We offer three main design options, but understand that sometimes you fall in between and are happy to provide a custom project estimate. Our services typically fall into: custom designed website, personalized template website, and updates / tweaks. The latter is simply when you have a site and just need some changes made, but not a complete refresh. We work with clients that have already established websites to change text, create new pages, swap images and more. These are quoted hourly and an estimated number of hours is provided upfront.
Below, the custom design and personalized template process is explained, and the differences between the two project types.
THE CUSTOM DESIGN PROCESS
I believe in keeping things simple, in business and in life. I break the design process into four phases, and encourage clients to always be open and direct in our communications. Between each phase, you will get a chance to review our work and give feedback.
Phase 1: INSPIRATION
The first phase involves inspiration boards, surveys and our design consult. It’s a lot of diving deep into who you are and what your business is about, who your clients are, what makes you tick, and lots more. This phase is about taking ideas and representing them visually. After our kickoff meeting, I go through my notes and all the information you’ve given me. Then I create concepts including font pairings, color palettes, and a home page mockup.
Phase 2: CONCEPT WEBSITE
Next, we’ll use our concept designs and your feedback to create a concept website. We will create 2-3 pages of your website design, including your home page. This is where the design part really happens. The Photoshop mock-up in Phase 1 is just a starting point to jump off of. We use the Photoshop design as a guideline in this phase, but as we build the site we remain fluid and adapt the design as needed. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to collaborate with us on ideas throughout this process. By the end of Phase 2, everything should be coming together.
Phase 3: WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
During this phase, we get into all the little details. This is the true development phase. We take the concept site and build it out, including designing each individual page, implementing all your content, and making sure everything functions smoothly. As we build, we are constantly going back and forth between mobile and desktop views. With responsive design, the site changes to look best on each type of device and we build from the ground up with this in mind. When you review the site at the end of this phase, you’ll go through for any little detail that needs change. We can either video chat, talk on the phone, or simply email.
Phase 4: GOING LIVE, FINAL TOUCHES & TRAINING
During this last part of our project, we make your site live, do a final review of the site for any issues, speed, and mobile optimization. We also do basic SEO for all your pages and images at this time. Then you get to review one more time and we can make any more tweaks you’d like. Once we are done, we’ll schedule our final consult. At this meeting, you’ll have a chance to have all your questions answered and learn how to maintain your website.
Personalized template Website
A Personalized template is a chance to take your favorite template and make it even better. Love a certain template but don’t like the menu style? Prefer a blog feed page from a different template? We can make it all work.
We will find the template that is best suited to you and then look at elements on other websites to bring together the perfect design for your brand. It’s custom without being custom.
This service includes:
- Kickoff phone call to get you and your goals
- Mini client survey to understand a bit about your likes and dislikes
- Assistance in choosing the best template for your brand from the Pro Photo store or designs included with the theme
- Installation of Pro Photo and the new template onto your existing site, including all your content
- Review of the site after the initial setup is done so we can discuss personalization options
- Option to change fonts, colors, and tweak layouts
- We can also add 1-2 layout pages that are not included with the template if needed
- Basic SEO setup based on the SEO data you provide me (I do offer upgraded SEO if you’d like me to do research on the optimal keywords for your location and specialty)
- A custom video tutorial showing you around your new site and teaching you how to make simple changes like images and text updates
How is a custom design different from a template?
- Timeline: Typically Personalized Template projects take 4-6 weeks to complete. Custom takes about 10-12 weeks. You also get 3-4 feedback times during custom verse 1-2 with the template.
- Cost: Due to how much more involved the process is for a custom design, the cost is more.
- Your commitment: If you are new to business or don’t have a lot of mental energy to put into this project, a template may be a better fit. Custom designs are great for those who know their brand, goals and are ready to commit to a website for a long time.
- Uniqueness: A custom website is created just for you. We spend more time getting to know you and understanding your business. The website reflects this. With a template, we still have a short kickoff call and a mini survey, but it’s not diving in as deep. Also it’s likely that other people are using the same template. This matters to some and not to others. We will personalize it for you but it is a template.
For some clients, a template is the right choice and for others a custom website fits their needs. Let’s chat about your business goals, and discover together which options work best for you. Send me a note.