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    RT @NCATA_DEI: Thank you @HRC @LGBTQNATA @EDACNATA @NAACP @nccdd @ADANational @CivilRights for keeping us informed & advocating for #equity #DiversityandInclusion @NCATA_DEI @D3_MAATA @NCATA1974 @NATA1950 http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1140743344806596609)

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    RT @nsedef: #Diversity ? or just lip service #DiversityandInclusion "Why women in tech are being Photoshopped in instead of hired" https://t.co/jLhpo3bHfv via @voxdotcom http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1140743700454285312)

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    RT @DiversityStock: Our Co-Founder @LGcarter talked with @adobestock for Father's Day about why diverse representation is so important for the next generation and his goals to increase his own son's appreciation for the world we live in. https://t.co/8uzEDv81sN #photography #DiversityandInclusion https://t.co/bPezVBLnks http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1140743514147512321)

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    RT @Prismtechnical: TRUST THE PROCESS. Prism’s twenty-five years of achieving diversity and inclusion work speaks for itself #DiversityandInclusion https://t.co/RbCrmENQLS http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1140743781442101248)

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    RT @Achievers: #MondayMotivation: Share the importance of #DiversityandInclusion with your colleagues. Learn more about how to make a difference in your organization in Achievers' #WorkforceInstitute report: https://t.co/AHr7Dne0Ls https://t.co/5qy0vEOad1 http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1140743665855410176)

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    Setting your pricing can be a huge struggle for freelance web designers.

    Finding the right balance—where your clients are eager to pay what you ask, your business turns a healthy and sustainable profit, and you still have the kind of flexibility that freelancing affords—isn’t easy.

    For new freelancers, jumping from a salaried position into setting your own rates can be daunting. It’s difficult to know what your time is worth when you’re paid the same amount every two weeks. And setting your pricing based on your previous salary without accounting for extra expenses can quickly lead you into trouble.

    Even experienced web designers find pricing difficult. Set your rates too low, and you’ll end up with poor-quality clients seeking ever-lower prices, and you’ll undervalue your expertise and experience in the field. Price too high, however, and you’ll find yourself outside most clients’ budgets, and you’ll have a difficult time retaining the clients you do land.

    So how can you set freelance web design rates that are fair to clients and that keep your freelance business sustainable and profitable?

    Some of it comes down to trial and error—but to give you a bit of a shortcut, here’s a foolproof formula for pricing your freelance web design services.

    But before we jump into the numbers, though, it helps to recognize some common mistakes both new and experienced freelancers make when setting their pricing.

    Three common freelance pricing mistakes

    There are three basic mistakes freelance web designers make when setting their pricing:

    Mistake #1: Not accounting for expenses and non-billable time

    Many freelancers charge based solely on the time they think they’ll spend on the project. They’ll work out how long they think the project will take, multiply by their hourly rate, add a handful of hours as a buffer, and send the proposal over to the client.

    But doing this will quickly leave your freelance business in a world of hurt since it doesn’t account for:

    • Downtime / lulls: You won’t always be booked 100% with client time—sometimes it’s just slow. This downtime needs to be factored into your rates.
    • Non-billable tasks: You need time for marketing, sales calls, writing proposals, meetings, and other tasks, none of which you’ll be paid for.
    • Insurance: Unless you’re on a plan from a spouse or partner, freelancers need to cover their own health insurance, which can add up fast.
    • Operating costs and overhead: Even though freelancing means you can run a lean and mean business, you’ll still have other expenses like software licenses, internet access, office supplies, computers, cell phone bills, web hosting, and more.
    • Taxes: Taxes can be higher for freelancers since they include self-employment taxes. Most freelancers should be setting aside 20-30% of gross earnings to go towards quarterly estimated tax payments.

    Mistake #2: Not knowing the average freelancing rates for your market

    New freelancers who have spent their careers working for someone else usually don’t have experience putting a price on their own time and services. And that’s perfectly understandable—after all, the only time you need to think about how much your time is worth is at your yearly review.

    You’ve probably seen recommendations to take your desired salary and divide by 2,000 or the number of working hours in a year. Say you want to earn $100k each year: dividing by 2,080 hours gives you a rate of roughly $50 an hour. Done.

    But beyond the fact that this simplified math doesn’t account for all your extra expenses, it also doesn’t reflect the rates that the market is willing to pay for someone with your skills and experience. If other web designers charge $150 an hour, you’re undervaluing your time compared to your peers, and you’ll likely end up with bottom-of-the-barrel clients who are looking for the cheapest services instead of the best.

    Mistake #3: Not factoring in your time

    Freelancing gives you the kind of flexibility and freedom you can’t find in a full-time position—but you need to set pricing that lets you actually take time off without feeling guilty or struggling to pay the bills.

    Unlike with a salaried position, freelancing doesn’t come with paid time off, public holidays, sick days, or any other benefits. It’s easy to get sucked into feeling like you need to be working long hours every week to bring in as much revenue as possible, which can quickly lead to burn out.

    Building a sustainable freelance business is about more than just money.

    You need to make sure your pricing gives you the freedom you need to not be working all the time and still make enough to keep the business going.

    Now, let’s put all these points together and come up with a formula for sustainable, profitable, and fair rates for your freelance website design work.

    A foolproof formula for setting your freelance web design pricing

    Whether you’re charging hourly, daily, or by the project, it’s always best to begin by working out the base hourly rate you need to make to earn enough to cover your expenses and bring in a healthy profit margin.

