Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a website?
That depends. If you have a genuine business and you’re serious about being successful, the answer is yes. If you’re a talented artist or writer and want a “living archive” to display and share your work, yes again. But if you just want a website because someone said you should, please wait until you’ve got something relevant to share — There’s too much junk out there already.
Could I build a website myself?
Absolutely. There are dozens of semi-automated web-building tools out there to help you do just that. However, keep in mind that after the site is built, it needs to be managed. That means performance monitoring, security, backups, updates, additions, revisions, and fixing things.
What exactly do you do?
We design and build websites for small to medium sized businesses. We specialize in creating visual interfaces (the things people see) that are both useful and easy to use. We rarely do ecommerce sites.
Do you also do application programming?
Who do you like to work with?
We work with smart clients who understand that it’s the customer, not organization charts or office politics, that matters most. These clients are hard to find, so when we get them we treat them well.
How much do you charge?
Typically between $5,000 and $20,000. Don’t freak out just yet. There are a lot of variables.
Do you work alone?
Usually. Sometimes we work with trusted outside partners who can provide a specific skill or expertise that we need. To be clear, when you hire us, you get us — not a flaky subcontractor, or one of our freelance buddies. If we ever use outside sources, you’ll be the first to know.
What is “responsive” web design?
Responsive design is a methodology for creating websites that will provide a useful human user experience, regardless of the viewing device. Responsive design has been around for a while now, and is pretty much a standard feature of any new website. If you find yourself working with a designer who disagrees, find another designer.
Do you offer copywriting services?
We frequently provide content suggestions, and we do occasionally edit copy to make it more suitable for online consumption. That said, we highly recommend working with a dedicated, professional copywriter. Content is not the place to skimp on your budget.
How does a typical work relationship begin?
We start by asking you some simple questions. We try to learn all about your company, your goals and your customers. This is usually done via email or over the phone. Once we have a solid understanding of what you need, we’ll put together a plan and get to work.
Do you offer web hosting services?
We usually don’t offer hosting services, but we have very strong opinions on the subject. In fact, most of our design and service agreements require the use of a specific host. This is more for the client’s benefit than ours. The choice of a web host directly impacts performance, reliability, scalability, and security. Other than design, it’s the most important decision you’ll make.
To be clear, we don’t build websites to run on $5-a-month hosting services. If that’s what you’re looking for, you came to the wrong place. Currently, we only build and manage WordPress sites that are hosted by WP Engine. We don’t profit from this relationship — They’re just splendid at what they do.
Where do you find most of your clients?
The majority of our new business is referred by existing clients. We’d like to keep it this way.
Do you work with clients outside of Northern California?
We do. The Internet has pretty much eliminated the distance barrier when it comes to communication and production workflow. Wherever you’re located, locally or globally, we’d be happy to help you.
Can you build a website that will “dazzle” my customers?
Probably, but a lot of dazzled customers never come back because they never found what they were looking for. The purpose of a website isn’t to impress visitors, it’s to create customers. We believe in simple, elegant websites that are easy to maintain and a pleasure to use. This rarely involves anything that pops up, plays without warning, blinks, crawls, makes noise, or moves around the screen.
Who the hell is Ern Berck?
He’s a blacksmith. Learn more about him here.