WordPress for Your New Website

WordPress for Your New Website

In the last post, What is WordPress, I gave a brief overview of what WordPress is as a CMS platform. However, I wanted to give readers a good set of thing to consider about why a WordPress based website is better for them now and in the future. WordPress is by far the most popular content management system on the planet. It is responsible for over 60% of the sites that use CMS. It powers 1 of 5 sites on the internet. and It is uses as the ground work for over 100,000 new websites everyday. So what does that mean for you and your site? Tons of things.
Cost is Low.
WordPress is a free, open source system. So no first cost for the service. It gets updated and upgraded free. Which means it is extremely low maintenance. At most a couple clicks in the admin panel. All in all, WordPress itself costs nothing. Since there is no official owner of WordPress, there are 100s of thousands of developers around the world. This makes it constantly under development. The 24/7 development is what leads to the free upgrades. By the end the only costs are themes and hosting.
WordPress Hosting is everywhere.
So you have to pay for hosting? Good news, if you already have a site, then you have hosting. Bam, base covered.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have hosting, you are not screwed either. Many major hosting providers offer easy WordPress installs, and some even have dedicated WordPress hosting plans. As a bonus, WordPress can’t held hostage like an HTML site. It is easy to move to a new hosting provider if you need to.

WordPress is fully customizable.
WordPress has 4x as many enhancements as developers.
Themes, plugins, and CSS are all you need to create a site as beautiful and capable as you would ever need. Remember some of the biggest media outlets and corporations use WordPress, so it is easy to imagine that it can easily meet your needs. There are thousands of themes out there to use, both free and premium.  There are greater customization options with premium themes based on you price range.
Extensions that Make a Hairdresser Jealous (Plugins).
Since WordPress has gained immense popularity, it’s not surprising that a lot there are 100s plugins. They extend the core functionality of your website and save development time (which saves you money). There are plugins to handle everything from corporate level task management and organization to weather on a site page. The reach of possibilities is endless.
Organic. and Expandable.
With constant development, themes, and plugins, WordPress if very organic. It can start as a basic core website and continue to evolves and travel in any direction you choose. It is a great place to continue to adapt with the ever-changing world we live in.
WordPress even has multi-site abilities.
If you business needs a website for each department, or perhaps  several sites linked together under one parent person or business, you have to abilities to do that with WordPress. Many membership sites use this system to support a number of websites easily and effectively.
WordPress is search engine friendly.
Wanna come up in a google search? WordPress makes it easy to add SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Some themes have built-in SEO options.  If the site doesn’t have SEO options, there are many plugins that exist. I prefer SEO by Yoast or All-in-one SEO. They are the two most used SEO plugins on the planet.Both integrate easily with Google Analytics and Google’s Webmaster Tools as well.
WordPress is Mature and Experienced.
With over 10 years of life under it’s belt, WordPress has undergone all the changes it needed to, and refine itself to a powerful clean system. That, along with the constant development, means that rarely do issues arise. If they do, they get solved in a very short period.
WordPress on the go.
Many WordPress themes have built-in responsive (mobile friendly) design. Since most of the world’s website viewing is on mobile devices, this is a NECESSITY for people and businesses of any level.  The WordPress admin area is also completely responsive so you can make a mandatory updates from you phone.
Readable by everyone.
WordPress has many linguistically features. Managing various sites in a variety of languages and time zones is a piece of cake. This is great if you have international business, or are in a region where languages are very diverse.
The most Powerful CMS on the Planet
WordPress is for sites that get millions of views per day. Some of them are Smashing Magazine, CNN, and even MTV. Overall, WordPress is a monster system with a deadly capacity for growth. it maybe exactly what you need to take you business to the next level. Need help with the switch over to a WordPress site? Want to improve an existing WordPress site? Contact Mr. D Studios today for a no-obligation conversation at 412.770.8512 or through the contact page.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

Several readers and businesses Asked me to go over WordPress in greater detail. In response to the requests, I am dedicating all my blogs in February to WordPress, its ins and outs, and other information about it that many people may not know. Many people have heard of WordPress. Especially since, as I have stated several times, it is the back bone of 23% of websites around the world. It is for more than just blogs. But what is WordPress? WordPress is a PHP code platform used to create and manage web-based content for people, businesses, and companies. Or in a more simple term, WordPress is an easy to use content manager that is incredibly powerful and open sourced for everyone to use. WordPress is user-friendly. WordPress allows for user to set at one of several levels  based on what they do. Developers usually have the admin role and make changes to the coding, appearance, and function of the site. Editors oversee content, media, and blog posts.  Author roles may only be members who write blog posts, they would use the author role. Lastly, Subscribers are the last role. Subscribers can’t write or change content, upload pictures, or post videos. It can remove a lot of the clutter from the admin panel, and make it more streamline for the user to do what they need to do. This also makes it very easy to teach to new users. With all these people using WordPress surely, a well known company uses it, right? Actually, several do.

