User first, or user-centred design (UCD), focuses on what users need before balancing this with the technical requirements, business needs, and owner/management preferences. This approach involves user profiling (an understanding of the audience and your ideal customer), user journey mapping and usability testing. User experience (UX) becomes the primary focus, and creating the shortest path — number of clicks to the information users are most interested in — central to the design. Lightning quick page loads are also very important.
Putting the user first is an ongoing process, with course corrections that result from A/B split tests and user feedback. If increased usage and improving conversion rates are important, to improve the bottom line, user first is the ideal design approach.
Most of your visitors are likely to be visiting your site from a mobile device. We build sites that provide an excellent user experience on mobile phones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers. We test the sites we build on Mac OS and Windows computers, Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. And then we test them in Edge, Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers.
Based upon the content you will be presenting to your users, we will identify the page templates, blocks and other tools we’ll need to build or assemble to deliver that content. It will be easy to create your content, including complex landing pages, or ecommerce products. Your site will also be designed so that it can grow to where it needs to go, over the next few years.
We do our best to deliver a really fast-loading site, for the best user experience. This is an area where the client’s wish list can often make a difference, and we will advise against using some plugin extensions that can add significantly to code bloat, and reduce your site's performance.
We like to stay clear of off-the-shelf themes (unless a client has very specific requests). In order to meet the requirements of many different layouts and designs, most of the popular themes suffer from severe code bloat, which can make your site load very slowly, particularly on mobile devices. Also, off-the-shelf themes can be very limiting… so you get what you get. We believe we can provide the best user experience and custom tailored solution for you by doing a custom build.
Your WordPress pages, posts or products can be virtually as easy to create and update as a Word document.
Many web designers just install a generic WordPress training solution. Those training libraries are screencast on another website, and won’t always reflect the software combination and setup used in your own website.
Therefore, we prefer to screencast custom tutorial videos, made in the WordPress dashboard of your own website, just for you, covering all the basic edits and content additions you are likely to make on your site, step-by-step.
We're also just a phone call, text or email away, if you have a question about making edits to your site.
Many web designers and developers build the sites to be handed off for any future maintenance, with developer notes for future webmasters. That's not us.
We are in the business of building long term relationships. We have provided ongoing webmaster services to our clients for over 22 years. We offer a WordPress Care service to you with a very preferential hourly rate.
We build WordPress websites to be secure. To remain secure, they need regular backups and software updates, and at times, some tweaks to the security software.
We recommend having these completed monthly by us, as part of the WordPress Care webmaster services we offer. However, there are managed hosting and other automated 3rd party solutions that can take care of backups and even software updates, if preferred.
We build our sites to last a long time. We try to only use premium plugin extensions in our client sites, so they will be supported for a very long time. (There have been times when the customer wanted a unique feature, and we took a calculated chance on an extension we don’t have experience with, to fulfill that request.)
A well built WordPress site, like a quality car, can run for a very long time if it’s properly maintained.
We like to begin any new website with a discovery process. It’s important for us to understand your business, desired outcomes and our target audience. We then move to the wireframing / prototyping stage of the design, mapping out your site’s flow and sales funnel strategy. Once we’ve established how we’re going to attract the ideal buyers to your website, and our conversion strategy for turning those visitors into leads and customers, we can create mood boards and design mockups for your approval.
When we’re agreed on exactly what we’re building, we’ll begin the development phase. After all the menus and shell pages have been created, we’ll take a navigation walk-through, and then we can begin any copywriting, and populating the pages with content. Following the launch, it’s time to begin marketing your site, rolling out our SEO and content marketing strategy, to attract potential buyers to your site and engage them in your sales funnel.
Not every website project has all these steps, due to budget considerations and client priorities, but for maximum results, this is the process we recommend.
Yes, you will be able to add more pages and blog posts. If you order the Professional, Business or Enterprise package, they include custom screencast tutorial videos and email / phone support. You will receive complete training. Your proposal / contract will include all the details.
Unlike the majority of the other web design firms, who simply provide links to generic how-to videos online, we take the time to go through each common in-house procedure in the WordPress dashboard of your new website, teaching you step-by-step how to add and edit your own content. Most users find it about as easy as using Microsoft Word™. You will be able to re-watch your training video(s) as many times as needed over the years to come.
For the Freelance package, we're usually able to deliver your website within one week (7 calendar days)) from the start date. Our most popular package, the Professional, takes between two and three (14 - 21 calendar days) weeks to complete. On average, the Business package takes one month (30 calendar days, and the Enterprise takes 6 to 8 weeks (42 - 60 calendar days) to design and develop.
It's important to confirm our availability and scheduled start date, and estimated delivery date, in the proposal/contract we send out. If we require materials from you, like photos and text, your deliverables will have a bearing on our completion date, and the dates when we require these items from you, in order to meet our delivery dates, will be clearly specified in the proposal/contract.
Yes, on the Professional, Business and Enterprise packages, we offer a financing option. We require 1/3 down payment, and the rest of the website can be financed interest free over 12 months. All of the details will be in the proposal/contract you receive.
All websites require hosting. We will set up Media Temple 'Grid' Pro hosting for you for one year at $30.00/mo USD (which works out to around $480.00/yr CAD based upon current USD -> CAD exchange); and it's added to your down payment. You will be able to access the backend of your website with Editor access during the first year, add and edit your content.
Upon completion of the 1 year term, all of the Administrator logins will be handed over, and you can host the site wherever you like. Alternately, you can buy out the remainder of your contract at any time.
The Professional, Business and Enterprise packages include full integration with Advanced Custom Fields. ACF has proven to be the most reliable, rock solid and foolproof solution for website owners to add and edit their own content. Again, Advanced Custom Fields is included, and there is no additional charge.
That being said, we have been receiving client requests for installation of one of the popular page builder solutions instead. We will be happy to install one of these drag-and-drop page builders: Beaver Builder, Divi, Elementor, SiteOrigin, Themify Builder, or WP Bakery Page Builder. Some of these have a free version, while others charge a modest annual fee for their standard or pro version.
We don't charge anything extra for installing and configuring one of the above 3rd party page builders instead of Advanced Custom Fields, providing we know about this switch at the beginning of the project, before we build it around ACF. If there are any software costs for the page builder you've chosen, those licenses can be purchased by you directly from the respective page builder vendor. (We will need the license key forwarded to us by email, for insertion into the software, and login access so we can download the paid plugin software.) If you want us to create custom training videos for the 3rd party page builder, that's an add-on to the project.
The Professional package has become our most popular, because it offers a lot of value, with plenty of brand customization and personalization of the look and feel of the site; making it ideal for professionals in various industries. This package is a good fit for doctors, dentists, medical specialists, attorneys, accountants, consultants, professional speakers, real estate agents, developers and trades specialists.
For small to medium sized businesses, and larger corporate offices, a higher level of customization and specialized development are often required, and the Business and Enterprise packages may be a better fit.