Frequently Asked Questions

  • I would like you to design my site, what do I need to do now/what is the process?

    First, we consult with you to collect all of your brand identity materials and print collateral; really getting involved in your business and how you communicate with your customers and prospects. We then craft a solution that includes content development, SEO, website design, and a CMS-based administrative suite so that you can maintain it yourself if you want.

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  • How long does it take your firm to create a new website?

    Rare Earth can complete a deployment of a website’s core applications in literally a matter of minutes. Our typical creative process takes between 3-6 weeks, and content development [often the biggest challenge for website owners] is an ongoing process. A deployment timeline of between five to ten weeks is typical for a new website.

    Remember though, since you can make changes to your site any time you want, your site need not be "perfect" before rollout. In fact, it helps your search engine rankings if you start smaller and then build as time and your internal resources allow. 

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  • Can you register domains?

    Yes, we work with Network Solutions as our exclusive registrar. We manage the entire renewal process for any and all of your domain names you register through us, in addition to any DNS changes you may require. We charge a modest annual premium above the basic cost of the registration for this service.

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  • How long does it take for a design to be completed?

    Designs are typically completed as a part of what we call a "Sprint." During a Sprint, we meet with the customer every day and through this process, we develop the design and functionality that is reflected in the Blueprint developed during our Discovery process.  

    The Discovery process generally lasts anywhere from 3-6 weeks, and Sprints for new customers generally last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.  This means the complete process from start to finish generally takes anywhere from 5-10 weeks.

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  • What extensions can I have for my domain name?

    The extension is also know as a "TLD" for "top level domain." 

    We can register a domain name with any extension that is available from Network Solutions. Please note that certain restrictions may apply, depending on the country (e.g. .ca, .cn and .uk), or the application (e.g. .edu, .pro, and .lawyer).

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  • What kind of images do I need for my website?

    We always ask for the highest quality imagery you can provide us with. However, imagery varies depending on your site, what it will be used for, and where the image will be placed in the context of the site.

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  • Do you offer webmail?

    Yes. We are a Google Apps Authorized Reseller.

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  • Do you provide website hosting?

    Yes, but only for the solutions that we deploy.  We are not strictly a hosting company.  

    We also provide domain name registration and management services for sites that are hosted with us.

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  • How long after taking our new site live will I begin to see it in my browser?

    It depends. You could begin to see your website in a matter of a few minutes.  Generally, you should allow up to 24-48 hours for propagation of your new site throughout the Internet; this gives sufficient time for every server on every ISP across the world to update their records so they know where to find your site. It’s unusual for propagation to take that long, but it can vary from one ISP to another and from one computer to another.

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  • Who owns my domain?

    When we register a domain for you, you are the owner. Rare Earth will however, manage billing administration and technical aspects of the domain for you, including DNS changes and downtime management.

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  • What is a change request?

    A change request is any request that either changes the state of the existing website or changes the specifications of a website that is currently under development.  Change requests are generally billable and handled on a case-by-case basis.

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  • What does your company do?

    We provide Inbound Marketing solutions centered around great design, reliable technology, and expertise in marketing communications and advertising.  We get inside your business so that we can understand your priorities and develop a solution that helps you achieve them more quickly and easily.

    As a part of Inbound Marketing, we provide very detailed reporting to let our customers know how their sites are performing, where things are working or not working, and provide thought leadership to help find effective solutions to our customers’ online business challenges.  

    In short, we make our customers happy.

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  • How many hours will my change request take to complete?

    We bill by project, not by the hour.  Accordingly we don't limit any changes to a number of hours.  

    We schedule our time according to your project size: Simple, Midrange, Extended, or Custom.  We put the changes into our workflow schedule, provide the customer with a delivery date, and complete the request within the scheduled time.   

    Change requests can take anywhere from 1 day to several weeks depending on size of the request.

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  • What are your hours of operation?

    Our hours of operation are 9am - 5pm Eastern U.S. time, Monday through Friday, excepting U.S. holidays.

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  • When you develop a website, do you test it in multiple browsers?

    Absolutely! We want to make sure you look good on every device your visitors view your site with - whether it be desktop or mobile.

    So when we develop your website, we support all of the latest versions of the most popular browsers. These include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

    The only exception to this rule is when it comes to versions of Internet Explorer older than version 11. For much of its history, Microsoft was never what you would call "standards compliant" when it comes to its browser, this is especially true when it comes to IE 7 and IE 8. This lead to all kinds of issues with cross-browser consistency and fortunately, the percentage of people who use those older browsers now are in the low single digit percentages. So when it comes to a question of the value of our time and your money, we encourage the pragmatic approach of ignoring older versions of IE.

    Of course, if you absolutely must have your site look great on a specific version of a specific browser, we're happy to accommodate your need as a part of your project. But be forewarned that it could take a significant amount of time to get it looking just right in that old version of IE.

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  • What distinguishes you from other web development firms?

    We are not simply a web development or web design firm. We are an Inbound Marketing agency that blends our expertise in marketing communications, advertising, design, and technology into effective web-based marketing programs for our customers. With a 15-year track record of creating customer marketing solutions that successfully generate leads, build brand awareness, and help our customers gain domain authority in their areas of expertise, it's no surprise that our average engagement is over 3 years in length. In fact, some of our customers have been with us for more than 10 years.

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  • How long has Rare Earth Interactive been in business?

    Rare Earth has been in business for 16 years. Founded in 1998 with a single account we have expanded our services and client base by adding services which ensure our customer's online marketing success.

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  • Can you work with any business?

    Absolutely! The process we’ve developed for marketing and design is applicable to virtually any business or organization.  This enables us to work for diverse types of organizations including not-for-profit, community, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, law firms, and even high-end scientific equipment manufacturers.

