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WordPress Design Pricing & FAQ

I know finding the right WordPress designer can be tricky…

WordPress design pricing can be difficult to navigate. Especially if you’re not familiar with the process of building websites or the special needs of WordPress. You could ask three different designers to quote on the same project and receive a variety of price points, features and timelines.

You should always think of building a site for your business as an investment, not a cost. To that end, I’ve created this FAQ to help you understand my expertise and the value I add to all builds.

Everyone have different site needs and yours may not fit into what is describe below. Additionally, everyone has their own process – this is just mine and I’m happy to be transparent. This way, you have a foundation of what it’s like to work with me.

Who are your ideal clients?

Entrepreneurs and small businesses with existing sites (WordPress or otherwise) are my specialty. This is because there’s already content and business goals to work towards a better site iteration. You’ll see in my process that I’m about user experience and business strategy: I am not a template creator. Therefore, if you’re in tune with your current website’s strengths and shortcomings (or want to work with a professional that can help you identify them), we’re going to be able to deliver a spectacular revised site!

I do build brand new websites, but these generally come out of consulting sessions as there’s more groundwork to cover before anything should be designed.

Why do your sites start at $2500?

In short, I am not the cheapest WordPress designer, but I am one of the most thorough.

My clients want integration with their e-newsletter system. They want opt-ins and online stores. Automation so that when they write something once, the site knows how to re-purpose that content. Upgrading their target user’s experience is higher on the list than “make it pretty”. They want the site to be fast, work everywhere and do everything… yet be easy for them to use.

My specialty is revamping existing websites, so there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes setup before we even get into what the new site will look like. These items include cloning the site, switching to more optimized themes and plugins, etc. Then we get into the nitty gritty of content and design. Once everything is ready to go, again there are many details to move the site to live. These include 301 redirects (so you don’t get 404 errors!), connecting with Google Search console, etc. Phew! That’s a lot!

From a ballpark perspective, the $2,500 mark usually covers a request for 5-7 pages, blog, blog posts, full redesign, and the technical requirements of cloning and launching a new site.

What’s included in your build costs?

Each build is special, and each proposal is catered to your business needs, but here is what I include in all builds:

Mobile-first Design
Everything I build takes the mobile user into consideration first. Micromoments are when users specifically chose to look for answers to their questions on their phones, and it’s on the rise. Therefore, I believe your site should be responsive by default.

SEO Optimized
Not only do I insure the build meets all technical requirements of search engines, but I make sure your content meets all the human requirements as well. I leverage all of WordPress’s excellent SEO features to insure you’re moving towards your rank goals. 

Social Media Sharing
One-click buttons that allow your audience to share website content with their preferred social media platform.

Google Analytics + Google Search Console Integration
Add final site to both Google platforms with ability to view stats directly on the site. This includes linking your site’s search bar queries to Google Analytics.

2 Hour WordPress Training
One-on-one remote or in-person session. Training is recorded and delivered to you for future reference/training (neat, huh?).

301 Redirects of site content (under 20 pages)
Some content URL may change in wording from the current site to the final. The internet does not automatically monitor these changes, so any other site with old links will have “404 not found” to visitors when clicked.  I will set up ‘redirects’ to automatically direct visitors to the content. A lot of people forget this step!

30 days post-launch WordPress Core monitoring, plugin updates and backup service
Due to the rapidly changing nature of web technology, WordPress requires updates to keep content secure and running smoothly. I monitor the overall health of the site and keep backups of content.

What isn’t included in your building costs?

Depending on the project, I’ll often lump in special client needs into the cost, but the items below I never include in build costs (but am happy to offer them for an additional rate):

  • Hosting and email
  • Copy writing
  • Custom illustration and photography
  • Purchasing domain names, setting up email and other admin/server-related tasks

Why isn’t hosting included in your costs?

My strengths lie in design and marketing, so I leave hosting to professionals in that field. Most designers that include hosting are resellers for a most established hosting company. There is nothing wrong with this, but I have had to come to the rescue of clients whose designer disappeared along with all their hosting information.

For the safety of your business, I strongly recommend you maintain the access and renewals of your hosting and domains yourself.

I do recommend the following hosting providers as I have worked directly with them myself:

SiteGround WordPress Hosting (affiliate link)
If you’re looking for a complete package when it comes to WordPress-centered hosting, SiteGround has you covered. This hosting company has built an environment exclusive for WordPress, and includes many features other hosting companies don’t bake into the price: updates, security monitoring, dedicated backups, SSL certificates and caching. Additionally, the larger hosting packages include features such as one-click staging (ideal for ecommerce and member sites, or anyone who wants a safe place to test new functionality) and Git-Hub support! They often have great introductory pricing, and the customer service is excellent.

Maritime Method Solutions
Maritime Method Solutions is a Halifax-based company ideal for those needing economical hosting options. Non-profits are a specialty.

A Halifax-based Hosting company that packs a punch! Ethical, environmentally responsible and proudly Atlantic Canadian.

Do you build sites for less than $2500?

In select cases, I will build these sites when:

  • The site has never existed before (is brand new)
  • Is 5 pages or less
  • The content is ready to go.
  • There is no advanced functionality required (ecommerce, membership forum, etc)

Rarely do I build WordPress sites for less than $1,000. I would recommend working with a different platform such as Squarespace for that budget.