Who uses WordPress for their site?

and many, many others. Pretty cool, right? Although it may have started that way, WordPress has become more than just a system for bloggers in the local coffee shop. WordPress is constantly increasing in use and capability.

How do you get started with WordPress?

There are many options for getting started with WordPress. The best option is to meet with Mr. D Studios and discuss getting started. (Had to do a shameless plug.) Aside from Mr. D Studios, there are many options to get started. Downloads for self-hosted installations are at WordPress.org. It can also be used via WordPress.com. However, many hosting companies (Godaddy, Ipage, Blue Host) offer a one click install that handles the install for you. WordPress one click installs are great. They allow you to set up a WordPress site, with either automatically generated logins or a custom username and password. Either setup emails the information to your inbox. So are you ready to use WordPress to organize who you are online?

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
Different Pricing Methods

Different Pricing Methods

One of the biggest issues with freelancing and consulting is pricing. There are all kinds of people with different opinions on what is best. After years of design there seems to be three main types of pricing: Flat, Return On Investment (ROI), and Need Based. It is hard to determine which is really best.  Below I will give you some of the pros and cons of each, and you can ultimately decide which is best for your business.

flat rate:

It’s like the post office. You charge one price each client’s package of service(s). Pricing tables are good examples of this, Typically it’s used for bundle packages through websites. Flat Rate pricing is tricky because it has to incorporate many aspects of design including: Design ,Several rounds of changes (the number of rounds should be in your contract),Client meetings, Travel, Project research, Email and phone communication, Dealing with outside vendors, Dealing with subcontractors, and other needs that may arise.  

Pros

  • Quick Pricing
  • Easy Tracking
Pricing
  • Tables can be used
 

Cons

  • Inaccurate Price for Amount of Work
  • Strict Budgeting
  • Little concern for client needs

Return On Investment:

Return On Investment (ROI) is the tricky one to present. this is where you have to let your marketing professional side shine. It is based around lead generation for a business.
 
Say a client gets 30 leads from the site you are going to make. Each lead is worth $3,000, if the lead is completely processed. Of those 30 leads, only 10 come through. Client makes $30,000. So the client made $30,000 from the site you charge $5,000 to create. That’s a $25,000 profit. That is a worth while investment, right? That is five time the return on the client’s investment.

Pros

  • High return
  • 
Investor Understanding of Return
  • Financial Monitoring
  • Create Complete Picture

Cons

  • A lot of Time Consumed
  • 
Lengthy Analysis
  • No Guarantee of Return
  • Extensive Knowledge of Clients

Need Based:

Need based is my preferred method of the three. Very simple but highly effective. What does the Client have? What does the Client need? What does the Client want? What other goods and services might the client benefit from that you can offer? It is a moderate challenge to make an assessment, but very effective.

Pros

  • Room for Expansion
  • 
Very Client Specific
  • Nothing Unnecessary
  • Client has Options

Cons

  • Long Meetings
  • More Time in Material Gathering
  • May Require New Skills
  • Longer Refinement
That’s are the basic system fundamentals most designers I know use to determine pricing. However, I have noticed that all three start to bleed over into one another as time goes on. I my self use a checklist of services and options to determine and record everything a client has, needs, and wants. Then each item on the list has a price, add those prices, apply any discounts (bundles service, referrals, etc.) and you have your client’s price. Take time and experiment. Figure out what works best for you. Remember as fast as things change, no one’s single method is 100% correct. It might work for their business, but not not yours. Let me know what you think and what method you use.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
Needy Clients and You

