Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who are our ideal clients?
  • Businesses that see the value in and are ready to hire a professional vs. taking the DIY route. We are committed, passionate and dependable professionals (like you) and will take the time to understand your vision and needs. The DIY route can work really well when you have a plethora of time on your hands (to learn, practice, research, experience lots of trial-and-error, etc.) and can spend that valuable time away from running your own business.
  • Businesses looking for a clean, professional and personalized web presence and customer-focused solution vs. a template sold to hundreds or thousands of people.
  • Those who recognize that your clients and readers need (and want!) to connect with you and your brand online. Therefore, it is crucial that your presence is unique, professional, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Those who see a professional website as an investment vs. an expense.

Want to know if we're the perfect fit? Find out here.

Who is not an ideal client for us?
  • Businesses that have no copy or images ready and don’t have an idea when they’ll be ready. Setting target dates for everything in your business - especially your website build - is crucial to moving forward.
  • Businesses that see a website as an expense vs. an investment. Buying the cheapest thing on the market and failing to put thought into the design, functionality, and usability is an expense. 
  • Businesses that focus more on cost, discounts, and how fast the project can get done vs. focusing on the strategy, goals, and solutions.

Want to know if we're the perfect fit? Find out here.

What does the web design and development process look like?

Check out our full process here.

How can I promote my site/business? Will you help me promote my site/business?

As you probably know, the strategy of "if you build it, they will come" doesn’t usually work. In order to get more traffic to your site and gain more clients and revenue, it will take ongoing work on your part. We will help by setting you up for success in terms of site structure, a good foundation for SEO, assisting you with submitting your site to the search engines, and more. We will also promote you on our site in our portfolio and let the world know on social media when your site is launched. However, it is important for YOU to add new, relevant content to your site regularly, share your content on social media and in your newsletter, list your business in Google and Yelp listings, etc.

Financial Questions

How much do you charge for your services?
  • Custom web design and development projects start at $3,500 or $6,000 depending on the scope of the project. We provide an overview of each level's features here, and we’ll provide a detailed quote after your Website Strategy Consultation.
  • We also offer a DIY Essential Website option for $750. Learn more here.
  • Logo design starts at $650.
  • Website tweaks are charged hourly ($100/hour or $85/hour for Golden Maintenance Package clients) or in 3-hour packages.
  • The Golden Maintenance Package is available for $60/month or $660/year.

For most larger projects, we invoice 50% upfront and 50% upon completion. Additional payment plans are available upon request.

How do I pay you?

We send all of our contracts and invoices through a project management program, so all payments are handled electronically (preferably). You can pay with your credit card, check card, or PayPal account.

If you are unable to pay online, we accept checks and will provide you with a mailing address.

PLEASE NOTE: Checks submitted for payment must clear before any work can begin. If a check is returned for insufficient funds, you will be charged a bounced check fee and must then make payment either by money order, cashier's check or credit/debit card.

What other expenses can I expect to get started?

Domain: If you don’t already have your domain (your website URL), you can get it free when you sign up for hosting with SiteGround or Websavers. GoDaddy has sales on domains all the time, and you can usually buy a domain for $2.99 the first year. However, they do require a 2-year minimum registration, and subsequent years are charged at $14.99/year. It’s totally ok to have your domain with one company and your hosting with another, but since SiteGround gives you your domain free when signing up for hosting, why not take that option?

Web Hosting: SiteGround (one the web hosts we recommend) offers two plans that will likely work for most of our clients. The StartUp plan is $3.95/month, and the GrowBig plan is $5.95/month. We’ll help you choose the best plan for you, and the nice folks at SiteGround will help, too. You can see the full list of pricing and features here.

We also recommendWebsavers, visit them for pricing (similar to SiteGround's) and/or chat with them to find the best solution for your business. 

Premium theme and plugins: These are included the first year and billed each year thereafter. An estimate of the cost will be included in your proposal and contract.

Not included in these estimates are any fees for additional outside services for special features or functions you might need for your website. Visit this page to learn more.

I think your services are too expensive. Why does it cost so much?