If you just need a blog and a couple of pages created, I highly recommend you attend a WordPress meetup like the one I run in Halifax and do it yourself. It can be very empowering and cost-effective!

What is your process?

Very collaborative! I don’t disappear and show up with a design that you have no connection to. I also don’t build you a site, launch it and then disappear into the reeds. There are no surprises working with me because you’re involved in every step. Generally, my process is as follows:

  1. Blind Date: We have a 30-minute phone call to see what you’re looking for, and if you’d benefit from a build or a consultation. I recommend consultations if it’s discovered a stronger web strategy needs to be in place before a redesign.
  2. Proposal: I send along a detailed proposal. It breaks out the cost of each item, timelines, what you are responsible for, what I’m responsible for, optional items I think you’d like, etc. Think of it as a-la-cart ordering. I don’t focus on final price: I list out the items I think in my professional opinion you need to meet the goals we talked about.
  3. Discover: Once the proposal is accepted, we have a two-hour meeting where I will take your existing site or content and offer professional, UI/UX proven decisions. I am going to ask you a lot of questions. Like, a lot. We are going to scribble a lot of little sketches on paper. We will leave no stone unturned.
  4. Design/Develop: Based off our meeting, I come up with live designs for you to review. That’s right: I do not make flat mock-ups. Everything I build is on a live WordPress environment. I believe you should be able to interact with my designs immediately for the best feedback. Once the designs are approved, I apply them to all other content. I don’t just create templates and tell you to implement them – I do that for you! We add in any other additional items you many want. Mailchimp signup forms, conditional-logic surveys, drag-and-drop menu items… you name it, I can do it.
  5. Deliver: I squash any bugs or glitches and insure the site is perfectly responsive. We launch and celebrate together!

What are your payment options for websites?

I accept cheque, credit cards and e-transfers (my preferred method – so fast and easy!).

Unlike some designers, I do not ask for ½ of the cost up front and then ½ when completed. I know a website build is an investment for many, and that can be a lot of cost up-front! So, I offer two payment options:

Phase by Phase: Most builds take between 3 and 5 phases, so I bill after each phase is complete and do not start on the next one until the last is paid in full. There is usually an initial payment of $400 to start a build.

Monthly: Together, we agree on a fixed monthly billing cycle. Usually in the $400/month range.

Why should I choose you over another WordPress designer?

Data Driven: Don’t assume you know what people do on your website. I don’t either. Instead, I focus on ways to capture data, and make it relate to your business goals. The web was built to measure, after all. Are you keeping track?

Design Dynamo: With over 10 years of print and digital design under my belt, I know how to translate your messaging into material that converts. I design based on ROI, not trends. The fact my work looks great is just a natural result of making sure I translate your vision into visuals, perfectly.

WordPress Wonder Woman: If WordPress was a car, I’d know how everything works under the hood, and can turn your hatchback into a hummer. Plus, I am a leader in the Canadian WordPress community and part of a network of other WordPress professionals. I know my stuff… so you don’t have to:

  • Coding and designing content for WordPress and other content management systems since 2009.
  • Providing on-site and remote training for Canadian and international clientele since 2012. My sessions cover everything from functionality on established sites to comprehensive post-launch training.
  • Well-versed in hosting and admin environments, I can troubleshoot beyond the platform itself.
  • Host of LunchPress, a weekly Facebook Live show where I cover a different topic each week and answer viewer questions live!
  • Creator and Lead organizer of WordCamp Halifax 2017, a volunteer run WordPress conference.
  • Leader of Nova Scotia’s only WordPress Meetup, a monthly event where people of all backgrounds meet to get help and share victories.

I also teach UI/UX and the basics of web design to web students at NSCC IT Campus. I have a passion for teaching accessible and successful web solutions to our future web developers and designers. Imagine what I can do for your business!

Are you a WordPress developer?

I am not. While I learned WordPress by building a theme from scratch, and I am well versed in HTML, CSS, PHP and UI/UX, I am not a WordPress developer. This means that I do not write my own scripts, create my own plugins or contribute to WordPress Core. That is a beautiful black magic all its own. I am part of a network of talented WordPress developers that help me meet my clients’ needs. If you can imagine it – I can make it happen.

Can you fix items on a WordPress site you haven’t built yourself?

I no longer retrofit existing sites or make changes to ‘premium themes’.

Why do ecommerce sites cost so much more than a regular site?

There is a misconception that an online store is the “cheap” answer to a brick and motor location. Ask any physical store owner the overhead of their business and they’ll give you a list that goes way beyond pricing their products.

The rule of thumb by most ecommerce professionals is that the cost of a safe, stable, flexible WordPress e-commerce site should be at least twice that of a site without a store.

We tend to take online shopping for granted as users. Once we become store owners ourselves, however, there are many tiny details to be worked out. Since you are dealing with people’s personal and financial information, you must be diligent in making sure everything works correctly. Otherwise, you risk a unsatisfactory shopping experience weakening customer trust of your brand or worse: compromised personal data you can be liable for.

I also have a video about questions to ask yourself before starting an ecommerce site.

I’d love to learn about your project. Fill out the form and we’ll get right to business!