Every small business has a story, including your own. How did you get started in what you’re doing? Why did you want to start your small business? What makes you stand out from other, similar businesses? These are all part of your story.
A website is the perfect way to tell your story. People are going to the internet to find businesses and deciding if they are interested in it or not. Having a storefront on the web is just as important as your storefront on Main Street.
I would love to help your story come to life on the screen with a new website. I would love to get to know more about you and your business and to help it grow. Let’s tell your story.
How I Can Help You
Custom Web Design
Your website design is just as important as your store front — maybe even more given the internet today. I’ll work with you to give you the website design that you want that also looks good, has the important information on it and tells your story in the best way possible. By the end, you’ll have a site that you’ll be proud of, eager to show off and that will help your business grow.
Focus on the Story
Your story about your business is one of the most powerful assets you have as a small business owner. You have expertise in an area, and you have a passion for it. You can come as more personal than bigger businesses. So while we work through building this new site together, the focus will always be on the story. How can we best tell it through the design, copy and even multimedia. The story of you and your small business will always be the first priority.
Set You up to Grow
Your business right now might be kind of small. And obviously, if you’re looking for a new site, you’re wanting to grow your business too. Your site needs to be able to scale up as business grows. That’s just what you’ll get. I’ll work to build a website that can grow, whether that’s building a store to show and sell your products or just simply adding a blog. This will be a site that will last you years.
Sample Project Timeline
Projects like a new website take time. Here’s a sample project to give a sense of how long your site will take. The actual site might take longer or shorter than what’s listed here based on the actual scope of the project.
2 - 3 Weeks
I want to make sure the website I build for you meets your needs perfectly. So in order to do that, I’ll need to know your story and your needs. So we’ll spend the first first couple of weeks discovering what you want this website to do. If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I would love to come and visit your small business so I can learn more about it and help better shape the story.
2 - 4 Weeks
Once I know more about your story and your needs, we’ll move into the design phase. Here I’ll take what we’ve talked about and transform it to an actual design. The focus will always be on your story, while also including important information, ideas you have about the design and today’s modern design standards. And don’t worry, we’ll go over any changes and edits you want before moving onto the next phase.
3 - 5 Weeks
Once we have a design that we’re happy with, it’s time to put it actually on the page. I’ll work with my knowledge of web development and WordPress to make the design come to life on the screen. We’ll make edits to make it perfect, and we’ll test to make sure it’s ready to go.
Content and Review
1 - 2 Weeks
Finally, we’ll add in the content to start and review the site many times over so that we’re both happy with how it looks. In this stage, we’ll also talk about content strategy so that you can continue to tell your story down the line. We’ll also discuss web hosting and site management.
Now we take the site live. You’re happy with it. I’m happy with it. You’re showing it off to your friends, families and customers. And business, hopefully, will be booming.
Why Use WordPress?
I exclusively use WordPress to build websites these days. While obviously Wix and Squarespace are fine as a starter, nothing compares to the power that WordPress gives to developers and site owners.
Now, of course because, whether it’s time or money. So if you’re just starting out with your business and don’t have the cash for a full-fledged website, Wix and Squarespace are good places to get your name on the web. But if you’re more established and can afford to expand your presence online, why wouldn’t WordPress be your first choice.
Here’s why I use WordPress and how it will help your site:
You Own the Code
While Wix and Squarespace have nice tools to create webpages, ultimately, the code for your site isn’t owned by you. Instead, they own it. So if they go under or you want to move away from them, good luck getting the code for your site so you can migrate it. On the other hand, WordPress is open source, meaning . If WordPress was to go away tomorrow, your site would still be running and you would still have access to all of your code.
A Website the Way You Want It
Sure, Wix and Squarespace have drag-and-drop editors so you can make your site yours. But you can’t really make many customizations to get your site to stand out from the crowd. With WordPress, you can create the site that looks and behaves the way you want. Of course, custom designs will cost you time if you have the know-how, or money if you need to pay someone for it. But the end result is going to be head and shoulders above what you could get with site builders. And your site will stand out from the rest of the competition.
On a similar note, making changes to your site in WordPress is vastly superior to Wix and Squarespace. In WordPress, a couple of changes to the CSS and PHP can make big changes. With the other site builders, it can take a lot of time poking around the editor to figure out how to make one change. Time is money after all. And again, you’re not limited at all with what you can do on WordPress.
Best for Blogging and SEO
Wix and Squarespace have added blogging capabilities, but WordPress is a full-fledged content management system. Blogging is how WordPress started after all. Any good site is going to have some blogging to help out the SEO, and WordPress makes blogging quick and easy. And through the ability to actually add in needed HTML and add powerful plugins, your SEO on WordPress is going to be much higher and easier than with the other site builders.
Work I've Done for Others
Ascension Lutheran Church
Ascension Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., knew they needed to do something with their website, so they turned to Faith Growth Inc. for help. And in April 2016, their new site went live with positive reception.
My part in this project was mainly focused on the front end. I was tasked with making the website look like the designs the church had approved. This involved working within the Genesis and Foundation framework to get the elements positioned correctly. One of the biggest CSS skills I learned from this project was how to get a mask or filter over background images to make text readable and create a cool effect. I also did some back-end work, creating and implementing some Advanced Custom Fields and making the templates work from a PHP standpoint.
The most challenging part of the build for me was getting the horizontal dropdown menus to work since that’s not a typical design element and something I haven’t had a lot of experience with.
All in all, this was a fun site to work on and I left feeling more confident as a front-end developer.