We understand your concern and want to pose the following scenarios to you:

  1. It is very important to invest in your business. If you take your business seriously and want it to look professional, it is important to hire a pro for the things you don’t know how to do, have time to do, or want to do.
  2. If you feel that our price is still too high for a professional website to be built for you, it might not be time to have a website, or even a business. Just like you would build in the costs for countertops and insurance when buying or building a home, it’s important to factor in costs for a website and its ongoing maintenance when you are a business owner (whether you are a virtual or brick and mortar business). Think of your website as a brochure that is accessible to the world that provides important information as well as overall credibility - and in some cases, is a place for your clients to make purchases or it provides other important functions necessary to run your business.
  3. Sometimes when you start a new endeavor, you may not have any money. But, in many cases, you might need to pay up front for something essential to your business. Like many businesses have to get a loan, many also might opt to put initial expenses on a credit card and pay it as soon as the money starts rolling in. We are not advocating for going into debt. But we are advocating for investing in your business. You’re worth it, aren’t you?

Content and Design Questions

I don’t have a logo and would like you to design one for me.

If you don’t have a logo, we would be happy to design one for you. Check out all the details here.

Will I be able to use the logo you design for me on the web and on things I want to print?

Absolutely! You’ll get the files you need to use in any medium along with the super important vector files. With the vector file, your logo will look perfect at any size. From as tiny as a business card to as large as a wall mural.

I already have a logo. Can you use it and what format do you need it in?

We surely can! If you have your logo in an .eps or .ai version, that is ideal. We will do our best to work with other versions, but those versions are preferred.

Why do I need to complete the Logo Design Questionnaire, can’t you just figure something out?

The Logo Design Questionnaire is meant to give us clarity about your company, clients, industry, etc. It will also help us know your style as well as the look and feel you’d like to convey in your brand. Your business is unique. If we were to just whip up something without knowing all the special details that make you stand out, then we would be doing you a disservice. Unlike the "get a logo for $5" folks, we're going to dive deep into your business because we give a flip about you, your clients and helping you be brilliant and successful!

What exactly do I need to have ready for you to get started on my website?

Everything will be laid out for you very clearly in your Getting Started materials. In a nutshell, we will need your content, logo, font and color preferences, links to your social media pages, login information for any accounts we need to access in order to set up your website, and more! We’ll go over all of this in your Website Strategy Consultation and will provide very clear instructions on what we need and how to get it to us once your project actually begins.

We CANNOT start on your site until we receive this information, so keep in mind that it’s never too early to get started so you’re ready to rock and roll as soon as we seal the deal!
This blog post will help you think of most of the things you will need, and below is a list of common pages and features.

  • Visible Pages: Home, About, Work With Me/Services, Testimonials/Reviews/Praise, Portfolio/Gallery, FAQ, Contact, Two Blog Posts
  • Behind the Scenes Pages: 404 (error), Almost Finished Subscribing, Thank You for Subscribing with opt-in freebie uploaded
  • Sidebar: Opt-in form, social media feeds, photo, recent blog posts, blog categories drop-down, graphics, search field
  • Footer: Copyright, recent posts, social media, search field
I don’t have professional photos. Will any photos do?

For photos of YOU (or your products), it’s best to have professional photos if possible or at least a really good photo of you that represents you and what you’re offering in the best possible way.

Product photos should be clear, show options (if any) and be professional. People should be able to see clearly what they're buying.

For other photos/images throughout your site, please see the next question.

What if I need stock photos for my site (for slides, blog images, etc.)? Where do I find them and how much are they?

There are a TON of stock photo sites out there. You can even find some free ones. It’s important that you don’t just grab any ol’ photo off the internet, as it’s likely illegal to use it on your site.

See this post for a list of stock photo sites (both free and paid) as well as links to free trials on the paid sites so you can at least get the photos you need to get started.

If types of photos/images are confusing, read this, as it explains the differences between JPEG and PNG and other helpful information.

Bonus: We include usage of our stock photo account for our web design and development clients.

What about fonts? Where do I find them, am I limited to the types of fonts I can use, can I use a font I purchased?

There are thousands of fonts available! Webfonts are used for the text on a website (vs. being created as a graphic and then uploaded to your site). Desktop fonts are only available for use on your computer in word processing or graphics programs. Desktop fonts sometimes have webfont versions, and sometimes they (desktop and/or web) have a fee.

For web design, we prefer Google Fonts. These web fonts are free to use, easy to install, and can be seen/viewed by anyone on any device. 

We provide lots of resources on where to find fonts, what fonts you can use on your site, and if we can use a font that you purchased in the Clients Only website.

How many colors do I need to choose for my website, and where do I look for color inspiration?

