- Questions About Me as Developer
Questions About Process, Cost & Time
- How Much Will It Cost?
- Are There Any Hidden Costs?
- What About Ongoing Costs for Maintaining the Website?
- How Long Do You Estimate Before My Website Goes Live?
- How Can I Speed Up The Process?
- Should we do a Complete Redesign or Rather Build on my Existing Site?
- Will You Consider my Old Website Traffic before Developing the New One?
- What Is Your Process For Creating A Website?
- What Do I Need to Do or Provide?
- How Will We Communicate During the Development Process?
- Will I Be Able to See My Website as You Are Creating It?
- What Happens If I Don’t Like the Initial Design?
Questions About the Launch
- Will You Register A Domain Name For Me?
- How and Where Will My Website Be Hosted?
- Who will Own the Domain and Site Hosting?
- Will You Provide Me With The Files For My Website?
- What About the Design Files?
- Will my Website be Built to Expand as my Business Grows?
- How Can I Track the Traffic on my New Website?
- What if I already have Google Analytics?
- Will my Site be Standard-Compliant?
- Which Technologies and Tools Will You Use?
- How Will You Ensure the Security of my New Website?
Questions About Support
- How Easy Will it be for me to Manage the Content of my Website?
- Will You Provide Training?
- What About Security Updates?
- Will the Site be Backed up Regularly?
- What Happens If I Want Changes?
- Do You Offer a Warranty?
- What if the Site Breaks, Malfunctions or is Hacked?
- Do You offer Support Outside of Business Hours?
- What do You Charge For Service and Support?
- How Do I Request Help?
- What Happens if You Disappear?
Questions About Marketing, Social Media & SEO
- Is Any Kind of Business or Industry Research Included in Your Services?
- What Do You Offer in Terms of Marketing?
- Do You Offer Conversion & Usability Testing?
- How Do I Know if my Website is Successful?
- Is Search Engine Optimization Really Necessary?
- What SEO Features Will be Included With my Website?
- Will my Current Websites History and Ranking be Preserved?
- How About Integration of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest Into my Website?
- Will You Also Create a Facebook Page, Twitter or Pinterest Account for me?
- Do I Need an Account for Each Social Network?
Questions About Me as Developer
Here you can find everything regarding me as developer, including work examples, professional experience, or the services I offer.
May I See Examples Of Your Work?
Sure, have a look at my portfolio.
Can You Provide References or Testimonials of Your Work?
Most of the websites in my portfolio have testimonials attached to them.
How Long Have You Been In Business?
I have been building websites since 2008. My first paid gig was in ’11. That was more than 4 years ago.
Have You Created a Website like Mine Before?
I might have created a website in your industry and don’t display it in my portfolio. On inquiry, I am happy to offer more references.
Which Services Do You Offer?
My main service is building professional websites on a budget. On top of that, I offer services in connected areas like
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Paid traffic acquisition (e.g. Goodle Adwords)
- Web analytics
- Conversion & funnel optimization.
Do You Work With a Contract?
Yes, I work with a written contract and I offer receipts for all my services.
Questions About Process, Cost & Time
This section is dedicated to the process you go through in order to get your website. What to expect from our first meeting, what you need to provide and what happens when you are not happy with the design. Then, we cover hidden and ongoing costs, how long it will take and how you can speed up the process.
How Much Will It Cost?
I offer two packages: Bootstrapper and Full-Service. You can find the details here.
These are appropriate for 80% of the cases, but to receive a final quote, please contact me.
Are There Any Hidden Costs?
Aside from my fee, which we will agree upon in advance, there is just the ongoing cost of your website. At the very least that’s domain rental and hosting. Please find more details in the next question about necessary and optional costs.
What About Ongoing Costs for Maintaining the Website?
There are necessary and optional costs:
These comprise the rental of both the domain name and the server that will host your website.
A domain name generally costs $10-20 a year.
There is a variety of options for hosting: I might offer to host your site on my own private server (if appropriate). But I also work with third party hosts. They start at $5 per month, depending on your website needs.
Backup and security updates are not technically necessary for your site, but I highly recommend them. You can find more details in my white paper.
These services are not a must, but can be beneficial to the growth of your site. It’s basically everything that turns your website into an active, successful business asset.
The first step is to get people to visit your site and could involve these services:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Guest posting
- Collaborations and joint ventures
Once they are on your site, you’d ideally want your visitors to turn into paying clients. The activities below will improve that process
- Web analytics
- Conversion optimization
- Sales funnel design
- Creating products
None of the above is really necessary. Especially when you start out, it’s the kind of thing that could distract you from your original goal: having a functioning website. But it pays off to build your site in a way that allows you to integrate these services later on.
