Frequently Asked Questions
These are the questions that people have asked me about workshops. If you have another question, please ask.
Note – these answers refer to the physical workshops. I haven’t adjusted for the online course yet.
What do I get?
What is actually covered in the workshop?
What is WordPress? (This is the program you’ll use to build your website)
The meaning of a ‘responsive’ website and why it’s critically important
How to actually lay out your site
A little bit on graphic design, ie the ‘look’ of your site
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – how to make sure your site is found by Google
Copy – what to remember when writing the words that will go onto your site
How to prepare your images so that your website loads quickly
How to get your words and pictures onto your website
How to change the menus, headers, layout and other things on your website
How to set up a blog
How to test the speed of your website (and other websites!)
How and when to backup your site so that you’re covered in the event of an emergency
How to secure your site against hackers
How to keep your website up to date (and what you MUST do before you hit the ‘update’ button)
Computer tricks to impress your teenagers
Will my website be finished by the end of the day?
It’s possible that your website will be finished by the end of the day if you know exactly what you want and it’s a fairly simple site of 3-5 pages. You’d need to have your logo, favicon*, words and images ready to go, but even then you’d probably still find something you wanted to tweak the next day.
Most people are not 100% sure what they want yet, so they make a start in the workshop then finish it later, in their own time.
Your website will be live on the internet by the end of the day and if it’s not finished it will be hidden behind a ‘Coming Soon’ page so that the world can’t see it until you’re ready.
* See ‘What’s a favicon?’
Will you help me to finish my site if I don’t get it finished in the workshop?
Yes, I offer free follow up support in a private Facebook group which is exclusively for workshop graduates. In that group you can ask (and answer) as many questions as you like, whether it’s to do with design, how to do things, or more technical issues.
Sometimes people want more in depth one on one help and in that case I charge $75/hour. Sometimes I’ll work for 2 hours with a client to hammer out final outstanding issues, while at other times I’ll work with a client for a full day or two, delving deep into creating content that will drive new customers to the site.
I am also in the process of creating tutorials on my website so that you have a reference library to go back to when you need it.
Will I learn to use different themes?
No, you will learn to use one theme, however a lot of what you’ll learn is general, transferable knowledge. We use the Divi theme which is extraordinarily powerful and flexible, yet intuitive even for beginners.
Once you’ve used Divi’s Drag and Drop Builder you’ll never want to use another theme, believe me. I had a student come to a workshop once who had previously struggled with other themes. She stopped the workshop at one point to exclaim, “You guys, this is the most amazing theme! You have no idea how much time you’re saving because Cath found this one for you!”
I agree. Using the Divi theme is a pleasure. I love how quickly and easily I can move elements around when I’m designing a page.
Will my website work on mobile devices?
Yes, absolutely. These days it’s essential to build a website that works on mobile.
Can I have an online store?
Yes. Some of my students have integrated their existing online stores, others have used woo-commerce to create a new store.
Can I integrate my accommodation booking system, ie my channel manager?
Yes, this is easily done. I will help you place a Book Now button on your website that leads straight to your booking system.
How long is the workshop?
The workshop runs from 9am to 4:30 or 5pm, depending on when the venue closes. The last few hours are spent working on your website and although I absolutely recommend being there until the end, sometimes people need to leave a little early and that’s ok.
Are there any breaks?
We stop for a coffee break in the morning, and we break for lunch. Both breaks are fairly brief as we have a lot to achieve during the day. Breaks are not set in stone though, they change from one workshop to another depending on how we’re all going.
What should I bring?
Bring your laptop, your charger and a mouse if you like to use one.
Bring your logo, a favicon and the words and images that will go on your site, if you have them. If not that’s ok, you can add them later.
Pack a water bottle, snacks and lunch. I’m a believer in healthy brain snacks – sugary snacks will put you to sleep so it’s better not to have them when you’re learning a new skill.
Bring a notepad and pen.
How do I book a workshop?
Please Click the Book Now button on this page and fill in the form.
Questions about money
How much does the workshop cost?
The cost is $295, which includes the setup I do beforehand, the workshop itself, and support and training in a private Facebook group afterwards.
What other costs are involved in running a website?
You need to pay for your domain registration ($10-20/year) and hosting (US$72/year). All other setup costs are covered in your workshop fee and you’ll be taught how to manage it yourself going forward.
Do you offer a payment plan? Can I pay in Bitcoin?
No, sorry. Payment needs to be made in Australian dollars, either into my bank account before the workshop, or in cash at the start of the day.
Can I do the workshop for FREE?
Yes, yes you can actually.
From my perspective, the most challenging part of running workshops is the promotion – letting people know it’s on and getting students booked in is extraordinarily time consuming.
So how about this for a deal?