There is really no hard and fast rule on how many colors you should have. Most websites have 2-5 colors (if you count the main text color). For example, Facebook’s color palette really only includes blue, but they also use black for their main text. The standard rule is 1 (maybe 2) main color to highlight headlines and make things stand out and 1 color for your font. You don't want to overdo it. Too much could get distracting for your visitors and will disrupt the whole reason they are there in the first place.

Learn more about creating the perfect color palette here and get our top resources for inspiration, too.

What if I change my mind on the colors and fonts I’ve chosen after you already started (or finished) the site?

While we want you to make the best choices upfront, we understand that sometimes preferences do change. We will do our best to accommodate you, but there may be a change fee for additional revisions after we have started or finished your site.

What if I want to change the layout of my site during the development process?

If you need to simply put one element of your site above or below another element (i.e. moving your opt-in form below some text instead of above it), that can be done easily and at no charge. If you need (or want) to make bigger changes, we'll provide you with a quote for these changes along with our professional opinion regarding functionality or any other important information related to these changes.

How many revisions can I make once I send you the content? How about once the content is on the site?

If we haven’t started inserting and styling everything yet, you can send us the revised version. Otherwise, we’ll be showing you how to edit your own content in the Clients Only website and in your personalized Wrap-Up Package, so you’ll be able to do this yourself quite easily.

Does my content have to be ready before we can get started?

We design content. We need content to design. 

We do prefer that we receive your content before we get started so that we are able to properly style your site and set you up for success in the future when you start adding more content. If some content isn’t quite ready, we can add placeholder text that you can replace later. Just know that adding content after the design is done is like working backwards. You'll be trying to "fit" the content into the design instead of designing the content. If we find we have to edit the design(s) quite a bit after receiving your content, we'll need to add on an additional fee for extra time/work and possibly going over schedule. 

I suck at writing! What should I do about my page content?

Ha - we totally understand that writing may not be everyone’s forté. Here is a list of copywriters we highly recommend along with other professionals we love.

I already have a WordPress website. Can my old content transfer over to my new website?

Yes, we can export your content from an existing WordPress site and can pull content from other platforms as well.

What if I need more pages?

In the Clients Only website, we teach you how to add more pages to your site. You can add these pages to the main menu as a sub-menu item or not even have them in the menu and simply link to them somewhere on your site (i.e. within a page or in your footer or sidebar). (Or, if you'd rather not mess with it, we can do it for you!) If you need more pages than what is included in your website design project or you need to later add a page to your MAIN menu, there may be an additional fee.

I have TONS of testimonials, photo galleries, etc. Can you add them all?

We will insert and style some testimonials and galleries, and we will provide instructions for you to add additional ones. Depending on how many testimonials and/or galleries you’d like us to insert and style, there may be an additional fee that will be factored into your proposal and contract.

I need an online store to sell my products!

Great, we’d love to create an online store for you so you can sell all of your goods! Let us know about all of your ecommerce needs in our Website Strategy Consultation so we can factor cost and timing into your proposal and contract.

Technical Questions

I already have a domain and/or hosting account - is that ok?

It is, and we’ll just need your login information for both. If you’re using a hosting company that isn’t reputable, doesn’t support WordPress or doesn’t offer support, we may suggest that you change to SiteGround. Here's why.

I don’t have a domain and/or hosting account - is that ok?

It is, and we’ll give you very clear instructions on how to purchase both in the Clients Only website. If you're in the "shopping" stage, here's who we love and why.

Why do I need web hosting? What’s the purpose of it?

Without website hosting, you can’t have a website. It would be like having a house, but not having a lot to put it on. Think of it this way: your URL/domain is your address, and your web host is your lot. Your web host is where all of your files for your website are stored, so it is absolutely crucial that you have a web host.

Can I remove the footer credit for The Essential Website?"

No. This is a violation of our creative rights and our policies.

Will my website work/look good on mobile devices?

It surely will! We pay special attention to how every page and post looks on a variety of mobile devices. We code your site to adjust to mobile devices vs. you having a separate mobile site. Here's how to check to see if your current website is mobile responsive.

I need to have my current site up and running while you build my new site. Is that possible?

Yes, this is definitely possible. We can build your site on a temporary domain or subdomain. However, there may be an additional fee to migrate the site to your main domain upon completion.

Can I install additional plugins or other software after my project is complete?

