New Web Site Tips
Have You Received a DCMA Complaint?
How To Avoid DCMA Complaints.
When developing a web site, before we place images on clients web sites, we always ask “Do you have the right to use these photos and graphics?”
DCMA complaints are no laughing matter. If you do not have the proper license to use a photo or graphic, you can be sued and risk a DCMA infringement complaint requesting you pay for use of the image(s) in the mail. Removing the photo and ignoring the notification will not make it go away, some companies gather evidence of unauthorized use before you are notified of the infringement.
More often than not, these letters are from a large company that will remain nameless for the purpose of this article who employs an aggressive team that scours the internet for unauthorized use of copyrighted images and makes demands for compensation.
If you have received a DMCA letter, you have a problem and should not ignore it. Some companies are relentless and will pursue you until a settlement is made.
For research purposes, there are a number of articles on the internet posted by those who have received these letters and how they dealt with it.
On the other hand, you may receive false claims as well, and as a web development company we have experienced this first hand where we had to respond to an infringement complaint with proof that the photo on the site are paid for and we have full permission/license to use it.
A Few Clients Have Called With DCMA Issues:
- I received a complaint and demand for payment, but the photo is ours, taken by a company staff member.
- I received a complaint but the photo was sent for use by an affiliate who provided the photo.
- I received a complaint about a photo that was a on a website we purchased.
- I have received a DCMA complaint, please remove the image and maybe they will go away.
One company we hear about most often has collected thousands, if not millions of dollars in recovery.
A tragic example was a new client who left it to a past webmaster to work on their web site and apparently the designer used a photo right off the internet from an aggressive company looking for unauthorized use. The client received a DCMA letter and was forced to pay 25,000.
Another story that circulated in the office was a business that used images taken by an independent photographer and was sued in court by the rights holder and a judgment was levied to pay a large undisclosed amount for use to the creator.
What To Do
If you have received one of these letters, we suggest you contact an attorney, they can help you negotiate or fight for your rights. A photo depending on its use can also fall under “Fair Use.” Fair Use is an image you use in an article or commentary about a specific subject. However, we recommend that when in doubt, use a photo you have the right to use in order to spare yourself grief, or better yet contact your legal counsel to make sure you are covered under “Fair Use.”
Fair Use Images
“Fair Use” states that there is a limitation and provides exceptions to the exclusive copyright law to the author of a creative work. Fair use permits limited use of copyrighted material without getting permission from the rights holder. Examples of Fair Use include news articles, teaching and more. There are many articles on the internet detailing Fair Use.
As stock photographers, we understand the use of creative work by permission only. Many times we have stumbled upon web sites using our photos where we own exclusive rights. We generally just request the photo be removed and are satisfied with that. However, there are other’s that will not stop and who will pursue you to pay large sums for the use of their work.
Stock Photography Web Sites
If you are looking for stock images, below are two that we use when working with clients to develop their web sites. When you purchase stock photography images, they include the rights to use them on your web site. PhotosofCalifornia.com and Dreamstime.com
Better Safe Than Sorry
We recommend that when you are creating a web site, purchased an existing web site or have been supplied pictures by an affiliate or company you are promoting on your site, make sure all images have the proper licensing and keep records. This due diligence will alleviate any issues in having to pay for unauthorized use, not to mention avoiding the stress when facing exorbitant demands for payment. You as the site owner are responsible for the content on your web site.
WebmasterDeveloper is based in San Diego, California and has been creating web sites for large and small businesses and services nationwide since 2003. If you are looking for a webmaster, developer or just need consultation about your online business, give us a call to speak with a project coordinator about your web site needs.
The staff at WebmasterDeveloper based in San Diego can help you with any phase of your web site needs anywhere in the county.
Are you considering building your own web site? If you are thinking about building your site yourself, we can help. Our staff will assist you with choosing the proper platforms, how to build your web site, where to host and more. Just give us a call to discuss your needs.
Thinking of upgrading your current web site and looking for ideas on how to go about it? Our consultants will discuss how to upgrade your current web site to fit your needs, growth and budget.
Need assistance with (SEO) Search engine optimization? Want tips or help on how to get your site indexed in the search engines, or how ideas on other ways to work with social networking? Give us a call and get a consultation on SEO techniques.
Looking for some help with graphics for your web site? Perhaps you need a logo or your current logo ready for the web. Our graphic designers can help you with graphic design needs large or small, just give us a call.
Want a webmaster to set up your site so you can maintain it yourself? We do that. A project coordinator can set you up with everything you need on virtually any platform and get it ready for you to take over. If you get stuck at any juncture, you can call us to help you through any issues or train you to get your web site the way you want it. We will be there to hold your hand during any part of the web development process you need.
Call WebmasterDeveloper, we have been doing this for a long time and have experience from A-Z when it comes to creating, maintaining, teaching, consultation and marketing a web site business, product or service.
Project Coordinator: Chris Johnson
Phone: (760) 735-8690
What are Plugins and Should I use Them?
