The journey to creating a new website for you or your company begins with a free consultation. We work with most clients by phone and through email. If we happen to be in the same part of the world at the time, meeting in person also works well.
1First Meeting: Orientation — During our first meeting we lay important groundwork, including:
- Why we build all websites on the WordPress software platform.
- The differences between using themes that we customize compared to starting from scratch with a completely custom design.
- The concept of “chameleon web design,” modern and minimalist design examples, and how images can very useful in communicating a site’s message.
- What a WordPress Framework is and why it’s a crucial factor.
- How our fees are structured (information included below).
- The different type of site layouts that are available, which include marketing, magazine, blog, and image portfolio.
- Links to a few high-quality theme libraries to better understand one’s design preferences.
2Second Meeting: Select Theme & Determine Number of Pages — After addressing all questions regarding our first meeting, we assist our clients in making a decision on type of site they need and whether to customize an existing theme or go 100% custom (nearly all of our clients choose to go with an existing theme that we then configure with a color scheme, images, custom graphics, and their content to create a unique site. We often utilize the GotoMeeting.com service so we can share our web browser’s screen. We find it’s much easier to “show than tell” when it comes to discussing web design. After selecting the theme, we look at the overall project and create an estimate of the total number of web pages. We then email our contract for client’s signature and invoice them for a 50% down payment on their project.
3Technical Setup – Stage 1: We then setup the technical foundations, including WordPress core, plugins, widgets, theme, and framework. While there are options to do some of the installation process via automation, we do every step by hand. We’ve been working with WordPress since 2005 and have evolved our set of best practices for installation and configuration, which comprises 50+ steps and takes many hours. We work hard to make sure each site’s technical foundation is fast, reliable, and secure.
Highlights of the WordPress Plugins we install:
- Anti-spam Protection – For your blog post comments
- SEO Enhancements – To help your pages rank better in search engines like Google, Bing, and many others
- Broken Link Checker – So you’re notified when any of the links on your site become broken and need to be fixed
- Automatic Generation of an “XML Sitemap” – This sitemap is a listing of all of your site’s pages, which we then authenticate with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Technical WordPress Cleanup Tools – WordPress can accumulate junk and begin to slow down, so we use software to keep everything tidy and fast
- MySQL Database Backup Protection – Your database includes all the information about your blog setup, as well as your content; This function provides an additional layer of assistance in the unlikely event your site crashes
- Contact Forms that Prevent Spamming – The form technology we use includes “captchas” that eliminate being harassed by automated spammer software
- Gravatar Enhancements – “Gravatars” are small thumbnail images used by WordPress themes and comments that connect an email address with the thumbnail
- Video Embedding – We employ various enhancements that make it easy to publish video from YouTube, Vimeo, and other services
- MP3 Audio Streaming – All of the sites we create are fully-enabled to stream video, whether music or voice
- Extra Security – Making sure your site is hack-proof as possible is very important to us, so we include extra layers of protection beyond what WordPress’ standard features
- Image Optimization – Our technology automatically optimizes images when they are uploaded, helping to display pages to visitors more quickly
- Performance Speed Enhancements – The faster a site is, the better, so we tweak a number of settings to decrease the time it takes to load a page (your visitors will like that)
- Email Notification System – We can provide a system (at no additional costs) that allows your website visitors to subscribe to your blog; When you publish a new blog post, all subscribers receive an email notice
- Much More! – While there are tens of thousands of WordPress Plugins available, the minority of them are well-coded, functional, supported, and regularly updated; We began testing plugins in 2005 and use only the very best
4Third Meeting: Content — Before this meeting we populate the Asana.com project management system with detailed tasks that describe all of the text and image content clients will be providing for their site. We can provide optional writing and editing services if our client would like assistance. Many clients have their own images, so we explain the quality level and sizes of images we need, along with whether they’re portrait or landscape. Most of the sites we create display a header graphic near the top of each page (the same graphic on each page). We often can adapt an existing logo design into a header graphic. If our client wants a new visual identity, we facilitate creation of an optional logo and header graphic with one of our talented graphic artists. We manage the entire process for our client, passing information back and forth and adding our own design input at many stages of the process.
5Adding Content: As our client sends us text and images, we integrate their content into the various areas of the their new site. Questions always arise, each of which we’re happy to answer. For nearly all sites we recommend including a blog, and we publish the first “post” on the blog so our client has an example of how everything works.
How Website Remodeling Projects Work: If the project is a website remodel, we work on a temporary “staging domain” so as not to interrupt the operation of their existing site. With remodels, most of the content already exists, we carefully migrate the old images, text, links, etc. into the new WordPress platform. If the old pages contain SEO (search engine optimization) “tags,” we also port over this information (if it’s “old school” SEO that we consider dangerous or a waste of time, we alert our client). Website remodeling project often include revised or new text, along with fresh images, all of which we integrate into the new design. Akin to home construction, remodels are more difficult than starting fresh, but we find it very rewarding to transform an old site into a more effective design that will create better results.
6Technical Setup – Stage 2: Once our client has provided all of their content, we complete the remaining technical, marketing, and analytic steps, those that require the content to be completed.
7Time to Launch: We double-check every element of the site, take the site live (if a remodel, we move from the staging domain to the live domain, first archiving the old site), and request our client check each page of the site. After the site launch, we invoice our client for the remaining 50% for their project, net 14 days terms.
8Training: Included with each new website and remodeled site are our WordPress Publishing Training Screencasts. If you’re not familiar with a screencast, it’s an on-line video of the trainer’s screen with their voice, and it’s a great way to learn. Our training covers how to publish new WordPress posts and edit existing content.
9Support: 30 days of email and GotoMeeting-based support is included in each package. To learn about our recommended optional support package, please click > “Ongoing Training, Support, and Technical Maintenance + Web Hosting”
On the low end, we offer a fully-featured four-page starter package at $1,495. This price includes an advanced home page—including beautiful slideshow, if desired—About Us page, Contact Us page, and an integrated WordPress blog. Each additional page is $195. This isn’t a stripped down package. Every feature listed above is included so that your website is fast, reliable, and secure, along with full training and support.
On the higher end, we can create a completely new custom theme. We base our custom themes on the StudioPress.com Genesis Framework. We work with both a WordPress Designer and WordPress Programmer to create a unique new design. Pricing starts at $5,000.
Website remodeling projects are always custom quoted, since there are many factors, including the number of pages and their complexity. For example, we can remodel a simple text page in under an hour. On the other hand, a complex page—like a photo gallery with dozens of images—often requires many hours of tedious work.
- Services Pages – Content that highlights your various offerings.
- Product Pages – With integrated shopping cart and on-line payment processing.
- Downloads – Sale of downloadable digital products like audio CDs and eBooks.
- On-line Membership Site – Either a recurring subscription (usually monthly) or a time-based period (e.g. seven-day access pass).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – We research the search “keywords” for your business, write customized Title and Meta Description tags, and fortify your blog posts with the keywords within the text, tags, and links.
- Content Creation – We can write in many styles, including journalistic, casual/conversational, and sales copywriting.
- Content Editing – Our editors can polish your writing to increase the credibility and impact of your web writing.
- Virtual Assistant Services – You can offload some of the tedious aspects of generating content and managing your web site to our team of assistants.
- Custom Social Media Pages – We can create custom landing page graphics—that harmonize with your new website’s branding—for social media services like Facebook and Twitter.
- Much More! – We’re looking forward to learning about your unique needs.
If you would like to discuss your project with us, please click > Contact Us