Below are some of our Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I hire you? What are the steps?
First, please take the time to read our website. Learn how we work, what types of clients we serve, our rates, and other information that you will find useful. Please have an outline for your project, including text content, photo and graphic ideas, and a wish-list for your web project. The more prepared you are, the better your experience will be.
Fill out the appropriate form on our Contact page and describe what you are looking for. Â We’ll then contact you by email to schedule a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation. Once we mutually agree to work together, we’ll send you an agreement form to sign and an invoice for your first block of pre-paid time or your desired web project. Please note that we do not start work until the agreement is signed and the invoice is paid.
What are your rates for Web Design and Consulting?
Holistic Geek works on a pre-paid retainer basis for all web design and consulting work You can pay as you go for a project with a minimum 4-hour block, or purchase larger pre-paid blocks of time at a discount. We’ll provide you with a quote for estimated time for your project needs after our initial consultation. Our current rates are:
- 4 hours – $220.00 (Great for ongoing maintenance or ”pay as you go” project management)
- 12 hours – $595.00 (A discount on a larger block of time, most suitable for the creation of a basic 5-6 page website)
- 20 hours – $895.00 (Great for businesses who need regular website updates, or who need advanced web solutions – e.g., an eStore, affiliate marketing setup, online photo galleries, or social media integration and management)
When your time is used, you can simply purchase another block of time of your choosing for any ongoing work! All 4-hour time blocks must be used within one calendar year of purchase. Larger time blocks do not carry an expiration.
All pre-paid time is tracked for you transparently on your own client portal webpage. You can track progress on tasks, view all shared documents, upload files to your web designer, and purchase additional blocks of time. A consultation and signed agreement are required before we receive any payment. Our preferred way to receive payments is through PayPal (via your PayPal account or your Credit/Debit Card).
We also accept checks and financing through PayPal’s “Bill Me Later” service. Details are provided through PayPal when you click the “Buy Now” button and process your transaction. With Bill Me Later, you will not be charged any interest if your invoice is paid in full within six months of the date of purchase.
I just have a small job or a quick fix on my website. Can you do that?
We understand that sometimes you just need a few adjustments and tweaks to your website, or perhaps you just want a small task handled. We provide this service for existing clients who purchase at least a 4-hour block of time from us. That said, our focus is primarily in creating long-term collaborative relationships with our clients. If you are looking for small project work at a lower cost (without any long-term relationship), we suggest you look at sites such as eLance, Guru, and Fiverr for these services.
Do you often have a waiting list for new projects?
On occasion we may have a waiting list to begin projects with new clients. To reserve your space in line for a larger consulting project, you will need to have a completed agreement on file with us and you will need to pay your pre-paid block of time. You are then a client of ours, and we place you at the first available spot in line to get your project completed. We strive to meet client requirements and will always be up-front about our timeframes.
Someone told me I need extra Search Engine Optimization. Do you provide Search Engine Optimization on my website?
Our Starter Plus websites contain extra plug-ins installed to help maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Not only do we populate keywords and key descriptions on your pages, but we also include an XML Sitemaps plug-in which communicates changes to the major search engines as your content changes.
With the Starter Plus plan or above, we can also place your business on Google Maps, add social sharing buttons to all of your pages, post your blog to your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts, and include other social traffic-generating items on your site. WordPress provides you with exceptional compatibility for SEO. SEO also depends on how many other online sites, blogs, or posts link back to your website. It also depends on your level of social media integration, blogging regularly, and similar content-sharing.
Why is my website not showing up on Google?
The more content you create, and the more backlinks (links to your site on other websites) there are to your site, the greater your chances of being listed and ranked higher in Google. Do you have a blog? When’s the last time you posted to that blog? Are you active in other forums or social media sites? Do you include your website address in every online service you frequent (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter posts, YouTube, Google Maps, and others)? All of these efforts will help you achieve a higher ranking in search engines. The more active you are in promoting your site through blog posts with valuable content, guest blogging, and backlinks from sites other than your own website, the better your chances will be in achieving higher Google rankings.
Also, as of April 2015, Google gives priority in rankings to sites with mobile capability. All of our web design plans (except for our low-priced Starter sites) contain plugins to enable mobile browsing.
Can I pay you a deposit to start work and pay you the rest when my website is done?
We offer a 2-payment option with larger web projects ($1500 or more in cost). We work on a pre-paid time retainer block for all other web projects or consulting. You can choose as few as four hours at a time, or you can purchase larger blocks of time (12 hours or 20 hours) at a discounted rate. All of your pre-paid time is tracked transparently in our Client Portal Page, providing you complete and real-time viewing of your remaining time. Smaller 4-hour blocks of time carry a one year expiration. Larger blocks of time (12 or more hours) when purchased in advance – do not expire, and time is only deducted when work is completed.
I really don't like my web designer right now. Can I work with you instead?
We’re so sorry you’re having a poor experience with another designer. Finding a trusted and long-term collaborative partner can be hard to find. We encourage you to take the time to speak candidly with your current designer about your issues to see if you can come to better terms. If that doesn’t work out, we’d love to chat with you about working together after you’ve let your current web designer or consultant know that you are looking elsewhere. This is an important step for us, as we value open, honest, and transparent collaboration.
Do you use a Mac or PC?
We use Macintosh for all of our website design, consulting, and cloud work. For maximum compatibility, we encourage our project management clients to use LibreOffice, an open-source alternative to Microsoft Office, if we need a common office platform. We use many cloud-based services such as Google Docs and Box.com for document management and shared files.
Why do I sometimes have issues with my website in Internet Explorer?
In some cases, we’ve noticed that some clients have problems viewing some aspects of their website in various versions of Internet Explorer. Microsoft has been known to sometimes add features and coding to their Internet Explorer browser that don’t always comply with accepted W3C web standards (which is used in WordPress). We design to these W3C standards. We’ve also seen issues occur when a virus protection program interacts with Internet Explorer on some PCs. We’re always willing to try to troubleshoot, and will attempt to create a work-around for compatibility. However, we recommend that our clients use Firefox or Google Chrome for web browsing. If you are required to use Internet Explorer, be sure to check the settings on any virus protection software you may be running (or temporarily disable virus protection, empty your web browser’s cache, and reload your site), and also check your site in another web browser.
What's malware, and why should I worry about it?
Malware, short for malicious software, is any software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. ‘Malware’ is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software that can render your website unusable. It can also use your website to spread a virus to other computers. Intrusive software can be used to capture passwords, add new users to your WordPress installation, and attempt to capture your personal information.
We notice malware attacks mostly with our clients whose websites were created before 2010 (though newer sites can also be succeptible), and the website owner or designer has not upgraded their WordPress installation and plugins to their latest versions on a regular basis.
We regularly and proactively upgrade websites for all of our clients that still have existing time with us. We keep all of our clients’ WordPress installations and plugins up to date on a rotating quarterly basis (so long as pre-paid time is available), and also offer a Protection Plus Coverage subscription to update your website monthly. Protection Plus Coverage includes a monthly malware scan, and restoration of your site (for no additional charge) should you experience a debilitating malware attack.