Frequently Asked Questions

In almost 20 years of creating web sites and digital strategies, some questions regularly come up. Here’s the answers.

What do you charge?

While I have an hourly rate of $85 I prefer to scope out a project with you so we’re both clear on what it is you want to achieve. Then we can look at working on a weekly or monthly fee, or at a flat-rate basis matched against the phases of your project and the closing date. Rates get cheaper with the number of hours booked.

What platforms do you work with?

WordPress is the most common content management system I work with. It’s standardized, open-source, and it’s easily portable for hosting and support. But it is not the only one, and is at times not without its drawbacks, such as frequent core and plugin updates that don’t always go smoothly, extra annual costs for security and backup, and a general evolving complexity that may be more than what you need.

So I also look for inexpensive and flexible tools and platforms for my clients with less ambitious needs, and am comfortable working with a variety of them. We’ll examine these against your needs in the discovery process of your project.

Do you do custom design?

I prefer working with professional frameworks and highly-supported and customizable pre-built themes. These are best-of-class themes, with tremendous flexibility and ready to go add-ons, and I’d rather we focus our efforts on distinguishing you from your competitors than recreating the wheel with hand-coding.

That being said, I work with a few talented hands-on custom brand developers and designers as sub-contractors who can create branding packages for your business on and offline, and we can build out a totally custom site if that matches your project’s needs and expected outcomes.

What kind of WordPress themes do you work with?

My favorites are Elegant Themes (exceptional support and creative thinkers) for the Divi platform, Jupiter framework, and top-rated theme developers from select showcase sites for specific market niches (ecommerce, artists, photographers etc).

What about mobile design?

That is a bigger question than it looks! Soon more people will be accessing web sites and apps on mobile devices than on desktop computers. So at a minimum, your site needs to be responsive or run a mobilizing plugin. However, some businesses and sites will benefit from a mobile-first strategy or even a separate mobile site and a responsive wordpress site.

All of this depends on your target market or audience, your goals, and your appetite for managing separate strategies, and we will establish these in the discovery process. 

What is expected of me as the client?

I will walk you through my intake process and that will help us establish the project outline, and send you a proposal and first stage invoice. This gets you into my calendar and sets the project in motion. I’ll send you a welcome package that will explain how the Bigpacific Creative process works.

Out of that we’ll generate your homework, which is typically getting together your content, images, and stories. This is how we build the foundation of our work together, and we’ll stay in sync with a weekly check-in by phone or Skype (or Facetime if you prefer).

We’ll block your project into the development schedule in our project management tool, Ace Project, and this step happens after the first deposit, and upon receipt of your content. If you want to maintain your position in the dev schedule a couple of things will be key: 1) having all of your content together for one submission and 2) timely communication. This will all be explained in the welcome package.

What if I can’t get together my content in time?

There’s a few options here. We can build a content creation package into your project. This can include the services of a writer, a photographer, a videographer, or even an illustrator. This will be quoted separately and may involve one or more of my Bigpacific Creative talented colleagues.

However, if your project stalls for lack of content and you’re just not ready, you’ll have the option to keep your site/work in the schedule with a keep-alive fee. Otherwise we revert back to the beginning of the process when you are ready to come back. The project start fee is non-refundable, so being organized and doing some planning up front makes for the smoothest project.

What about revisions or edits?

My working process and the discovery phase of the project will help us clearly establish what we’re going to be doing together. But I know sometimes it isn’t until the work is in progress that the big light bulb goes on and you can have insights that need to be incorporated. Typically we do two or three rounds of edits on designs and functionality, but if you need to strip it all down and do something different, we’ll quote that work separately and do an an add-in to the project. My goal is to have you delighted with your site – I say no way to meh!

I thought I would want to maintain my site myself, but now I want you to.

Great. That’s easy for me to do and I offer monthly packages for simple updating, complex content work or creation, troubleshooting, geek-on-demand, plugin reviews and installs, and miscellaneous technical support. I even have packages for clients who want a long-term organic relationship of strategic reviews and dynamic project expansion over time. Some people don’t want to have their project ‘finish’, and I am totally cool with that!

All support and maintenance packages are on an annual contract basis and are pre-paid either quarterly or annually to ensure your project is in the monthly schedule. You can find out more here.

I have an emergency! What do I do?

Your site launch package will contain all of the information you need to access your site and services. It will also list your domain registrar, hosting provider, and any special contractor contact info specific to your custom work. If you are on a monthly support plan you will have access to the project area where you can notify me of the problem and I will respond as soon as I am able (I run a one-person shop – for now) and may be away from my office, but I will look into it as soon as I’m aware of it. If I can’t fix it, I’ll escalate it either into your hosting support or the template developer’s queue and keep you informed.

If you do not have a monthly support package your request will come into my queue and I’ll do a quick triage and then give you recommendations for next best steps on a per-half hour basis. If you want to get express help, you can pay my premium after-hours rate of $125/hr. However, what you can’t do is jump to the head of the line and put everyone else’s projects behind. That’s what the proactive monthly packages are designed to prevent.

My site is launched and it looks fantastic. Now what?

Here’s where Bigpacific Creative really shines. I’ve been running a community web site for over 17 years, and I know what it takes to get traffic, create compelling content, encourage social sharing, blast out a press release, send out direct email campaigns, create infographics for viral sharing, and run ad campaigns.

If you’re a local business, the Brand Ambassador package is for businesses I know take care of their customers, have a great energy and interaction with people, and want to be everywhere the conversations are happening. That can mean online, on my portal, on social media, in discussions on high-traffic sites, or even out and about in the community during casual conversation. I get to know you and your business, and the kinds of people and organizations you want to connect with, and I make those relationships happen.

If you’re not local to the Sunshine Coast, the same package is available but is limited to virtual engagement.

Basically, I put my entire network and skillset to work in promoting your business. This is an annual program with a minimum monthly commitment and measurable goals and metrics.

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