I have found that writing this page difficult. Each project is unique so there are no actual FAQs that I get asked because I generally interview the prospective client to see if I can meet or exceed expectations.
Who is your main client base?
A small business owner who owns or co-owns a small service-based business.
How much is a logo design? How much does a web design cost?
Each project is different so I need to know your specifics before I can create an estimate. Whether you hire me or not, you’ll save a lot of time and money if you’re organized. For example, if you’re getting WordPress web development, this means name your files clearly, have all your written content ready to go, and have a reasonable time frame (4 weeks at a minimum). If you’re looking for a logo design, take some time to look at the top brands in your industry to get an idea of the aesthetic you’re looking for. Also consider that the best logos are clean, scalable, and need to be adapted for 1:1 aspect ratio for use in social media.
Why should I hire you?
My graphic design and web development is customized for your business.
Many in my field use cookie-cutter templates that don’t fit everyone’s needs, but instead require your content and/or branding to be shoved into their templates. Because I have the skills to create a custom design, it gives you the freedom to present the content you know will work best for your audience and your branding. For instance, if you have a tall logo, or a lot of menu items, or you just want your site to look unique.
Do you provide SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services?
I use WordPress to develop all websites. This alone takes care of at least 80% of Search Engine Optimization out-of-the box. All that is required on your part is providing compelling content for your audience. These are the words on the page. The other part is filling in fields for your meta information, which is basically the description of the content that accurately reflects the content. These tasks can be done by me, your content writer, or yourself. Here’s a tip: if the top results in your search terms (using terms that a prospective client would use, not industry terms) has 500 words written on the subject, you will need have more words. Google eats words.
To convince you of this simple fact, please read:
- WordPress SEO article by Bill Erickson (the cream of the crop of WordPress developers).
This comprehensive and concise article includes the Straight from Google: What You Need To Know points made by Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s Web Spam group. Bill also includes sound advice and a fantastic quote by Derek Powazek.
- Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists by Derek Powazek
Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned. — Derek Powazek
The point is: write your content (or hire a writer) for readers, not search engines. Use the words that readers would use to find you. If you are an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company) don’t use acronyms or industry terms, use regular words. If you are in a crowded market, post frequent and relevant blog articles about air conditioning, for example.
I take care of the technical aspects of SEO that are not covered by WordPress, Genesis, or your hosting environment (SSL and speed).
Tip: Most people don’t know this but if you’ve read this far, here’s a secret: If your competition for a keyword or long tail keywords (three and four keyword phrases specific to your service or product) provides 500 words on that topic, then your site should have more words.
Do you provide web hosting or domain registration?
All in one solutions do appear to make life easier, but they actually do not. Putting your eggs in one basket, such as hosting, registration, and web design/development with one company or individual is never a good idea. Therefore, I do not host your website nore register your domain name. These MUST be in your business name with an email address that you will always have as the administrator.
If you don’t know what web hosting is, it’s where you store the files and code for your site. I recommend a few excellent web hosts on my web hosting page.
A few of these companies also offer domain registration. Registration is like getting your number in a phone book, but instead you register it with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
Why don’t you provide hosting, registration, and email services?
Your hosting, registration, email services, and any licenses for additional software to run your site need to be in your name. Over the years, there have been many people who have trusted a company or an individual to do it all. Bad idea. In some cases, they are now locked out of their own sites and have to jump through many hoops to get control back. Even if individual (ME!!!) is trusted by the National Homicide Investigators Association, you still need to have all of your virtual real estate in your name.