How Long Do You Estimate Before My Website Goes Live?
That’s a tricky one, because every website is different. Once we had a chat and I know what you want from your website, I can give you an estimate of when it will be done. Since I depend on your input along the process, you will also play a vital part in keeping that deadline.
Ok, ok. You knew that before and want something more specific. I understand. Let me give you an idea of my past projects.
The quickest website I built was in a day. It was fully functioning and had an ok design. Nothing fancy and no custom looks. Think Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a prototype to be improved upon.
The longest it took to build a client website was a little more than one month. We went back and forth, with lots of waiting for answers. If we both were more clear from the start, it would have been two weeks. Rookie mistakes 🙂
On average, it takes two weeks from discovery meeting to launch. If I get the necessary files, answers and approvals on the same day, the time to launch would be around one week.
How Can I Speed Up The Process?
I’m glad you asked 🙂 Reading through this website will give you some ideas of what’s important for you to figure out in advance. If you are too busy for that, I will tell you anything I need from after our discovery meeting, when I send you my proposal. After that, it’s pretty much just answering my emails and calls as soon as you can 😉
Should we do a Complete Redesign or Rather Build on my Existing Site?
Ok. So you have an existing website and ask yourself (and me) what would be better:
- Revolution: Burning the whole existing look to the ground and start breathing the fresh air of a competeley new design.
- Evolution: Letting me develop an optimization strategy for you. Which means a series of experiments where I test one website element after another to find the combination that works best.
The answer is: It depends on you and your patience. And how much you dislike your current design of your website.
I prefer Evolution. For me, design is just a means to an end. What matters most is how successful your website meets your goals. One example of a goal could be turning a visitor into a customer that made his first purchase. Now this is something we can measure. When applying this benchmark to your website, I can test all the elements and see which work best. Slowly but surely, we will increase your conversion rate (how many visitors turn in to customers). And whe end up knowing what works and why.
Will You Consider my Old Website Traffic before Developing the New One?
I let you in on a secret… I LOVE data. So much that you could call me a data junkie. So yes. I will consider every piece of information you can give me. Google Analytics? Web server logs? Yes, PLEASE!
What Is Your Process For Creating A Website?
1. Proposal Once you get in touch with me, I’ll try to understand what exactly you are looking for. Based on that, I write a proposal. You will find the strategy and process outlined, as well as my price.
2. Gathering Information Once you decide to go ahead, I will learn as much as possible about you, your business and your ideas for the website. I’m gonna ask you a lot of questions and then I’ll try to fill the gaps with research. This phase also includes registering your website’s domain name. And we talk about hosting.
3. Building When every is said and heard, I’ll start building. Based on your input, I select up to 10 possible themes for your website. You choose the one you like most and I start customizing it. I add the content of your site: branding, logo, text and images. Once the foundation is set, I keep adding all the extra functionality you have been asking for. All of this is done in daily steps where I gather and apply your feedback.
4. Launch During the last phase, I test your site in all kinds of browsers and devices, to make sure it’s working. Then I upload it to your server. Your site is officially launched! Depending on your package, I will also train you on how to use your site efficiently.
(This is a very simplified version of the process. You can find a more detailed explanation on each step in the white paper.
What Do I Need to Do or Provide?
Your vision: What you want from your site. How you would like it to look. Some websites that inspire you (in terms of design and functionality). Maybe even a hand drawn sketch of how you want your site to look (only if you like to draw).
Your current site: If you have an existing site, some information about it. What you like in it and what you don’t. Maybe some traffic stats, like Google Analytics.
Your content: Most importantly, I need your content. Meaning all the text and images you want to have on your site. If you are not clear on that, I will help you.
The real work of building your site starts once I have everything. That includes your logo and other branding elements, if you have them.
How Will We Communicate During the Development Process?
In most cases, I get in touch with you via daily email. This way, I can show you the progress while keeping a paper trail for the two of us. We might share some files via Dropbox. As an alternative, there is my project management software which does everything above, just with a different interface.
If we are living close, I’d prefer to meet in person during the disovery meeting and when I “hand over” your site. Otherwise Skype will do fine, too.
Will I Be Able to See My Website as You Are Creating It?
Yes. I work in daily steps. At the end of each step, I will let you know what I have done and how it looks. And ask your feedback. That is if you like to be involved in the process. If you prefer to have everything done and be positivly surprised in the end, we can do that too 🙂
What Happens If I Don’t Like the Initial Design?
You will see not only one initial design, but the many steps towards it. And I keep asking your feedback. This should keep us on close track of how you want your website to be.
Questions About the Launch
This section covers everything you expect from your website when you get it. Domain name, hosting and files are few of the topics. Everything that relates to the technology your website is built on as well as security-related questions. Tracking, converting visitors into leads, usability testing and more is covered here.