    Your base rate is the minimum effective hourly rate you need to earn for your freelance business to be sustainable.

    Every client project you take on needs to be bringing in that hourly rate at a minimum, or your business won’t be sustainable.

    Let’s go through how to find your base rate.

    Find your base freelance rate

    Before we even consider money, think about how much time you want to spend on the business:

    • Are you running your web design business full-time or on the side?
    • How much free time do you want each week to spend with friends and family?
    • How many of those working hours do you want to spend on client work?

    For our example, let’s say you’re running your business full-time, but you want to leave plenty of time to spend outside of work.

    We’ll aim for only six hours a day (or 30 hours a week) of work, with a goal of spending 24 of those hours (80% or four days) on billable client work. This leaves you one day free each week for marketing and other administrative work.

    Work out how much time off you’d like

    Next, think about vacation and sick time. How much time off do you want each year?

    Let’s pretend you want to take six weeks off (30 days or 180 working hours) per year. This will cover public holidays, planned vacation time, and unexpected sick days.

    Most freelancers rely on referrals for new clients, so there will inevitably be slow periods you need to account for in your pricing. For our example, we’ll assume you’ve got a pretty strong referral network, so we’ll only account for 10% of the year where you won’t be booked.

    Now we can work out the total amount of time you will spend on billable client work:

    • 30 total working hours a week x 52 weeks a year = 1,560 potential working hours each year
    • 1,560 hours – 180 hours of vacation and sick time = 1,380 working hours each year
    • 1,380 hours x 0.80 billable hours = 1,104 billable hours each year
    • 1,104 hours x 0.90 (downtime) = 994 billable hours each year

    freelance-web-design-rates-01-billable-hours.png That’s less than half of the full-time load of 2,080 hours, but it accounts for all the time you won’t be working. Now that we’ve got a handle on our time, let’s start working out how much we need to charge.

    Start with your desired salary

    We’ll use that as a basis for our calculations. Let’s say it’s $100k a year—a healthy full-time salary for any freelancer.

    First, add up all your business expenses, starting with your $100k salary and adding things like web hosting, software subscriptions, internet access, cell phone bills, health insurance, office equipment, computers, marketing costs, taxes, and office rent. You can use a calculator like this one from BeeWits to make sure you account for everything.

    • Salary: $100,000
    • Expenses: $4,000
    • Insurance: $6,000
    • Taxes: 25% of $90,000 = $22,500
    • Total expenses: $132,500

    To run a sustainable freelancing business, you need to build a healthy profit margin into your rates. Most freelance businesses should try to maintain a profit of 10-20%, so we’ll aim for a profit margin of 10% in our example.

    • $132,500 x 1.10 = $145,750

    freelance-web-design-rates-02-annual-revenue.png Now that you know how much gross revenue you need to earn and how much time you want to spend working each year, you can finally work out your base hourly rate.

    • $145,750 / 994 hours = $146 per hour (let’s round up to $150 for simplicity)
    • Or even better, a day rate of $900

    freelance-web-design-rates-03-baseline-rate.png This is triple the original rate of $50/hour! Now you can see why it’s so important to disconnect your freelance rates from your past salary.

    Finally, we can work out how many hours go into the average web design project. Let’s say you spend 20 hours on each new site design—that means you should charge a minimum project fee of $3,000. Quoting a per-day rate or a project-based rate instead of an hourly fee makes projects feel more reasonable to clients, and moving away from hourly rates makes them less likely to try and nickel-and-dime you on your rate.

    Tips for making your freelancing more lucrative

    Remember, the rate we worked out above is only the minimum you need to be charging for your freelance business to be sustainable.

    Here are a few ways you can increase the profitability of your freelance web design business:

    • Raise rates regularly. Every time you are booked out more than a few weeks in advance, try raising your rates by 25%. Raising your rates lets you earn more money without needing to work longer hours or bring on extra clients.
    • Never negotiate your rate. The best clients understand the value of what you’re providing and won’t try to nickel-and-dime you on your rate. You’ll be more respected by clients if you stand firm and ask for what you’re worth and if you price by value instead of by the hour. Leading to my next point…
    • Match your pricing strategy to the project. Well-defined, fixed-scope projects like website audits should be charged per project, whereas custom site redesigns or plugin development should be charged hourly (or preferably daily/weekly). Project-based pricing lets you charge based on the value you provide instead of the time spent working, which can help send your hourly rate through the roof.
    • Bring on subcontractors. While selling other peoples’ time instead of yours will lower your profit margins at first, it’ll free you up to take on more complex work or to spend more time on sales and marketing
    • Charge clients upfront, at least for a deposit. Every hour spent chasing invoices is an hour you can’t spend serving clients.
    • Upsell add-ons you can automate. Every web designer should be offering ongoing maintenance plans to clients on a retainer. GoDaddy Pro Sites lets you easily set up backups, monitoring, and more for clients’ WordPress sites, giving your clients ongoing peace of mind.

    This is just the starting point. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to raise your rates, and you’ll become more efficient with your work, letting you spend less time on each project and sending your effective hourly rate even higher. You’ll also be able to save more, take extra time off, and invest in paid marketing and contractors to grow your business even faster.

    Pricing correctly will allow you to flourish

    The difference between designing websites as a hobby and running a successful freelance business is sustainability—and creating a sustainable, profitable freelance business starts with setting your pricing correctly.

    There’s nothing wrong with asking clients for what you’re worth. In fact, most clients will respect your suggestions and expertise more if you charge more instead of less. You’ll attract better clients who aren’t just looking for the cheapest option, you’ll make a sustainable income without skimping on expenses or time off, and you’ll be working the hours you want.