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  • How is your business structured?

    Rare Earth’s business model is centered around empowering its customers to manage their own online solutions.

    While we often maintain managed professional consulting relationships with select customers, Rare Earth began its move away from the so-called "dollars for hours" business model prior to the collapse of the Internet bubble in 2001-2002.

    Accordingly, Rare Earth is a product-oriented, "software as a service" business, where the bulk of its revenue is derived from ongoing subscription fees for its SNAP eBusiness management suite.

    This likewise empowers us to provide a better suite of solutions to our customers more efficiently and far more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.

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  • What is a transfer authorization code?

    A Domain Name Transfer Authorization Code is required when transferring a domain from one registrar to another. The domain name transfer authorization code can be obtained from the current registrar for your domain. The code will usually be emailed to the administrative contact email address on file, which you can look up here using the domain name.

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  • How long can I register a domain name for?

    You can register a domain name for any interval from one to ten years. Once registered however, there are no refunds either from the registrar or from us. Most of our customers register their domain names for between one and three years.

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  • What type of training and support do you offer?

    Included with every project are two 1-hour training sessions. The first session occurs before the launch of your new site, with the second occurring after you've had ample time to use your site and generate questions about what you'd like to use in an advanced way, most likely after about 30 days.

    Support is offered through our online ticketing system or by phone. During business hours you will be connected directly to available staff or a message will immediately be delivered to all team members simultaneously. Emergencies will be addressed within 2 hours inside normal business hours or within 4 hours outside of business hours with alerts being generated to available staff.

    For urgent matters (i.e. a server goes down, etc.), we generally know about these things before our customers do.  However, if a customer alerts us of an urgent issue like this, you can expect a 15-minute response time within normal business hours.

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  • What is your payment policy?

    Our Terms of Service explains in general, everything that you can expect from an engagement with Rare Earth Interactive.

    As far as payment is concerned, we've found that companies that place their money on the line to get a project done are as motivated as we are. That's why we tell you up front what you can expect from us, how long it will take, what it will cost, when it will launch, and that you'll love your site when it's done. Accordingly, payment is due in full for each phase of the engagement, at the start of each phase.

    Any recurring fees that come after launch (e.g. hosting, licensing, marketing services) are due on the first of each month.

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  • Can you help me generate leads with my website?

    Absoultely! In fact, this is what we have the most fun doing - watching our work actually make money for our customers, and helping them do it.

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  • How much do you charge for your services?

    That's simple! How much does a car cost?

    But seriously: while our development and professional service fees are based on a set price reflective of the time and resources involved, what we charge is entirely dependent the individual needs, expectations, and priorities of each customer. In short, your price may vary.

    Typically though, new accounts can expect to pay $10k for a new site, with recurring fees ranging upward from $100 per month for basic hosting and starting at $2,000 per month for Inbound Marketing services.

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  • Where are you located?

    Our executive offices are located in Buffalo and Manhattan, NY with employees working remotely from various sites in Western New York and other areas of the United States.

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  • Do you support mailing lists?

    We develop our marketing solutions using a proprietary CMS, which includes a Digital Marketing dashboard and email marketing module. This dashboard works similarly to other popular marketing systems available today. Using the Digital Marketing dashboard, you can manage lists as well as glean important information about your campaigns. This helps ensure that your emails aren't tagged as spam by your intended recipients.

    We also deliver three custom email templates based on the design of your website, which are simple to use and give a polished professional look to your campaigns. If you design outside of our system, you can also copy HTML into the editor and send test campaigns to a specified user or list.

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  • How does your customer support work?

    The easiest way to contact us is through email support (support@rareearth.us). All team members are immediately notified when a ticket comes in and our team will communicate immediately with whomever is most fit to respond.

    Phone support is also available during business hours by calling our main number; you will be directed through our receptionist to an available team member. Emails send directly to team members for support issues.

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  • Wow, that sounds like a lot of money to host a website. What's included in what I pay you each month?

    Well, you'd be right if what we charged for only included hosting - and the hosting we provided had your website on the same physical server as tens of thousands of other sites.

    Simply speaking, we don't do that. Our priority places quality of service over figuring out how many sites we can squeeze onto a box, or putting our support offshore in the hands of little-trained minions to maximize profit.

    We know you have choices, so here are just some of the things you get from us at every service level:

    • Dedicated professionals who have been developing beautiful, functional and marketing-effective websites every day of their professional careers.
    • English-language support of your solution, by people who know what they've done for you.
    • Solutions that are developed in the USA and based on software that is made in the USA or Canada.
    • A service level agreement that promises a response in under 2 hours for normal priority, and under 15 minutes for urgent requests.
    • Unlimited technical support for your site's functionality. In other words, if we deliver something that we promise will perform a specific way, and at some point it no longer functions in the way you've come to expect, we will commit whatever time is necessary to either make certain that it is restored to its original working state, or develop a reasonable workaround. You will never receive a bill for technical support.
    • Unlimited introductory online training of your solution and its functionality.
    • Licensing for your website management solution, which includes unlimited updates to the software.
    • The ability to make unlimited changes to your site, send unlimited emails, take unlimited form submissions, sell unlimited products, make unlimited blog posts and nurture unlimited leads.
    • Enterprise-level hosting with guaranteed 99.9% uptime, and that at minimum will load your site faster than 75% of all other sites on the internet. 

    If you're an Inbound Marketing account, you will get the services we specify for you in your engagement which can include content marketing, CPC campaign management, search engine optimization, marketing analysis, ongoing research and thought leadership, in addition to regular reporting and resource management.

    Bottom line: we provide high value for what we bill.

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