Website Hosting Information
Beginning in February 2016, FLLS is offering shared website and email hosting to all member libraries. We’ve contracted with InMotion Hosting which provides web mail, hosting space, and access to several Content Management Systems (CMS) including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
InMotion offers unlimited storage, domain hosting, and email addresses for approximately $15.99 per month. That cost is shared by all member libraries that host their website on the server meaning the more sites hosted, the less the cost will be per library.
As part of hosting the websites, FLLS can also manage domain names for each library. That means that FLLS will make sure that the domains are renewed on time and point correctly to the appropriate hosted website. FLLS will handle domain renewals and then bill the member libraries. Each library is responsible for the cost of their own domain renewal.
When FLLS first began hosting library websites, we purchased a package of premium WordPress themes from ThemeGrill.com. Libraries are free to use whatever WordPress theme they want but can also purchase access to the ThemeGrill package. As with hosting, the libraries split the cost of the ThemeGrill package for as long as they would like access to the premium themes.
Each website hosted with FLLS will share in the cost of the InMotion Hosting plan. As we add libraries to the hosted plan, the cost per library will decrease with the minimum cost being $10 per year.
For libraries using one of the premium ThemeGrill themes, cost will also be divided among all the libraries participating. There’s no minimum so the more libraries using a premium theme, the less the cost per library.
Each library will be responsible for their own domain renewal which is currently $19.99 per year through GoDaddy. Whenever possible FLLS will take advantage of coupons to reduce the price but there are no shared cost discounts.
- InMotion Hosting (shared cost): $15.99 per month
- Domain Renewals (not shared): $19.99 per year
- ThemeGrill Themes (shared cost): $169 per year
WordPress is a powerful tool for managing websites, allowing for rapid development and deployment, and provides easy to learn tools for adding content. WordPress is available for free on InMotion and is the recommended software for member libraries.
FLLS will provide support for WordPress, including installing and upgrading the software on the host, as well as introductory education. Other CMS software is available for free from InMotion and FLLS will work with libraries interested in installing them but doesn’t provide training or support in their use and maintenance.
Existing WordPress websites can be moved to InMotion and FLLS will assist in the one-time migration. Themes can also be migrated and it would not be a requirement that a library with an existing site use a ThemeGrill premium theme.
If the current website does not use WordPress, FLLS will work with the library to install the necessary CMS software or create a WordPress site if moving from a “flat” site or a website builder such as Wix or Weebly. When moving to WordPress from another type of software, it will be the responsibility of the member library to move or recreate data from their current website.
There are several benefits of moving to a hosted service and installing a WordPress website. These include:
- Brand your library with a unique domain name
- Brand your library with photos, logos and/or taglines unique to your library and community
- Create unique email addresses, with your unique domain name, for all staff members
- Offer web-based email access for all staff
- Separate your email from your Internet Service Provider
- Update your website with hours, contact info, staff names and meeting calendars w/o relying on FLLS
- Post photos from events
- Link Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and other social media outlets with your website
- Track website usage statistics
- Offer surveys and contact forms for patrons
WordPress is flexible and continually updated which means new features and connectivity with other websites and social media will have the ability to grow with future technology trends.
The Computer Network Services Department will maintain the WordPress install and be responsible for updates to WordPress and the ThemeGrill premium themes along with any plugins installed by the CNS Department.
The CNS Department will be responsible for adding and removing email userids and issuing passwords and password resets as needed for all domains hosted at InMotion.
The CNS Department in conjunction with the Continuing Education & Outreach Librarian will offer beginner WordPress training and offer advice on best practices for organizing and adding posts, pages, and items to the media library. Each library will be responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the data on their own page as well as adding content as needed.
While the CNS Department will help maintain member library sites, we will have no responsibility for the availability of the host server and cannot be responsible for web, email or Internet outages that affect the host. We will provide first point of contact but will have to work with the vendor to restore service. Responsibility for the web host and website availability would be limited to weekday business hours. Off shift support by the CNS Department will continue to be limited to Polaris access and server availability.
If a library would like to use their own WordPress theme they would not be required to purchase the ThemeGrill package. Each library choosing their own theme will be responsible for installing, configuring, and maintaining the theme.
If a library currently has a website that uses a Content Management System (CMS) other than WordPress and would like to continue to use it while migrating to the hosted service, the library would be responsible for their own install, theme and data migration. The CNS Department has the ability to help support a WordPress migration but not for other types of CMS software (e.g. Joomla, Drupal).
The CNS Department may install certain WordPress plugins in order to enhance themes, allow for customization, or add to the usability of WordPress. The CNS Department will maintain those plugins along with the WordPress install. Each library will have the ability to install their own choice of plugins and would be responsible for configuring and maintaining them; including applying all updates and making sure that they are compatible with WordPress.