They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so it is for matching style preferences. Please take a look at some of our previous projects and see if you are drawn to any particular style. Although the client makes the final design choice for the overall look, looking at several examples should help you determine if the designs are appealing to you and your target audience.
No worries if some of the technical jargon may not make sense – we will break it down for you.
Who Are We?
Arts Assistances in website design and graphic layout, serves clients in the music industry, web development firms, and small businesses. We combine up-to-date coding for websites and beautiful design to customize solutions that help our client’s reach their audiences.
Size of websites: average websites are typically 20+ pages. We also do larger sites (usually non-profits) that can go up to 100 pages.
Industry types: musicians, artists, solo entrepreneurs, bloggers, consultants, graphics firms, industry conferences, medical professionals, contractors, virtual assistants, and coaches.
Types of Websites
- Basic 5 page (sometimes referred to as a brochure site which has a home page, about, services, testimonials, and contact page),
- Ecommerce site (modest listing of services or products that can be handled by normal plugins),
- Active blog business site (promotes the business, has 1 or more per month blog post),
- Non-profit site (typical size – 50 pages),
- Larger business site (i.e., conferences or larger service offerings by a business).
We do not work with Flash-driven websites. Websites are coded to meet web-standard specifications.
We specialize in custom-designed branded websites to reach your target audience.
Designs Are Customized
We are not off-the-shelf WordPress installers. Arts Assistance is a web design firm; we customize your website to match your logo and design to communicate your marketing needs. We do not consider sticking a logo and adjusting a few colors branding – we get to know you and what you wish to communicate to reach your target audience.
We usually recommend WordPress*-powered websites so you can enjoy the flexibility they offer. You will receive a customized site, built upon a proven theme easily lasting up to two or three years.
* WordPress is owned and operated by Automattic; we cannot control how future updates to their software may impact themes when they make changes to their software.
We Work Well With Those Who…
- Want to work with a firm that is aware of current styles, ensuring your site doesn’t look dated – it’s our lifeblood – if you want 1999 sites – we probably aren’t your best bet.
- Design to show priority of marketing elements/messages – if everything is important then nothing gets noticed – we can help.
- Trust us to know user expectations – if we advise against 15 tabs in the navigation bar – it’s because we know it will confuse your website visitors.
- Know the importance of investing in a professionally-branded website.
- Let go of micromanagement. If you can’t let go of micromanaging the details, we are probably not going to fit. You hire experts to know their field; questioning every step outside your own field may mean a mediocre product.
- Need someone who takes care of the tech – busy professionals love us for this; we know the tech and we don’t expect you to know it too.
- Will endure the creative process. If “design doesn’t matter,” “I love Arial, why bother with anything else…” is your focus – it’s definitely not a fit – design is a marketing tool, and one of many. We do spend significant time judging appropriate font sizes, colors, and what appeals to your audience. If this seems too fussy – time to keep looking.
- Enjoy a relaxed and pleasant but professional relationship.
So How Does it Work?
- Read this page to determine if we are right for you and schedule a consultation.
- After the consultation, we will recommend a website or design package appropriate for your needs.
- Sign the contract and make payment.
- Communication is key. We will ask you for links to sites you like, if you need images in the header, latitude with color with your logo and ask a lot of questions about your target audience. We want to make sure your final site is appealing to your audience and you.
- Provide us with text for the website (if you need help writing we can recommend people to contact), give us examples of websites you like, and provide logo artwork.
- We will provide a site map and work with you on page placement.
- We provide up to 3 mockups of the designs, you pick 1 that is the basis of coding your website, newsletter, or other design need… we don’t ensure pixel-to-pixel perfection, browsers vary, and there are limitation. Additional requested designs will incur additional fees (good/excellent communication is key to ensuring we understand your needs).
- For the coding stage and server set up, web hosting must be secured.
- Please provide any images you want included with the website (logo, product pictures, videos) and your text for the pages. If you have specific fonts used for the logo please include the names of the fonts (if you know them).
- For ecommerce websites, we will need your merchant provider (like authorize.net), and special plugins required for your merchant (if any) to set up the website.
- Depending on how ready you are with the content (text for the website) – average site takes 4 weeks. If the text is not ready by the 3rd week, delays may occur.
- Final proofing of the website. We are going to ask you to take a look to ensure your text is ready before it goes live.
What Do I Need to Do?
- Your business will be responsible for securing a web hosting service – if you need one see our Resources page (we are happy to guide you in your hosting needs). We believe it’s best for our clients to retain control over their own web hosting – this is considered a healthy business practice. No client should feel beholden to a web design firm due to their control over their hosting or domain name. No worries; we take care of setting up the website and its installations (all that nasty tech stuff).
- Pay for your domain name (URL). Need one? See our Resources page.
- Fonts – we usually recommend Typekit.com fonts (for leasing fonts – a very cheap way to go) or if you have something unusual, you will be responsible for reimbursing AA for the cost for purchased fonts. Costs usually are not significant, many are approximately $29.
- Stock image needs. You will be responsible for reimbursement of costs for any stock images needed. If you have images you wish to use, please ensure they are licensed for websites to avoid copyright infringement.
- Provide us with an art-ready logo – additional costs may apply for non-ready logo art.
- Take care of plugin costs. For WordPress sites we recommend Gravity Forms (or Wufoo.com); Backup Buddy (from iThemes.com); and an ecommerce plugin (recommendation based on type of site).
- Set up merchant account such as Authorize.net for processing credit card transactions (for ecommerce sites).
- Decide on email account(s). For brand new accounts, we can set up your email on your professional web hosting on the server; however, we are not an IT firm (or you can ask your web hosting provider). If you are struggling setting it up on your computer, we recommend that you call your web host tech support.
- Think about Search Engine Optimization. We do not specialize in SEO; however, we do provide well-coded markup so Google can easily read your website (very important). Also, we install a popular Search Engine Optimization plugin for you – we recommend clients find an SEO specialist for those having extended SEO needs.
Communication throughout is key. Have a question? Don’t hesitate to ask; we don’t mind a bit of handholding.
Contact us for a 1-hour consultation to discuss your website design needs.