Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. As a part of our web solutions packages, we do website design/redesign, website hosting and on-page Search Engine Optimization. We also do graphic design, web programming and copy writing.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Hiring a website designer is liking hiring anyone else - do your homework.
1. Go to their company website. This is your first stop. Check it out - how does it make you feel? Does it function well? Are there spelling and grammatical mistakes, broken links, stuff that doesn't load? Is it slow to load?
2. While on their site, look at their portfolio. Is there actually one??!! What sort of quality does it display? Check out the on site testimonials. Read their blogs.
3. Google " reviews" and see what comes up. See what others are saying.
4. Are they listed at BBB and, if so, what is there rating? (All new businesses start at A-)
5. THEN meet your prospective designer (I always like Starbucks for the great coffee and free internet!). Get a feel for your working relationship.
6. Compare apples with apples. I recommend charting it on a spreadsheet - what will they do, for how much? What about ongoing costs, rewrites, maintenance, reporting?
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Web design and SEO are not one time jobs. To get ahead on the web requires continual work. When we first started designing back in the 90s, just having a website put you light years ahead of your competitors. No more.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. They really need to identify exactly what they'd like their website to do for them. Is it purely there to inform customers (not a sound option), is it there to sell product or services, or something else?
Get together some ideas on what they think potential visitors might type into Google in order to find them (these are called key words or phrases).
Collect customer testimonials, and photos of jobs they have completed. These should be good quality photos, and testimonials look better with a customer picture, and need a date.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Our work, in fact our whole business model, stands out from others because we really do put the customer first and try to eliminate the risk for them.
We set up our monthly payment system to encourage mall business growth. We understand how hard it is in business and we aren't there to try and bleed our customers for everything. So we set up our low monthly rates and included everything a small business needs to get on the web and prosper through it.
We offer a full package - website design/redesign, hosting and search engine optimization. Plus we help with copy-writing and social media integration.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. The creativity. Being able to understand my clients, their needs, their wishes, and bring it to life on the web.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Do I own my website with your unique billing system? The answer is an emphatic, "Of course!" We're not in the business of trying to hold you to ransom, that's why this exact fact is spelled out clearly in our contract - YOU OWN IT!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. digitalguarddawg.com. This ended up being a tough build. Originally it was to incorporate the client's existing shop within the framework of the new site. During the programming process (which wasn't simple on its own), the shop site was hacked, and we ended up moving the client to a different shop component and producing, overall, a far superior product than he had or was originally working towards. The proof is I'm already designing a second site for him.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. One of the biggest developments in recent years is responsive design. This gives sites the ability to detect what device they're being viewed on and serve that device a site tailored to it. As more than 1/2 of the searches are now done on some type of mobile device, having a responsive site is a given, not something that would be nice to have.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. We have monthly subscriptions, not upfront fees. The packages start at $44.78 per month and range up to $94.78 per month for e-commerce sites. The subscription covers us designing the site, hosting it, completing on-page SEO and 12 hours free maintenance per year.