What it’s like to build a website with Cait Newman.
If you’ve never been through the process of building a website before the whole process can be a little bit daunting. It’s also a very exciting time though as you build the digital presence of your small business.
Here I share with you what the website process will look like from beginning to end. I’ll share with you how I do things but also the reasoning behind them!
Can’t I build my own Squarespace website?
The first thing you should know is I build websites using a beautiful website building platform called Squarespace. You can absolutely use this program yourself to build your own website. But I’m guessing if you’re here it’s because you’d rather spend your time working on what you do best to build your small business and outsource the learning and building time required to someone else who can build a beautiful and fully functional website for you.
Why do I build with Squarespace? Squarespace offers a bunch of customisation and functionality without writing lots of code. There are times when I’ll use custom code to build your website if it’s called for but I know that when your site comes back to you, you don’t want to be searching through pages and pages of indecipherable code to make a simple change.
Squarespace has a super clean backend that I can teach you to navigate to make simple changes to your website without your learning hours of a programming language.
How you can get started working with Cait Newman:
Our process begins when you decide you need a new website and you fill out my contact form. I’ll ask you some simple questions to work out what sort of functionality you’re looking for, if this is your first website or if you’re updating an existing one, who your competitors are etc. This helps me to get a better overview of your business and what your needs are in your website. It also helps me get together a rough quote based on what I think your website will require.
What will we talk about in our free phone consultation?
After this I’ll give you a call. Don’t worry, it won’t be at a random time interrupting your work day! I’ll send you through a booking form and you can choose a time slot that works for you. I’ll also send you through my Intro Pack that goes over everything you need to know about building a website with me in more depth. If you go ahead and book a call this is our chance to chat about your answers from the form and work out in more detail what you’re after. We’ll decide if we’re a good fit for each other, finalise your quote and from there you can book a date for your project.
What do you mean by booking a date for our project?
This is where I differ a bit from other web designers! I won’t be juggling working on your website with five others at the same time! Your website will be getting my full attention. We’ll schedule in a date in the near future where I’ll be building your website. This process could take a couple of days for a simple one-page website through to two weeks for a multi-page, multi functionality site.
When do I pay you?
At the time you book your project dates you’ll pay a 50% non-refundable deposit and sign a contract that defines each of our responsibilities. The rest of the payment will be due on completion of your website but before your website goes live.
What do I have to give you for you to build my website?
When you book your project dates I’ll set you a little bit of homework! I’ll share a Google folder with you via Google Drive (No pressure if you’ve never done this before! I’ll show you how it works, it’s super easy!). In this folder you’ll put the beautiful photos of your business that you want me to use to build your website. No photos? No problem. I’ll show you a few sites where you can get beautiful stock images.
You’ll also create a document with links to a few websites whose style you love and a few whose style you hate! Why? Because this gives us a common design language and gives me a clearer idea of what you and your ideal customer find aesthetically pleasing. I’ll provide you with a few ideas to get started and some templates I recommend as a starting point for your website.
If you’ve ever done any branding in the past that you would like to use on your website this folder is a great place to share that too e.g. if you have a logo you’d like to appear on your website, certain font choices or certain colours they all go in here. Again, don’t panic if you don’t have these or you’re unhappy with your current branding. This is something we can update together, and I can provide you with a few new choices.
It sounds like a lot but this is the fun part where you really start to visualise how your site is going to look! I’ll send you through a checklist and a bunch of tips to help you out.
This home work is due a week before our project date starts.
This date is non negotiable. Why? Because I can’t build your website without all your pretty photos! It would just be a super boring bunch of text. Pretty much like a word document! I’m also not flexible with this date because after your project I’ll have another project booked and it’s not fair for me to push other peoples dates back. If you miss your deadline to send me your photos I’ll have to reschedule your date and it could be months away. If your dates approaching and your having trouble finding your photos or putting them in your Google Drive then contact me and I’ll talk you through it!
What happens during our project dates?
When our project date rolls around we’ll start with another quick call to reconfirm your website needs as well as your colour palette and font choices.
Then it’s time for me to get building! You won’t hear from me for a couple of days because I’ll be super busy breathing life into your new website! Again, depending on the size of your site we might have allocated a day or two or it could be a week. Once I’ve finished building your initial website I’ll send a link to you to look it over. This is where you can make revisions.
How many revisions (changes) can I make?
This is another place where I differ from most web designers. Most web designers will give you a set number of revisions. If you want to make more than that set number they charge you per revision. With me you can make as many revisions as you like within our design project dates. The quicker you send me back revisions the more revisions you get to make!
Tell me more about this lesson thing…
At the end of our project time we’ll schedule a lesson. You’ll have the option to do this via a video chat with screen sharing or alternatively you can come to my office in Brighton. I’ll show you how to navigate around your new Squarespace site and how to make changes to your content.
Whichever option you choose I’ll provide you with some step-by-step sheets on how to make these changes, so you can refer back to them at a future date.
If you’ve set up a blog I’ll show you the best practices for updating it to keep your SEO on point. If you’ll be selling your beautiful products on there I’ll show you how to create listings and manage payments. Your lesson will be tailored to you and with a background as a teacher I’ll make sure the lesson is easy to follow and that you leave feeling confident how to navigate your website!
Don’t worry, there won’t be a test!
If you have a simple website that you don’t ever want to update that’s ok too! We can skip the lesson and do our handover all online.
This is also the point where you’ll pay your remaining 50%. Once that has cleared I’ll send you full access to your shiny new website!
Do I pay you a monthly maintenance fee?
You’ll see this with a lot of web designers, but not with me! Why? Mostly because you won’t need it! If your website was built from scratch or using WordPress, then there would be ongoing maintenance things and a whole lot more we’d need to cram into our lesson! But the lovely people at Squarespace do all the internal maintenance updates and push those through to your website automatically.
If you decide later down the track you want some major changes or if you accidentally break something (It happens!) you can contact me and I can work out an hourly rate for you to patch things up or make changes based on the scale of what you’re after. For the most part though you’ll be able to update the things you need to do regularly (such as a blog) with confidence after our lesson.
So now you know how it all works are you ready to make your leap into a sparkly new website? If so enter your details on my Contact Page and I’ll send you through a form to fill out… Well you know the process! Fill out that contact form and let’s start this adventure together!