That is wonderful, that you were able to build your website yourself! I am all about DIY. I even recently launched a DIY Website Builder for people that like to take life by the horns, like you! I want to help empower more people to do exactly what you did.
Unfortunately, most people simply do not have the time, tools, or talent to build their own website. Yes, there is a cost involved in getting a website built by a professional. But, in most cases, the cost is dwarfed by the quality of work and time saved. I can do my own accounting as well, but it is cost effective for me to pay my CPA. Time is money.
Also, there are many security exploits in WordPress. By having a professional build your site, you can have much more confidence in the security of your site.
Many people think they have a design eye, but few can actually produce what they see in their head. Web design is a craft just like any other. Many of my DIY Website clients have built sites that look like they built it. They do not look like a professional built it. There is a difference. Those difference could mean thousands of dollars of revenue lost by your business. Think about it. You look for a service online. You find two. Both do exactly the same thing for the same price. One of them looks better and is easier to navigate. Which would you choose?
We make it look easy, but there is much more happening behind the scenes to make the site fast, responsive, secure, and intuitive to users. Not to mention all of the SEO features that we build in to make Google happy and get you ranked higher.
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For sure! One example that comes to mind is when a client asked me to invoice them every month. Initially, I only billed my clients if they requested something. Usually, the requests would be: create a new page on their website or change a header image. Each time, they would contact me and make the request. I would always be sure to quote the estimated cost for the change. If the quoted amount matched their budget, they would ask me to proceed. Sometimes they would tell me that they would need to wait a month or two to afford the change. I was always understanding in those situations. I thought this was the best way for them to get changes to their site and know they cost beforehand. It turns out, I was wrong. "I don't want to be the guy at the fancy restaurant that keeps asking how much everything is." I was flattered that my client thought of my business like a fancy restaurant but surprised at how I made them feel. My clients did not want to be embarrassed if the quoted amount was too much. I had no idea that it felt that way! I was not trying to shame them. About a year ago, a client called me and asked if they could pay me every month whether or not I did any work for them. This sounded crazy to me. Why would they want to pay me for nothing? That is not what they meant. The idea was simple, my client would pay me a small amount each month and then if and when they needed something minor changed on their site, it would simply be included in this monthly support and maintenance. Now, I offer several different levels of Support & Maintenance. I'm pretty sure that I make more money this way, but I'm very sure that my clients are happier.
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Thank you for your comment. You make an excellent point. Clear expectations are huge, especially when it comes to the scope of the project. I have several milestones that I put in place to be sure that my client and I are on the same page. I like to start with what I call roadmapping. I have found that many people that come to me don't really know what they want or how to articulate it. Roadmapping helps to map out the project and desired outcome. I use it as the playbook to build the site. The second thing that I like to do is wireframe out each page. I am able to visualize a completed project while looking at a blank screen. But, I have found that most people do not have that ability. By wireframing each page, I am able to quickly sketch out the basic features, feel, and flow of the website. All changes are able to be made quickly and cost effectively. Then, I use the wireframes as the blueprints of the website. I prefer wireframes over mockups at this stage because many people get distracted by colors, images, and lorum ipsum. By simply sketching things out in a wireframe, we remove all of those distractions. I work very hard to bring as much transparency as possible. It is a difficult thing to do. Sometimes I feel like I am explaining too much. I don't want to overwhelm my clients, but I do want them to be informed and know as much as they can about their website before, during, and after the project is completed.
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I build websites for companies. I want to acentuate the postive and minimize the negative aspects of working with someone like me. What are some things that I should always remember to do? What are some bad experiences that you've had?
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True. I don't just talk at my clients. I talk to them, but I also listen. I have learned more about business from my clients that any other source. They were smart enough to form a business relationship with me...they must know something
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