Frequently Asked Questions
Got A Question? We’ve got answers!
Whether you’ve been living in the world of web and print design your whole life through, or if you’re a complete stranger, and all this is new, you’ll likely have questions to ask or concerns to post — not a problem my friend, we’ll answer them all (or, at the least, most). Below are the wonderful questions our visitors ask. Educating clients is a proudly task.
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Top General Questions
Personalized design support and guidance for your unique artistic needs.
Our in-house designer oversees every single aspect of the web design, tailoring the site to meet all your specific needs, discuss options, and find the best solution for you. We’re there for you every step of the way before, during, and long after your website has been launched.
Your Domain is simply the “.com” (ie. www.MickLauer.com). It is also commonly referred to as a “URL”. Many designers will charge monthly fees for your Domain. The truth of the matter is that Domains are generally purchased by the year, not the month. We feel it’s only fair to do the same. Purchasing a website from ArtistUpgrade will guarantee your Domain name for the first year. After that, if you choose to renew your website with us, the cost will be about $10 for each consecutive year or equivalent to the industry standard to keep your website up and running on the web.
Yes! Your domain is simply your address in cyberspace. When we’re ready to launch your website with ArtistUpgrade, we tell your domain to call up the website from our host and, ta-da, your site works on your domain! Okay, it’s a little more complex than that, but we won’t bother you with the boring details. Suffice it to say, we can work with your domain registrar to get your site up and running.
The Host (or Server) is where is your website lives. Think of the Host as a garage that is rented out to your website (the car). Some hosts can only handle a few websites, but ours has room to spare! So, instead of charging you a monthly fee, we’ll gladly host your website, free of charge, for as long as you’re our client with us. What can we say? We like to share!
Yes! We are happy to reDesign websites. If you want to keep your own host and maintain your own site, we can make arrangements to transfer the finished site to your server. Otherwise, we’re happy to offer complimentary hosting to all of our clients.
There are dozens of browsers on the Internet. Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Yahoo, Google Chrome, and many many more. Each browser interprets or “reads” websites in a slightly different way. We do our best to create your site so that is viewable in all major current browsers and many mobile devices. For security purposes, we do not design for the lowest common denominator or outdated versions of browsers (like IE 6 or AOL). Please contact us if you have more questions about specific browser compatibility!
A template is the basic layout of your web pages; for instance, where the buttons are located, where the photo is placed on the screen, and so on.
While we are adept at Flash™, we do not find that it serves our clients well. Flash™ is useful for a number of purposes: online applications, cool web-ads, and showing off your Flash™ skills to people who require Flash™. But in a world that values time, you’ll wind up doing more damage than good with a thirty-second Flash™ intro to your website, or distracting your viewers while they visit your website with extraneous movements.
It’s amazing how many people lose interest (rather than gain) after having to sit through half a minute of whooshing images and funky beats. The point of a website, especially your website, is to give your audience information about you, not showcase how talented your Flash™ designer is. Not only that, but Flash™ is not compatible with all devices. It’s true, most people have access to the Flash™ plug-in, but there are still those who do not. For this reason, most Flash™ sites have alternative HTML sites that will render in browsers or devices that don’t read Flash™. Keep in mind that this means the development of two websites, and usually twice the investment.
If you do decide that Flash™ is the way you’d like to go, we’re happy to discuss options and point you in the right direction. In our experience, Flash™ is an option, but not the best option for the majority of our clients.
At ArtistUpgrade, you pay for what you get, and that’s it. Why do we do this? Well, we’d rather avoid the smoke and mirrors and give you what you want: a website that works and provides you with the options you need to keep your website current, effective, and up to speed while allowing flexibility with your budget. We also believe that edits which take minutes shouldn’t cost you an hour. ArtistUpgrade has developed our Signature Websites to give you the most for your money with options that suit your specific needs, budget, and goals.
Custom Edits are edits that require custom design needs – for example, changing your color scheme or re-formatting the template of a page. For these types of customized edits, our designers charge $65 per hour on a pay-as-you-go basis.
We ask for a deposit for two reasons. One, when you decide to purchase a website we make a commitment to you: you become our priority and your deposit insures our love. Two, there is a lot of work that goes into the preparation of building your personal website. By making a deposit, we know that you are just as committed to your website as we are. Many times, people will want a website only to find out that there is effort involved to make it happen. Your deposit lets us know that you are serious, and ensures that you receive the best customer service and care. Deposits are non-refundable, but never expire.
In order to build your website, there will be a number of materials that need to be provided: files containing photographs, text, video and/or sound samples, basically all the content that you would like incorporated into your website. We understand that gathering all your materials can be a daunting task, which is why we have developed a systematic website building guide that will help you consolidate all of your materials in the easiest, least time-consuming way possible to ensure you website contains all the information you’d like to present to the world.
