Frequently Asked Q’s
Is this right for me?
I work best with female entrepreneurs or small business owners who are at least a little tech-savvy (i.e. you have a smartphone/laptop/desktop you use frequently for everyday tasks & have an email account you check often).
It’s also best if you’re STOKED about growing your business and want to change the world (me too, lady; me too! 😍).
Can't I just DIY this?
Absolutely you can! And if you have your heart set on it, I say go for it. I certainly did. Before you do though, let’s crunch a few numbers.
Here’s what I did (not listed in any particular order):
went to college for design = $50k & growing (interest on those student loans, ugh…)
took 5-6 years since I was also working full time as an in-house designer to gain real-world experience
started using Squarespace in 2016
became a Squarespace Circle Member in 2017
took a Squarespace course = $700 + at least 40 hours of work to learn & implement
took a few online business courses = about $3.5k + months of work to learn, study & implement as I went
took a couple classes to learn specific business related tasks = $400 + hours to learn & implement
tried #alltheprojectmanagementtools = $100 + hours to try, learn & implement each one
and figure out which ones had a free plan that worked well and which ones didn’t…
read some marketing & business books = $100-200 + hours to read/listen to each one
read soooooo many blog posts = $0 + weeks worth of time spent scouring for tutorials & implementing what I learned
watched 10+ webinars = $0 + 10 or more hours & lots of note taking
and sitting through at least 10 product pitches…
joined some business group memberships = $1000 + hours of giving & receiving advice, then implementing what I learned
had a couple calls with business coaches = $0
(it was volunteer-only market research but it helped me get some clarity too!)
joined a LOT of business facebook groups = $0 + checking those daily to see where I can learn from others or give advice I’ve learned
See a trend here? You’re welcome to DIY, but I can say from experience that it takes A LOT OF TIME. Time you likely don’t have as a business owner.
I did all these things as I was first starting & growing my own business and though it’s do-able, it was really hard to balance my day job + my family + my everyday chores + my freelance business + learning + implementing + me time.
I already know this stuff and I’m always thrilled to get to help you with the skills I’ve learned & enjoy using.
How quickly can you start on my project?
Honestly it depends on the size & scale of what you need help with, but for websites I'm booked out for at least a month. Ask anyway though, I might be able to fit you in sooner. ☺️
How much time will this take?
Currently it takes anywhere from 3 days to 2-4 months, depending on your package.
At this time I’m doing most of the work on weekends since I still work full time as an in-house Graphic Designer. Making time to relax with my husband & my fur-babies is important to me, plus I want to have plenty of time to provide quality work for YOU (& take care of myself so that quality work is possible).
In order for me to give you my best work, it’s very important for me to maintain a healthy work/life balance, so I don’t typically work super late hours or work during week nights.
What exactly do I get?
You’ll get a fully setup & designed Squarespace website you’re proud of! You’ll also get complete ownership & access to your own website, with the ability to edit & make changes as needed.
That means you can write & schedule your own blogs, keep up with a calendar, book new clients, collect form submissions, and so much more, –all on your own.
What does this process look like?
I’ve written a great blog post on What to expect during a large design project here. Go check it out!
Do you outsource any work?
Not typically, that’s another reason why my timelines are longer.
If you ask for something I don’t normally handle or don’t feel comfortable handling, I’ll tell you. If I think it could be done with a tiny bit of expert help, I may go track down an expert to implement that specific thing, depending on the cost & timeline interruption.
If there’s an added cost to get it done with the help of someone else, I’ll discuss the options with you & we’ll figure out how to move forward from there. If you decide you’d like to do it, then we can talk about how you’d like to handle the payment for the extra services.
If I book today, how much do I pay?
A non-refundable deposit (typically 33% down) gets you in my schedule (& goes toward your overall payment). The remaining balance is split into payments (depending on your package) after we get started. The last payment must be made before the site launches.
Why are design services so expensive?
I can't speak for everyone, of course, but my pricing is based on several things:
the number of hours I expect to have in the project x my hourly rate
the number of years of experience I have working in the design field (since 2006)
my skill level (my college education & working 10+ years in the field)
my (fun) stress level associated with the timeline (I’m referring to you, Fast-AF design package! 😂 )
Graphic Design is an interesting career field. These days with Adobe's subscriptions, almost anyone can learn how to use the software, etc., but not everyone can design really well, regardless of the software. Not everyone knows WHY certain things look bad or good or the strategy behind why certain things could affect the way the design itself works for the business.
That's the difference between my services & amateur designers with lower prices. (To be clear: I’m not bashing amateurs–I was one too, once upon a time, but they charge low rates for a reason.)
In other words, ya get what ya pay for. Experience comes with a price. So I’ll never recommend tracking somebody down that only charges $500/website, because it’s highly likely that you’ll have to spend more on someone else to fix it afterward.
It’s quite bold, but as the saying goes: you’re not paying for the time it takes me to complete your design; you’re paying for the years it took me to learn how to provide quality work.
Or even bolder, as DavyDoes said on Twitter, “If I do a job in 30 minutes it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.”
It may sound egotistical or entitled, but it’s true! The prices go up with the experience level, just like every other profession on earth. 😉💜
What happens after I book?
First you’ll fill out a quick inquiry form and you can schedule a quick phone chat with me there. If we decide to work together, I’ll send you some digital paperwork to fill out & then we’ll get started! #noobligations
For more details, I’ve written a great blog post on What to expect during a large design project here. Go check it out!
