What Do You Do?
The short answer to this question is: I create, redesign, and fix websites!
The longer answer is: I am a web developer with 8+ years of professional experience, specializing in small businesses and nonprofits in Western Washington. I focus on local clients who need an affordable and quick solution to their website needs, but would rather get the personal attention of a local developer than going with a big, Do-It-Yourself solution like Wix or Squarespace for their new website or site redesign. I have years of experience training clients to easily use the WordPress websites that I build, and offer customized WordPress guides and video tutorials as well as in-person and Zoom coaching. I love helping clients who just feel they need extra help with the "techy" side of being a business owner. I do this by guiding them to new possible solutions to growing their online presence by helping them, for example, create everything from Events calendars and contact forms to a full eCommerce store. I also do graphic design projects, email newsletters and social media assistance, so I like to consider myself a "one-stop shop" when it comes to your business's digital marketing needs. If there's something you need that I don't do personally, I probably have a local colleague in my network who can fill that need to your satisfaction.
See more about my packages for new websites, which include training on how to use your new site! I also offer WordPress Care Packages for clients who would rather not worry about certain tasks after the site goes live, such as software updates and security monitoring.
What does it cost?
Most new websites and website redesign projects generally employ a 4-stage process. How long each stage takes varies greatly from project-to-project, depending on the scope of your needs. Here's a rough outline:
Secure hosting and domain services, and make sure all relevant accounts have been accessed. Install WordPress on your host server. Perform full analysis of technical needs. Gain greater understanding of your industry through research and meetings. Develop project plan based on your industry and the needs of your users. Obtain all existing content as needed.
Design of website user experience and user interface to allow the target audience to easily navigate and use the website to achieve their needs. Collaborate to make sure visual design looks how you want it to (within guidelines of agreement). Begin development of interactive prototype so that all functionality can be tested and approved before launch.
Development of working website using the WordPress content management system. Features added as agreed upon. Project will include: security fortification, speed and performance optimization, browser compatibility testing (e.g. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Edge, etc.), mobile useability testing (making sure your site is well-designed for all devices and screen-sizes).
Final testing and debugging on development server before launching. Customization of WordPress CMS, create detailed custom WordPress guide, tutorial videos and utilization of user roles to make admin area as user-friendly as possible. Implementation of a WordPress Care Plan of your choice.
WordPress is open source content management software (CMS) that currently powers around 35% of all websites on the Internet, and 60% of websites that employ a CMS. Tens of thousands of developers all over the world contribute to the project, and it continues to grow in strength at nearly 15 years old. WordPress allows us to develop flexible and customizable websites to modern standards and observes web development best practices. Furthermore the community of web developers that use WordPress reaches far and wide, and allows us to tap into this collective intelligence and bring that wealth of experience to your project.
Aside from a web developer's labor, there are a few 3rd-party costs associated with getting a new website. You will need a domain name and a host. My favorite analogy is that if your website is a house, your domain name is the street address and your host is the piece of land that the house sits on. A domain name (such as "abellsmith.com") typically runs about $15/year, depending on its availability. See the next FAQ for more on hosting. If you have an eCommerce store, you will need a payment gateway – services such as PayPal and Square typically charge about 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, which can be addressed by adjusting your purchase prices. Aside from these costs, you may opt to purchase a premium theme or plugins, which usually run in the range of $50-$100 each in yearly subscriptions. If you go with one of my Starter Packages, your theme and a number of essential plugins are already installed for free! When building your website, I will provide you with a complete breakdown of any additional costs you might incur relating to your specific needs, so you're not caught off-guard by any hidden fees.
Your website should be hosted by a hosting company that specializes in WordPress hosting. There are many companies that do this... if you already have one that you prefer, let me know! If not, my recommended host is Siteground. They rank near the top of all web hosting companies for both uptime (99.99%) and speed (673ms), their customer support is great, and all plans come with a CDN (which speeds up your website), SSL certificate (which is required for eCommerce), and email accounts.
Provided you subscribe to one of my ongoing WordPress Care Plans, I will be your first point of call should something go wrong with your website. I will determine whether it is something the hosting company needs to fix or something that is covered by your website care plan. I will also provide training and video tutorials to assist you in using your website once it is launched.
Once your website is launched, I will provide 30 days of support to make sure any bugs have been ironed out and that you are confident using your new website. After this you will need to subscribe to one of my ongoing WordPress Care plans to make sure your website is looked after and maintained. These website care plans include updating your software, regular backups, security checks, uptime tracking, performance evaluation, and one hour of content updates per month (Elite package only). Click here for more information on my WordPress Care Packages.
For WordPress, one of the byproducts of being hugely popular is that it is often the target of hackers. Like with many things in life, sometimes malicious actors have a specific reason, like monetary gain... and sometimes they're just jerks! Your new site will undergo security fortication measures to make it less likely it could be hacked. However, in the effort to keep your site online and free of malware, it is very important to keep all your plugins and themes (and WordPress itself) up to date, as they often include security upgrades to plug vulnerabilities. It is not recommended that you perform these updates yourself, as they can break your website if not done carefully and in the correct order. Click here for more on my WordPress Care Packages!
The time it takes for your website to appear on page 1 of Google depends on a number of factors. It depends on the search phrase people are using to find your website and the number of other websites that are also available for those search phrases. Nobody can truly say how long it will take for your website to appear at the top of search engine results pages (including people who actually work for Google), however there are a number of factors that can improve your chances. Building your website on WordPress is a good start as WordPress has some great Search Engine Optimization fundamentals built-in. Creating unique and interesting content on a regular basis for your website is also critical to increase your visibility amongst search engines. Launching your website and then forgetting about it is a surefire way to get lost amongst the noise. I am happy to talk to more about your search engine strategy!
I will install Google Analytics software on your new website and show you how to log into your Google analytics account where you can see a wide range of statistics about your website including number of visits, pageviews than the amount of time people are spending on your website. Once you subscribe to one of my website care plans you will also receive more detailed analysis about your website performance and recommendations on how to improve.