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Mini Tutorial on Editing text on your wordpress website

By |September 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Big Contract vs Small Contract

Being a creative person and being able to do what you love is a wonderful thing. But individuals that choose this type of work will still have to navigate around client relationships. There is no way around it…you are a freelancer and you have to have clients. In the many years I have had my business I have come across many issues…..some happen only once in 18 years some happen repetitively and with certain personality types. So at one point I had a 10 page contract and every issue was covered….

1. You have looked at my portfolio and you like my style. If you give me nothing but a logo you are giving me free reign based on my design style to do what I believe is in your best interest. If you don’t like what I do at DRAFT 1 I would charge an additional fee to redesign the website.

This is very important and something I need to put back on my contract.

2. Abuse Clause…yes I had at one time an abuse clause. ABUSE is when you need to meet more then my set time for meetings. I meet with a client 1 time to get hired…..everything is sent to me via US Mail and electronically via email. All images and copy need to be sent to me via email or US MAIL. I do not meet for a 2nd time to collect payments or materials for the website. I do not accept more then a certain amount of emails from a client…..10 seems excessive. Phone calls I do not gather information via phone calls….all information, or draft changes must be in writing via email. I may be working on other projects and I need hard copies to refer back to….Your emails will be put into a folder with your name on it. If I tell you 2 to 4 weeks and you are the reason I am still working on the site 2 months later this falls into abuse and will be charged at an hourly rate until completion. Please do not ask me to talk on the phone so you can tell me some changes….please do it only in writing.

3. Payment…..I charge a 50 percent deposit and this is non refundable. In 18 years doing this I know for a 100 percent fact that I will use up the 50 percent deposit right after I am hired…that means I do work, put my time into your project and no matter what happens in the end that time and money has been spent. The balance is due normally before I put the website on your hosting server….most of the time I end up putting the site on the hosting server and wait for my final payment…..Payment is due within 24 hours of me finishing whether it’s on your hosting server or not..

My 10 page contract seemed intimidating and most didn’t want to take the time to read it and seemed put off by it but it PROTECTED ME from the very problems I am having this year with various new clients. So in conclusion please know a web designer has to have boundaries and you have to abide by them…fair is fair…

By |September 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

How long does it take to create your website?

On my proposal I put 2 to 3 week turnaround time.  It is in my best interest to finish in a timely manner since I run my business on deposits and balances.  Throughout the month deposits and balances from various new and current clients are coming in.  It’s a nice balance.  Some clients hire me and have EVERYTHING I need to complete their website, logos, copy, photos and even layout designs.  So that client would most likely get their website in the estimated turn around time stated on their invoice/proposal.  But the client that has given nothing or almost nothing more time will lapse.  I never pressure my clients or force them to send me what I need.  I give all my clients free reign to send me what I need to complete their website when they are ready.   Sure I nudge them along here and there but if you are not ready I have another client that is and I will be working on their website awaiting your photos, copy and or logos……

A website needs a logo, menu items, those are the pages you will click on from the home page to take you to the inside pages of the website. Most clients websites have four menu items, ABOUT, SERVICES, TESTIMONIALS, FAQs, CONTACT.  For each of those pages you would provide copy/text, and photos.   For your contact page you would send me what you want on that page, ie., a form, name of company, phone number, social networking icons, ect….

This is not magic…..this is no different then if you walked into a print shop and wanted a 3 fold brochure to be created…….You can’t just say i want a brochure and walk out the door.  You would have to give the printer all your content for the front and the inside and the back of the brochure.  This is your business and you know it best…we just put it all together for you so you have something GREAT to represent you SERVICE, COMPANY, PRODUCTS and or BRAND!

*** If you have a DEADLINE that must be stipulated in our original agreement.  But please note if you give me nothing or almost no content the site cannot be completed by the deadline.  That just makes common sense right?

 

By |September 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

After 16 years designing websites there are still lessons to learn

Can you be too accommodating to your clients to the point where you lose in the end?  I believe it is so important to have a process, set boundaries and don’t deviate from what has worked in the past.  I just had an experience where I was too accommodating, didn’t set clear boundaries and wavered from my tried and true 16 years working process with clients.

I agreed to work in a clients home and was expected to start and finish a brand new website in a matter of a few hours.  This 100% went against my work style and policies.  Because the expectation was unreasonable and the work environment was hot, noisy, and the internet was not working correctly I was not able to finish and was only paid 1/3 of what was originally agreed to.  I over accommodated and as much as you want to make your clients happy sometimes you just have to say no and keep your process in check.  Lesson learned…….

I think in general people have preconceived ideas of how long it should take to design a website or put all the components of a website together.  They may think what they ask for should only take 3 hours……If I give you the example of a blank white canvas like you buy at a local art supply store and a palette of paints maybe I can make my point more clearly.  Sure I can take a brush and grab blue and paint onto the blank canvas in 1 second…..but how long does it take to create a Picasso?  There are paint by number artists that can duplicate a famous painting in 1 hour where it may have taken Picasso 2 months to create that very same piece of art…who knows… I can’t speak for other web designers but I don’t charge for my time I charge for a completed project….and I estimate 1 to 2 weeks for a brand new website for this reason.

