FAQ

Questions about A Fearless Venture? Or services we provide? We probably have an answer ready for you below. If not, feel free to ask your own question.

Website Design

My site is on another platform; can I save and reuse my content?

Yes, you can copy and paste text, and download your images. But we can usually help you avoid that chore! Our content export/import tools save hours by allowing us to quickly and affordably copy over content from many popular website platforms.

I’m not a writer, but I want to make sure my copy effectively promotes my business. Can you help?

Yes. We think everyone should invest in professional copywriting, and can almost always recommend someone who’ll work with you to nail effective messaging for your business. Solid copy is as important as good web design.

What WordPress themes do you build with? Can you use a theme I choose?

We work only with premium themes we know from our experience are solidly coded, well supported and performance focused. The vast majority of sites we build use GeneratePress. We won’t use anything we don’t feel will serve you well, even if it means we don’t work together.

That said, we will ask for your preferences and incorporate them into your new site design. GeneratePress is less a theme with a specific design than a framework we can use to create anything we can imagine. We’re sure you’ll be happy with your design.

We also sometimes work with StudioPress Genesis themes, as long as they are those actually designed by StudioPress.

Do you work with any platforms other than WordPress?

We do on occasion work with Squarespace. While WordPress is best for most small businesses and blogs, Squarespace can be a good fit for local businesses or online businesses that need e-commerce capabilities and won’t be impacted by less powerful blogging tools.

Is WordPress software secure?

Yes and no.

It isn’t inherently insecure, however its popularity makes it an attractive target for hackers. This is only a problem in a few instances, almost all of which are avoidable. Read more about that in our post on WordPress security, and keep your site safe with our Site Care service.

How quickly can you design, build and launch my new site?

In our experience, it almost always takes between four and twelve weeks to design and launch a site.

Things that help it go more quickly:

  • Having all text and images ready to go before we start design.
  • Hiring a professional copywriter who’s on the ball.
  • Responding promptly to questions, feedback requests, resource needs, etc.
  • Providing related feedback and change requests at one time vs. over multiple days or several messages. (This also helps ensure we don’t miss anything.)
  • Smaller sites are quicker and simpler to build than larger sites. Our Basic One-Page WordPress Website is the simplest.

How much will it cost to design (or redesign) my website?

Our Basic Multi-Page WordPress Websites start at $4500. Our Basic One-Page WordPress Websites are $1200. We call these options ‘Basic’ because they provide a solid base for your new site. There’s nothing else ‘basic’ about them.

The end cost of a website project always has to do with a combination of the scope of the work required, the expertise and experience of the person designing it, and the rate she/he can command for the work.

Most of our clients spend between $6000-7000 with us. Use our Website Design Project Calculator to get pricing for your ideal site, and adjust options to suit your needs and budget. No signup required.

Site Care

What exactly does Site Care include?

Site Care is our monthly maintenance package for WordPress websites. It includes the daily tasks and checks WordPress sites need to stay safe, running well and be able to recover from disasters.

Let’s just be honest here: We know that daily website maintenance is insurance + easy disaster recovery…but that doesn’t sound super sexy to most people. So we add perks like premium plugins and discounts for any services you may need from us. It’s like we’re your mom – “If you eat your veggies, you can have cookies.” 🙂

Check out detailed lists of what’s included in each plan here. If you have questions about any aspect of Site Care, please get in touch.

What do you mean by “Smart Backups”?

Our system takes a full backup of your site – your posts, pages, your entire database, all your images and all your files. Once that’s done, it keeps track of what changes vs. what stays the same.

The most common kind of backups copy everything in your site, whether it’s changed or not. This results in huge file sizes. You have to pay for more disk space wherever you store your backups. And, copying the number and size of files in an average WordPress site takes significant processing power, potentially slowing your site for visitors.

Smart Backups doesn’t waste time, space or processing power backing up your site. And if there’s ever a need to restore from backup, that works in a jiffy, too.

