Website Design & Development
Good communication between the designer and developer is essential, but even in the best of circumstances, there can be a disconnect between the two, resulting in a lower quality website that fails to take full advantage of the features available, or one that becomes unnecessarily costly because the designer and developer have struggled against one another for solutions to serve the client's objective.
I am both a website designer and developer, which offers a seamless integration throughout the project, resulting in the best website at the most affordable price possible. So not only will your website look great and reflect your branding, but the flow of information, navigation, functionality, SEO, and integration with the content management system all happens simultaneously.
Gone are the days where people only use their desktop computers or laptops to visit a website. People are accessing information more and more on-the-go using smartphones and tablets of every size, and more are being invented on a regular basis. The expectation has changed, and it's no longer acceptable to force a viewer to zoom in on websites to find what they're looking for. In addition, Google began giving preferential ranking to websites that are mobile friendly over ones that are not, essentially penalizing companies without mobile friendly websites.
A responsive website is one that changes the layout of the content depending on the width of the screen, accommodating both portrait and landscape orientations for better readability. Typically, a layout that displays in a multi-column style format will stack into a single column on smaller devices. Non-essential content (such as a footer with secondary navigation) can be hidden on smaller devices so the most important content is easier to find.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CMS)
A Content Management System provides the ability for you to make changes to your own website after it’s finished. There are many popular solutions out there, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, MURA, WIX, Shopify, etc., and I’m happy to modify your existing template, but my favorite by far is Locomotive CMS, where I start from scratch and add ONLY WHAT YOU NEED to your "back office" in a concise, straightforward manner. While that may not mean anything to someone who has never been bewildered by their WordPress website before, it is music to the ears of those who have. If it sounds too costly to have a custom website and CMS created from scratch, you will be happy to learn that it usually costs LESS because the programming and coding is a much more streamlined. Not only that, Locomotive CMS has the ability to go much farther beyond the capabilities that WordPress and other common solutions have to offer.
The best measure of success is when my clients learn to edit their own websites easily after a short 10 minute training that can be done over the phone or a screen sharing session. And more importantly, they remember how to make changes even after not logging in for months at a time. It really is that easy! Get more details now.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMZATION
There are many facets to consider for Search Engine Optimization, which is a cause for much confusion and concern for many website owners. While developing a website, I employ every consideration during the coding phase to ensure every aspect has been covered. This includes the content itself, where it's placed and the tags containing keywords and phrases. Also important are the page titles, meta description, internal links, alt tags on images, and pulling dynamic content from associated databases and other resources whenever possible.
WHO OWNS YOUR WEBSITE?
YOU DO! Many clients already own their domain name beforehand, but even when I handle the entire registration and set up process from start to finish, I make sure your domain name and all other associated accounts are registered to YOU, in YOUR name, not that of my agency. I may host your website on my server because it's more cost-effective, but you are free to create your own hosting account at any time. I release all login information (user names and passwords) at the completion of every project. You are never bound by contract or otherwise to retain my services for any on-going work your projects may need. I believe good service should speak for itself, creating great business relationships, and repeat business should never be forced on anyone.
HOW DOES THE FEE STRUCTURE WORK?
Design & Development: It's very simple. I charge by the project. Every website is different, so I give you a price range by assessing your needs first. Final payment is due at completion of the project, and all user names and passwords are released to you. THERE ARE NO ON-GOING MONTHLY FEES. Any additional work needed at a later date is simply charged on an hourly basis.
Hosting: If you have your own hosting plan, you will be charged either monthly or yearly, depending on the preference you have specified. If you are hosting on my Locomotive server to save money, I am currently invoicing on a yearly basis ($120/yr = $10/mo) rather than charging your credit card each month.
Domain Registration: Depending on the preference you specified at registration, your registrar will charge your credit card each year (about $10), or every two-five years for your domain name. I always recommend the private registration option (an extra $9 or so each year) to cut down on spammers contacting you. Well worth it.