Will You Register A Domain Name For Me?
In case you don’t already have a domain, I will register one for you. Most of the time, I use Namecheap. Sometimes, there are also special offers available on Godaddy. Domain names usually cost between $10 and $20 per year.
How and Where Will My Website Be Hosted?
I offer three options:
Low-cost hosting In the past, I have been working successfully with a few low-cost hosting companies. They cost around $5 and get the job done for sites with little traffic and few images. Very hands-off, but don’t expect miracles. You get what you pay for.
Specialized hosting Maybe your website has a lot of traffic already. Or you want to host video files on your own server. Or your WordPress installation should run on a server that is specifically tuned. Or you try to dabble with the server yourself and need the best documentation as well as lightning fast customer service. In all of these cases I will help you find the best deal.
My private server I have my own server and host a couple of sites on it. Mostly for clients whose websites I monitor, maintain and update.
Who will Own the Domain and Site Hosting?
I will register the domain under your own name or the name of your business. Same goes for the hosting. You will be in full ownership and control of your website.
Will You Provide Me With The Files For My Website?
Your website will be hosted on a server account that is registered under your name. These files will be yours. In addition, I will provide you a copy on a CD/download. This copy will also serve as your initial backup.
What About the Design Files?
The themes I customize will be bought under your name. That means you own them and can do with it what you want. If I do Photoshop work, I will include the PSD-files on your CD/download.
Will my Website be Built to Expand as my Business Grows?
Unless our discover meeting concludes otherwise, I will build your site on WordPress, preferably the Genesis Framework. That’s a modular platform with themes and plugins which means you can add design and functionality on top of it. Voila, built-in expandability.
How Can I Track the Traffic on my New Website?
You have two possibilities, both of them free.
There’s Jetpack which gives you a rudimentary tracking of daily visitors, mobile and desktop usage, popular pages etc. It’s very easy to use and accessible from within your website interface.
Then there’s Google Analytics, the mothership of web analytics. It let’s you track everything your website visitor does. EVERYTHING. But it comes at a price: You HAVE you spend time to make it useful and actionable.
If that sounds too technical, no worries though. I will show you working examples of both and help you choose what’s best for you.
What if I already have Google Analytics?
I will make sure your existing data doesn’t get muddled with or worse, is lost. On the contrary, you’ll be able to compare how your site did before and after.
Will my Site be Standard-Compliant?
WordPress is fully compliant with current web standards. In fact, more than 25% of the internet is built on this framework. It’s safe to say that your site will be standard-compliant.
On top of that, you are not locked into some proprietary software and depend on me as long as your website lives. On the contrary. On Freelancer alone, you can find more than 12,000 programmers with WordPress skills.
Which Technologies and Tools Will You Use?
How Will You Ensure the Security of my New Website?
At the time of delivery, you will receive a secure site that adheres to current standards and security practices.
From then on it’s up to you to keep your site up-to-date and secure. But worry not. I will train you how to do it yourself. Or, in case you chose my Hosting and Maintenance Package, I’ll do it even for you.
Questions About Support
Here, you get all the answers regarding how to use your site. Also, what happens if you want to change something later on? And how can you get support?
How Easy Will it be for me to Manage the Content of my Website?
Granted, there is a bit of a learning curve. But it’s not much steeper than writing a document in Word. Have a look here to see how you’d write a new post for your blog.
Depending on the package you chose, I’ll either train you myself or show you the best places to find your training for free.
Will You Provide Training?
It depends on which package you choose. Worst case, I’ll show you where to find the best video training for free. Best case, I’ll train you myself.
What About Security Updates?
Updates are such an important thing to do. At the same time, they require an ongoing effort. To serve you best, I leave the choice to you:
- You want to save money and do it yourself.
- You choose my Hosting & Maintenance Package, I’ll take care of that for you.
Will the Site be Backed up Regularly?
In most of the cases, I program your site to automatically back itself up at regular intervals. If you prefer custom options, or if you want to make your backups are bullet proof (a.k.a. tested), then let’s talk about my Hosting & Maintenance Package.
What Happens If I Want Changes?
That depends on what kind of changes you are looking for. Do you want to change some text within your site? Or exchange an image for another? Do you want to add a new option to your navigation menu? After my training, you can do all of the above yourself.
For everything else (read: more complicated matters), I have an hourly rate. If we agreed on a better rate as part of your contract, of course you’ll get that one instead.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
I offer a grace period of two weeks after delivery. If anything breaks within this time, I’ll fix it without additional pay. This is limited to features that have been included in the contract. I do not add additional features for free after I have delivered the site. But I am available for an hourly rate.
