If you’ve got all the clients or customers you can handle based on your word of mouth and other traditional marketing, it’s possible you don’t need a website. But these days, most potential clients and customers are going online to search for information and find product/service providers.
Another way to view a website is as a communication vehicle for your current clients or customers; it’s a place where they can go to get the latest news about your practice or business, find out about any special offers or changes you’re making, interact with you, and possibly interact with others.
But to be effective, a website today must look professional and work in a wide variety of browsers. Investing in a professionally designed site is investing in the future of your business. To see the professional-level features that come with every site I build, visit the Web Design page.
The High-Tech Coach offers a total package based on:
Support before and after your site is complete -we’ll communicate during the process using online tools I’ll provide, and you’ll receive lifetime access to the Support area of this site which includes account tools, forums, tutorials, and a library of resources to help you work with your site.
Knowledge of the counseling, coaching, and entrepreneurial fields – I’ve worked in your field, and understand the challenges you face in your business as well as what’s needed to build an effective online presence for you.
Top-notch communication skills – I’ve been a technical writer, technical project manager, and training developer for decades. I’m a native speaker and my career focus has been equally on effective communication with clients and on technical excellence. Project success means first and foremost communication between client and developer.
I can deliver pretty much any kind of website you can imagine: the simple online brochure, personal blogs, online stores, forums, event scheduling, custom content types, photo or video galleries. View my Portfolio to get a sampling of the kinds of site features that are possible.
The exception would be the large enterprise-scale website with a lot of complexity and thousands or millions of daily visitors (think New York Times, Amazon, or eBay) … I leave that market to the Big Guys. Also, all my sites are built with WordPress … if you’re looking for someone to do a site in DreamWeaver, Drupal, Joomla, or other development platform, I can suggest ways to find developers who work on those platforms.
Cost will depend on the complexity of your site needs. A simple site could cost a few hundred dollars; very complex sites could cost in the thousands of dollars. A good starting point for our conversation is to use the Request For Quote form on the Get an Estimate page to help me understand what you’re looking for. Based on that information I’ll provide you with an initial estimate. You may choose at that point to reduce the complexity of the site or postpone implementing certain features until later … because site design is modular, you don’t have to do it all at once if you choose.
The estimate I provide based on your Request For Quote will cover all the features and functionality requested. There are no hidden costs. Of course, if in the course of the project you identify additional features you want added to the site that aren’t covered in the original estimate, these will need to be estimated separately. The estimate will be for work done on my part and any parts (i.e., software) needed to complete your projects, but will not include the cost of hosting your website or registering your domain name(s). Your site will include documentation of the plugins, their settings, and any custom code needed to create your site.
Ongoing maintenance work will not be included in the estimate, since it’s billed on an hourly basis. If your site includes a blog and/or visitor commenting, the assumption is that you will manage your blog posts and comments. Creation of additional training and tutorials (beyond the site documentation provided) will be billed at my hourly rate.
Payment of 25% of the total estimate will be due when you sign off on the estimate; the remainder will be due on site completion (meaning, when we both agree it is ready to go live). Your payment of the additional 75% will be due at that time, and your site will be migrated from my testing server to your live server upon payment. Alternative payment schedules can be negotiated at estimate sign-off, if desired.
The amount of effort needed depends on the complexity of your site needs. A simple site can be completed in a few weeks, a very complex site may take months. I’ll include a projected completion date on the estimate. If you need your site done within a certain time frame, it’s important to specify that up front so I can factor it into the estimation process.
You can make as many changes as desired to your requirements prior to your sign-off on the estimate (note that extensive changes may require revision of the estimate). During site implementation, there’s no charge for changes to site text, or for rearranging site menus. You’re allowed up to four minor changes during implementation (taking less than 15 minutes each), and one major change (more than 15 minutes). Any additional changes will be charged at my hourly rate.
Based on your Request For Quote (see the Get an Estimate page), I’ll develop a proposal for a design. I may ask you to view certain websites to give me feedback on what you like/don’t like about them, and I may suggest certain images for you to look at as part of the process. If you already have a logo or design in mind, or a set of images you want to use, I’ll use that as a starting point in developing my proposal.
The site will be implemented on my test server, and I’ll provide you with the URL so you can review site features and appearance changes as I implement them. We may set up online meetings using a tool called Twiddla which will let us view the test site, discuss it, and mark it up with changes.
