Getting Started Guide

This page summarizes the process we go through when building a website. I also cover some things I expect from you and you’ll expect from me if we’re going to work together on this project.

If you’re in business, your customers expect to find all the information they need about you online. And the best way to provide that information is via your own website.

What I need from you before I can build or update your website.

The information and assets I need form you will vary depending on whether this is a brand-new site, or you are updating an existing site.

Things I need include…

  • Logos and branding info
  • Logins for hosting, domain etc
  • Images and content

What you do, and what you don’t get with your website

WordPress

I build all websites using the WordPress content management system (CMS).

There are two ways to edit pages in WordPress. You can use the new page editor, called the block editor. Or you can use the traditional page editor called the classic editor.

There is also the option to use a page builder add-on that makes it easy to build more complex page layouts.

Domain name and hosting are extra costs that need paying every year

You employ me to build your new website or to update your existing website. But my fee does not include your domain name or hosting. Domain names such as my-business.com cost between £10 and £20 per year. There are many web hosting packages at different prices. I would view £100 per year a minimum price.

So on top of the price of building your website you must add at least £120 to cover your domain name and hosting.

SEO marketing and security updates are extra

Building a website does not guarantee it will be listed on google. Many factors affect how your site ranks in Google searches, such as how competitive your industry is.

Marketing is not included in the price of your website; I recommend you market and promote your website after it’s built. The more people that know your business exists, the more chance you have of winning new customers. Marketing your website and your business is up to you.

Security and website updates. Your website uses software, and that software needs to be kept up to date if you want your site to remain secure. You can apply security updates to WordPress by clicking the update buttons. But you must log in occasionally and perform these updates.

You can set WordPress to update itself automatically. But there are times when automatic updates cause problems. The way you update your website is up to you.

Content updates and changes after your site is built

I will add content to your site as I build it. But after I hand your site over to you, adding new content or changing existing content is your responsibility.

Fully managed websites cost extra

If you don’t want to manage your own website, ask me about a fully managed website. This costs extra but saves you the time and effort involved in managing and maintaining your own website.

Contacting me before, during and after I build your site

My primary form of communication is email and I reserve mornings for working on websites, not for communicating. This ensures my mind is fresh and most productive as I build websites.

When I’m working on your website I respond as quickly as I can to your emails. Because I want to get the job done fast.

However, I usually respond to all emails within twenty-four hours. If your email needs some research before replying, I’ll acknowledge your email but say I’ll get back to you when I’ve found the answer.

I’m not on speed dial.

Sometimes I communicate with my clients via phone, but these phone calls need to be arranged in advance.

The content for your website

If I’m updating an existing website, you might want me to transfer the content directly from your old website to your new website. You might also want to make small changes to the existing content, we can discuss it via email.

Content for brand new websites

When I build brand new websites, I use a system called Content-First web design.

Content first web design means I don’t start the design phase until I have enough content until you’ve provided at least enough content for that first phase of the web design project.

Content Snare makes this easy

When I ask for the content for your website, I give you a link to a service called Content Snare.

Content Snare simplifies your job of providing all the information I need about your business. You read simple instructions, such as, what’s your business address. Then you type your answer in the box provided.

Using Content Snare helps us get your content right the first time. This means less email back and forth, fewer revisions and gets your website completed faster. It will also help you see what content you need to write.

Content Snare is the easiest way I know for you to gather and send me all the information you need to populate your website. It really is a game changer.

Miscellaneous FAQs

Do I meet with clients in person?
Only on larger projects. If your website costs less than £500, we’re unlikely to meet in person.

Do I offer video or Zoom meetings?
This would be an added extra. If you think you need a virtual meeting let me know before accepting your quote.

Can you phone me?
Only if those phone calls are pre-arranged. I have a deadline for finishing each customer’s website and phone calls often drag on. If I have several unexpected phone calls in one day, I won’t be able to meet my commitment to the customer who’s site I’m working on.

Can you update your own website?
Yes, if you want to. But only after I’ve built your site and handed it over to you.

Changes to scope
Once we’ve agreed on the scope of your website and the price you’d have to wait until the site is built before making any changes. Changes in scope need paying for extra. However, minor changes such as changing the phone number or minor text revisions to two or three paragraphs would be part of the normal site build process. I’m here to help but don’t get greedy.

Timeline and process

Content

If we decide to work together, I’ll give you a date I can start your project.

As mentioned previously, I use a system called Content-First web design.

If you have an existing website, you could use the existing content. But if I’m building a new website, I’ll expect you to provide the content using Content Snare (which I provide) before we’re ready to get started.

Site build

The amount of time the site build takes varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, a simple website with less than ten pages should take less than a week from the start date to going live.

A more complex site takes longer.

Process

This is the process we go through.

  • You show me some websites you like
  • You provide your content, either from your old site, or using Content Snare if your site is brand new. I provide Content Snare
  • I build the website
  • If you need any changes I make them, with in reason
  • After final payment I make the site live and hand over the login details to you

Delays and hold ups

The most likely reason for delays or hold ups is you being late providing content I need.  If that’s the case I can’t meet our original deadlines.

This could happen if you’ve booked a photographer and your photos are late. If that happens, I do as much work as I can with the assets I have. But then we’ll have to wait for the assets we don’t have.

After the delay I’ll return to your project as soon as I can fit it in. But I won’t rearrange other clients’ deadlines.

Luckily, the Content-First principle and using Content Snare system to gather all content before I start the build phase of the process eliminates most delays and hold ups.

How do you pay me?

You pay 50% upfront and 50% on completion. Direct bank transfer is the easiest payment option. But if you prefer, you can pay me through PayPal.

You buy your domain name and web hosting from a third-party provider.

After your website is finished, what comes next?

Spread the word and tell everybody you know about it!

To show up in Google your site needs inbound links, that is, other relevant websites linking to your website.

The easiest way to make this happen is by asking any non-competing businesses you’re affiliated with, or trade bodies and local chambers of commerce you’re a member of etc to link to your website.

If you don’t already have a Google my Business page, set one up now, they’re free and provide a link to your website.

And don’t forget to log into your website and update it regularly. This usually only takes a few minutes, but it makes your site much more secure.

Build your portfolio

As you do new jobs, write about them on your website. The more effort you put into building the content of your website, the more chance your website has to help you find new customers.