Whether you’re wondering if FareHarbor’s managed websites are right for your business, or just want to know more about your own FareHarbor Site, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions below.
How is my domain, site, and email hosted?
You are responsible for purchasing and maintaining ownership of your domain. To take a FareHarbor site live, we’ll either need the login for your domain registrar (found by searching the domain at who.is; examples include GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc) in order to change the nameservers, or we’ll need you to change the nameservers yourself to point the domain at our host server.
Note: If you plan to change your own nameservers we will need to closely coordinate the timing to ensure that everything is configured properly and we may request a listing of your DNS records before you make the switch.
We host FareHarbor websites with Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is widely used by the internet’s biggest websites like Lyft, Netflix, and Expedia to offer secure, high-speed hosting. We offer this hosting to our clients for free. Once your new site is live, you are free to download a backup of your old website files and cancel your old web hosting (just be sure you aren’t also cancelling email hosting if that’s something you’d like to keep with your previous host provider).
We do not offer email hosting (hosting email @yourdomain.com). If you already have this set up through another host, we’ll be sure to properly configure the MX records on our end so that emails route correctly. If you are concerned and want to be sure, go ahead and send us over your MX records or email host login and we’ll cross-check everything. If you don’t currently have email hosting at your domain, we generally recommend Google’s GSuite tools, but can configure your site for any email host of your choice as long as we are provided with the MX Records.
What happens to my old site?
When you go live on a FareHarbor website we simply point your domain to the new site on our server instead of to your old site’s host server. This means that your old site is not deleted or modified in any way. If you’d like to retain files or information from your old site, you can backup the files from the server where you were hosting it, and they will remain hosted on your old server setup until you cancel that hosting.
Who owns what?
Content & Brand Materials
You retain all copyright and ownership of the content and brand materials on the website we build for you. This includes—but isn’t limited to—your logo, photos, text copy, and any graphics you provide us.
Because our templates are custom developed in-house for the purpose of providing free, optimized websites to our FareHarbor clients, we retain ownership of the template itself. This means that if for any reason you were to leave FareHarbor, your content & brand materials can go with you, but not the templated site.
What services come with FareHarbor Sites?
Custom Booking Flow
One of the benefits of FareHarbor websites is that they are developed for conversion-friendly integration with the FareHarbor booking system. Between our Account Managers (our in-house conversion experts) and our Web Content Specialists (experts at translating that conversion knowledge into optimized websites), we’ll take a close look at your offerings and Dashboard setup in order to design a powerfully optimized booking flow.
That said, no one knows a business like its owners and managers, and as such, we appreciate all guidance towards your perfect booking funnel!
Basic SEO Foundation
Over the course of a website build, and during the final double-check stage before going live, we ensure that our websites have a solid foundation for SEO — all based on data and research into today’s best practices. This includes:
- Meta titles and descriptions via SEO plugin SmartCrawl
- The right quality and quantity of text content
- Attention to proper use of header tags
- Image alt text
- A check for the proper, contemporary use of keywords
- Nav menu organization
- Permalink structure
Will my Search Engine Ranking be affected by the switch? Due to the way search engines work, there’s always the possibility of a temporary dip in rankings while your site is re-crawled and indexed. However, these dips are not permanent and we do our best to minimize it. Learn more here.
Our Web Content Specialists are aptly named for their expertise in content. We are happy to sweep through your existing content to ensure it communicates information clearly, provides a powerful user experience and adds beef to your overall SEO foundation. While we can’t create content for you from scratch, provide us with a solid outline and we can craft it into quality content.
Website Access & Training
We strongly believe in offering our clients access to their sites and empowering them to make edits themselves. Once your site is live, simply request login access and we’ll set you up with your own personal login for the site. To top it off, we offer training on our templates: reach out to setup a time and we’ll meet you in a screenshare for a one-on-one run-through of our WordPress backend.
What services don’t come with FareHarbor Sites?
In order to efficiently build and maintain websites free of cost for a large volume of clients, we utilize the power of a template. While it is developed in-house for our purposes and is quite versatile in its application, we don’t offer custom development beyond the scope of the template. Here are some of the most common limitations we get asked about:
- Horizontal Menu: Based on research into user experience and how best to direct user’s attention when concerned about conversions, we currently only offer a hamburger menu. After several requests for a horizontal menu option, we’re currently developing a new “skin” that will offer a horizontal menu.
- Plugins: Plugins can interact with a template system in a wide variety of ways, including causing bugs due to the way they interact with the template code, or causing a decrease in site speed and overall performance. For this reason, we keep our setup clean by only using a small handful of plugins that have been carefully vetted.
- Customizable Blog: While we do offer blogs with our sites thanks to WordPress’s default blogging system, our main development focus has been on booking optimization for tours & activities. As a result, we don’t currently offer custom blog designs beyond the default layout. However, we plan to update the design capabilities of the blog in the future.
We do work on new features on a regular basis, and will be sure to let you know when the latest updates to FareHarbor Sites come out!
Your website is only as good as the content that lives on it. While we’re happy to help spruce up what you have, we don’t offer content from scratch. Provide us with a solid outline, however, and we will work with you to craft it into quality content. Learn more about recommended logo, image, and video sizes for FareHarbor Sites.
Ongoing SEO Management
While we lay a solid foundation for SEO on all our sites, we don’t offer advanced SEO strategies or ongoing SEO maintenance. Things outside the scope of our services that you would need to find a third-party agency for include: linkbuilding, keyword research, content creation and active analytics research. If you’re interested in taking a proactive step on your own to help your SEO, we recommend starting a blog.
Marketing & Advertising
We don’t offer any marketing or advertising for our clients at this time. Things outside the scope of our services that you would need to find a third-party agency for include: social media, inbound marketing, pay-per-click advertising and other ad campaign creation/management.
More about our Web Content Specialists
Our Web Content Specialists are dedicated to building attractive, conversion-friendly websites for FareHarbor companies. When it comes to our websites, free just means a mutual interest in bettering your business through a strong online presence.
Our Specialists have collectively spent hours examining websites for tour and activity companies. They’ve seen the best, and the worst. They have also drawn from a wide pool of industry-specific research regarding best practices, user experience, and optimized booking flow.
The skills of this team encompass the intertwined tenets of writing, design, user experience, and web development. The unifying thread is that all our Web Content Specialists are young, avid adventurers with a keen first-hand experience of how travelers and vacationers like to book their experiences. Mix that with acute technical know-how, and you’ve got a team crafting business-changing websites.