Responsive Design ⇔ Leading Edge Web Design
I will build your site using Responsive, or Fluid, Design techniques. This means that your site will look great on a large TV screen all the way down to a small cell phone screen. No need to make several versions of the same thing for different devices. Your site will work properly on all formats. This is really important since many professionals and the majority of younger people use their cell phones exclusively.
CMS or ''Hands-Off'' Site ⇔ Your Choice
I will design your site to your specifications. If you think you may want to personally update your site with content and images, then I will design a CMS (explained on the Learn page) site for you. If you'd rather leave it to me to update as needed, then I will design what I call a "Hands-Off" site. If you think that there is any possibility that you may want to interact with your site, like start a blog or post weekly updates, then a CMS Site is the right choice.
Most of my small business clients opt for a hands-off site since they are already too busy to add yet another task to their calendar. Social Media may be able to help you with this decision, if you read what I say about it further down this page under the "SEO" section. My basic monitored hosting package includes a monthly SEO update and site review. This data is then reported to you for further review and possible action. Either way, it is your choice and I will make what suits you best.
Domain Name ⇔ You Own It
I can help you find and purchase your domain name from a Registrar. (The domain name is what you type into the address bar of your browser) Domain names are relatively inexpensive. The shortest amount of time that you can purchase a domain name is one year. It is your property for however long you decide to make it that way. Even if you decide to take down your web site or move it elsewhere, you will still own your domain name as long as your payments to the Registrar are up-to-date. This gives you the flexibility to completely change your site, your host server, put the Domain Name up for auction, or whatever you want to do with it. It is yours.
When I have completed your design, you will own the copyright to your original content, including images and other media. I will provide one copy of the files for your safekeeping. If you use content from somewhere else, please make sure you have permission to use it. I can help you determine if this is the case. I will own the code, including all custom HTML, CSS, and CMS templates that I have made for you. I will be more than happy to explain this in detail once we make initial contact.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization is a term that is mentioned quite regularly these days, but what is it? It is a lot of things, but at its core it means that optimizing your site's content and the meta code makes it easier to be found by potential customers. There are several initial steps that can be taken that will enhance your site's SEO without adding costs.
First ⇔ Engage Your Audience
This is by far the most important action, your content should be interesting and engaging in order to attract visitors. It is no longer OK to just put in a few bits of data and a link or two to draw people to your site. The average time spent on any site by a person is less than a minute unless they find something that captures their attention. Engage them and they will be back, which may correlate to money spent, and they will also refer their friends. Talk about your products or services, tell people why you are in your particular business and why you are so passionate about it. Run a contest or place some fun videos. What do you like to see on a web site? What interests you enough to spend time on a site?
Second ⇔ Meta Keywords & Titling
I will add what are called "meta keywords" to your site that reflect the content that you have provided. "Meta" means information that is hidden within the file, (not seen by visitors) that is read by search engines and browsers. Each meta keyword means one more search opportunity. Meta keywords used to be exaggerated to try to get search engine hits, but now these engines are really, really smart and will compare them to your specific content. So, back again to the importance of content.
The title of each page is important. This means the title of the site and page, plus the meta title that reflects this information, just like keywords. Most search engines will display the first couple of lines of a page when results are viewed. These will include the meta title and the first one or two lines on your page. Hint: The meta title is a great place to put in a phone number so that it comes up right on the search page.
Third ⇔ Google Analytics (GA) & Marketing Options
The installation of Google Analytics helps your site get noticed by Google right away. (See the Learn page to find out more about GA) It's all related. There are also a huge assortment of paid ads that are available from Google (called adwords) and other marketing businesses. There is just about anything for everyone's budget. I always ask my clients to try all of the above techniques first, before paying for ads. Unless you really know that you want paid advertising, then I will certainly help you get it.
Fourth ⇔ Social Media
Interaction with Social Media can really boost your site. Do you have a lot of Facebook friends? What about Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, InstaGram, LinkedIn, Behance, etc. Links to all of these sites can certainly make a difference if they are sites that you participate in. In fact, if you don't really want to update your new web site and want me to make a "hands-off" site, you can always post content on Facebook that is an enhancement to your main site. This is not such a good idea if these links are just put there as "show" and send your audience to a site with images of cute pets. You've lost them then, unless that is what your site is all about. The possibilities are endless.
Web Site Rescue
I will update and repair, if possible, your existing web site. You must have administrative authority and password access to the host server. Hourly rates apply. I can also move your site over to Highlands Host for Monitored Hosting at no charge for the move. I will update the code at that time and standard Monitored Hosting rates apply.
Training & Consultation
I am available for individual or limited attendance classes for those who wish to learn "what's what" about the Internet. Please check out the Learn page on this site for more information. In the very near future, I will be adding another page titled "Classes", where you can request training or register for classes and view upcoming schedules.
I provide Small Business Consultation to help you figure out if your business needs a web presence. I will not recommend a web site if I think it won't make a difference to your bottom line. I am your neighbor, after all. I will explain the difference between "homemade" web sites and professional web sites and how they reflect your business. We will discuss your goals and budget.
Photo Retouching for Web Sites, Digital Sharing, & Print
Using PhotoShop, I can make old, damaged photos look almost brand new. It just depends on the damage. Some will even look better than new. Inversely, I can take new photographs and artificially age them. I can combine images, place people and things in images and make them look like they were there from the beginning. Moral of the Story, "You Can't Believe Everything You Think You See".
Images in almost any format, print or digital, are acceptable. If they are in print form, I will carefully scan them into my computer and give them back to you right away. No worries about the care of your originals. All of the changes are made digitally, which can then be printed on any type of paper and format that you desire. I will provide you with the digital file. For an additional fee, I will arrange and proof print jobs.