Who will have access to my site?

At the present time, only our internal team – Brian Ott and Teresa Rosche Ott – has direct access to your site. When the volume of business exceeds what we can easily handle ourselves, we will vet and hire experienced employees we trust.

If your site is experiencing issues we may ask our software vendors to take a look, which would require granting temporary access. If we need to give access to a third party for any reason, we will notify you. Then, we will create a separate account that we’ll delete once they’re through.

We never share our logins outside of our company. All of our logins for sites we care for are stored in a secure password manager.

Where are my site backups stored? Can I have access to them?

We store backups in the cloud, in two completely separate locations. We also use two different backup methods, in case one fails.

We are unable to allow access to backups – even your own – because we rely on them restore your site if there’s a glitch or disaster. We can, however, provide a copy of your backup on request.

I know how to do my own maintenance. Why wouldn’t I?

If you’re doing it right, you’re spending at least 8-10 hours per month on maintenance. In that time you could have created and promoted content, or tackled numerous other things that would be of more value to your business than site maintenance.

If you’re not spending at least a couple of hours every week, sorry – we don’t mean to completely discount your efforts, but you’re not doing everything we do.

Backing up to two places. Updating plugins, themes and WordPress itself. Checking through your site after every update to make sure nothing broke. Restoring a backup if something did go wrong. Keeping an eye on your site’s security and performance. Compiling all of it in a log at the end of every month, so you have a maintenance record you can refer back to.

If your website and your time is worth $2/day or more, Site Care is a no brainer.

Organic SEO Services

How long will it take to do the SEO audit?

Every site is different, but you can generally expect your audit to be complete in 5-10 business days. Once the audit is complete we will schedule a meeting with you to go over the results.

How often should I have an SEO audit on my site?

For a small site with relatively static content, every couple of years will probably do. For larger sites with new content being posted regularly, every 12 to 15 months. Of course, if you feel there is a problem with your organic SEO then we recommend an audit regardless of time frame.

Do you have a sample audit report?

No, sorry. While every audit starts with the same process, each is different. Every site has their own unique issues that are uncovered during the audit; no two audits or reports are alike. Our reports also contain clients’ confidential information that we will not share.

How quickly will my traffic increase?

Organic SEO is a long game. There is no “quick fix.” After implementing recommendations from the audits, you will have corrected any technical issues that may have been hindering your visibility on search results. So you could start seeing improvement within a few weeks. For extremely competitive keywords or topics, you might not see results for months or perhaps over a year.

How much growth can I expect?

It is impossible to gauge the estimated growth after implementation of our recommendations. There are far too many variables. A site with proper technical SEO setup, well-written content, and a good understanding of search will almost always see an increase.

WordPress Tech Support

What is the difference between Quick Tasks and Help Time?

Quick Tasks are a low-hassle (for both us and you), cost-effective way to get help with something small on your website.

If your problem or request is something we can take care of in 20 minutes or less (because we do it all the time), in between our larger projects, and it won’t require an estimate, proposal, phone call, e-mail back and forth, etc., it’s a Quick Task.

You can see a list of Quick Tasks here, but don’t fret if your specific thing isn’t on the list. Let us know what it is and we’ll verify the charge.

Help Time is for anything else. It’s just our label for anything we might spend time helping you with, and you pay for just what you need. There are price breaks for larger amounts of time, in case you have a hairy problem (or a lot of little things).

Site Care and Site Care Premium customers receive discounts on Help Time. Additionally, Site Care Premium customers get a free Quick Task each month.

Note: You don’t need to wait until there’s a problem to ask us for help. Quick Tasks or Help Time can be used for tweaks or tutoring.

How do I know whether my problem can be solved with a Quick Task or will require Help Time?

If it’s a single task on our Quick Tasks list, get a Quick Task. Otherwise, take your best guess, and we’ll put you in the right category if it turns out your guess was off.

How much Help Time will I need?