    After all, isn’t that why you started freelancing in the first place?

     

    Image via Paige Cody on Unsplash

    The post A foolproof formula for setting freelance web design rates appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    You’ve got an interested client and you’re ready to hit the ground running. Before you start pounding out code, there’s something you need to do first: lay out a plan. Sure you’re eager to start turning out pages, but a website project management plan is crucial to maximizing success and minimizing the chance of failure.

    Methodical may sound boring, but it can be lifesaving (or client-saving).

     

    But exactly where do you start in making this plan? If you’re not well-versed in the ins and outs of the web development project management process, you are not alone! But no worries, we’re here to help set you on the right track.

    9-step website project management checklist

    Every web development shop is unique and no two designers follow exactly the same process. However, identifying a standard procedure that you can step through over and over again has lots of benefits. The following checklist is a solid starting point.

    1. Outline the project and define objectives.
    2. Sign the contract and collect a deposit.
    3. Begin design.
    4. Start development.
    5. Beta test.
    6. Sign off on deliverables.
    7. Invoice final payment.
    8. Hand over the keys.
    9. Follow up.

    This checklist is designed to help you (and those who work with you) stay on track and ensure you don’t miss any important steps. You’ll always know where you are in the process and what lies ahead. Expand and refine as you see fit.

    1. Outline the project and define objectives

    Speak to the client to get a general idea of what they want. Turn this into an initial list of objectives that can be discussed/confirmed with the client. This doesn’t have to be a 30-page proposal with professional graphics. A simple list will do at this stage. Here’s a partial example:

    Two types of users:

    • Visitor (a person not logged in)
    • Registered User (a person who is logged in to the system)

    Visitor privileges:

    • Can view all product pages
    • Can complete guest checkout

    Registered User Privileges:

    • Can store credit card for future use
    •  Can manage personal profile

    This helps you set a price for the project and clarify the scope.

    If your client balks at the price, you haven’t wasted a lot of time writing a fancy proposal only to have it rejected.

    If the client signs on, you can have further discussions and add greater detail to the outline.

    Your final proposal can still be in list format, but be sure it includes all deliverables and details all functionality. It should also specify what will be delivered when. This document is your protection from scope creep.

    Related: 14 project estimate mistakes that freelancers make (and how to fix them)

    2. Sign the contract and collect a deposit

    Website Project Management Going Over Contract

    Don’t start work without money changing hands. Completing all work and invoicing at the end is a recipe for stress and unhappiness.

    Instead, collect a deposit up front.

    Then set specific milestones for additional payments. If the project is small, the second milestone might be completion. If it’s large, you may have multiple milestones.

    Related: How to create a web design contract that converts new clients into long-term customers

    3. Begin design

    Now that you and the client have agreed on the specs, it’s time to lay out what the website will actually look like.

    This is where prototypes come in.

     

    With a small project, prototyping is completely unnecessary, but on larger deals, you may need to create one.

    A prototype is basically a nonfunctional version that allows the client to see what the finished product will look like before you’ve invested in developing the behind the scenes functionality to actually make it work.

    Often you can get away with wireframes. A wireframe is a layout of a web page that shows what will exist where on key pages. This can also help ensure the navigation layout hits on all the user expectations. Wireframes focus on the site’s structure and don’t have to include design elements or fonts.

    In either case, prototype or no, show the client your design and tweak as necessary.

    4. Start development

    This is where you (or your team members) put your fingers to the keyboard and really start cranking. This is the time to:

    • Set up your development environment, including SSL if you’re going to use it.
    • Determine your URL strategy, including setting up www to non-www redirection or vice versa.
    • Install necessary software.
    • Obtain graphics and other collateral.
    • Create an error-handling strategy.
    • Create an accessibility strategy.
    • Build out the site and navigation.
    • Add social media links.
    • Set up and test contact forms.
    • Set up analytics.
    • Optimize for SEO (if you’re using WordPress, read this article.)
    • Optimize page load speed

    Even though you may be elbows deep in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, it’s important to pick your head up from time to time and communicate with your client. Otherwise, to them, it’s like you’ve just taken their money and disappeared. Instead, make them feel taken care of even while you’re head down working. A few timely emails will do the trick.

    5. Beta test

    This is where you ensure that your work is up to snuff and squash any pesky bugs.

    Things to check include code quality, page content, and user experience. Verify that the site works properly on a variety of devices (you made this responsive and mobile friendly, right?).

    You can use tools to help with this proofing, such as:

    Verify that you have the necessary SEO tweaks in place, such as unique page titles, appropriate keyword placement, and relevant alt tags.

    Don’t leave any lorem ipsum text behind and make sure images are appropriately optimized.

    Related: 25 bug tracking tools for websites

    6. Sign off on deliverables

    Release the site to the client. Make tweaks if necessary. Bask in the glow of your amazed client’s appreciation. Most importantly, obtain agreement that you’ve delivered as promised.

    Related: How to perform a website launch and handover

    7. Invoice final payment

    You’ve met the objectives, the site is up and running, but you still hold the keys — i.e. the hosting information and relevant logins. You don’t need to point this out to the client, but you’ll know that you still control the site until final payment is received.

    Website Project Management Invoice
    8. Hand over the keys

    Payment in hand, pass the site over to the client.

    This might mean simply handing over the relevant credentials, or it could involve transferring the site from your development server to a live server. If the latter, be sure to run those quality checks again — make sure forms are sending to the right place, links are working, etc.

