Frequent Questions

How much will this cost?

While this is by far the most common question asked of any designer, there’s really no set answer until I know what I’ll be doing. Every client has different needs and you’ll receive a quote once I better understand your project. Some of the services I provide do have set fees and price ranges, which you can find in my Service Matrix.

How long will this take?

This is probably the second most common question asked of designers. I know vague answers aren’t what you’re looking for, but design isn’t some commodity item like salt. Every need is custom and every project is tailor-made for the client. The timeframe for your project will depend on its size and complexity and I’m quite accurate with time estimates. I strive to complete web projects on time but there are occasions where the estimated date will have to shift to accommodate any hurdles, delays in feedback, or change requests.

To give you some idea, blog designs generally take 7-10 days to complete and websites can take 2-3 weeks. This time will adjust accordingly for larger projects and if there are any heavy customization requirements. While I can expedite the project if your needs are pressing, I’ll never sacrifice the quality of a design in consideration of speed. I don’t just want to slam out as many sites as possible, I want to deliver something we can both be proud of.

Which platforms and WordPress themes do you work with?

For platforms, I try to focus entirely on WordPress because it’s where the bulk of my expertise lies. While I’m familiar with Joomla, Magento, Blogger, and other platforms, my rates are typically lower with WordPress due to the speed and efficiency in which I can work.

As for WordPress, I’ve customized dozens of different themes but I design almost exclusively for the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. The quoted blog package rates you see on my Service Matrix page assumes Genesis is used. Should you require a different third-party theme or something entirely from scratch, the rate would adjust accordingly.

I don’t have a clue what I want, can you help me?

Yes! I pride myself in my ability to take fragments and scraps from clients’ minds and create what they were trying to convey. Between my questionnaire and our initial phone conversation, I’m certain you’ll be among those who are amazed at my ability to bring your ideas to life. Even if your ideas are vague and open-ended.

It’s rare when someone comes along who knows exactly what they want or need. In most cases, the general idea is formed but the client needs a creative type to help them visualize it. One of the benefits of working with me is that I can provide ideas, insight, and recommendations to help you get the most from your project. Even if you don’t know what you want, I can help you figure it out.

How backed up are you? If I book today, when would you start?

This depends on how large your project is. I always leave ample time in my schedule to allow for emergencies, family obligations, and smaller project requests. If you just need a few images, some design tweaks, a business card, etc., I can typically have them turned around in 1-3 days, sometimes the very same day. For larger projects, I rely on a project queue as I promised myself that I’d never overbook and get overwhelmed again. It was a valuable lesson and one I will not repeat. When you contact me about your project, I can provide you with a project commencement estimate.

Can I jump ahead of someone in queue if I make it worth your while?

Yes, I do offer an Expedited Design option where you can jump to the front of the queue. Clients already in queue are unaffected because I simply work on your project off-hours (nights, weekends, holidays) to get it done for you. There is an additional fee of $250 to jump the queue and this is due when the initial 50% is paid to commence. Expedited blog designs will be completed in 3-7 days, sometimes faster, assuming you are fast with feedback and revisions. Expedited print media and website designs will be given a time estimate before starting.

I know you design blogs and websites but can you also design print materials like business cards, stickers, and postcards for me?

Absolutely! You can see the full list of capabilities on my Service Matrix page but I can pretty much do anything related to blog design (full sites, graphic elements, theme customization), site design (full sites, landing pages, graphic design), print media (brochures, business cards, print ads), and online marketing (SEO, advertising, email marketing).

How and when do I pay?

You will receive an invoice once your project is booked and/or completed. While PayPal is my payment processor you can use any major credit card should you not have a PayPal account. For small projects, nothing is due up front. I’ll simply email an invoice upon completion. Understand that payment is due upon the provision of the invoice. As a freelancer who trades time for salary, I can’t accommodate Net 5, Net 15, or Net 30 requests. For larger projects such as site designs and redesigns, I typically require 50% to commence and 50% upon completion.

How does the design process work?

For small projects like simple images and tweaks, I’ll simply gather the details of what you need, provide a quote, and do the work upon your say so. For larger projects like blog designs, websites, and print materials, I follow a proven design process, which you can view here.

Due to your schedule we’re not actually starting my project for several weeks. Do I still need to pay 50% to get on the schedule?

No. If my queue has a waiting list due to client demand, I only require a booking reservation of $100 to hold your place on the schedule. Once your project is up in the queue, you’ll be invoiced for the balance of the initial 50% to commence.

Can I make changes to the design once it’s in progress?

Yes, it happens, but there are limits. While I always want you to be thrilled with the design, it really depends on how far into the process we are. If we’re still in the conceptual phase or I’ve only completed the rough design outline, no problem! But if you have changes after an area or element has already been approved, a small charge may apply to compensate for the time involved in the change. Changes to the project scope, functions, and any additions are not included in the rate. Sometimes a change that seems simple and easy actually requires a chunk of time to perform. It all just comes down to time.

When I hire you to do my redesign, is it an “all-inclusive no matter what I want for the rest of my life” design package?

No. I do my best to list everything that’s included when doing a design or redesign and I prefer to stick within that scope. Changes and tweaks are fine within reason, but I made the mistake of honoring every little request and “let me see how this would look” suggestion once before and it cost me more than 15 hours in additional unpaid time. Thereby pushing clients on the schedule to where it took more than a week to catch up. Typically, designs settle in around 8-14 hours in total. This particular project took 28. Learning from that lesson, it’s critical that we adhere to the scope of the project. I can certainly take time to show how various elements might look but the time would be billable.

Actually, the “all-inclusive no matter what I want for the rest of my life” design package sounds great. Can I order it?

Yes. I charge $5,000,000.

I have no clue about WordPress installation, hosting environments, and database setup. Can you help me?

Absolutely! In fact, if I’m handling your site’s design or redesign, I provide server setup and integration at no charge as a courtesy. If I’m not doing the design, my rate for server setup and WordPress installation is $50.

I want to add a bunch of plugins, widgets, and add-ons. Can you do this for me as part of the design?

I can, but this is outside the scope of the blog design packages I offer. Should you need me to install third-party apps or plugins, the rate will be based on the time spent. For reference, I charge $60 per hour with a 30-minute minimum for one-off projects and design requests. If installing these assets for you, I’ll make sure everything is installed properly and updated with the latest versions.

Can I remove your footer credit or image?

Not unless previously agreed. By hiring me to do your design or redesign, you agree to maintain the E1M footer credit. This requirement only applies to designs and redesigns. The benefits are twofold. First, it enables me to keep my rates down because it does provide at least some form of advertising. Second, if someone mentions that they found me on your site, I’ll send you $25 cash via PayPal as a thank you when they book their design or redesign. With hundreds of dollars already paid out, it works!

Will your design remain compatible for all of eternity regardless of browser changes, new versions, or updates?

I can’t promise this. No one can. Technology changes at a rapid pace and it’s impossible to plan ahead to accommodate every possible upgrade. While I do code in areas typically unaffected by updates so that your files remain intact, I can’t guarantee that an eventual upgrade, plugin change, or update won’t cause compatibility issues somewhere down the line. Case in point, I offer no guarantees with regards to IE6 and IE7, two browsers that actually made me hate the Internet for a while.

Have a question you’d like to ask? Contact me through my inquiry form for a fast reply.