There are many ways to build a website and there are many options for website platforms. Every developer builds websites a little differently, which isn’t to say that any one way is better or worse than another (although sometimes they are). The method I’ve developed for building websites involves using WordPress as the base platform and then using a custom theme which I have fine-tuned over the last 10+ years. However I’ve also built plenty of websites using other platforms such as Drupal, Joomla, Wix, Shopify, etc. I have yet to come across a platform that I couldn’t use to build a website for a client.
I prefer to keep websites as light as possible. Using site-builder templates and plugins adds a lot of extra bloat to a website that mostly goes unused and more often than not causes a lot of problems with the functionality and longevity of that site. By using my own custom theme and minimizing the use of plugins I’m able to create websites that only have the necessary pieces which enables them to load quickly and function properly for longer. When necessary I can also create custom plugins to handle specific integrations or needs of my clients.
WordPress has been one of the top website platforms on the internet for over 10 years. In fact, 37% of the web is built in WordPress.
It’s also very easy to work with, both from a development standpoint and user access and management. Once a website is built in WordPress you don’t need a developer to operate the day-to-day functions of blogging, updating pages, etc.
From a development standpoint, it’s a very versatile and customizable platform. Implementing custom designs and plugins, building out eCommerce capability with tax calculation, shipping, purchase orders are all seamless. Additionally, WordPress has a very large community of developers that support the platform with an almost unlimited pool of plugins to handle just about integration a client may need. And because of the versatility of WordPress, if there isn’t a plugin to handle a required integration I’m able to build a custom plugin to get the job done.
I believe that website design is very important to the quality of the resulting website. Design helps focus the layout and functionality of your website so that it accomplishes its purpose in an efficient, clean and professional manner.
I works with several very good website designers who are capable of not only providing the website design, but also logos and branding if those services are also required. Please contact me below if you are interested in any kind of website or branding design work.
While I do have some clients still using the websites he built for them 10+ years later, I believe the life-cycle of a website is roughly 2-3 years at which point it usually requires an update or rebuild. The reason for this is the rate at which basic website practices on the internet change. Technologies are constantly evolving, design preferences are always changing, etc. But it’s also about keeping a fresh look and feel for your business online. After a few years a website can become stale and a design refresh can help increase visits and help with SEO and marketing efforts.
I provide estimates on a project-by-project basis, because every website is unique. I like to start by having a discussion with the client in order determine their web needs. Once we have all the information we determine the amount of time development will take based on that information and apply that to a standard hourly rate. Most web development projects require half of the estimate up front to start and the second half upon completion. However in some cases for larger projects I break up the payments and spread them throughout the course of the project.
If you’re interested in discussing web development, please contact me using the form below and I’ll be more than happy to talk about your needs and advise a proper strategy for either helping you with your current website, or building you a new one.
Over the years I have been involved in supporting many different kinds of businesses with technical advice and recommendations as well as building out internal infrastructures. Often times, especially with smaller businesses, it isn’t economically viable to employ a full-time expert to help with presenting and running that business in a digital world.
I’m here to fill that void by working as an external resource on an as-needed basis. This allows you to get access to my years of experience to help you with the technological aspects of your business, without taking on the burden of a full-time digital professional.
Not all businesses have a digital expert, especially small businesses. However businesses of all types are more dependent now than ever before on technology and internet based products in order to be successful.
Digital Consulting is a service I provide to those companies that need help determining their internet and technology needs and then implementing them. Maybe you sell products online and need to know how to do that properly. Maybe you sell services by subscription and want to move that process online. Or you’re looking to streamline the efficiency of your business internally and don’t know where to start. Whatever your question or problem, that’s where I come in to provide Digital Consulting to help improve your business technology.
I offer these services for an hourly-rate or on a per-project basis. I also have some retainer packages available for those that want more regular and ongoing consulting services. If you’re interested in talking with me about how I might be able to help you, please contact me using the form below.
When an out-of-the-box platform just won’t get the job done for a client, I advise building a custom software solution. There are many language and framework options to choose from when looking at developing a custom solution, so we will discuss the specifics of your needs and I will recommend an option that best fits. This solution ends up being a more tailored option where the website is built from the ground up based on the specifications provided by the client through in-depth conversations.
