).
  2. A good web writer knows how to jumpstart your web site’s search engine optimization (by using words and phrases that your potential customers and qualified leads use to search for services like yours).
  3. It takes a good web writer to treat your business objectively, giving it the content that will bring your target audience(s) to your website.

Traditionally, graphic design has been orderly: a copywriter writes the copy and a graphic designer makes it visually sing.

Somehow, this orderly universe was disrupted in 1996 or so by the incredible speed with which the Internet crashed over all of us.

The geeks — the ones who knew how to program a web page — found themselves in control of this new world. Because they didn’t know anything about graphic design, their pages looked pretty bad — and they simply required their customers to provide copy, which usually wasn’t any better.

Most small- and medium-sized businesses didn’t know enough to hire their own writers, or a producer to oversee the process and a designer to ensure that what was programmed was actually any good.

And, in some pockets of this world, this is still how business is done.

We want you to be happy with your final web site, and for nothing to be left out or forgotten in the process. And even though you may not know design principles, you know what you like. Basecamp Productions gives that to you.

In short, we let designers design and writers write. Your budget won’t know the difference, but you will. We also provide a producer to oversee the process — all at no additional cost to you. Call us today. 410.404.5559.

Video 101: Think you can’t afford a video? Think again

Camera crew of Radio Bremen in Munich, Germany...

Image via Wikipedia

Think you can’t afford a video? Think again

OK, I won’t taunt you with lines like, “But you can’t afford NOT to make a video.”

When you don’t have enough money, you don’t have enough money.

However, you may just have enough money. Although it often costs $15,000-$25,000 for a typical corporate video, you can get a perfectly good 5:00 (five-minute) video (nothing very fancy, few if any actors and other bells and whistles but still perfectly respectable) for $8K-$9K — if you know how to shop.

So I’ll help you plan a video that won’t break the bank. Here are five steps to a video production you may be able to afford.

  1. First, you’ll get a script, probably $2,000 if your topic doesn’t require additional research.
  2. Then, you’ll hire a producer and ask for three days — one preproduction, one production, and one post-production day. $1,500-$1,800. This producer will guide your video through each step.
  3. You’ll only use one shooting day with no more than two primary locations not far from each other. On that day, your camera crew (a videographer, an audio technician, and a producer) will get footage and interviews. That will cost you around $2,100, including meals and snacks during the day. (Be prepared to have your producer work with you to streamline the script so that you only need that one shooting day.)
  4. You’ll have the project edited, which will include any additional graphics, music, photographs, and so forth. Let’s say two days at $1,200 a day. $2,400.
  5. Narration will cost around $350.

If all goes as planned (and, really, I have to say that every video is different!), you will have great video for $8,650. That’s a bargain.

There are ways, obviously, to spend more money on a production, and there are a few ways to spend less. Plus, there are ways to stretch your footage, so that you’re creating several videos instead of just one.

Remember: you can afford a video if it pays for itself and then some.

If you think you have enough money for a video, get in touch. We’d be happy to chat about your ideas and how we can stick to the budget you have. Call Susan Branch Smith @410.404.5559.

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