Whether you’re thinking you’ve got no clue how much time it’ll take, or you think you’re spot on, you could be right. Or wrong. Either way, we don’t want you or us to get into a situation where you feel like the meter’s running in an expensive taxi.

If we haven’t already chatted about how much time your to-do list will require, just tick the ‘Estimate’ option on the Help Time signup form. You won’t need to enter any credit card information at that time. We’ll look at your list, then let you know how much Help Time you need. You OK it, and we’ll just invoice you so you won’t have to go back through the intake form again.

With 20+ years of experience, we are pretty good at guestimating what it’ll take to complete the work you’ve asked for. As long as there are no huge surprises, we stick to what we’ve told you you’ll pay.

If there are huge surprises (it happens), we’ll figure out options and discuss them with you. If there are huge surprises (it happens), we’ll discuss options with you. We don’t like spending much more time than we estimated any more than you like paying more money.

Website Speed Optimization

How much will optimization improve my website’s speed?

We hate sounding dodgy about this, but the honest truth is it depends on numerous factors – the biggest one being how much you’re willing to change.

One site may have huge gains because it started off incredibly slow. The next may not gain much percentage-wise, because it wasn’t that slow to begin with, or because the client opted out of pursuing some of our recommendations.

Even if there were one or two recommendations you decided weren’t currently in your best interest, you’d have several others (at least) to work with.

It’s worth mentioning that we’re acutely aware of the need to balance website performance and visitor happiness with business goals, as well as your day to day routine as you work in your site. Our process is extremely collaborative; we work with you to understand your business or blog and tailor our recommendations accordingly.

As we work on your site, we take notes about any additional steps you could do to improve your site’s speed, e.g., changing to a faster server or using a different theme.

Below are Page Load Time results from some of our website optimization projects. As you can see, results vary.

How will I know how much my site improved?

We’ll make it easy.

Before we work on your site, we run performance tests to document where we started. Once our work is complete, we test again.

You’ll get results of both before and after tests as part of the personalized Website Speed Optimization Report we’ll prepare for you.

For a visual, check out the charts accompanying the question above.

Will my site stay optimized?

The short answer is yes. But there are definitely ways you could undo some of the improvements we make. We’ll work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.

We take time to educate you throughout the process. We want you to understand what made your site slow, and know enough about how we’ve improved it to avoid undermining your investment.

Also, wherever possible we leave behind solutions that automatically address the worst slow-site culprits so you don’t have to worry about them or do any extra work.

My site has unusual features/slow plugins/some other problem; can you help?

Almost always.

We won’t know for sure until we dig into your site, but not much surprises us anymore. In almost every case, there are at least several things you can do to improve speed.

Think of speed as a budget vs an all or nothing proposition. Is that heavy plugin a must? OK, let’s cut somewhere else.

If we see that your unusual or off-limits situation really is a big deal, we’ll come back to you with recommendations for mitigating the impact if possible.

We don’t want you to be disappointed, so if you’re hoping for specific results please read the answer to “What if you can’t improve my site’s speed at all?”

Will you optimize my images?

Yes!

Plus, we’ll leave in place a solution that will help you automatically keep images in check going forward. It does a fabulous job of reducing their size and load time without affecting quality.

Even if you’re using something like WP Smush, our tools usually do a better job.

If you have a large image library (this is common with sites that have been online a while), there may be a small additional charge (and possibly a slight increase in turnaround time) to optimize the entire library. If we find that this is the case we will get in touch and let you know.

Will you fix all the things that cause slow loading?

We tackle the issues responsible for the vast majority of slow website problems.

Even if it’s something we don’t handle, we’ll let you know what’s going on and can almost always provide recommendations to help solve the issue.

We’ll share these recommendations in the report we’ll provide after your optimization is complete. Your report will also include before and after stats showing how much your site has improved in each of the four key areas we use to measure site speed.

Someone else optimized my site, but it’s still slow. Can you make it faster?