    9. Follow up

    A successful launch should not be followed by radio silence.

    Instead, keep in touch with your client and make sure they know you’re available for future needs.

    This is the time to send a follow-up survey asking about their satisfaction with the process and the final site. It’s also a great moment to grab a testimonial.

    Related: 14 tips for successful web design projects

    Website project management software

    The above checklist gives a big-picture view of the web development project management process. Within each step are multiple tasks that someone needs to complete. Keeping track of what’s done and what’s on tap is important, especially when working in a team.

    That’s where project management tools come in.

    They help you set out clear tasks, define specific goals, and keep track of who is working on what.

    Related: The difference between project management and client management

    The following website project management tools are favorites for keeping track of the nitty-gritty details and communicating with team members. This list includes a mix of the top paid and free website project management software tools, in alphabetical order. Most are available on multiple platforms.

    Editor’s note: All costs listed below were current at the time of writing but are subject to change.

    Airtable

    Website Project Management AirTable
    Image: Airtable

    In Airtable, project management is accomplished via a powerful mix of task lists, spreadsheets and databases that let you create dynamic views to sort and view data in a way that meets your needs.

    It supports Agile development, budgeting, in-app chat, client management and a host of other functions. It integrates with external apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, MailChimp, Slack and social media platforms.

    A key feature is that you can create custom dashboards to display the data that’s most important to you.

    It also provides grid, calendar, Kanban and gallery views. Basically, you can set up any view your heart desires.

    Because it is so powerful, it also has a bit of a steep learning curve and might be overkill for small teams or individual developers.

    PROS: Generous free plan, powerful visualization tools

    PRICING: Free plan includes unlimited boards, 1,200 records per database, 2 GB attachment space per base, revision and snapshot history up to two weeks. It doesn’t include access to Blocks (graphs, maps, data views). After that pricing starts at $10/user/month for the Plus plan, and $20/user/month for the Pro plan, which gets you Blocks. An enterprise plan is available also.

    Trello

    Website Project Management Trello
    Image: Trello

    Trello is a task management powerhouse that is built in Kanban style. Kanban is a system that uses cards for tasks and organizes those cards into stages of work, on boards.

    Typically each task gets a single card. The card can be assigned to one or more people. Cards can be moved between boards as tasks progress toward completion. You can attach files, add checklists, and post comments associated with the tasks.

    Trello supports task assignment and tracking, prioritizing and real-time notifications and updates, among other features. It also integrates with other apps, including the vast Zapier library.

    PROS: Easy to get rolling. Generous free plan

    PRICING: Free plan gives you unlimited boards, lists, members, attachments, checklists and one Power-Up per board. File attachments are limited to 10 MB. The next tier is $9.99/user/month and gets you app integrations, team overviews and more security. An enterprise plan is also available.

    Asana

    Website Project Management Asana Task List
    Image: Asana

    Asana is a cloud-based tool that delivers a ton of features.

    It’s suitable for projects of all sizes and is used by large enterprises such as Pinterest as well as smaller organizations.

     

    Smaller development shops might find the array of features more than they need, and the learning curve can be a bit steep, but it’s really a matter of personal preference. There’s also an associated mobile app so you can access your dashboard from your mobile device.

    One of the favorite features of Asana is that team members can have shared conversations regarding individual tasks, along with attachments, subtasks and more.

    It also provides a wide range of integrations to apps such as Google Drive, Slack, Zapier and Github, among others.

    When you set up an Asana account, you’ll indicate what type of projects you work on, such as design or general project management. You can also create custom templates. Once setup is complete, you can create your first project and start adding tasks. Different views allow you to see tasks assigned to specific individuals or an overall project view.

    PROS: Substantial features in free plan. Great for team collaboration and communication.

    PRICING: A limited basic account is free. It allows up to 15 team members, unlimited tasks and projects, and basic dashboards. The next tier is $9.99/user/month and offers additional team members, admin controls, data exports, and more reporting and support.

    Basecamp

     Website Project Management BaseCamp
    Image: Basecamp

    A go-to for many project teams, Basecamp offers a centralized platform for assigning and tracking tasks and sharing discussions with multiple team members. Basecamp can serve as team headquarters for projects of any size, though it shines at the small- to medium-size team level.

    Each BaseCamp project includes six core tools: a to-do list for tracking tasks, a message board for announcements, a chat feature, a scheduling tool for tracking deadlines, a document and files repository, and a unique check-ins feature that automatically asks team members for updates on a preset frequency.

    PROS: In-app chat tool, automated status check-ins feature. Flat-rate pricing.

    PRICING: After a 30-day free trial, Basecamp costs $99/month for unlimited users and projects. It’s free for teachers and students, and nonprofits can get a discount.

    BeeWits

    Website Project Management BeeWits
    Image: BeeWits

    This web-based tool was built specifically for web development project management. It includes many pre-built templates, and you can pick and choose tasks to add to your project rather than creating a list from scratch. Then team members will always know what to do next and it’s easy to track the current status of the project.

    When you sign up for BeeWits, a hand-holding tutorial walks you through setting up your first project.

    You can indicate the type of site you’re developing, such as WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal, which will affect the pre-built list of tasks you can add to your project.

    Adding tasks is as simple as dragging them from the template list to your project list.

     

    You can also add team members and clients. Once you’ve set up a project, you can keep track of your progress through the dashboard. This product is most suitable for small businesses and freelancers.