Not all plugins are created equal.
Plugins are useful small to large programs designed to increase functionality of your WordPress web site. The basic use of wordpress is an easy way to get your web site up and running quickly. Plugins are useful in employing functions to your site at a lower cost due to the fact that you will not have to pay a developer to customize features to have on your web site.
Plug-ins are SUPPOSED to integrate seamlessly with WordPress so you do not have to work with php code.
There are plugins for forms, photo galleries, seo components, ecommerce and just about everything you can imagine and are created by developers from all around the world. Most basic plugins are offered for free with an pro upgrade or at a cost that is considerably less expensive than employing a developer to create from scratch.
But not all plugins are created equal. What I mean by this is that if you are considering a plugin, you should employ due diligence when selecting the proper plugin.
- A great plugin is one that has developer support.
- A useful plugin needs to be updated frequently by the developer who created it in order to keep up with ever changing wordpress upgrades.
- A good plugin needs to be compatible with other plugins you may have installed on your wordpress platform.
When purchasing a plugin, it is essential to do your research to be sure that it will work as the description indicates. You need to consider that you will have ample support available from the creator should you have issues with it working properly. Even with due diligence, a plugin could be mis-represented in any aspect. So the number one benefit for this web designer is to have expectations that we get timely support should it not function or integrate with the web site.
As a web designers and developers we build and manage many word press web sites and have to look at plugins frequently to determine if it is a fit for a client’s site.
We look for a number of factors to make a determination whether to install and many times have to select and configure a number of plugins to see if it is the right fit.
Unfortunately, many plugins do not have a conscientious developer who updates the plugin regularly, many plugins do not perform as the details indicate or once a plugin is purchased, the support is poor to non-existent resulting in a waste of money or time because the plugin is rendered useless.
With that said there are a number of plugins that provide superb support or are designed to work exactly as promised.
One plugin that gets our thumbs up is the wp photo seller. Recently we needed to locate a plugin for a client who sold stock photos online and we were seeking a lightweight plugin that would display and sell photos for their stock photography business.
Research was done to locate this functionality. Trial and error until we discovered the plugin that appeared to have most of the functions needed. Once the decision was made we purchased the plugin and installed. There were some hiccups with integration but each and every time the developer of the wp photo seller plug provided timely and conscientious support.
This developer went beyond what was expected to make sure it functioned properly, even when it was an oversight on the user side. This was a rare and delightful experience. We did not have to wait to see when and if we would get assistance with our problem and most often we received help within hours. For me as a designer, I give this plugin one hundred stars.
On a sadder note, we purchased a plugin for a client who wanted a simple but attractive slider on their home page web site. Again we researched and settled on a plugin that had the functions we were looking for. Unfortunately from day one, the plugin was crashing and not working as promised. We reached out for support and did not hear back for over a week, and were disappointed when they did not answer the questions asked or they just emailed back with an obvious not so clear understanding of the issue. Then again we had to wait another week for an answer that did not address the problem.
It becomes a nightmare when you have to wait for a plugin to work on your site resulting in delaying the completion of a web site.
So not all plugins are created equal. The moral to this article is to be diligent, understand the pitfalls of these small plugin programs, and if you do not know what you are doing, get with one of our San Diego based web designers who have experience, understanding and who has reviewed thousands of wordpress plugins. They will help keep your frustration at a minimum as well as to help you spend your money wisely.
Webmaster Developer – Internet Web Site Consultant
If you don’t need one of our webmaster’s and want to work on your own web site, consider hiring a webmaster consultant. Someone who can work with you to design, develop and market your web site. Learn and get private instruction from the professionals on how to create or manage a web site.
If You Have Questions Such As:
- How do I set-up a web site?
- What is search engine marketing?
- can I get help to learn how to work on my own web site?
- How do I move my site to a different host?
- How do i make changes on my own web site?
- How can I add a BLOG to my web site?
- What is a web site and how does it work?
- How do I add a database to my web site?
- What is a domain?
- What is a host?
- Do I need a Webmaster?
We assist business and private web site owners on how to manage their own web sites. If you have the above questions or something else you need to know, you need WebmasterDeveloper.com
We have consultants on staff to work with you on your web site. They will teach you or your employees what it takes to control a web site, make changes, market and more.
Our consultation rates vary depending on your needs. Call our project coordinators for more information to talk about your online presence or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have an idea for a great web site or just need to get your business an online presence. Before you do so, there are some things you should consider when creating your new web site:
There are millions of web sites on the internet. All shapes and sizes. Products and services can be located by logging on and searching for what you need. But, when you do that Internet search, your search results will include all sorts of web sites. Web sites include individuals with sites about themselves for a number any number of reasons, there are small business and services that need an online presence and then there are the large business with a web site presence that incorporate the newest technology and features that the Internet can provide. Your site will be in competition with all those millions of personal and business web sites.
So, below are some important considerations before any work is done to develop a new web site.