Questions asked by Actors & Artists
One word: Personalized. Most actor and artist website developers on the market are more like website factories. They take your pictures, your text, and your resume and pump them into a template (or ten templates of your “choice”), and call it a website. Or, they give you the platform and tell you to design your own site. For many artists, this is an affordable option that allows for more user control. But, unless you are a designer, you will be limited in the customization and personalization that these types of sites are capable of accommodating.
At ArtistUpgrade, we take a more personal approach to website design. We work with you one-on-one to create an original design that complements all your materials and career goals. It’s not just about making a site that looks good, but rather, developing a brand image that will highlight your unique qualities and talents.
If you’re looking for a customized look, you get customized. If you’re looking for personal service, you get personal. We don’t hide behind phone operators and automatic emails. Your website is completely in our hands, which means, your website is complete in your hands. ArtistUpgrade is committed to working with you to develop the most comprehensive, professional, personal, and effective website on the market. We will guide you step by step through the process and continue to offer our support, advice, and personalized service, before, during, and long after your website has been launched.
Yes and no. Yes, because we create every ArtistUpgrade Signature Website to include CMS technology, which allows you to login to your account and edit all the text on your site. So, if you need to change you phone number, or add a credit to your resume, there’s no need to contact ArtistUpgrade. All the changes take place in real time, so as long as you have internet access, you can edit your site from anywhere in the world.
ArtistUpgrade gives you the option to set up your photo gallery through Picasa so you can easily upload and edit all the photos in your gallery. For all other photo edit requests, such as edits to banners, buttons, and design elements need to go through us. But the good news is, making edits to these types of design elements is always easy and affordable.
Having a hundred templates is the same as having none. All you’re saying (with that many choices) is that you don’t know what the best choice is. We believe that the goal of your site isn’t to have the most original design; the goal is to have most effective design. So we developed a comprehensive website structure that is equally easily customizable, accessible, and functional.
The foundation of the ArtistUpgrade Signature Site didn’t come out of thin air or out of the idea that it just “looks” great. We’ve done our research, consulted industry professionals and professional artists across America, and implemented all their feedback to create the most stylish, clean, and efficient website design specifically to fit the unique needs of artists. We’ve been a part of the artistic community for over 10 years and understand the elements of a well-constructed website, and the career damaging capabilities of a poor one.
With every website created at ArtistUpgrade, we’re constantly researching, critiquing, analyzing and modifying our designs to meet the needs of the artistic community. It is our job, as well as our goal, to ensure that artists everywhere are getting the most effective website on the market. The AristUpgrade Signature Websites serve that purpose with precision and professionalism and are continually evolving to make perfect something that’s already great. Rather than starting from scratch, which would require a lot of pre-design leg work, the format for the ArtistUpgrade Signature Websites already has a strong foundation in place – so we can spend more time investing in all the fun stuff like colors and fonts without charging an arm and a leg for custom development from the ground up.
There are two reasons only ArtistUpgrade can edit these elements of your site: Technology and Integrity.
The Good News: Every element we use on your website has to be approved by both the client and the designer. You’re coming to us for professional design and we take our work seriously. If we allowed our clients to whimsically upload any and all media elements to their website, the professional integrity of the work could be (and often is) lost. Most images that are posted to your ArtistUpgrade website have been edited in some way by our designers (be it color-correction, resizing, retouching, and more) to create a powerful brand image. All elements work together to create a strong marketing message that results in an original design just for you. If one visual element changes, there is a ripple effect that all the other elements will need to be adjusted as well.
The Other Good News: You CAN edit your text-based information from any computer connected to the internet and also upload and label photos to your photo galleries. Any future edits you need to make to your sound clips and videos are only an email or phone call away! We’ve developed a fast and hassle free system to keeping your site current. Simply email your edits along with any images, sound clips, and videos to email@example.com and your edits will be complete within 24 hours. Not only that, but we also offer rush editing for clients who need updates pronto!!
Questions asked by Voiceover Talent
Your demo is the most important part of your voiceover marketing materials, and we always recommend having a demo, or be in the process of getting one, well in advance before we build your website. If you are looking to get a One Page Voiceover Site, it is crucial that we have your demo before beginning the design process. Because we focus on creating websites that effectively and accurately represent you as an artist, much of this comes from listening to your demo(s). Our head designer pays close attention to your vocal qualities, and creates a design that complements not only your voice, but also your specific target market. Your website will ultimately showcase you, your voice, and what you have to offer for a specific niche.
If you do not yet have have a demo professionally recorded, we recommend Edge Studio.
Great! We will happily put as many as 10 demos on your One Page Voiceover Site, as part of the package price. If you have even more than that, there’s just a $5 charge per additional track. Not too bad, eh? We do not recommend, however, plastering your website with dozens of demos just because you can. You want to be sure to showcase your best work, so choosing a select few that really promote your voiceover talents is more beneficial than including all of the demos you’ve ever recorded in your life.