It can be as big and complicated as you need it to be. Bear in mind that the size and complexity may affect the estimate I provide to you. If I determine that a site’s size or complexity is beyond the High-Tech Coach’s project scope, I’ll suggest ways you can find someone who will be able to work with you to get your site done.
A substantial amount of our communication can be via email, supplemented with phone calls and instant messaging. I subscribe to a website design collaboration platform, Twiddla, that we can use to work together on concepts and design (and even bring additional people into brainstorming and design sessions).
In addition to working together live on the Twiddla website design collaboration platform, I will host your site on my test server where you’ll be able to try it out and view the changes I’m making to your site as I develop it. Once it’s finalized, I’ll use migration software to move it to your live server.
I’ll install software on your site that will help search engines find your site, and do basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your content. More extensive SEO work can be built into your estimate, if you desire (it will be billed at my regular hourly rate).
Remember, it takes some time for your site’s reputation to build … content’s the most important thing.
If the site was created in WordPress, certainly. I don’t do maintenance on other kinds of sites, including those made with DreamWeaver, RapidWeaver, Joomla, Drupal, other site creation software, or those that are hand-coded. If you wish, I can give you an estimate for recreating your site in WordPress.
Once your site is up and running, maintaining it will mostly involve processing comments (if you allow them on your site), posting new content to your blog (if you have one), and checking for and running updates. I’ll set up automated backups for your site, so you won’t need to worry about that either. And I’ll provide you with guidance on doing these infrequent and routine tasks.
If you really don’t want to check for and run updates and monitor the health of your site, I can do so for a nominal monthly fee. Of course, if you need changes made to the site or new features added, I can provide an estimate for the enhancements.
Sure. The documentation I’ll provide at the end of your project will provide the information needed by another WordPress developer to make changes to your site. And your site will have powerful backup and migration software installed on it, which would make moving your site a breeze.
The content you’ll want to change will be in the form of posts and pages, and I’ll provide you with instructions on editing content and adding new content. It’s no harder than working with a word processor like Microsoft Word.
If you sign up for a Google Analytics account, I can integrate Analytics into your site and you’ll be able to run detailed reports on visitors (and any ad campaigns you may set up).
I provide documentation with every site I design that lists the plugins I’ve used, and any customization I’ve done to the site. This document could be given to anyone who works with WordPress sites and that person would be able to pick up and continue maintaining your site. Or, with the help of the support materials available on this site, you’ll be able to use it to maintain the site yourself.
In addition, I can include development of custom tutorials and training materials in the site estimate if desired. I have an extensive background in technical documentation and training development, and can help you (or your site members) come up to speed on site usage.
You’ll be given login access to the Support section of this site, which provides a set of tutorials, useful links, and a user forum for asking questions. In addition, I can be reached via phone or the Contact page in the menu.
I install a plugin that manages the security of your site. It hides certain aspects of the site from would-be hackers, and thwarts brute force attempts at breaking in by giving an IP address a lengthy “time out” after a certain number of failed attempts. I add several features to reduce the amount of spam originating on your site by cloaking email addresses, thwarting software form completion by requiring special user input, blocking comments that contain certain blacklist terms, and taking a number of other approaches to keeping your site as secure as possible. The other thing that I will do is make sure your site has all security updates applied to it from WordPress (and I’ll teach you how to login and apply updates yourself once the site’s complete.
Of course, no site is 100% secure if it’s on the internet … even large companies have their sites hacked from time to time. But I’ll do everything I can to keep the Bad Guys away.
As soon as your site is transferred to your server and goes live, you own all of its content and its design. If agreed to in the contract we sign, I retain any rights specified therein (such as the right to use your site as an example in my portfolio or other marketing materials for the High-Tech Coach).
You need three things to get a site up and running:
- A server that the code and files can be uploaded to
- A domain name or names (e.g., www.thisismysite.com)
- The code and files that contain the site content
Most people sign up with a hosting service to get access to a server. The service I recommend is Bluehost … there’s a link in the left sidebar (note that I’m an affiliate of theirs, and you can read my affiliate disclaimer here). But there are plenty of other good quality hosting services out there, too. I steer my clients away from GoDaddy, because I do not feel they provide the level and quality of support my clients deserve.
Domain names can be registered through your hosting service … this is the simplest way to do it, and many hosts (like Bluehost) include a domain name with the price of registration.
Before your site will go live, I’ll need the access information (login and password) for your host server, and for your domain name (if it’s registered elsewhere).