    PROS: Built specifically for web design/development.

    PRICING: Beewits offers a free trial, then starts at $19.99/month for 10 active projects with unlimited users.

    ClickUp

    Website Project Management ClickUp
    Image: ClickUp

    This is all-purpose, potentially free project management software that can be used to track and manage projects in any industry. It’s marketed as a less expensive (or free) alternative to Asana.

    When you sign up for ClickUp, you’ll step through an initial setup for your account. You’ll indicate things like whether you’re a solo practitioner or need team features, and whether you want to integrate with other software such as Slack, GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab and Zapier.

    You can import tasks from other apps, including Asana, Trello, Jira Software, Todoist and a CSV file.

    When you set up a new project, you can opt to use a template, such as the one for software development (there’s no preset web design template).

    Once you set up a new project, you can view it multiple ways —by project board (see illustration below), by task list, or by time (if you’ve set task deadlines).

    ClickUp can be used by single designers or teams.

     

    When working with the app, you can opt for a personal view, which will show only your responsibilities. The team view shows the overall status and tasks.

    PROS: Free plan is generous.

    PRICING: Unlimited users and most features free forever. For $5/user/month, add storage, reporting, and unlimited use of custom fields.

    Freedcamp

    Website Project Management Freedcamp
    Image: Freedcamp

    Used by large businesses such as Airbnb, Google and PayPal, Freedcamp is a cloud-based organizing tool that is crammed full of features.

    Tools include a master task list, subtasks and private and public tasks. There’s also a Kanban board, where you can manage tasks by dragging them into different columns.

    Freedcamp isn’t just about tasks. There are additional tools for scheduling, discussions, issue tracking and time tracking. You can even create a Wiki for group documentation. It also offers third-party integration with Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox and more. Some of these features do require a paid subscription.

    PROS: Loaded with features. Core tools are free.

    PRICING: Free for all core features. Upgrade to get additional features, such as start dates for tasks (end dates are included with free version), a team Wiki, issue tracker, project templates and Gantt charts. Pricing starts at $1.49/user/month and goes up to $16.99/user/month for the enterprise level.

    Wrike

    Website Project Management Wrike
    Image: Wrike

    A major player in the project management arena, Wrike serves primarily mid-size and enterprise customers. It allows you to create custom workflows, run multiple projects, and maximize teamwork. You can make plenty of task lists, chart progress, and generate reports to your heart’s content.

    When you set up a Wrike account, you can specify the type of work you do and get templates tailored to your style.

    Options include project with dependencies, project with phases, professional services, Kanban project, and creative asset & content development, among others.

    There’s plenty of guidance provided, with how-to videos to get you started and interactive tips as you go along. Email communication is supported, and an @mention feature associates emails with a particular discussion or thread.

    PROS: Helpful guidance. Extensive email communication integration.

    PRICING: A basic account is available for free, but it offers only a shared task list for teams with up to five members. To get project planning and collaboration, the cost starts at $9.80/month per user and goes up from there.

    The bottom line

    A key decision when choosing project management software is whether you want a particular tool, such as one focused on task management or specifically on web development, or an entire toolbox that handles a greater range of project management functions.

    The former will be quicker to learn; the latter offers greater power to those who need it.

    BaseCamp, BeeWits or Trello are among the simpler to learn options, while Airtable, Asana, ClickUp, Freedcamp and Wrike are on the more complex and robust end.

    Whichever you choose, remember you can always save time with free tools and resources for web designers and developers by joining GoDaddy Pro for free!

    The post 9-step web development project checklist for better website project management appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Back in March 2018, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and GoDaddy partnered together to empower their customers around the world by providing them with all of the help and tools they’ll need in order to be successful online.

    Our latest integration between GoDaddy Pro Sites and Amazon Lightsail gives Lightsail users free access to GoDaddy’s WordPress website management capabilities. This integration is a result of GoDaddy and Amazon working together, providing customers with an array of tools and products for building and managing a powerful online presence.

    With GoDaddy and Amazon Lightsail, WordPress designers and developers can continue to focus on the fun parts of running their businesses instead of the tasks of regular website maintenance.”

    Amazon Lightsail WordPress web designers and developers that are faced with challenges of maintaining multiple WordPress sites can now more easily access and manage all of their sites from a single dashboard. GoDaddy Pro Sites dashboard also include WordPress website management automation tools, saving Lightsail WordPress designers and developers a ton of time on the administrative tasks of managing multiple sites.

    What is Pro Sites?

    For those of you not already aware, the Pro Sites dashboard lets users quickly and easily handle a variety of tasks crucial to maintaining WordPress websites, all from a single dashboard, regardless of where their websites are hosted. In other words, Pro Sites works great with Amazon Lightsail.

    Pro Sites supports Lightsail designers and developers regardless of the number of WordPress websites that you manage. You can benefit whether you have a single website, or run a firm with a 1,000 website portfolio. The moment a website is added to the Pro Sites dashboard, you get access to a bunch of free and premium features.

    Why use Pro Sites?

    Our goal can be summed up in one sentence.

    Everything that you need on one dashboard, on one screen.

    Easy, one-click access

    Forget login spreadsheets, bookmarks and password managers. Once you added your websites to the dashboard, all are accessible from one place, with a simple click.

    Save time

    From bulk updates on all of your websites, automated backups, performance and security checks to proactive monitoring features – you can handle hours of website maintenance with just a few clicks.

    Let Pro sites take care of your everyday maintenance tasks, so you can focus on the work that matters.

