FAQ for Designers

What exactly is your role on a website project?

I come in when the visual design is complete, and ideally the content is written, and make them into a real working website. I don’t do branding, graphic design or content writing, and I’m not a project manager, but I can put you in touch with people who do all those things.

What do you need to see before providing a quote?

Ideally the final content. If you need a quote for an RFP, I can provide a range and then review it when the design is completed.

Can I provide you with Illustrator or Indesign files?

Websites are best created using Photoshop. In order for me to cut up your files as web graphics, PSD files with well-labelled layers work best.

Here is a great set of guidelines on how best to prepare Photoshop files and another great article on how designers can help developers.

What hosting providers do you recommend?

If your WordPress site is the life and blood of your business and you want the best hosting possible, look no further than WP Engine. These guys provide the best and fastest WordPress hosting.

If you’re looking for someone cheaper, you can go with Bluehost or Dreamhost.
If you’re in BC, you’ll love Vancouver-based Webnames. Not only are they reliable, they answer their phone! I highly recommend them.

Please note that if you choose Bluehost or WP Engine, I’ll get a small referral reward.

What about SEO, do you offer that service?

Good SEO is achieved by having clean code and great content. All of the websites I make are coded with SEO in mind, complete with helpful plugins. I don’t provide keyword research and can’t edit your copy for a high Google ranking, but I can connect you with people who can once I understand your needs.

Once you have the PSD, what’s the turn-around time?

It depends on the complexity of the design, the delivery schedule for the content, and if extra features like jQuery or forms are required. For simple sites without any bells and whistles and where the content is ready, a couple of days is all that is needed to go live.

Once you have the PSD, do you need anything else before you can begin?

Ideally hosting should be set up early so that I can ensure a WordPress-compatible environment with an optimal configuration.

Having the content in advance, or on a well-defined schedule, also helps: no one likes seeing a site with lorem ipsum, but you’d be surprised at how often content is left until last.

Although I can start building without content, past experience has proven that getting the content from the client is the most difficult part. Starting early and being assertive about getting content in order is the best way to ensure an on-time launch.

What do you need to install WordPress for my client?

I’ll need their FTP information and access to their hosting provider admin interface such as a cPanel.

I like the idea of a CMS, but would rather use something more robust like Drupal or Joomla?

Sorry, I simply don’t know the other platforms as well as WordPress. However, I’ve met lots of great developers and once I know what you’re looking for I can connect you with them.

Any other tips for designing a great website?

A team of web designers have collected a variety of articles on some sticky web subjects that might just help you make your point. Send your client to one of our topic pages for a quick intro, some links and a wee nudge in the right direction.