Determining the purpose of the site is the first step. Will the web site just provide information about your company, or will you be selling goods/services online? How will users interact with your web site? Will there be a customer or member-driven section? All of these considerations change the time and cost it will take to get your site operational.
Budget: One of the first questions we get is “How much will my web site cost?” Our response to this question is for the client to first determine a budget and then, when discussing this project with our coordinator or webmaster, they can help you get as much out of your site as possible within your budget. The number of pages, the design, the graphic work needed, programming, and content you need are all part of the components that have to be considered when making a budget.
How Many Pages: In addition to the custom pages addressing your product or service, this is a good time to start thinking about the standard pages found on websites. Do you need an About Us Page, Contact Us page, a Careers page, a listing of the current Staff, or a overview of the your company and a listing of each department?
Domain name: Do you have a domain name for your web site? A domain name is important for a number of reasons; your domain name can consist of your business name, or a service you provide. If you have not purchased a domain, our company recommends purchasing at GoDaddy at affordable prices.
Website Hosting: The hosting of your web site is a very important component. A host for your web site is akin to your landlord, and like any tenant, you need to determine if your landlord offers the residence you desire. You web host should provide customer service in a timely manner. It should supply all the necessary packages to allow your web site to expand, and to support any programming needed to run your site. Your host may also need the ability to provide you with email functions and reports on your web site’s traffic and usage.
Design: the design of your web site is another component. It must reflect your branding and identity. This is often referred to as the “Look and Feel”. In addition, to the “Look and Feel”, a navigation structure must be planned to provide a user friendly experience for your visitors. Users should be able to immediately locate the information about your business or service, to get answers to any questions, to locate your contact information, and to purchase your products and services easily.
Help your webmaster help you. Web masters work with hundreds of businesses and services but can’t possibly be experts in every business and service available. Webmaster know a lot about web sites, but they generally know nothing at all about your business. You, as a client, must be prepared to help your Webmaster help you in developing your web site. You need to be prepared to provide your webmaster with text content and information how your business works. Not only will this make it easier to develop a good web site, it will cost you less in the long run–especially if budget is a consideration. The more content you can supply, the less time it will take to create your new site.
Prepare a spec sheet or outline of your web site. At WebmasterDeveloper, our programmers, web designer and graphic artists work from a client-approved document of specifications, or “spec sheet”. This spec sheet outlines all the components of a new web site, and all of the tasks that must be completed to create the completed site. A spec sheet MUST be created and approved by the client to insure that the site is developed with all of the components the client desires. The project coordinator will help you in preparation of a spec sheet.
Room for growth: Web sites are businesses and may grow depending on your goals, so you need to be sure that you have room to expand in your online business. This is an issue that you should discuss with your project coordinator or webmaster. They will help you to make sure that when your business is ready for expansion or additional services, you have a plan in place to implement with minimum disruption and cost to your current online presence.
Who is your Webmaster? An ideal webmaster can be compared to a general or store manager; someone who you can trust to implement any business decisions, marketing campaigns, or just to be sure that your online business runs smoothly. It is important to select a webmaster that you can rely on. Having a webmaster is SEPERATE from your hosting. A webmaster is a person who will guide you, consult with you, and implement any web site updates. A webmaster may also assist you with online marketing, graphic design, or programming issues. Be sure to select a webmaster who is available to you during business hours, and is timely in responding to any needs you may have.
Support, service and communication: Your web site is your business, you must be able to control it. You have to be sure that your webmaster and web host performs updates and maintenance in a timely manner. You also need to be sure that you OWN your web site. We occasionally see sites hosted by a webmaster on his own server, or contained in the webmaster’s GoDaddy or hosting account. Sometimes, we even see that the domain is owned by the webmaster, not the client. NEVER allow your webmaster to own your domain or hosting account. You should be able to directly access your account administration, hosting control panel, etc. This will allow you to change webmasters if necessary. You webmaster should NEVER control your access to your web site. You should control the webmaster’s access, so you can change or suspend it when you need to.
At webmasterDeveloper.com we offer 24/7 technical support via email for your web site hosting, and the staff answers the phone during business hours to discuss, implement or respond to any issues you have in a in a timely manner.
Marketing: Just creating a web site is not all that it will take to help it become successful and attract customers, especially if you have lots of competition. There are millions of web sites in competition with yours, so merely creating a web site doesn’t mean that you will be noticed among the millions of competing sites. There are a number of marketing techniques available to help your web site gain visibility on the internet, and to attract users to your online business. Online marketing can include advertising, SEO optimization techniques, social networking, blogs, graphic art, promotions and more. You webmaster should be well-versed in these techniques in order to help you determine and implement marketing strategies that help you grow.
The staff at WebmasterDeveloper.Com LLC takes any size web site development or maintenance project seriously. Before we begin any work on development, we need to make sure that a client understands what it will take to create a web site as well.
To begin the process of building your web site, call our project coordinator today to get started.