    Peace of mind

    Pro Sites let you monitor your website’s uptime, performance and security from one place. Setup email alerts and you’ll always be the first to know if something is wrong. And with regular, off-site backups you can have a peace of mind knowing that site restore is just one click away.

    What can you do with Pro Sites?

    Bulk Update Everything

    Constant updates are one of the most vexing tasks when it comes to WordPress website maintenance and a real time-sink by keeping those plugins and themes constantly up-to-date.

    With Pro Sites you can apply WordPress core, theme or plugin updates to all your websites simultaneously.

    All the plugin, theme and WordPress core updates are compiled into a single, intuitive list. Update them all with a single click, put them on the ignore list, bulk install, deactivate, or install an older version over the current one – the choice is all yours.

    Pro Sites Updates Widget

    Safe updates

    Our Safe Updates feature involves a 7-step process that ensures your WordPress core files, plugins and themes get updated in the most secure way possible. It starts by creating a restore point and even comes with a rollback feature in the event something goes wrong.

    You can use it to safely update your themes and plugins or even automate it completely.

    Backups

    Incremental, automated, reliable cloud backups that come with an off-site storage, and capable of running up to an hourly cycle. Everything you need from a great backup. You can even schedule them to run during the times you aren’t typically working on the website, or maybe when you know the traffic is at its lowest.

    The backups are stored offsite for 90 days, and with the premium version you can download them to your local computer or automatically upload them to the external destination of your choice.

    Organize your websites

    In case you are managing multiple websites from your Pro sites dashboard, you can tag or filter your websites across different criteria. Either label them any way you like (example: live, in development, staging, testing, etc.) or filter them according to available criteria (WordPress or PHP version, language, client, SSL, etc.)

     

    Keep tabs on your websites

    Pro Sites also comes stocked with additional monitoring and reporting tools designed to help you keep tabs on each of your WordPress websites:

    Security Check

    We all know keeping a WordPress website secure requires constant vigilance. An on-demand malware scan and blacklist check help do just that. With the premium version of this feature, you can schedule recurring scans and be notified immediately if a problem is detected.

    Pro Sites Security Check

    Uptime Monitor

    The Uptime Monitor is exactly what it sounds like. This tool constantly monitors any websites you activate it for and sends out a notification if the website goes down for any reason. It will even let you know when the website comes back up, which is especially helpful for any brief interruptions. So you don’t always have to scramble to the nearest coffee shop or wi-fi hotspot the moment a website goes down.

    Pro Sites Uptime Monitor

    Performance Check

    If your client’s website takes more than a few seconds to load, then visitors are significantly less likely to stick around or come back. Pro Sites lets you check the performance when you need or schedule them out ahead of time.

    Performance Check gives you a high-level snapshot of a website’s speed, as well as more detailed suggestions for improvement when applicable.

    Pro Sites Performance check

    Link Monitor

    One of the premium features, Link Monitor, actively checks websites for broken links. Whenever it finds a link that is not working properly, you are immediately notified. It even lets you address problems right from the Pro Sites dashboard. You can modify the link, add a “nofollow” tag or even unlink it all together. If you prefer to handle the problem outside of Pro Sites, then you can export the list of broken links.

    SEO Ranking

    Like security, managing SEO is a never-ending task. From the dashboard, you can add up to 100 keywords and Pro Sites then tracks and displays how the website stacks up against competitors. It also keeps tabs on changes to website visibility.

    Keep your clients in the loop

    Keeping a WordPress website a well-oiled machine is not easy, so it’s nice to let your clients know how much effort you’re putting into it. Client Reports provides details from any Pro Sites features you’ve enabled and compiles them in an easy-to-read report, which you can send to your clients. It also allows you to add custom information, so you can include details about the work you do outside of Pro Sites.

    Client Reports supports custom branding, as well as localization in 28 languages, so you can better tailor it to your individual clients.

    Get Started

    As your business grows, your hosting and WordPress management can both scale, with Lightsail and Pro Sites respectively. You can learn more about Pro Sites on the GoDaddy website. Then, when you are ready, just add your sites, and enable the features you want for each site.

    The post GoDaddy Pro Sites integrates with Amazon Lightsail appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Updated: June 18, 2019 — It was announced on June 18 that Voice.com was sold for $30 million — “easily the largest domain name sale of the year and one of the largest pure domain name sales of all time,” according to Elliot Silver in DomainInvesting.com.

    Have you ever heard about those people who just magically find rare steals at antique roadshows? Like the Joseph Kleitsch oil painting that was purchased for around $100 and later appraised at $500,000. If you’re like me, and in this case, I think we all are, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “Why can’t that happen to me?” While I don’t typically dabble in oil paintings, I do spend time in the domain market. And let me tell you, after reviewing the most expensive domain names out there, there are definitely people who have sold them for enough money to pay a king’s ransom.

    When most people think about the price of a domain, somewhere in the range of $15 usually pops up. But often, domain names sell for much more than that.

    The average price of a domain name sold in the secondary market — buying a domain from someone who already owns it — is in the thousands of dollars.

    It is not unusual to see public domain sales reported weekly in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and often enough there will be domain sales reported in the millions. You can check out dnjournal.com for weekly domain sales reporting, as well as annual historical sales reports. They report this year’s top sale as Ice.com for $3.5 million, for instance. It is always good to use this report to see current sales and trends.

    Nailing down the most expensive domain names isn’t easy — most of the parties involved often try to keep that information private. There are various reasons for this practice, ranging from wanting to keep their competition in the dark to not wanting others to know how much they’re willing to spend on a domain in the future.