We often can make improvements, but as you might imagine it depends on why the site is still slow.

Other companies do things differently, and may not have looked at the specific things affecting your site. Even if something is outside the scope of our services, if it affects site speed we’ll identify it, make recommendations around it and often help you fix it.

We’re glad to help you figure out what makes sense. Just get in touch and tell us about your site.

Will my website get an ‘A’ in performance when you’re done?

Not necessarily, but an ‘A’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

We focus on things that improve actual site speed the most – not letter grades assigned by speed checking websites or scores issued by Google Lighthouse, a.k.a. PageSpeed Insights.

Some performance test recommendations won’t help page load speed much, and they’re more technical a fix than it’s worth pursuing for what you might gain. They also require additional time that’s beyond the scope of our regular speed optimization service.

If you’re interested in scoring high regardless, the best way to get there is to first work with us on site optimization. You’ll improve your site speed, and we’ll have the opportunity to evaluate your site and provide you with a quote for the additional work.

Please let us know during signup about any specific performance goal you’re looking to meet.

What if you can’t improve my site’s speed at all?

In the five years we’ve offered our website optimization service, we’ve had only a single instance where we did not improve a client’s site speed.

Since several hours of testing and diagnostic work go into each project before we can even determine what specific steps we need to take, we don’t always know how much of a difference we can make until we’ve already invested a considerable amount of time.

We work hard to provide expertise most people appreciate, even if things don’t turn out as expected. In the rare instance the resulting site speed isn’t spectacular, you’ll know why, and what you should do to address it.

Sometimes that will be something difficult. As it was in the case mentioned above.

If you are attached to a specific outcome, but you’ve limited what you’re willing to do to get there, we might not be a good fit for you.

You’ve answered all my questions. How do I hire you to optimize my site?

Head over to our website optimization intake form to get started. After you complete the form and pay you’ll get instructions for providing us with secure access.

We’ll be in touch after that. Don’t you worry 😉

Our Company

How long have you been in business?

We were originally founded in 2009 by Teresa Rosche Ott, under the name The Simpler Web. In 2017, our company refocused and rebranded, and Brian Ott came aboard. Both Teresa and Brian have website experience that dates back to the earliest days of the internet – Teresa with coding and website design, and Brian with project management.

What steps do you take to protect my information and my website?

We create our own logins for your site and any ancillary services, and use randomly-generated stupid strong passwords. We store our logins and any login information you provide in a secure password manager (LastPass, if you’re familiar). We do not share logins – ours or yours – with anyone. If there’s a need for a third party to access your site, we will set up a unique login for them and delete it when they’re through.

Additionally, if in the course of our work together we see you doing something that puts your site or your information in jeopardy, we’ll let you know. This is unfortunately a regular occurrence, so if we mention a problem to you, don’t feel bad. But do do as we suggest, quickly.

Do you offer website hosting?

Except for our all-in-one, One-Page websites, no – we do not offer hosting.

We understand that all the different ‘parts’ of website ownership can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming. But when the hosting account is in your name, you have control over your site. Even if you need help with it, you ultimately always want control.

We use and recommend hosting with Lightning Base. They’re a well-established (2011) company offering high-performance hosting, good customer service and fair prices. If we are working together, Lightning Base allows you to invite us to help you with the aspects of hosting that you don’t want to deal with.

Is A Fearless Venture a woman-owned small business, veteran-owned small business, or minority-owned small business?

Before we answer that question, we need to tell you that if those things are more important to you than who will best help you kick ass with your website, we might not be for you. And, to be honest, we care less about gender, disability, ethnicity, orientation, etc., than what you do and who you are as a person.

As to the first two labels, AFV is both woman- and veteran-owned, but government-certified as neither. Never will be. It’s a lot of red tape for not much reward – basically, work on crappy government contracts. We’d rather work with people doing things that matter and that we can get behind.

As for being minority owned, we are not. Our families and friends are a diverse bunch, but our parents just didn’t get the memo.

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