Common questions & their answers GENERAL WEB DESIGN PAYMENT GENERAL How do we get started? Most projects begin with a chat during which we'll zero in on your needs and find a price + payment terms that fit your budget. For web projects, you can get a head start by downloading the Website Planning Guide as soon as possible. You can get the ball rolling by completing the "Start Your Project" form here. When can we start my project? That depends on the current state of my project calendar. Typically, new projects start 2 - 4 weeks out. I reserve a day in my schedule every 7 -10 days to complete maintenance tasks and edits. I recommend giving new website projects at least two weeks of lead time so you can focus on completing the Website Prep Guide. However, if you've downloaded & completed it already, get in touch. We may be able to sneak you to the front of the line. All Build Days and project start dates are tentative until the set up fee or deposit is paid. Where are you located? I'm based in Chewelah, Washington which is a tiny town tucked into the beautiful Inland Northwest. But I have clients all around the globe. Whether you're in Spokane, Washington or Wellington, New Zealand the design process is the same. What is your preferred method of communication? There are definitely occasions when voice communication like a phone call or a Zoom call will be our best option. Any other communications can be sent using the Send a Message form here. Can I hire you on retainer? I do occasionally work on retainer. I prefer to only enter retainer agreements with clients who have established a good working relationship. If we find we're doing a lot of work together, I'll typically suggest that a retainer will save you money and hassle. If you're interested in talking about a retainer, let me know. What is the difference between a concept and a revision? Design concepts will provide you with several different creative directions or ideas to choose from. I offer a number of concepts or versions depending on your design package. Once you have narrowed down the options to one or two of your favorite concepts, I begin to refine your choice. This refining is called design revisions. It can include slight changes to the color palette, iconography, typography, and proportions. Revisions typically do not involve changing the main concept of the design itself. What is a revision round? Once we agree on the conceptual direction for your design, I offer a number of revision rounds based on your design package. A round refers to the feedback - implementation - presentation loop. Before a revision round, you'll provide feedback on the concept. I'll interpret & implement that feedback in the form of edits. Then I'll present the updated design as Revision 1. At this point, all feedback is added to the to do list for Revision Round 2. This loop continues until you are happy with your design. A revision round happens each time I apply your suggested edits to a design. So, it will help both of us if you collect all of your feedback into one list with as much detail, clarity, & examples as possible. What if I need more revisions? Or more concepts? If you "run out" of revision rounds or if you would like to be presented with entirely new concepts, more can be purchased. The price depends on the type of project. WEB DESIGN What is a responsive website? A responsive website is designed to automatically adjust according to your visitor's screen size. The site is designed to look beautiful & function properly across devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone). Will I be able to update my own site content? Absolutely! If you can place an order on Amazon or send an email, then you have the necessary skills to manage the content of your new website. I'll teach you the basics and make sure you're comfortable with the content management system. Do I have to host my website with you? If you are on a Website as a Service contract, then yes I do require that we host the website...at least until the end of your contract term at which point ownership is transferred to you. If you're paying with standard payment terms, your price includes 90 days of hosting. I strongly recommend that you start a site care plan after that. Please get in touch if you're considering migrating your website to your own hosting account. I can clarify what that means for your continued costs (themes, plugins, etc) and recommend a few hosting services that I trust implicitly. Will you also host my email accounts? No. Mindmeld Creative does not host email accounts. I recommend setting up your @yourwebsite.com email addresses with your registrar's webmail service (my opinion: Namecheap is the best). Another great option is to use an email service like G-Suite from Google or Rackspace Email Hosting. For most small businesses and organizations, this will be $2 - $5 per month. All of those services make the process fairly straightforward if you follow the steps they've provided. Do you need my content before we start building the site? Yes. The content is the most important part of your website. The site is designed & developed to showcase your content. The first step in the site design process is to consider the overall goal of your website so we can work together to create the site architecture and user interface that will be able to achieve that goal. Can you help me plan my site? Absolutely. I have a tried and true website strategic planning process to take make everything as stress-free as possible. Can you help me source gorgeous images and photos for my site? Yes. I love sourcing just the right images to convey just the right message! Each site design package includes a certain number of photos that I can source for you. I can find more for an additional fee of $15 per photo. Do you provide copy writing? No. You know your business better than anyone. So, I encourage you to write the initial copy yourself. However, I can provide copy editing and refinement for an additional fee. I can help by massaging the words you've written, making sure that your site not only looks and functions great, but also reads well. If you aren't comfortable writing your own website copy, I can make a recommendation for a professional copywriter. Do you do SEO? Mindmeld Creative does not provide search engine optimization services (SEO). Your site will include the tools necessary to manage your own basic SEO needs. Most website packages do include the set up and configuration of the basics of your SEO tools. Still, if you have more advanced needs (like page redirects, site migrations, guaranteed ranking, etc), I highly recommend you consult an SEO professional. PAYMENT What are standard payment terms? Standard payment terms are available for projects over $500. You'll split your project costs into four equal payments. The 25% deposit will get your project in my schedule. While waiting for your project start date, you can focus on completing the Website Planning Questionnaire. The second 25% payment is due when your project officially begins. I'm usually booked out 3 - 6 weeks in advance. This essentially breaks my 50% deposit into two manageable payments. The third 25% payment is due when you've approved the design for your website. This is when we'll transition into the development phase. This is also your deadline for providing the content for your website. The final 25% is payable when you give the approval to launch your website or 45 days after your project start date, whichever comes sooner. I include 60 days of hosting & site care with Standard Payment terms. After 60 days, you'll either pay $45 per month for Hosting & Site Care or migrate the site to your own hosting. What if my project takes longer than 30 days to complete? Website projects taking longer than 45 days will be charged a monthly continuation fee. On day 45, I’ll send an invoice for the $325 fee. I’ll send this invoice every month until website launch. Yes, I know this fee is prohibitive. It's meant to be. This policy is in place to avoid bottlenecks & long-lead times in my project calendar. To avoid continuation fees, you are encouraged to clear time in your schedule during your project so you can provide feedback and meet any deadlines that might delay the project. Delays are more likely if we start your project with an incomplete Website Planning Questionnaire, if you're are unavailable to collaborate or provide quick & actionable feedback, or if you are indecisive about your design...requiring many time-consuming revisions. The moral of this story is to be prepared, be available, and never, ever, ever utter the words "I'll know it when I see it" to your designer. How do payment plans for graphic design services work? I understand that you may not have a few thousand dollars laying around to drop on a book launch, business branding project, or a social media campaign. This is why I offer standard payment terms and payment plans available to my clients. Most design projects over $500 can be paid with payment terms or a payment plan. Your project proposal will include a few payment options and the terms/details for each option. Can I get a refund if I change my mind? I do not offer refunds for website design or graphic design services. There is one exception. If you've made a 50% deposit under the standard payment terms and you change your mind, you can get 50% of your deposit (25% of the project) refunded to you if you cancel your project in writing (via email is ideal) at least 7 business days before your project start date or website Build Day. The 25% deposits for Partial.ly payment plans are non-refundable. Website as a Service setup fees are non-refundable. Automatic payments might be refundable. If you have a WaaS or payment plan agreement and if you cancel your project in writing (via email is ideal) at least 7 business days before your project start date or website Build Day, you will be refunded any automatic payments that may have been paid in the time between paying your setup fee/deposit and your start date/Build Day. You will be able to avoid additional payments by cancelling your Partial.ly agreement as early as possible.