Yes, most likely. Keep in mind that it’s possible that a plugin might not be compatible with all websites (or other plugins). If you’d like assistance with installing or configuring additional plugins or need more information about an additional plugin, we are happy to help. There may be an additional fee for these services.

How do you handle future website updates?

We provide tutorials in the Clients Only website that will show you how to update your website and how to ensure that your site is backed up in case you run into any challenges. We will also do our best to inform you of important updates or potential risks in updating (or not updating). You can also hire us for updates.

How do you handle website security?

We install the best security plugin on the market, iThemes Security Pro. One month after your site launches, we will remove our license if you have not signed up for the Golden Maintenance Package here. If our license is removed, you can buy your own license or use another security plugin.

Keep in mind that if your website is not hosted with a reputable host (in which case we will strongly encourage you to switch), you may be susceptible to higher security risks.

My web host sucks! Can you help me transfer to a new/better host?

We will strongly recommend that you switch hosts if yours sucks! SiteGround (or your host of choice) will likely be able to assist with the process. Otherwise, we can assist you.

What about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Do you offer SEO services or can you help with SEO?

We will do our part to get you set up for success. The rest will depend on you - either you doing the work or you hiring an expert to do the work. In order to benefit from good search engine optimization, you will need to keep your website’s software updated, add new content regularly, and share your content on social media and to your email list. You may choose to also spend a little money advertising as well.

Ultimately, it is crucial to understand that SEO is an ongoing process and one that takes time, patience, knowledge, and flexibility (because the rules of SEO change frequently). The Essential Website does not guarantee search engine results or rankings, but we will do our best to set up a good SEO foundation. Learn the basics of SEO and how you can keep your pages and posts and website images optimized.

What do you use to build my site?

We build websites using WordPress – an open-source Content Management System (CMS). We then add in a premium WordPress theme (Beaver Builder) on top of WordPress, which adds additional customization capabilities and clean coding. Beaver Builder is a "blank-slate" framework that allows us to create flexible, unique, professional, and responsive (mobile friendly) websites.

Do you only work with WordPress or will you work on other types of Content Management Systems?

WordPress is not only our specialty, but it’s the Content Management System (CMS) used and preferred by millions around the world. The flexibility, customization, and user-friendliness make it our only choice for Content Management Systems.

What's the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

We recommend reading this, as it explains it all quite nicely.

Do you only work with MailChimp or will you work with other types of email marketing programs?

Similar to our thoughts on WordPress, MailChimp is our preferred email marketing program. It is so flexible, the support is great, and it’s free (for up to 2,000 subscribers). Here's how to set up a free MailChimp account in 5 simple steps. If you use another program, we’re happy to work with it (we simply prefer MailChimp and know it very well).

Concluding Questions

Will you show me how to use my new website?

YES! We provide you with a customized Website Wrap-Up Package containing instructions and tutorials (and other important info) specific and unique to your website. AND, as our client, you'll also have access to TONS of tutorials and resources in the Clients Only website!

How advanced do I need to be to manage my site after you’re done, and do you offer any type support or ongoing maintenance?

Not advanced at all! We are setting everything up for you so that you can easily manage your own site once we’re done. If you need assistance, we provide 4 weeks of email support after we launch your site; you'll have the option to continue to have us secure, backup and maintain once your site is finished (find our about our Golden Maintenance Package here); and we’re available for Tweak Requests at any time.

Can I (or you) add features to my site after you're done, such as ecommerce, membership, etc.?

YES! With Beaver Builder (the WordPress theme that we use), you can add and customize anything you want. You may need to hire us to install and configure whatever you choose to add so that it matches the rest of your site and is set up properly. Just let us know when you're ready, and we'll be happy to help.

What happens when I want to change/update my website?

Easy! You can have us build you a new, updated custom website. Or, we can quote you a fee to modify your current website.

Can we meet in person? What happens if we live in another city/state/country?

The best part about The Essential Website (and being designers and developers in general) is that we can work from anywhere and work with anyone! If we are in the same city and have the opportunity to meet, that’s awesome! Otherwise, we look forward to meeting with you virtually (Skype, Zoom, email, phone, etc.).]

NOTE: We typically don’t schedule in-person meetings because of the digital/virtual nature of our business, and we want to ensure that we are dedicating the maximum time possible for client work.

Once you've contacted us and completed our initial inquiry form, we will set up a time for a Discovery Call on the phone or Skype to go over the specifics so that we can get started with your project.

I’m sold, where do I sign up
I have more questions!