My Pay it Forward Project
Every year I take on a few website projects 100% free of charge. If you’re a blogger, creapreneur, and are looking for help with your website and like my portfolio let’s see if we’re a match!
I also help with installing and configuring WordPress + WP themes.
My own blog sparked my passion for WordPress designs. It has inspired me to start my volunteer design studio where I ‘Pay it forward‘. Each project gives me the chance to create something beautiful and at the same time the opportunity translate peoples stories and goals into tailored designs that reflect them. I am not a professional but an enthusiast that wants to give back!
“One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh
As you plan to expand your influence and grow your blog, you may be rethinking your website/blog design. Does it speak to who you are? Does it connect with your audience? Is it beautiful and purposeful?
To increase your influence with your imagery, product and story, you need an intentional, thorough website/blog. If you’re just beginning and a custom site isn’t feasible and you cannot find the time to throw together a website of your own that is unique and and purposeful, then let me help you.
Using free templates limits your ability to display your products and tell your story. Maybe your not very technical and or can’t invest in a custom design or working with a designer? Not a problem! I will help you find and establish a beautiful, cohesive website for free. Inquiry about my availability here.
Pay it forward
For just the costs made I will design, install and configure your website for you. The why is really simple. I want to give something back. I’m in a position to help people and I don’t need anything for the work. I just ask you to pay it forward! Not to me! To anyone, that’s how this works. E.g. you are a photographer looking for a website? You could or already do provide free or discounted work time to time. If I design your website that’s the part when your good deeds come back to you.
Is it really free?
Yes! My work is 100% free! That said there could be things you’ll need to purchase. For example a website theme, hosting and domain registration.
To give you an example my website A Creative Mess is made using Bridge from Qode. The theme costs $59,- + tax. In order to keep it updated you’ll need WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress and it is $46,- + tax. Depending on your design choice you may need to purchase plugins e.g. Slider Revolution.
À la carte
If you are going to be using third party graphics or social media templates the licenses can be purchased (and you’ll own them). Often they come from Creative Market. We can discuss this during the process. Not all of my demos make use of third party products… some do, some don’t. You may need something designed for you or edited. Templates for e.g. logo’s, Instagram and Pinterest can be edited in Photoshop. I can do this for you during the development phase. An example of graphics used within a theme can be found in the Peonies & Blush demo. The peony clip-art used costs $6,- + tax.
I specialize in creating blog layouts for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs. I start every project with a questionnaire, and audit to help ensure your unique goals and vision are reflected in the final product.
Every element of your website/blog is deliberate. From choosing your color palette to designing your website navigation, we’ll work together to create a purposeful identity that goes beyond an ordinary WordPress website.
From the first contact to the launch. Together with your input and my expertise we can create a WordPress site that’s attractive and user-friendly.
Your online presence will be consistent and recognizable.
WHAT TO EXPECT
project process + timeline
If you connect with my portfolio and aesthetic, fill out the questionnaire, available here. With the answers and information in the questionnaire I can evaluate your goals to assure we are a good fit. If we’re a match we’ll start with the necessary steps to achieve your project goals and needs.
After the first contact and mutual project approval, I will lock your project into my queue. My services are free, but we’ll need to purchase a *theme builder license and depending on your goals other licensed products. In addition you’ll receive a moodboard project timeline of what to expect for the duration of our project.
Based on your design wishes and our discussions, I will begin developing a WordPress design to the specs of your wishes. I will first present the developed build to you before we present to the client for finalization. Then it’s launch time!
Strategy + Assessment
- Comprehensive audit, focusing on brand needs, improvements, and goals
- Correspondence to review goals and audit
- Weekly check-ins
- Logo & monogram design, includes three initial concepts with five various logo marks
- Two corresponding patterns/textures
- Brand guideline brief detailing fonts, colors, patterns, and assets
- Final art and project files (JPG, PNG, and PDF)
Brand Assets To Consider
Brand Assets To Consider Purchasing or Having Custom Designed
- Media kit (for use with ex. Photoshop or Word)
- Custom stationery (two-sided business card and notecard)
- Blog post and social media graphics (Photoshop files)
- Social media graphics including a profile image and backgrounds for Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube
- Four launch graphics to be used on social media, email, and your blog
- Printer suggestions for all print materials
Technical Set Up
I’ll help you with the tech. I’ll fully install WordPress and the needed plugins, themes and add-ons plus provide you with a .pdf and video tutorial on how to use your theme.