    It’s a pretty common assertion that the vast majority of high-value domain sales are done with some sort of non-disclosure agreement in place. Luckily for us, enough sales are public, so we can still have a good idea of the domain market and its health over the years.

    The No.1 spot

    Most Expensive Domain Names Number One

    The most expensive domain name ever sold has come to light — at $872 million. Yes, you read that right. Cars.com was valued at $872 million (we get that number from reading the SEC filing, courtesy of the parent company, Gannet Co., Inc.). Imagine the look on someone’s face when they were told their domain was worth that much!

    While many people don’t report the sale of their domains publicly, top lists vary. But as a whole, most people are in agreement with most of the highest sales reported for domain names.

    Editor’s note: Want to capture the coveted No. 1 spot in domain name sales? You’ll need to make sure your domains are worth their weight. With GoDaddy Domain Appraisals, you can get the most accurate and comprehensive domain pricing estimates available. We use an exclusive algorithm that relies on both machine learning and real market sales data to estimate domain values.

    25 most expensive domain names publicly reported

    Here are the 25 most expensive domain names publicly reported.

    1. CarInsurance.com — $49.7 million
    2. Insurance.com — $35.6 million
    3. VacationRentals.com — $35 million
    4. PrivateJet.com — $30.18 million
    5. Voice.com — $30 million
    6. Internet.com — $18 million
    7. 360.com — $17 million
    8. Insure.com — $16 million
    9. Fund.com — £9.99 million
    10. Sex.com — $14 million*
    11. Sex.com — $13 million
    12. Hotels.com — $11 million
    13. Porn.com — $9.5 million
    14. Shoes.com — $9 million
    15. Porno.com — $8.8 million
    16. Fb.com — $8.5 million
    17. We.com — $8 million
    18. Business.com — $7.5 million
    19. Diamond.com — $7.5 million
    20. Beer.com — $7 million
    21. Z.com — $6.8 million
    22. iCloud.com — $6 million
    23. Israel.com — $5.8 million
    24. Casino.com — $5.5 million
    25. Slots.com — $5.5 million

    Please note that we’ve added five domain names to the list since we originally published this post in 2017. 

    * The sex.com domain name sold twice — Once in 2005 for $14 million and again in 2010 for $13 million. 

     

    Domain Price Sale date
    CarInsurance.com $49.7 million 2010
    Insurance.com $35.6 million 2010
    VacationRentals.com $35 million 2007
    PrivateJet.com $30.1 million 2012
    Voice.com $30 million 2019
    Internet.com $18 million 2009
    360.com $17 million 2015
    Insure.com $16 million 2009
    Fund.com £9.99 million 2008
    Sex.com $14 million 2005
    Sex.com $13 million 2010
    Hotels.com $11 million 2001
    Porn.com $9.5 million 2007
    Shoes.com $9  million 2017
    Porno.com $8.8 million 2015
    Fb.com $8.5 million 2010
    We.com $8 million 2015
    Business.com $7.5 million 1999
    Diamond.com $7.5 million 2006
    Beer.com $7 million 2004
    Z.com $6.8 million 2014
    iCloud.com $6 million 2011
    Israel.com $5.8 million 2008
    Casino.com $5.5 million 2003
    Slots.com $5.5 million 2010

    **Data courtesy of Wikipedia and Namebio.com

    What is your domain name worth?

    Now that you know what domain names can potentially sell for, I bet you’re wondering what your domain name is worth. Check out NameBio.com — you can search by a specific domain or word and use various filters to find sold domains closely related to the one you’re thinking of selling. You can also check GoDaddy’s domain valuation tool to get an idea of the resale value of your domains.

    If you are thinking about buying a domain name and selling it for more money, GoDaddy Auctions is a great place to find domains that might have good resale value. As with any other purchase, it’s always best to start slow and do your homework before spending your hard earned money and time looking for the next big domain sale.

    Start your search today.

     

    The post The top 25 most expensive domain names appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    @EdKrowHR Well done @EdKrowHR . http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141330392366104576)

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    RT @ForbesCoaches: Why You Should Hire A Chief Operating Officer (And When To Do It) https://t.co/OpCdO5aDBy http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141330771199873026)

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    RT @IlyaBonic: The buzz about "Diversity and inclusion" is only increasing as the media covers more harassment cases. Learn about the business case for D&I and just how deeply it goes. https://t.co/BQnlCgPdL2 #Diversity #Inclusion https://t.co/3UxC8sgvu8 http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331255990112256)

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    RT @kwick_kwack: This was so awesome to see at tonight’s @westlifemusic concert. Inclusion it it’s finest! #inclusion #bsl #signlanguage #loveit https://t.co/3z6AYDhbEa http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331546768662528)

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    RT @jennylayfluffy: The way we work and communicate with people with disabilities has never been more important. Simple things matter. Meet Gerry and seven quick things you can do to be more #inclusive and #accessible. It really matters. #accessibility #inclusion https://t.co/P1S9ZthFYy https://t.co/w57ikYWljQ http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331503059808256)

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    RT @HassellInc: Read about how @googlemaps are making cities more #Accessible for wheelchair users https://t.co/yXjM3noV20 #Inclusion https://t.co/NblkHwjssl http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331334918545408)

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    RT @SFWchange: We need to be kind to ourselves when plans don't turn out as we had hoped. A growth mindset can help. #GrowthMindset #Inclusion #Compassion via @kwiens62 https://t.co/wraaC90f3Y http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331314689433601)

