Web Design Process and Philosophy

Before we start, decide what you want the website to do for you.

Ask yourself who the audience is and what they want from you. People need to know what your website is about instantly. Don’t assume they know why they are there. Expect them to do something.

Branding

Many people look at other websites for inspiration. Write down features that you like. Sketch if you can. You may have colors or imagery you already use.  Think about how you can get images and what you want people to see. We want continuity in fonts, text sizes and color and should have a style sheet.

Content

Don’t go over board on tons of text and pages. 300 – 900 words per page is fine. Is your focus appealing? In other words, does anybody care? Are you explaining enough? Too much?

Your website name

See zombieinternet.com  to see if the domain name you like is available. They cost $12 to $15 per year. While it’s not critical, it might help if you domain name isn’t really long or hard to spell.

Hosting

Expect to spend around $75 – $115  per year on hosting, this is where your web pages will live. We can talk about which hosting company works best for you.

Platform

I like to build in WordPress, It’s economical for you and a good way for you to manage changing information. You will want to create promotions, WordPress does this well. WordPress integrates with a large amount of other systems which is great.

I think we are ready to build a website!

Once you have hosting and a domain name, we will find a good WordPress theme (much like a template) for your website that has the basic features you want and I will start customizing it, adding your content and images and identity.  I will build an extra theme to back it up called a “child” theme. If you have an existing website with traffic, we can build your new website on a development site before switching to go “live” if you would like.

Communication

I will give updates after instructions and input from you. I expect you to view the project and give feedback in a timely manner. If the website is  “live”, that is, available to the public and has traffic, I will respond quickly and prioritize repairs.  I respond pretty quickly anyway.

Testing

How does the website look on a phone? a tablet? Does everything work? links good? Does it work for your audience? I will test the website for devices and make adjustments as they arise.

Paying for it

I will give you a project details work up and an estimate for what we decide to build. I bill for hours worked weekly with pay pal so you know how we are doing with the budget.  I charge $35 per hour, I would expect that the entire new word press project to  cost you $1000-$1500 depending on your needs.
If we want membership programs, paid content, copy writing, graphic imagery or other good stuff the costs may go up, but we should know when we work on the estimate how that will be.  You can always add stuff later.  We can always go slow as you get funds to pay for your project.

Why I work hourly

Set fees are like getting someone to build you a house and guessing the average house build is $100,000. They start building the house but immediately you discover you have new needs. Eventually, the house is pretty much done but you want changes. it’s not finished, but do you expect them to keep working until you tell them they’re done? Of course not! A good contractor communicates how the project is progressing with the budget .
Web designers who charge set rates can never finish and eventually will ignore you, disappear and leave you with a slightly unsatisfying website.  Some have out sourced the project and when they start to lose money will abandon the whole thing.

Speaking of outsourcing

I don’t send work overseas. when I get to busy I work with people whom I know and trust, and if needed, train. I will tell you if I am doing so.  Some over seas contractors further outsource the work and are overly accommodating in your requests. they deliver, any way they can. Almost always this means working around wordpress instead of with it. It might result in a website that defy’s security standards, updating or design standards.   I’ve ended up with some of these websites, I’ve seen things that amaze.

I cant quit you!

I will teach you how to use your new website to make it work for you. It will work on phones and tablets and with social media. Most people want me to stick around  and keep your website updated, backed up and safe with monthly maintenance. I can help with on going SEO or help with new content.

Some people like to have a custom dashboard made for them so they only see the areas that concern them.  The lovely geek gave me some good advice about custom WordPress dashboards

A good website is never finished

A website that has little content is much like a business a card, it exists only to give you contact and credibility. Even then you might want people to do a search and discover your business thru your website, so you need some content and some visitors.

Do you have more questions? Did you see the FAQ

Let’s get started!