How much does a website cost?   Or a logo and print design?

Price varies depending on each project. Sometimes matching printed materials are needed, sometimes there is complex interactivity or animation, etc. There is an initial consultation to find out the details of the clients needs. The next step is for me to send the client an estimate to look over. If everything is agreeable, we go from there. There is a 50% deposit due for the start of the project, and the balance is due when the assignment is completed.

What is the design process for a website?   Or for graphic design?

I almost always start with the home page of the website, as it is the first thing people will see, and it sets the tone for the rest of the site. Website drafts will include up to 3 design variations within the concept and style as outlined in the estimate. Additional alterations to the design past those can be discussed. Once the design is finalized and tweaked, I carry over the look and style to the informational pages within the site and then start to build the rest of the pages and link the site together.

If a logo or printwork is needed, the services include up to 3 rounds of designs on the concept and style as outlined in the estimate. Design concepts past those can be discussed. Once the project is finalized, high resolution files can be created for you to use in web and print design.

What is the time frame to get it done?

Sometimes I am able to start right away and at other times it may take a week or two to get started. Often there are periods where I am unable to take new projects and I let the potential client know and offer references to other reputable designers.

After the consultation and the deposit is submitted, I begin to design drafts of the site or logo designs. Beginning to create a new design is the most time-consuming part. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to show samples. Then it goes by much more quickly and I keep the project moving at a rapid pace. One thing that effects the time frame of the website is making sure that all the content for the site is submitted and correct.

How do I submit my content and info to put on the website?

Having your content organized and finalized before you submit it is very important.  Typing and editing of text, scanning of images, and photo editing can be provided at an additional cost. Content can be uploaded via ftp, sent via email, or by snail mail on disc.

Text info:  Text info should be submitted in digital format such as a Microsoft Word (.doc), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or via email.

Photos:  Sending a few photos by email is fine. However, if there is a collection, photographs should be submitted via ftp or sent on a disc in full sized high resolution (300 dpi) files, in any of the following formats: .jpg, .gif, .png, .psd, .pdf, .tiff, .eps, and labeled accordingly.

Audio/Video:  Songs and sounds are best in .mp3 format and video in .mpg or .mov format and can be submitted via email if the file size is under 5MB. I am able to edit audio but not video at this time.

When sending a large file via email, PLEASE confirm that I have received it.

What are the design styles that you work with?

This is one of the main things discussed in the initial consultation, and I ask questions to get a clear picture of exactly what you want and would like to convey before I write up an estimate. Examples of graphics or ideas that you like helps with this process. Some of the sites I’ve done were created with very little direction in terms of design and others had more specific criteria to follow. The work in my portfolio gives an indication of the type of work that I do, which ranges from minimal to illustrative to photo collage. I am always open to try new ideas, learn new methods, and I want every project to be unique. I mainly work in HTML for website design and Photoshop or Illustrator for graphic design.

I am not very tech savvy, so how do I work on a website?

If you’re not a computer genius, that’s okay… that’s what you’re hiring someone to do for you. Aside from submitting materials and using email to communicate and view the progression of the project, you may only need to scan images or take photographs with a digital camera. Technical help is available with such things as registering domain names and/or setting up a web hosting account. Just be sure to remember your passwords and save all important info!

We are not located in the same city. Are we still able to work together?

Although it’s always great to meet clients in person, we can take care of all communcations through phone or email. Site content can be submitted via ftp, email, or snail mail. For clients who are located internationally, a great tool to avoid long distance phone charges is www.skype.com.

Will my site be listed in Google, Yahoo, and Bing?

I always put ‘meta tags’ into the code of all the webpages so that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing can read your website, therefore your website be listed when people search for you. I also provide search engine optimization services if you would like to add extra content for the web robots to search.

If people are searching by a narrower term, such as your name, you will come up quite high in the search engine listing. If they search for something more general, for example, ‘photographer’, you may come up on the 100th page. There are 2 types of information that I put into the codes of the page. At some point while we are working on the site, I will remind you that you need to submit your meta tags for me to program into the coding of the page to be read by search engines. Here is the info I will ask for:

Description tag:  This is one concise sentence describing your business. For example, if you are a photographer in Chicago, Illinois, you may want something such as:  “John Doe – Music Producer, based in Chicago, Illinois” or something like that, however you want to word it.

Keyword tags:  This is a list of words separated by commas that you think people might put into the search engine if they were looking for something and it could pertain to your business, even include misspellings. For example: “john doe, john, doe, mr. john doe, john dough, jon doe, production, music, music producer, chicago, illinois, chicago producer, music production, etc…”

As many words as you can think of, there is not a limit. Just remember to keep a running list and to separate with commas.

Do you offer future updates and site maintenance?

Yes, I do offer maintenance services for websites that I create. I charge an hourly rate, and I work quickly. For clients who would like to update their own website I always recommend a WordPress website, which is easy to edit directly online, with no extra software costs. I also provide WordPress tutoring at a hourly rate.

Do you provide web hosting or domain name registration?

Yes, Belle Media offers web hosting at $75 per year and domain registration at $15 per year. I am also able to work with whatever service you’d like to use.

There are two things needed to upload a website to your server. The first thing is to purchase your domain name or names you’d like to use. If you’ve purchased several domain names, I can program them to all forward to the server that is hosting your website.

The second thing is to purchase a web hosting plan that works for you. Sometimes you may purchase the domain names from one company and the web hosting from another. If so, I would need to go into your accounts for both companies and synch up the information. This usually takes 24-48 hours to take effect, and then we’re ready to upload!

Why isn’t my completed site listed in your portfolio?

My portfolio does not include every design that I have created. Unfortunately, it would take far too long for the portfolio section to load, so I have limited it to a number of projects that show a variety of skills in website development, illustration, animation, logo design, or actionscript programming. I do switch them out from time to time to show different works depending on what styles or features I’m promoting.