Of course you have questions! If you’ve never had a custom website you may have no idea what is involved, what the costs are, a reasonable timeline, where the pictures come from, or what responsibilities lie with you, the site owner.

Hopefully, your questions will be answered and any doubts quelled — but of course, feel free to ask me anything and I will answer as fully as I can. I’ve been doing this a very long time and have a lot of experience, so chances are I can pull up an example to illustrate any situation or circumstance you might have.

Of course, the answer is “it depends!” A website can cost a couple thousand, or a couple million (okay, I’ve never built a million dollar website, but I know people who have!), depending on the goals of the site. Some websites that seem quite simple can, in fact, have a lot of complex features under the hood, and some sites that have thousands of pages and articles might have a rather simple structure. After a consultation, I can give you my best estimate, and we can go from there.

Again, it depends. Some sites can be whipped up in half a day, some might take months. Is all the content (page text, images, video, data, etc) proofread, optimized and ready to go? Is the site structure and architecture nailed down? Does the site require a lot of customized templates and interfaces to build? 

Most websites (and certainly most WordPress themes and plugins) are responsive (i.e. mobile ready) from the get-go. The more customized a site’s layout is, the more fiddly it can be to make sure it looks good on a phone, but my sites are all responsive. Why build a site that’s only useful for 49% of its users?

A basic WordPress installation allows non-technical users to manage the content of basic pages and images without much investment of time or learning curve. Depending on the type of content you want to present, I can build out custom templates that will allow you to simply “plug in” the content in a form-like interface to display in a variety of layouts. For example, you may want to display your staff in a nice grid, or your paintings as a slideshow; I can make that simple for you! 

For the most part, I expect you to deliver your written page and post content in an organized format. Many businesses and organizations hire a professional web content writer – a great option if you have the budget for it. A web content specialist can ensure that your text is optimized for search engines and readability. If you want to include a blog on your site, you can likewise hire someone on retainer to write your posts so they appear regularly. 

That being said, I am happy to help out with grammar and syntax for the main content (I was a pretty tough English teacher back in the day) to keep your content clear and effective.

For other types of content, like images or video, I can make recommendations for stock photography or local videographers if needed. If you need image processing, that can be negotiated in the contract agreement.

I recommend that you have a reputable hosting service for your site (obv!) and in general with hosting you get what you pay for. At the minimum, your host must offer a free mysql database and a server able to run WordPress.

If we’re updating or rebuilding your site, I can build that as a “staging site” on your hosting server or on mine. If you don’t have a host yet, I offer hosting for smaller sites at a reasonable yearly cost. I offer the same security and convenience features as other top hosts, with access to a cpanel (if you choose) in conjunction with my maintenance plans.

Once the site is launched, I hand the keys over to you. I’ll do any minor changes or tweaks that come up (within reason) for 30 days after launching. If you choose to enroll in one of my maintenance or service packages, I will continue to update your plugins and WordPress core, and attend to the security and functionality of the site. Unlike many other web developers, I prefer to maintain long-term relationships with my clients.

One of the best things about WordPress is that they continue evolving the framework—not just the code and files, but the underlying concepts—for the long term. They look into the future to a time when websites are viewed not just on laptops, phones and tablets, but on walls, through glasses, and other unimagined sci-fi sounding devices. Gutenberg is a part of this re-conceptualizing websites as completely modular. The common phrase for it is now “blocks.” Instead of a page of text (like your basic Word doc), a webpage is now made up of blocks of content that fit and flow around each other to accommodate a range of screen sizes and display types. 

If, of course, you are more comfortable with the “classic” type of text editing, we have plugin for that!

Whoa, slow down, Cowboy! Anyone who promises that they can get you to the first page of Google (or some similar promise) is just trying to con you. Optimizing websites for Google searches is a pretty complex and specialized endeavor which even folks who have been doing it for decades are always fiddling with. That being said, there are basic elements we can build into your site fairly easily that will help people find you on the web. We’ll talk about these, and I can recommend further steps to take if SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a priority for you.,

I’m happy to help you set up the GSuite or other email service to run through your domain, and I can probably help you set up an email template on your CRM service on a one-time basis, but, like most web developers, I don’t really “do” email as a regular service. A competent virtual assistant can likely help with any ongoing email or newsletter needs you may have. Most email services are now tailored for non-technical users to manage customers and send out email blasts without too much of a learning curve.  

I love creating graphics for social media or other online purposes. I do print design as well if paper is your jam. I can and do create logos, but not the 30K super-high end kind of logos (for that I’d recommend a specialist logo designer).