Once we have the letter of agreement and initial invoice taken care of, I will send you a welcome email with instructions on several pre-project tasks. This will be the heaviest lifting needed from you throughout the project. You will send me photos of your work, complete a brand discovery worksheet, gather testimonials, and make a list of traits you like from existing websites.
Session #1: Website planning
At this point, you will have finished the pre-project tasks. In this first full session together, we will review the project goals and expectations. We will review your answers to the branding discovery worksheet and discuss how to present you to the world. Then we will plan what your new website should look and feel like. After this session, I will create the basic structure of the website (“the bones” of the new website) and send to you for approval and feedback so I can make revisions before session #2.
Session #2: Content planning
At this point, we have “the bones” of your new website approved, and our focus turns to the content of your new website. Because we’ll have the structure and layout of your site complete, we will know what sections we need content for. Sometimes, I suggest recording parts of these sessions so I can go back and use words you’ve used to describe certain things. This helps me write the new website in a way that feels authentic to your brand. After this session, I write the content and send to you for feedback.
Session #3: Refining
At this point, your new website is designed, built, and written. In this third session, together we will go through the site together and make finer enhancements and revisions as needed to ensure it reflects your business and your brand. After this session, I will tag website for SEO in preparation for launch. This is also a time for you to sit with the site, share it with friends, and make any last requests for revisions. Then, I will make the site live.
Session #4: Closing
At this point, your new website is completely designed, built, written, optimized, and launched. In this closing session, we will review how you can make basic updates to your site and how you can hire me to make more advanced updates as needed.
*Note that sometimes more than one session is needed to finish certain steps of the process, depending on the complexity of your website and the flow of working together.
Frequently asked questions
What platform do you design on?
I design on Squarespace – one of the most popular website platforms for interior designers. View details about Squarespace here: https://squarespace.com/
How much is the Squarespace monthly hosting fee?
View hosting fee details here: https://www.squarespace.com/pricing (most interior designers need the “business” level hosting package.
How do website updates work? How easy is it for me to update my own website after launch?
Because I build on the client friendly Squarespace platform, your website is able to easily evolve with your business. Clients who are comfortable using a computer can do basic tweaks and modifications to their site after launch without relying on a designer. For more advanced updates, I offer website updates as an hourly service.
How long does it take?
Typically 6-12 weeks, depending on the complexity of the site. The process is organized into 4 core sessions, 3 hours each.
What’s needed from me?
The most important thing I need from you is to send me photos of your work and provide feedback.
Who writes the content?
I offer to help with the writing of the website. Writing/editing is one of my super powers. I will help you articulate your business in words, including your services, process, and design philosophy. My work with dozens of interior designers helps me help you identify what sets you apart.
What if I don’t have a logo yet?
No problem. It’s not necessary to have a logo, although if you are ready to invest in one, I can help you create one.
What will happen to my old website?
Your old website is literally a collection of files on a server. After launching your new website, subscription to your old server can be discontinued. The essence of your website is the content itself. Think of a website redesign as transcribing words from an old tattered book into a freshly bound book. The essence of the book is the words, not the pages they are printed on.
Can I keep my current domain name?
Absolutely. Your domain name can be pointed to your new website at the time of launch. Note that your old website hosting will no longer be necessary. I build on the Squarespace platform, which hosts all its websites on it's own reliable servers.
I'm not an interior designer. Can you still help me?
Yes. While I do specialize in interior designers and other creative professionals, I am able work with other creatives such as architects and photographers. Shoot me an email to inquire.
Will my new website look good on mobile phones?
One hundred percent. All my websites adjust to any device. Try it for yourself. Open any website in my portfolio on your mobile phone.
Will I be able to keep the SEO juice (search engine optimization) I’ve built up with my current website?
Yes. SEO juice is contained in the URLs of your website, not in the actual files of your old website. When we redesign your website, we will take care to use the same URLs are your current site in order to avoid losing any SEO juice.
Why pay a web designer when there are free options?
For the same reason someone might prefer to pay an interior designer to design their home rather than doing it themselves: expertise and execution. Also, what I offer goes beyond just the design of your website. I can also help you with brand identity and copywriting.
Can another web designer work on a site after launch?
Easily. Many designers are now familiar with the Squarespace platform, and sharing access through the Squarespace backend requires merely a click.
What if i'm oblivious to all things website related?
My clients may have varying levels of web knowledge and sometimes don't even know which questions to start with. Rest assured, I'm here to help.
Do you do SEO for the site?
Yes, when I launch a website, I SEO optimize the site with basic best practices. These basic best practices ensure that your website is tagged appropriately in all places. However, note that these tags alone are not sufficient to get you into Google's top organic search results. Google doesn't work that way. If it were as easy as tagging a site, then we'd have plenty of un-proven websites showing up in top results. Google is a popularity contest, and it's not possible to fake one's way to the top.
To get into the Google's top organic search results, a meaningful SEO strategy includes creating regular content creation (via a blog) as well as establishing what are called "back-links" to your website from reputable websites.
However, note that SEO is not the only line of online marketing, and often it is not even the most productive line of online marketing for interior designers. Other lines of online marketing include building Google reviews for your Google business page (which helps you appear in the top listings of a Google Maps search (which actually appears just above Google's organic search results on the front page), creating meaningful organic content on social media, creating a paid Facebook/Instagram campaign, and creating a paid Google Adword campaign. All these can yield better "bang for your buck" than the investment necessary to actually get into Google's top organic search results.
So to answer your question: yes, I use SEO basic best practices, but no these basics alone are not sufficient to get into Google's top organic search results. After designing and launching your new website, I can help you create a sustainable SEO plan, and if you’d like I can recommend several SEO specialists to help you execute a comprehensive online strategy.