If you organise a workshop in your area, you get to attend for free. You’ll need to find the venue (it can be a large kitchen table, remember) and get some people along. Depending on your location, you may only need 3 paying students to make it happen (it might be more if I have to travel a long way), and if you find more than that you’ll receive some nice bonuses.
Talk to me about booking a date.
Is this right for me?
What skills do I need to build my own website? How computer literate do I need to be?
It helps to have some basic computer knowledge because it means you’re only learning one new skill – how to build a website – rather than trying to do that at the same time as learning basic computing skills.
It’s good if you can use email, Word and Excel, and find your way around the internet. You also need to know how to find files and folders on your computer.
It’s helpful to appreciate good design so that you’ll know whether or not you’ve achieved that in your own website. The ‘look’ of your website comes second to its functionality, however it’s still very important, I think. We don’t want visitors to our website noticing poor design.
Probably the most important skill is the ability to listen, read and learn. I will teach you some very important rules about images, for example, but if you don’t follow those image rules you’ll create a slow, bloated website, which Google doesn’t like – and it doesn’t matter how great your website is if nobody sees it.
Will my website look ‘professional’?
Everyone gets a different result so this is really dependent on you. If you have excellent computer and design skills you will be able to design a great looking website on your own.
Results are nearly always better when you ask for feedback from peers though. Even professionals do this – they build a new site then put it out to their peers for comment. It’s amazing what comes back.
You can ask for feedback in our private Facebook group and you’ll receive all sorts of tips – this link is not working, those colours don’t match, perhaps you could rearrange the order of those bits so they work better, etc.
Those tweaks can mean the difference between a site that looks amateur and a site that looks ‘professional’, remembering that ‘professional’ doesn’t mean complicated, it means it looks good and it works the way it should.
Will I be able to update my website by myself?
Yes, absolutely. The whole point of these workshops is to put the power into your hands so you’re not always paying someone else (and waiting for them) to update your website.
I don’t have a business but I would like to know how to build a website. Can I still attend? Do I just build a fictitious website?
Yes, that’s perfectly fine. It can be quite liberating to build a website for a fictitious business actually. There’s no pressure so you can play around with different elements for as long as you like, learning how everything fits together.
The main thing is that you learn the theory and the technique, and practice it.
If it’s too hard to think of a fictitious business you could do something personal like a collection of your photographs or favourite recipes.
Do I need a new computer or any special software?
You don’t need a new computer but having said that it shouldn’t be antique either. You’ll need to have Office installed so you can open and edit the Word and Excel documents I’ll give you. You’ll need wifi capability. It’s ideal to have 2 browsers installed, for example Chrome and Firefox.
You don’t need any special software; we use WordPress which is free and accessed over the internet rather than installed on your computer.
I have a Mac. Is that ok?
Yes, that’s ok. We’ll be working on the internet so it doesn’t matter what kind of computer you use. The only time we really notice a difference between Mac and PC in the workshops is when we’re optimising images ready for uploading. In that case each operating system uses a different program.
I’m not as familiar with Mac as I am with PC so if you’re a computer beginner with a Mac it can make things a little challenging.
I need something a little different…
I really want to build my own website but I can’t attend a workshop. Can you help me anyway?
Yes I can. We can either try to set up another workshop at a time and place suitable to you, or if I have availability I can work one on one with you.
If we work one on one you’ll invest $525 for a full day. You’ll receive all the training I normally give in the workshop, plus I’ll work on your website with you for the whole day. We can get a lot done in a day, especially if you’re well prepared.
I need a website but I don't want to build it myself. Can you do it for me?
Yes I can. Let me know what you need and we’ll talk about your options.
If you know exactly what you want and you have your logo, images and words ready to go, we can complete the project quickly and at a reasonable budget. If not, let’s talk about what needs to happen to get you to that point.
But I thought….
I thought WordPress was a template that walked you through the website process? Couldn’t I just work this out myself?
WordPress is the program we use to build a website in the same way that Word is the program we use to write a letter. Although it would be lovely if Word told us what to write in the letter, unfortunately we have to decide that ourselves.
You could work out how to build a website yourself but the problem is that it can take weeks to figure out something I will show you in 30 minutes, and that’s just one tiny aspect. There are things you probably don’t know about so you wouldn’t think to ask, but they’re vitally important so you could end up making costly mistakes and learning the hard way (ask me how I know this….)
This workshop is designed to save small businesses months of brain melting frustration, which means you get your new website live quickly and easily, then get back to the many other tasks you have to do.
I thought you need lots of coding to create a website?
Not any more! It’s still possible that you might need some coding if you want to do something special, but you don’t need to know how to do that yourself.
Was this FAQ page hard to make?
No it was amazingly easy, actually. I used ‘toggle’ modules then just popped in my words. The theme does the rest. It’s pretty fancy how each section opens and closes, isn’t it?