Ted Altenberg

Santa Cruz, CA

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About this pro

I have over two decades of experience as an computer educator and consultant, trainer, coach, and web designer.

I offer group and individual lessons, training, coaching, consulting on a wide variety of computer software such as office applications, web design, internet skills, etc., as well as computer basics such as understanding hardware, software, networking, file management, etc.

Regarding web design, I can offer hand-built custom designed sites, and also WordPress-based sites. WP has many great advantages, including a no-coding necessary "WYSIWYG" editor that allows you to easily manage and maintain your own website. I can also offer web hosting for $5-7/month if you'd like, including unlimited emails, FTP and more (including multiple domains, if you have more than one website).

Location

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Years in business

17

Number of employees

3

Times hired on Thumbtack

3

Reviews

3 Reviews
  • Steve M. Sep 11, 2017
    Great!
  • Cheyenne M. Apr 3, 2016
    Web site design and development.
  • Harris M. Mar 31, 2016
    I hired Ted to help me create a website for my clinical practice as a psychologist and I couldn't be more pleased. He's a smart, active and responsive collaborator who listens well and who has done a great job not only of implementing what I ask him to do but also of helping me think things through and figure out what I want and how to make it happen.

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
I can work on an hourly rate basis or a flat fee for the mutually agreed upon scope of a project. I discuss the likely workload and pros and cons of hourly vs. flat fee, and am happy to oblige whatever the customer prefers. I also tend to be far more affordable than most professional web design companies, because I am a 1-person operation.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Initial consultation of an hour or so is always free. During this first meeting we'll discuss what you need and want, and how I can meet those needs. I am very flexible in developing a plan that works well for the client in terms of pricing, timing, how much they want me to do vs. me training them to do the work.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
My training includes 30+ years of working with technology, which gives me a very solid, in-depth and broad understanding of most aspects of computers (hardware, software, networks) and the Internet. I have been building websites since the early days of the web (mid-1990s), and have been working in WordPress for over a decade now. In addition to lots of "seat time" teaching myself, learning from videos, websites, articles, books, I have also taken several courses on web design, including html, css, php, javascript, php/mysql.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I've been an educator since 1987, and it has been through my work in schools (mostly public, mostly secondary) that I have been actively using and learning about computers and the Internet. My first web design work was for schools at which I taught and/or served as Technology Coordinator. Over the years I've been doing more web design work; I took the 3-semester series of web design courses at our local community college, as well as a couple semesters on javascript and php/mysql. I started Agora Media Services as my web design and computer training/coaching business nearly 20 years ago, and have been continuing to learn more as I've done more and more projects.
What types of customers have you worked with?
My clients have included non-profit and political organizations, artists, and small business owners.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
(Actual advice follows my 3-paragraph marketing pitch.) There are lots of very skilled computer "geeks" out there, but can they teach; can they explain the complicated technical stuff in an organized easy-to-understand way; do they have the patience to teach and reteach and reexplain multiple times in different ways, which is what it often takes for people to really understand something -- especially something as complex as computers. Let's face it: even with Windows and Macintosh operating systems now so "user friendly," computers are nonetheless very complicated machines. It takes quite a while to really get the hang of them... and it takes a patient, skilled, knowledgeable trainer (teacher, coach, consultant) to help people master these skills. I have over 20 years experience as a classroom teacher, and have taught computer software and hardware to kids as young as 5th grade, lots of junior high kids, as well as other teachers, school administrators and staff, and private adult clients from their 20's to their 80's. I have also taught web design to people from ages 10 - 80's. I am confident you will really enjoy working with me, and I guarantee you will learn a lot. I look forward to speaking with you. Now for my advice to you, when looking to hire a computer teacher/trainer/coach/consultant: 1) Ask for references of past or current clients you can call; ask for several, and call them! See what they say. 2) Ask them for a free 10-minute session. Ask them one or two questions you have, issues with which you need help. See how well they do: are they clear and concise; do they know what they need to know to effectively help you; can you now do what you wanted to but couldn't do previously; do you enjoy listening to them? 3) Tell them what service you want; be specific: topics and issues; how many days/hours per week or month; one-time or ongoing; etc. Can they meet your needs? Do they hem and haw or balk at meeting your needs? 4) Listen to your gut: if anything makes you nervous or uncomfortable, while you work through steps 1-3 above, then listen to that inner voice that may be saying "This person is not the one." Good luck finding just the right person to meet your tech training needs! Maybe it will be me, maybe someone else. Either way, have a grand time at it! Ted :-)
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
1) Who is my target audience; what is my primary purpose for wanting a website? 2) Do I want the professional to do all the work, including ongoing maintenance and updates, or do I want to learn to manage and update my website myself? 3) What services/features do I want as part of my website, such as: e-commerce, social media connections, calendars and appointment makers, interactive features such as blogging with reader input, etc.? 4) What is my overall budget for this project: initial setup and deployment, as well as monthly ongoing costs/services?