Frequently Asked Questions
People keep telling me I need to have a website for my business. How do I start?
When you are ready to have a website, you have one decision to make right away: Which website builder do you want to use to create the pages that people will see on your website?
I focus on helping people create small-business websites with Squarespace and Weebly, two programs that have earned glowing reviews for being very easy to use, while also giving you a professional-looking, affordable website. They both offer a way to create free websites, but for a professional website, you will want to choose one of the paid plans. I chose to specialize in Squarespace and Weebly so that you can make changes by yourself later, without having to hire a web programmer or wait for a friend with know-how to help you. Making changes to words and pictures on your website is as easy as using a word-processing program. You don't need to understand anything about web coding or programming.
Why should I hire you if Squarespace and Weebly are so easy?
It is certainly true that you can create a nice website using these programs on your own and both have a lot of online help to answer your questions. When you hire me to help you get started, you can make the leap more quickly through the initial phases of deciding what your website should look like, choosing a unique name for your website, setting up e-mail, and connecting your social media accounts, so that you can start bragging about that long-awaited website sooner. Because I do this for a living, I have already spent a lot of time researching the designs and features that Squarespace and Weebly offer. I can narrow down the array of choices you have to sort through to get to the fun part of building a website that you love more quickly.
How much will it cost?
The cost of getting a website up and running is like ordering from a menu à la carte. You pick the appetizers, entrées, salads, and desserts that best suit your business. Hiring me to help you with your website is like having an experienced chef walk you through the menu to help you make choices that ensure that you not only love the meal, but that the flavors are complementary and the meal is balanced.
My blog post "Your new website: How much will it cost? How long will it take?" gives some actual figures from recent clients.
Squarespace pricing - Squarespace distinguishes between regular websites and eCommerce sites. A Personal plan is the lowest-price plan (at $144/annually as of 3/18) and can work for some small businesses. Here is the Squarespace pricing page:
Weebly pricing - The Starter plan is the lowest-price plan that gives you your own unique domain name (at $96/annually as of 3/18). They also have a free plan and you can even use a custom domain name with their Connect plan, but it will have the Powered by Weebly logo at the bottom. Here is the Weebly pricing page:
My pricing - I charge an hourly rate that is favorable to small businesses whose budgets are tight. My services can consist of meetings; prototype designs; website building and troubleshooting; writing, proofreading, and editing of content; photo services; design changes; research; and travel to your business in my area (which isn't usually necessary with access to calls and Skype meetings). A typical basic website takes about 15 - 20 hours of my time and about 15 hours of your time – but note, that is a very rough estimate and each website is different! The first page takes the most time because that includes all of the preparation to talk about the overall design and goals for your website and setting up your accounts on Squarespace or Weebly – as a very rough estimate, it can take about 7 hours of my time and 5 hours of your time to create that first page.
Cost considerations - Squarespace and Weebly each have pricing plans to work for a variety of websites, from basic to complex. There are discounts for paying for your website annually, rather than by month. The goals of your website can also affect how much it costs to create and run. A website that offers online shopping (known as eCommerce) is more expensive than a website that provides information because eCommerce sites must include a way for customers to select and pay for products. Other conveniences for your website that can cost you money for monthly subscriptions include invoicing, appointment and reservation scheduling, Google apps integration, and newsletter services. If your budget is tight, you can launch a website with one page and then add pages and features over time as your budget allows. You can also save money by taking over some of the website design tasks yourself with my help, as well as writing some or all of the text, which I can proofread and edit, and providing images that are licensed for commercial use.
Do you only help people create new websites?
Along with helping people with their new websites on Squarespace or Weebly, I also help with changes in designs or new features for your Squarespace or Weebly website as your business changes. I can also help you move a website to Squarespace or Weebly if it was created on another platform or if it was built with earlier web technology, such as HTML pages.
Do you work on other website builders, like WordPress or GoDaddy?
I've chosen to specialize in the two easiest website builders so I can keep up with changes in their technology and features and provide informed advice to my clients. However, I also have some experience with making text and image updates on WordPress and a few other products. For design changes on websites that use something other than Squarespace and Weebly, I recommend finding someone who specializes in designing on those platforms.
Where are you located?
My home office is located in central Massachusetts, but you don't need to live nearby for me to be able to help you. I work with most of my clients remotely. With today's technology, we can work together over the phone, through email, through video meetings, and on the web.