Domain Registration: Before you begin, you need to purchase a domain name (i.e. www.simplym.com). Your domain name and social media profiles should be the same, ideally. It’s tough though.
Web Hosting: Most hosting companies include a domain with the purchase of a hosting service. The advantage is your domain and hosting are both in the same place.
A host is the computer server where your website lives.
Blog Design & Development
- Design including multiple page templates (home, landing page, blog posts, archive/search, and other relevant templates)
- Full installation of theme and plugins
- Custom Layout built from scratch (unless you have a pre-purchased theme that doesn’t allow this)
- Easy-to-use features that allow you to curate sections of your design (based on your preferences)
- Back-end features allowing you to make changes to your design without a developer
- Easy-to-update content on different components of the theme
- Interactive features including pop-ups, recipe plugin compatibility, travel maps, affiliate shops, and more
- Development on a test server then uploaded to your site (no surprises, you’ll know exactly how your site will look when it launches)
- Responsive design verified by the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
- Site speed optimization
- Email integration including a email templates and sign-up form
- Video tutorial + and .pdf with documentation on how you can use specific features of your dashboard
- Platform or domain transfer (if necessary)
LET’S GET STARTED
If you’ve found your way here that means you’ve already inquired about my services.
This website is meant to help walk you through the process and give you an idea of what to expect.
First you’ll receive a questionnaire where you’ll be asked to fill in what is applicable. Questions ranging from what are your goals, who are your competitors or what are some of your favorite websites, blogs and brands -why do you like them? What are things you absolutely don’t like, and why. Are their colors, or styles you really like or really dislike? These will help me in getting started with the inspiration boards.
Another thing we’ll do is a comprehensive blog review. Assuming you already have a blog we’ll go through your blogs content to determine whether it should be kept as-is, updated, or consolidated. It’s the online equivalent of a spring clean (that we’ll do before the launch!). You’ll eventually getting rid of anything and everything you won’t need and freshening up the place for your visitors—and Google. You may already have ideas and these will be kept in mind when making decisions for the next step.
I’ll review your social media presence from your Instagram to your Pinterest. Together with my findings and the answers you’ve provided in the questionnaire we can pinpoint your signature style.
Tip! We can pin together in a private board so you can give direct feedback. It could be I see a blog layout that might work for you but the colors and style are not at all for you. That makes the description of the pin extremely important.
With help from the questionnaire and audit we can start discussing your sitemap. We’ll plan what pages you’ll need, what layout are you leaning towards and so on. Once we’ve brainstormed the sitemap, layout, color and font palettes we can start working on a branding storyboard and create a list of elements you’ll need. E.g. logo, tagline, graphics, templates, print instructions, business card and other printed goods.
Depending on the font you use, typography can set the tone for your brand. Are you playful or sophisticated? Bold or minimalistic? Choose two or three fonts and use them consistently throughout your website, social media graphics and other branding materials. Creative Market has several beautiful modern fonts that you can purchase that everyone else isn’t using too.
Determine your primary topics and categories for your blog, website, and other content outlets. For your blog, you can choose one main topic and then break them into subtopics. Make sure you stay close to your niche and don’t worry about running out of things to talk about. Trust me, there are so many ways to generate new blog post ideas. You can feature testimonials from people who have used your service or products too.
We can search for the imagery, plan photo sessions and I can start developing the test site. In this phase the necessary licences will need to be purchased. E.g. theme, plugins, templates and graphics.
Blog Post Graphic
We’ll create a template for your blog posts feature images, worksheets, freebies and Pinterest images. They’ll be set up using the proper dimensions for your website and social media platforms. If you are using the same template throughout, it will create consistency and make it easier for your brand to be identified as your brand.
Once we’ve got the layout correct we’ll start filling in the pages. I can copy, paste and configure the pages but the content needs to come from you. This is something you can start as I’m developing the site.
I’ll create multiple home pages and we can play with them until the layout works for you. Also we will start updating old blog posts so that your site will have harmony.
Countdown to Launch
Now that that step is done we’ll work our way through the entire website and social media platforms and start counting down to the launch!
The launch will be thought out and calculated so that your new website will be known to potential viewers –like-minded creatives like you!
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.”
— Maya Angelou