It’s important to be clear about how we’ll work together so that everyone is happy with the outcome.
These are my guidelines for the way I work with website clients.
I work on an hourly rate
Most web designers quote a fixed fee for your website. I don’t.
It’s my opinion that fixed rates don’t work for either of us.
It’s bad for me – if I quote a fixed rate for a project, my clients have no incentive to work efficiently or quickly. Projects drag on forever and requests for changes are plentiful. Clients value my time when they’re paying hourly.
It’s bad for you – Clients almost never understand how much is involved in building a professional website and web designers know that. They inflate fixed price quotes to allow for the extra time they’ll need to spend. If the project turns out to be simple after all, you’ll still pay the extra amount.
My hourly rate reflects my professional skill. I know what I’m doing and I work quickly. You’ll be surprised how rapidly we can get your new website up and running if you’re fully engaged in the process.
i invoice for a few hours to get started
The remainder is invoiced and paid before the site goes live.
Building a website can sometimes turn out to be an exercise in personal development as you figure out who you really are and what you’re really about. It doesn’t start out that way – you just want a website for your business. But as you start to write the content, you suddenly realise you’re not quite sure about some aspects of your business.
You wonder if now would be a good time to add or remove services. Things that have been at the back of your mind come to the forefront.
Launching a new website is about new beginnings.
I find it awkward to invoice for work I’ve done if you suddenly realise you’re not actually ready to build your website after all. It works better for all of us if you pay for the first few hours up front. I get paid, and you have more incentive to push on and get the job finished.
Once we’re under way I invoice weekly for the first few weeks, then I switch to monthly invoicing. I issue a final invoice just before the project goes live. Once payment has been made, I upload your new website to the internet.
I build on wordpress
There are a lot of good reasons to use the most popular platform in the world.
I build self-hosted websites on WordPress, utilising the premium theme Divi.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the planet. Divi is the most popular theme.
There are benefits to using popular systems. They’re good, and a lot of people know how to use them. That means you can easily find help when you need it, rather than relying on just one business who specialises in your system.
I’m a firm believer in giving my clients control over their own digital assets. I think you should control your own domain registration and your own hosting. You should also have access to your own website. Far too often I see clients who don’t have this control. You can’t take swift action if you can’t access even the basics. I talk about that more here.
I build in my own development environment
I build your website on my own hosting during the development period.
You may already have a live website and hosting, and you want me to take over.
I’m happy to add a Coming Soon page to your existing live site, but I always build in my own hosting environment, for a few reasons.
1. I’m familiar with my own hosting environment, and I know it works with my setup. Some hosts are better than others.
2. I ensure I am paid before the site goes live.
3. I ensure nobody has access to the website during the build. Even if I’m the only one with a WordPress login, anyone with access to the hosting account can get in over the weekend and make changes to the website (yes, it has happened). That’s a risk I’m not prepared to take.
Once the site is ready to go live and I have been paid in full, I migrate it into position at your hosting account, overwriting your existing live site.
you’re fully engaged
We’re partners in this project, I need you to help me help you.
I need you to work with me to build your website. We’ll need to spend hours talking together during the project, either in person or over the phone.
You’ll need to answer emails and send me the things I need, such as images, logo and words.
Please make sure you have time and energy to devote to your project before engaging me.
I will edit your copy if it needs it
Errors make you look bad, so I fix those.
I do a lot of writing for my clients, both big and small. Sometimes I write independently. Sometimes we write together, brainstorming until we find just the right phrase. Sometimes my clients write copy and I suggest edits where necessary.
I have never yet met a client that didn’t appreciate my assistance with their website copy. I can’t bring myself to publish grammatical or spelling errors, so if you don’t want those corrected we would not be a good match.
You must have good images.
Good images make or break a website. The best option is usually to hire a professional photographer but sometimes you can get away with using royalty-free images like those found on Unsplash.
Occasionally I’ll take photos for a client. I’m not a professional photographer but I do have a good eye for composition. All the photos on this website are mine, with the exception of one or two that were taken by my husband Cam.
It’s a condition of working together that we use good images on your website.
I specialise in quick turnaround projects.
Once started, I live and breathe your project until it’s finished. I become completely absorbed in your business, and for this reason I prefer to work with one client at a time for new builds. It’s high intensity, and it’s quick. It’s why it’s so important you’re fully engaged.
If I don’t hear from you for 30 days, I will archive your project. You’ll pay for any outstanding hours and I’ll remove your development site from the internet.
We can always reactivate, but you’ll pay for the time it takes to both load up the site again and wrap my head around where we were up to.
I especially love to work with tourism businesses such as accommodation providers and tour operators, but I work on other projects too.
Some of the clients I have worked with include:
Tropical island resorts
International corporate clients
Wine tour business
Cyber security businesses
Bottle shop (alcohol business for you non-Australians)
Businesses involving horses, sheep and dogs
don’t know where to start?
Some clients find the hardest part is getting started.
If you know you need a website but have no clue where to begin, you’re not alone. A lot of people find it easier to edit something that already exists than to start from scratch.
I sometimes build a starter website that contains the elements I think we’ll need. We then work through it together, adding and removing bits, uploading images, writing words and tweaking the layout.
It’s amazing how quickly a website comes together when we do it like this.