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    Why You Should Hire A Chief Operating Officer (And When To Do It) via @forbes https://t.co/e8UkG8V9Sd #COO #ChiefOperatingOfficer #SmallBusiness #Business #GrowthHacking http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331706554847232)

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    @ForbesCoaches Thank you @ForbesCoaches @Forbes http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141330934584827909)

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    RT @CatalystInc: “For years, organizations incentivized #inclusion with a carrot. They rewarded participation, but they didn’t hold accountable a lack of #results," Catalyst's @mijoch on why it's important to measure inclusion. https://t.co/5HTKzFNIek http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1141331191934660609)

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    For early-stage companies and quickly growing businesses, being lean is the name of the game. Large, established companies can make business decisions and change strategies without having cost being an inhibiting factor. Startups, on the other hand, need to be as efficient as possible with limited resources.

    Strategy will oftentimes be shaped by scarcity, and a smart entrepreneur will know how to get the most done with limited time, money, and structure. Sometimes you can get by with free services and free programs, but some things, such as customer communication tools, are worth investing in.

    There are a few different options for entrepreneurs looking to get reliable business phone lines at an affordable price.

    1. Use your existing phone and phone number

    When you are first starting out with your business, you might use your personal phone to contact customers. As you grow, however, it will become more and more important to have a separate phone line.

    The obvious benefit to using your own phone is that it provides you with a cheap business phone line. However, when you consider the impact this has on your brand image and ability to manage a healthy work-life balance, the benefit of low cost is not worth the negative impact.

    To begin with, curating a professional image and building trust with your clients are a lot more difficult when you are managing communication through the same phone and phone line as your personal life. Whenever you get a call, there is no way of knowing if it’s is a work or personal call. You are then left guessing how you should answer, and instead of confidently answering as the head of your company, you might answer with a nondescript, “Hello?”

    In the event that you miss a call from a client, they will be routed to your personal voice mailbox, leaving them wondering if they even have the correct number for the business they are trying to contact.

    Using your personal phone line for everything you do also makes it difficult to separate yourself from work. Without a way to tell the purpose of an incoming call, it’s all too easy to end up talking with a client when you are trying to reset and get a break from work. Furthermore, your customers will have access to your personal cell number, which means that even on vacation you may be pulled back into work.

    2. Add an extra phone and phone line through your cell service provider

    Aside from using your own phone line and cell phone for business communication, the next easiest solution is simply getting a separate phone and phone line. While this would allow you to separate your business and personal calls and build a very professional image for your business, the benefits are outweighed by the high cost.

    The efficiency of this option is undeniable. Over 40% of small business owners struggle to carve out personal time away from work and regularly get pulled into work-related tasks when they are trying to relax. With a separate phone, getting time away from work is a lot easier because you can simply shut off your work phone whenever you need a break.

    With a separate work phone, you can also rest easy knowing that any missed calls, or calls that you choose to ignore, will go directly to your business-specific voice mailbox.

    The major downside is that a separate cell phone is not exactly a cheap business phone line. A new cell phone will cost at least $400 dollars, and adding an extra phone line to your cell service plan will cost $30 or more a month.  You will also have to carry two phones with you everywhere.

    3. Use a VoIP system

    A lot of entrepreneurs will use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems to manage their communications. VoIP is a cheap business phone line option that allows you to manage your customer communications in a separate channel from your personal communications. However, it does not provide you the flexibility or reliability that a separate phone would.

    In addition to being affordable, a lot of VoIP systems will allow you to make and receive calls from a separate business line using your own cell phone. However, because VoIP relies on an internet connection to make and receive calls, working while you are on the go (and need cell service) is a lot more difficult.

    4. Use an app-based phone service

    The best solution for small business owners who need a quality business communication system at an affordable price is to use a second phone line app, like SmartLine. The right business phone line app will give an entrepreneur the flexibility to work from anywhere without compromising their company’s professional image and also enable them to manage a healthy work-life balance.

    Instead of relying on an internet connection, like VoIP systems do, the SmartLine app uses your existing cell service connection to make calls and send texts from your business line. This means that wherever your phone works, you will be able to call and text your clients without any problem.

    Using a business phone line app like SmartLine will also help you manage your customer interactions in a more professional manner:

    • You will be able to differentiate work calls from personal calls and answer the phone appropriately.
    • Missed work calls will go to your business voicemail rather than your personal voicemail.
    • SmartLine also automatically transcribes voicemails, so you don’t have to spend any extra time rewinding and transcribing messages.
    • You can reach customers via their preferred method of communication. With SmartLine, all of your communications with a client (calls and texts) are in one place.

    As an additional benefit, the SmartLine app helps you create a healthy work-life balance.  The ability to differentiate work calls from personal calls also helps you avoid accidentally answering a work call when you are taking time off because you thought it was a call for you instead of for your business.

    Plus, when using the SmartLine app, you can set business hours. Any calls that come in outside of those hours will be automatically routed to your business voicemail.

    All of this functionality, and all of these benefits, don’t have to cost your business an arm and a leg. SmartLine makes the communication system you need in order to grow your business available for under $10 a month.

    Getting SmartLine set up for your business only takes a matter of minutes.

    • First, choose a number that you want to use for your business phone line on the SmartLine website. You can even choose to get a toll-free 800 number!
    • Next download the SmartLine app.
    • After that you can start making calls and sending texts!

    The post 4 ways to set-up a cheap business phone line appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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