Why do website packages have so much pre-work?
Main reason: it’s YOUR business, not mine. So I need as much detail from you as possible in order for the site to feel like it was created by YOUR business, …not mine. 😁
The Pinterest board is a must! I've tried doing projects before without it, and I always have more revisions when I skip this step. (More revisions = a higher price tag for the added time worked, but we can avoid this by doing the pre-work.)
Pinterest helps you AND me. You get to create a secret board and pin things you like: fonts, textures, colors, images, website styles or branding styles, etc. That visual inspiration helps guide me toward what you are looking for, without you having to be so specific or finding the right words. A lot of people can't articulate what they want and that's totally normal!
The questionnaires are an absolute necessity. I can't do anything for you until I can pick your brain & find out what your needs are. Every business is different and I can't guess what you're thinking! Each questionnaire will help me find out what you're expecting from the design so that I can deliver those results while also gathering the content for the site itself.
I send out 1 guided questionnaire per page you need, so that you can help me figure out what you need & I can figure out where it needs to go.
Shop pages sometimes require more than one questionnaire, but that depends on how many products you will have in your store. These are digital and save-able, so you can start filling them out, save & come back to them later. The longest part of the process is dedicated to the Discovery phase where you fill out this forms, so you’ll have plenty of time to knock them out.
The content must come from you, because: A) I'm not a copywriter, and B) I don't know your business as well as you do.
You will need to write all the copy for the pages I design (that's the text on every page). If you want a copywriter, I can refer you to one or work with one & add that fee to your invoice.
Of course, I'll be proofreading as I begin to add your copy & create the website design; I'll let you know if I don't think something will work (because we're aiming for a high standard, right?) and we’ll work together to make your content great.
Don’t worry, the copy you write for the questionnaires isn’t final. You’ll have a chance to edit all of that during the revisions stage.
Why do you use a contract & how does that work?
I use a contract to protect both of our rights throughout the process. I'd love to believe everyone out there is an ethical human, but because I need to be smart about my business, I look for the best in everyone while also using a contract as a backup. 😉 Boundaries can be a good thing!
The contract is digital, so you’ll be able to see & sign it after you fill out the proposal & before you make the first payment. Go through it carefully & ask if you have any questions before signing. You can sign digitally and once you do, I'll be alerted & I’ll countersign. After signing there will be a link to the document in your Client Portal, where you can log in any time to view or print it out (along with any other documents I've sent, including Proposals, Invoices & your Questionnaires).
If for any reason you choose not to sign it (& you’re totally free to do so), I'll refund your deposit, terminate the project & remove you from my schedule. #sorrynotsorry! 🤷🏼♀️
How will I get my design files from you?
I will load them into a folder on Dropbox or Google Drive, and send you the link so you can download them wherever you are.
If you also want a hard copy, that's available too. The first shipment of that hard copy is free, but if you ever need it again I'll send you an invoice for the cost of materials & shipment.
Of course you’re free to request files from me any time after the project is over. I do everything I can to keep them archived indefinitely, baring an office fire, damaged backup drive, or other issue out of my control.
What about my domain & hosting?
All of that can be done through Squarespace! But if you already have a domain elsewhere, don't fret. I can transfer it to Squarespace for you, so that you're billed from the same company each year for your renewal; or I can just point it to your new Squarespace site, if you'd like to keep the domain wherever you purchased it.
Does any of that sound murky and confusing to you? Then don't sweat it; I'll do everything I can to keep it as simple as possible.
Are there any ongoing costs/fees?
Yes, but not billed by me; Squarespace charges their own fees for their plans & domains. That fee is not covered in my design package & you will be responsible for maintaining it in order to keep your website live.
To see what Squarespace currently charges, you can take a look here.
Are there any additional costs?
There aren’t any additional costs unless you choose some add-on packages in your proposal. Some services (outside of Squarespace’s plan & features) that you may want will charge their own fee for use, such as:
an email marketing service, such as MailChimp or MailerLite
paying for an SEO overhaul to optimize your site for a higher Google ranking
buying a branded email address through G-Suite (pricing for that here) or
paying for an online scheduling system, to allow easy booking online for your customers
Can you get me on the first page of Google?
No, not really.
Though I'm not an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert, I have gotten myself to the top 1st, 2nd or 3rd slot on Google's search page for specific keywords I chose to associate my website with.
That being said, Google rankings are constantly changing, so maintaining that ranking takes constant tweaking. It took years of constant work editing my website, blogging consistently and renaming every single image on my website to get on page 1 for those keywords. I've also created a small network of backlinks to my website through referrals, directories, social media posts & profile links, and collaborations (plus soooo much more). Over that time Google has ranked me higher and higher for my efforts.
Could I get you to the top? Maybe; I mean, I’ve gotten myself there. However, that's not what I specialize in and not what I want to specialize in. I'll design your website all day long, but getting it ranked for Google is HARD, TEDIOUS, CONSTANT WORK, so I'd look into hiring an SEO pro if that's your goal.
Being a responsible website designer, I will implement basic SEO as I design & setup your website, so you'll get the basics with any of my website packages. That little bit of work (in comparison to what SEO experts do) won't get you to #1 on page 1 though; sorry!
Have a question you don't see here? Ask it!
Send me an email! No question is too silly or stupid… Okay, there are SOME stupid questions, but I promise I won’t laugh… Okay, I might laugh a little, but look at it this way, you will have brightened my day! Plus you’ll get a very helpful & polite answer to your question. 😉😂