What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
While we have an hourly price we work within project estimates. As long as the scope of the project doesn't change, we remain committed to our quote.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We start with a conversation ensuring we understand the full scope of the project, that everyone is in agreement about what a realistic budget is given the parameters, and what a client is looking for both visually and functionally in a website. We offer recommendations and talk about timelines. We follow that conversation up with an estimate that details the process and offers options.
Once a quote has been approved and we receive the deposit, site development consists of three stages - installation and design (including a creative session with the client), production (including integrating content and photos), and finally, after the client has signed off, launch (which includes integrating security, analytics, backups, optimization and setting up emails prior to going live).
Through each step we request feedback and move forward at the client's discretion.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
My mom and I actually teamed up to started in graphic design back in the mid-nineties. That was when the internet was coming into its own and our print clients started requesting websites. Our first sites were designed by hand coding HTML. Design was much more flexible then–you could design a page to look like almost anything and then the image was sliced up. Today, especially with the advancement of mobile and responsive design, it's more challenging to create unique looks within layout parameters. The last six years we've been working almost exclusively in WordPress as we feel it offers the best options for small businesses to have a high end custom site at a budget-friendly price.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Over the years we have worked with engineering firms, architects, consultants, a pawn shop, a florist, jewelers, construction companies, a mulch company, an electrical engineer, a tea company, golf courses, photographers, charities, a couple that sold customizable golf markers, a university program, lawyers...just a whole list of websites across many industries!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
First, take a look at the designer's portfolio and see if you think either they design sites that look like what you have in mind, or alternatively. have a broad range of looks so that they can be versatile enough to meet your vision. Second, just make sure they are listening to your ideas and not just talking at you. You want a partner in the creation of your online brand. Finally, if on a tight budget there are things you can do to keep costs down. For example we offer our clients some URLs to go to to research free or low cost stock photography - searching for and finding your own images can save several hours of research.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I think a client should have a clear idea of how hands on (or not) they want to be on the project and communicate that up front. We also love it when our clients come to us with lists of sites they like, and don't like as well as a good idea of their competition's online presence.