There are also times when a client needs a more functional piece of software, not just a website. In this case I design a system to handle the client’s requirements and it is built as web based software. An example of software like this would be a database system for automatically capturing leads from a website which can be used to create batch reports, send emails, texts, etc. Another example would be an internal system for handling client information, interactions, payment processing, tracking, etc. With custom software, the sky really is the limit.
In many cases, software development is the building of a custom CMS (Content Management System) to handle a completely custom website. I do this when the out-of-the-box solutions like WordPress aren’t enough to handle the needs of your website. I’ve handled projects like this for businesses like automobile manufacturers, shipment tracking systems, marketing companies, etc.
There are also businesses that require software that is more for internal management, tracking clients, eCommerce, mass data manipulation and reporting, etc.
If you think your project might require custom software development please contact me below and I can help assess your needs and provide guidance and a quote as needed.
No problem. Part of my service is to talk with you and evaluate your needs and then provide direction. My goal is to help you enhance your business, so I’ll only recommend solutions that I feel will benefit you and the success of your business.
Custom web based software can be more expensive than a standard website project as the work involved tends to be more intensive. Software development is quoted on a project-by-project basis. If you’re interested in having something custom built, contact me using the form below and I’ll schedule a call with you to determine your specific requirements and provide an estimate.
Internet Marketing consists of using websites like Google AdWords and Facebook/Instagram to display ads driving traffic to your business for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re selling a product and want to advertise it online, or maybe you’re trying to get people into your business physically by presenting a sale or special offer. The end goal is the same, capture leads of people interested in your service or product and sell to them.
Google AdWords is a keyword based marketing strategy. Your ad shows up based on the targeted keywords or geographical location. This type of marketing often returns less leads than Facebook/Instagram marketing although the leads tend to be more qualified. The reason for this is that when your ad comes up it is because the prospect is looking for keywords your ad is targeting.
Facebook/Instagram marketing is demographic driven. We target various demographic criteria such as: male/female, age groups, interests, etc. for a geographical area in order to get your ads to show up when people matching those demographics are using Facebook or Instagram. This marketing tends to get a higher volume of leads although they tend to be less qualified than leads from Google AdWords marketing.
Internet Marketing is most commonly used for promoting products or services for sale. For product sales the intent is to reach a broader audience and drive them to your website to purchase your product. For service sales the intent is to generate leads for prospective customers. Service sales usually require more direct follow-up in order to close sales and secure the prospects as paying customers while product sales can be followed up with a targeted re-marketing campaign for those that showed interest but didn’t purchase the product.
There is usually a monthly management fee either invoiced or charged by subscription. The fee is based on the type of marketing being performed. There is also the ad spend which is billed up front to be used in running the marketing for the month. For Google AdWords we recommend a minimum of $500/month, but depending on your geographical area, more may be necessary in order to provide proper results. For Facebook/Instagram we recommend a minimum of $1000/month, but again depending on your area it may require more.
If you’re interested in marketing services, please contact me below and I’ll be happy to help you determine the type of marketing and amount of ad spend that is right for you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a different kind of approach and has its own benefits. Most people use the internet to find a business, product or service by searching through a search engine like Google or Bing. You want to have a strong presence in the search engine results to get the best chance of having those potential customers pick you.
Improving your search engine results position by doing SEO is accomplished by updating your site with keyword rich content and actively updating that content on a regular basis. It requires continually monitoring keywords, which ones are getting results and which aren’t, and then updating as needed to continue to improve the relevance of the website content. SEO is a slow burn and often takes several months of active work before the results are visible, but it’s worth the wait.
This can vary, but generally a 3-6 month program is the initial effort for building strategy and getting initial keyword content implemented on your site. Between 3-6 months we should start seeing some movement in your search engine positioning and general traffic to your website.
However, ongoing attention to your SEO strategy and website content is important to maintain any results you start seeing, as well as to continue improving search engine ranking and visibility.
One of the most important things for any business in a digital world is your online presence. How easy is it for your potential customers to find you? SEO is how you raise your presence and visibility online so that you have the best chance of capturing those potential customers.
An SEO management fee is generally billed on a monthly basis by subscription or invoice and is determined by how much is needed to get things up and running. Content creation is often a big part of SEO, so an evaluation of your current website will be necessary to determine what will be needed and this will help us properly quote the fee.
If you’re interested in SEO services please contact me below and I’ll perform a review of your website and provide a proper management fee quote.