I have a process and it is the following:

1. Meet with client or talk on the phone 2. send proposal, 3. get hired/get 50% deposit, 4. get all copy, photos and videos from client, 5. complete the project within 1 to 2 weeks, 6. provide client with draft, make revision, 7. get 50% balance, 8. launch live website on clients hosting server.

By |August 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

The Mystery of the Client Budget

I have found over the years that the clients budget is always a mystery when in reality it should be the first things discussed.  For me as a business owner it feels like asking “what is your budget” is no different then asking on a 1st date “Do you want to get married”…it just seems too much too soon so those questions are always discovered usually before it’s too late!  Although I can be flexible on my pricing to suit my clients needs I do have a bottom line on my pricing and I need to stick to it if I am going to make a living.  I feel people don’t want to tell you their budget number because it might be higher then what I was going to quote them…..but I feel my giving up my quote price right out of the gate before I know what you really want and need and we have met is also shooting myself in the foot and can end the deal before it even starts.  It’s a bit of a cat and mouse scenario…..

I just went through one such scenario.   The person wanted to meet with me and they were out of town so numerous phone conversations were going on, texting and emails.  They wanted a new website with advanced options for a faux shopping environment and a way to login and edit the site themselves…..in my mind the bottom price was 750 up to 1200 depending on the retail product side of it…..they had viewed my portfolio and client list and they were keeping their budget price to themselves… I decided to ask before we met because I was already investing a lot of time chatting back and forth and based on my earlier post about how many that i meet with actually do anything vs. the phone only people I asked what is your budget….???  Guess what it was under 300.00 and they even commented how they could go to another country and get it for less…..so this was the perfect time to find out …..

What is your budget?  I believe you should always cut to the chase and tell the vendor what you are willing to spend …so we don’t waste each other’s time…..seems fair eh?

By |August 1st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

What type of buyer are you?

After running a web design business for over 16 years and wearing every hat from marketing, sales, design to billing I have started to see a definite pattern on who buys and who is just a lookie loo. I would assume that the people that insist on a one on one meeting and want to spend 1 hour talking with me are serious buyers. I can tell you that historically the people that just talk to me on the phone are 99% more likely to hire me within 1 week then the people who I meet with who spend 1 hour (or longer) talking with me. NOW you might think well it’s you Debbie….but I blog this because they NEVER end up hiring anyone else!!!…they either DO NOTHING or try and do it themselves and I’ve seen this over and over and over….. I am wondering if on those questionnaires I’ve seen on different types of business websites that have a section that says “will you be buying now or 1 to 2 months or 5 to 12 months later” are looking for this issue to be resolved before they even give you a moment of their time?…. It’s a strange phenomenon ….these are the people that 99 percent of the time seem on the phone in a rush to get a new website and talk about how they need it done quickly and even ask how quickly I can get it done…..but then you meet with them and they do nothing….. It’s hard to know what to do because I believe everyone should meet with me and also scour my work to make sure you like my style so if someone calls and they want to meet with me I still will go and have faith that I will get the project and a nice client web designer relationship will be born!

By |July 14th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

After the site is completed conversation with a client

ok so a little more web design website humor for you….this involves logo placement, and photo placeholders..

 

What is really more important your website or social networking?

Things are changing from when I first started “designing” websites.  As I have said before in other posts my industry is not regulated…which means people (web companies, designers etc) can say whatever they want whether it’s true or not and make a living.  So please know that before you let someone fill your head with “what’s important” or what you really need etc.  I still believe you need a website…..it should be attractive, easy to navigate, and informative and found in the basic search engines like bing, google and yahoo.  You should have a business facebook page and a twitter page ONLY if you will keep it updated and fresh….you can also spend money running ads on facebook.  I would also have a linkedin page….

Those are the basics and then you can take each of those components to the next level.

My company can take care of the website and the social networking…..so please feel free to give me a call or fill out the contact form and I would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have!

 

By |June 24th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

WordPress vs. HTML or PHP for your website

I can tell you that for my business I hear both ends of the spectrum on what is the best back end for clients websites.  First of all the industry of web design is not regulated and therefore every web designer and web design company have a different opinion and can and DO and SAY anything they want and THEY DO SAY AND DO ANYTHING THEY WANT!.  Who is to say who is right??  Last week a client talked to someone that filled their head with the importance of WordPress and the next week a future client called that said his web company LAUGHED when he mentioned WordPress…..so right then and there I see in 2015 web professionals saying two conflicting statements.    I can tell you that I have clients with WordPress and without.  I have clients that do very well WITHOUT WordPress that have very successful and profitable websites and I have clients that HAVE WordPress that have very successful and profitable websites…..so for me I cannot tell a client one is better then the other.

I fought for years not to get involved with WordPress because it’s template driven and I am a custom web designer.  I would open photoshop and create a custom design perfect for that client that matched their existing branding.  WordPress started off as a BLOG not a website.   But my website you are looking at is 100 percent Worpress driven and I used the bones of a template and customized for my purposes.  This same site could have been created outside of wordpress in HTML or PHP but I thought I would try something different and see how it works for me so I can have an opinion to present to a client in the future.

By |June 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Web Designer Humor

Here is a humorous video that explains pricing and client expectations!

Basically what she wants would cost about $120,000 or more but she wants to spend $500…. 😉

By |June 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|