I also wrote a case study on our work with Ascension which also included a new communications plan as well as the website. I sifted through documentation between Faith Growth and Ascension and interviewed Christopher Harris, the owner of Faith Growth, and several members of the congregation. In the end, I was able to tell the story of how this site came together and how it has helped the church. This case study will be used to convince prospective customers that Faith Growth can help them achieve their goals.View Website Read Case Study
Ascension Lutheran Church
For this project I spent most of my time on the front end making the site match the designs the client approved. While the designs look simple, implementing them on the page proved to be a bit of a challenge. The front page was especially challenging given the full-width nature of the design. I had to make a number of changes to the Foundation framework we use in order to make it work.
I also had a challenge designing the menu given how it was designed. I learned how to center items vertically with flex which is something I had been trying to learn for a while. I also worked some in the backend, making sure the PHP worked and creating and implementing Advanced Custom Fields.
Overall, this project helped me become even more confident in my front end skills and I feel like I can implement any design I’m asked to.View Website
Forde Law Offices
Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana Synod
This website proved to be challenging in a couple of different ways.
First off, while the design looks amazing, it turned out to be tough to match. The most difficult part was getting the breadcrumbs section at the top of each page to be correct. While Genesis comes with a breadcrumbs function built in, it didn’t provide us with what we were looking for. So I ended up building a breadcrumbs function completely from scratch to match the design.
Also challenging on the design was getting the single post template correct. The design called for the width for paragraphs and other typographical elements to be not as wide as other elements, so getting all of the elements to cooperate was a fun task.
But the bigger challenge came in the backend. The NTNL Synod previously had a website and a separate database with all of the information of the different pastors, laypeople, churches and other organizations. For their new website, they wanted to combine all of that into one database on their website. So the challenge turned out to be how to organize all of that on the website. We settled on using custom post types and Advanced Custom Fields. It took us about a week to come up with all of the fields that would be needed to suit their needs. Fortunately, after working on Wooden & McLaughlin earlier in the year, connecting the data wasn’t too much of a challenge.
I also wrote a case study for Faith Growth on the work that we did for the synod. Work on this case study included going through documentation between Faith Growth and NTNL and interviewing Christopher Harris, owner of Faith Growth, and several NTNL staff members. Through this, I was able to write a study that clearly showed how we, at Faith Growth, were able to create a website that showcased their needs.
Overall, this was a very fun project to work on as well as a personal one. I was a member of the synod until September 2016, and I know plenty of people in the synod. It felt amazing to give them a cool-looking website and an organized back end so they can carry out their mission.View Website View Case Study
Northern Texas - Northern Louisiana Synod
Wooden & McLaughlin
This website proved to be challenging in two ways.
The first challenge was getting the website to look exactly like the designs that the client approved. From the start of the project, I knew the designs would be winners, but we would have to fiddle around with Foundation and Genesis. The page title sections ended up being the toughest part to design. It required trying to find the right Genesis hook so that we could easily take it full width. Also challenging was getting the sidebars and content to lineup on all of the single post templates. That required jQuery to compare heights to the article div and the sidebar and make the shorter one match the taller one. It was tough, but it was worth it in the end.
The other challenge was connecting the practices, industries served, lawyers and posts to each other. The practices, industries and lawyers were each their own custom post type and we used Advanced Custom Fields to add the relationships between all of them and the posts. The tricky part came in making those connections in the PHP code. Fortunately, WordPress’ custom queries helped in this case as we were able to pull posts in based off of the ids of the practices, industries and lawyers involved.
Overall, this was a fun website to build. It pushed me to learn how to build relationships between the data and to learn CSS deeper in order to match the really cool design.View Website
Wooden McLaughlin, LLP
A website isn’t just a singular thing that is created and then set aside. Instead, it’s a living thing that changes as time goes on. WordPress changes. The plugins used change. Even web design standards change.
So I offer continual site care for your website so that you don’t have to stress about what your website is doing. Here’s what I offer:
Web hosting can be very fickle. Finding a host that . I host all of my sites on WP Engine, which is built to run WordPress websites. It features back ups, in case something goes wrong, and tools to help speed up your site and many, many other helpful tools. You will never have to worry about your site’s host again.
WordPress updates and plugin updates come out all of the time. Updating them all can be a job itself. But you don’t have to worry about those updates. I’ll go in once a week to update WordPress core and any plugins and make sure they’re not going to break your site. That brings great peace of mind for you.
No Worries if Something Breaks
Sites break. It happens. Sometimes a change to WordPress or a plugin breaks something that wasn’t expected. But you won’t need to worry about that. If something breaks or if the site gets hacked, I’ll go in and fix it with no additional cost for you.
10 Hours of Small Tweeks
Things get changed all the time. Want to change the color of the menu? Did you update the font for your business and need to make the same change on the website? No worries. You’ll have 10 hours a month for those small tweaks to make your site look even better.
Let's Get Started
So what do you say? Let’s get the ball rolling on your project. Please fill out the brief questionnaire below so that I can learn more about you and your project. You’ll then be receiving an email with more information about me so you can determine if this is the right fit for you. If it is, then let’s schedule a call to talk more about the project!
Small Business Blog
A case for writing case studies
July 2, 2018
You can talk about your business is, what you do and how much it costs. But case studies are an extremely effective way to show prospective customers what you exactly do and what others think about what you do.Read This Post
Why small businesses should be blogging
May 30, 2018
Every business, small or large, should have a website. But does every business need to be blogging? The answer is kind of fuzzy, but I’m going to have to say: yes.Read This Post
Why you should use WordPress for your small business website
May 23, 2018
So you need a website for your small business. What do you use to build your site with? If you have the resources, you should be using WordPress to build that website.Read This Post