Considerations before you hire
So, why would anyone pay someone to design and set up their website?
It is about expertise and your time. If you do not have time to learn the “do-it-yourself” programs to build, troubleshoot and maintain your own website, it is worth hiring someone. It is like hiring a temporary employee to manage that part of your business without the complication of actually adding another employee to your staff.
HOWEVER, If you do have time to learn, review the complimentary information below to be sure you get all of your ducks-in-a-row before starting.
Websites have many pieces.
You sort of rent this: Usually under $20 per year. I recommend GoDaddy. Purchase at least 2 years service. It is better for your credibility as a business.
Note that getting an SSL (padlock) for your site will improve the confidence of your viewers. You can get a Managed SSL from GoDaddy – it costs over $200, but it is worth it not to have to deal with it yourself.
You sort of rent this too: Usually under $100 per year.
Or you can get your hosting through me. I use GoDaddy because they give 24/7 support.
You can do this yourself with a number of templates which are free or for purchase online.
Or you can hire a designer for a completely custom site.
Or – split the difference and hire me to make a custom site using a combination of templates that I design.
Plug-ins have free versions and premium versions. Premium plug-ins can run as much as $99 subscription per year each – and more – it depends on the plug-in. They add pre-coded functionality to your site.
I use Elementor Pro so that my clients can learn to make all changes needed to their own sites if they wish.
There are also free and/or premium “must have” plugins for backups, security, SEO and more.
Your own email address – [which is not a free @gmail, or @yahoo address] is needed if you are going to have an electronic newsletter with a company like MailChimp. Adding your own url after the @ also looks more professional. It runs about $4-$5 per month per email address.
I offer a simple monthly maintenance program for my clients. This means that I look in to your site once a month, or more, to keep ahead of updates and vulnerabilities.
Tutoring is billed out at an hourly rate. Please Note that you can find FREE information on the internet to solve any and every problem you may come up with – but sometimes that is a long and tedious proposition.
Assess your needs.
I like to start with a Zoom or Skype or live interview to discover what I need to know about my client’s business and expectations for the website. Much of my list of questions comes from the excellent free digital book by Dee Teal, The Web Princess. You can download it too.
Be prepared to discuss/answer these questions:
Name, email, address, phone, business name
- E-commerce and Online Sales?
Goals for the Site
It is critically important to deliberately FOCUS all of your content. Picture a your ideal client listening to your shpiel and begin to write from that standpoint.
It this is an existing website:
- Present Website (url, username, password)
- Present hosting information
For any website project:
- Provide Logo and Branding info
Your links for:
- Whatever else
Also, if you do a newsletter, we can put a newsletter sign up form on the site – so I need the mail client information.
Information for forms you may wish to include on your website.
If you hire – save.
Ways to speed up the process and reduce your bill by reducing the hours your designer works.
Even a simple website from scratch can take as much as 6 months to develop before launch. These steps can speed up the process:
Carefully outline your business goals and what you expect your website to do for you.
Very carefully write your copy – focused and page by page – in Word or a text editor – check spelling and grammar. (I recommend hiring a copywriter or an editor.)
Gather your own photos or search for stock photos online to fit the copy. There are sites that have FREE images, and they are quite good. Like unsplash.com or pixaby.com – and many more. Don’t take a chance on copyrighted images unless you have specific permission to use them.
Dont forget your Logo and Branding images.
Look for websites which have the “look” you like. Look at form, function and color. Save the urls to show to your website designer.
You want your viewer to interact with your site. Think of things you can offer to your viewers. Do you have a newsletter to offer? Do you have a .pdf of a booklet or some information of value to offer? a coupon?
What else do you need?
This is the time to assess other needs your designer can help with.
If your brand is managed properly, your message will be focused and consistent. Take the advice of a designer: make sure everything matches.
Be prepared to discuss these subjects:
If you do not have a logo, I can help you with this. I can provide a logo package for your brand including business cards, on-line letterhead – often a brochure or newsletter design, product labels, logowear and any number of other items.
It is important that your appearances on the web and your printed collaterals match your brand. I can provide digital images for your social media platforms and print collaterals for your physical materials.
If you provide email contact with your viewers/customers, I can set up MailChimp [or one of the other email programs] to match your brand.
After you have completed these steps you can begin the design process yourself or contact a designer. If you work with me, we will go through a very thorough interview about what you need and then I can submit a bid for the project.