What if the Site Breaks, Malfunctions or is Hacked?
First of all, let me quickly say that if you follow my security advice as well as keep your site updated, you already dramatically minimized the chance of being hacked. But if it does happen, or if the site breaks for another reason, you will have a backup to fall back on.
If you chose the basic package, I’ll help you based on my hourly rate. If you opted for the Hosting and Maintenance Package, I’ll take care of everything.
Do You offer Support Outside of Business Hours?
You can always try to reach me on my cell. If I am available, I’ll answer. But I cannot make any guarantees.
What do You Charge For Service and Support?
I am available for hire on an hourly basis.
How Do I Request Help?
For urgent requests, call me on my cell. If you don’t have my cell number, try (438) 800-1796 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Happens if You Disappear?
Please, call 911. Just kidding. I’m probably just enjoying a mud bath 🙂 .
Seriously. In the unlikely event of me not answering phone calls or emails, there is no need to worry for you. Your website is safe. Everything is registered under your name and belongs to you. And if you need work done on your website, one of the tens of thousands of WordPress developers will be able to continue where I left off. Because all of my work is fully compliant to web standards.
What I am trying to say is that you are not depending on me at all. You always have a choice.
Questions About Marketing, Social Media & SEO
This section covers your possible questions on how to market your site, including topics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media?
Is Any Kind of Business or Industry Research Included in Your Services?
My competitive pricing requires you to provide the content for your website. If we agree during the discovery meeting, I help with industry and keyword analysis as well as positioning.
What Do You Offer in Terms of Marketing?
My strength in web development is the marketing part. For me, a website is a business asset with a specific, measurable goal. Everything else, from design to code, serves as a means to an end: finding and converting website visitors.
To answer your question more clearly, I offer the following services:
- Search engine optimization
- Paid advertising (Google Adwords etc.)
- Social media marketing
Please contact me for custom rates.
Do You Offer Conversion & Usability Testing?
I also offer the following:
- Web Analytics
- Conversion Optimization
- Sales Funnel Optimization
Please contact me for custom rates.
How Do I Know if my Website is Successful?
For some people, their website is successful if it looks nice. Others are happy when they get compliments about their site. I see a website is a business asset. It has a cost and a revenue. And it’s successful if it generates more money than it costs.
It’s easy to determine the cost: you add the payment for the website developer on top of the yearly cost and you end up with the total cost per year. Determining the revenue is a little more tricky, because it depends on the website goal. Is it measurable? For example, if you have an online store, it’s fairly easy to measure. Even if your website has a “softer” goal like customer reach and engagement, this can be measured by how much time they spend on your site or how many pages they visit. Or how often your content is shared.
My point is that you need to have a goal for your website. The more measurable, the easier it is to see if you reach it or not.
Is Search Engine Optimization Really Necessary?
There are examples of successful websites with and without search engine optimization. It depends on your own customer acquisition strategy.
No matter your approach, search engines become more intelligent. That means optimizing your website for a search engine or an actual person becomes more and more the same thing.
What’s important in the end is that you get people to visit your site. How you go about it is up to you. Instead of search engine optimization, you can do guest blogging, social media marketing or straight up pay of traffic.
What SEO Features Will be Included With my Website?
Generally speaking, there is two parts of Search Engine Optimization:
- On-page optimization (everything you do on your site)
- Off-page optimization (everything else, such a link-building)
Off-Page optimization involves getting other sites to link back to you. The more the better. So it’s an ongoing effort and not included in the initial development package.
On-page optimization consists of factors such as crawlability and indexability (how easy is it for the search engines to find your site), but also page speed and usability. This part is covered in my full-service package.
Then, there is content optimization. The search engines try to understand what your site is about and how helpful it will be for people when they search online.
Google, for example, checks if your visitors “bounce back” from your site and choose another search result. If that happens a lot, that tells Google your result was not appropriate and should be displayed lower in their rankings. If people do spend time on your site, Google might increase your ranking because it seems visitors found what they were searching for. This part, content optimization, also requires an ongoing effort that is not included in the initial package. But I can help you with it. Just let me know.
Will my Current Websites History and Ranking be Preserved?
If you have an existing site and want to change its structure, we need to take special measures to preserve your search engine rankings. The pricing will depend on your particular circumstances.
How About Integration of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest Into my Website?
I included social media integration in my Full-Service Package.
Will You Also Create a Facebook Page, Twitter or Pinterest Account for me?
If you want me to, sure. But this is not covered in the standard prices.
Do I Need an Account for Each Social Network?
This also depends on your marketing strategy. If you just start out, I recommend deciding on one social network. Either the one you use already or the one where your target audience spends their time.