Needy Clients and You

Needy Clients and You


   
Every one of us has encountered the “needy client”. The clients that constantly have changes, new ideas, and other little nit picky things. Those changes that after ten or twelve of theme are ready to snap. If you have had a client like this, then you know the kind I am talking about. If you haven’t had one yet, you will eventually, and trust me you’ll know when you do. It is upsetting to spend so much time on a project present it and have the client want to change different parts of the layout. Understandable. But there are a couple points to consider:
  1. The are making suggestions to you because this is really THEIR project. You are the hands that build the house, but they are the ones who live in it. they have to guide you to what they want, because they can’t build it them selves. If they could, you wouldn’t have a job. To say it bluntly.
  2. The first draft at anything is never going to stay. Ever. Just accept it now and make life easier. If it does stay it either is bad, or flawed because their hasn’t been any refinement.
  3. They don’t know. Again blunt. Your job is to inform your client why their suggestion might be a bad idea. I aren’t just paying for your skills, but also your experience and expertise. Don’t be a douche about it though. That can and eventually will break the client relationship. I’ve seen it happen.
Be Confident And firm in your opinion. However, you should also know when to pick your battles. If your talk about a change at length and the client doesn’t change their mind, remember number 1; IT’S THEIRS NOT YOURS. But recently I came to an understanding of my character, that i think many designers have as well. It’s not aways the client. Sometimes it’s US!  I admit it, it’s really shitty to say and hard to accept. It’s the introverted over protective artist inside every designer. Let me ask you a question:
If you were Michelangelo and got asked to change part of the Sistine Chapel, having worked on it for four years, wouldn’t you be a pissed at who asked?
Of course you would. if not you are either a liar or a saint. but that’s your business. Anyway, we do the same thing with design. Our passion, integrity, and pride that makes us defensive about our work. That’s how we know what we do is our calling, right? We pour all this dedication and passion into a project, and then the client asks us to change something. We as artists have a tendency to take it personally. Don’t, just don’t. Save yourself a lot of heartache. Take a breathe, relax, and work with the client. Do what they ask (within reason) and if it is bad show them and explain the difference, then see what they choose. If you can present your point well, then client will usually understand your point.  These changes aren’t always bad. Why? It can benefit you beyond what you realize.
Time:
If you are charging by the hour, more time equals more money. That simple.
Revisions:
Depending on the severity of the changes you can charge for a revisions, which in itself could be a significant amount.
Reputation:
If you are willing to go that extra mile for a client, that client will be even happier with the end result. Which leads to more referrals to others. So remember the client isn’t always as needy as you think. Sometimes we are just over protective.
Network = Net worth

Network = Net worth

**Let me start by saying this is a lengthy discussion point, since it can get rather elaborate in the directions of its general interpretations.** I heard this quote from Jim Rohn about a year or so ago, he stated that “Your network is your net worth.” Although I didn’t give it any serious thought, it really stuck with me. Over the past six months it really started to set in as my business started to expand. Then I truly understood the mean of what Rohn said. It hit me like a freight train. My network only goes so far, but that statement cleared up a massive grey area.  It fully expansive, and It goes both ways beyond myself. The client side and the consultant (my) side. Since the road goes both ways I have decided to break this into two sections: Client to Consultant and Consultant to Client.
Client to Consultant
From a client’s perspective, a consultant’s network is definitely worth acknowledging. As a client your consultant has an established network to help you achieve goals no matter how small. If the consultant can’t help you directly, he may know someone or a business who can help with it. The consultant can act as a resource hub for clients. Instead of burning time trying to find someone to move forward on each individual idea, the consultant may be able handle and manage several different things though the other relationships in their network. Saving you, the client, costly time and resources. I have had several clients say that it is nice to have someone else pick up the majority of the slack with the project they are involved with, instead of having it loom over their heads with all of the other things a business owner has to worry about in their day. That is what makes the consultant’s network relationships so important to a client.  At the end of the day, both the client and the consultant realize how valuable each others time really is. Depending on the level of professionalism the consultant has with those relationships, they may (and often do) get better rates for things than if someone were to contact that person/business directly. For example, in my network I have several photographers I work with directly. They often offer me better rates for my customers because I am bringing them business and expanding their network. Hence, the tree grows another branch. The client get quality photography at a lower rate, the photographer gets a network relationship and business, and I have built stronger relationships with both parties involved. Everyone Wins! Even more so, you know that you can go back to the consultant (and their network) to get help in the future with further expansion and other projects. More importantly, you are now part of that network with the consultant. The consultant can refer others to you and your business and help you generate your own clients and customers that way. Now that we’ve discussed understand just some of the value of a network from client side, we can delve deeper into the meaning on the consultant side.
Consultant to Client
More often than not, you next design consultancy job will come from a referral.  You might know it better as word of mouth. As a consultant there are a couple of things you have to consider before approaching a client: •    Every relationship has value.  It’s may be hard to think of something, but every connect you have in you network can be used for something. While you my not be able to utilizes every connect on every project, you can still bring something extra to the table. •    How are you going to present/cover network inclusion cost?  When you do utilize a services from a member of your network, how do you handle pricing? I myself cover it in the overall cost; however, I do know others that say something along the lines of “This only covers the work I do, but i can connect you with someone that can do that for a fee.” The reason I do it my way is so the client doesn’t get hit with a surprise charge later on in the project. •    Are you and your network both available to complete this project in a timely manner?  That may seem stupid, but it’s happens more often than not. In the upcoming weeks I will discuss Dedication vs Availability. You may be all for taking on another project, but are you biting off more than you can chew? also does your network partner have time? I third party hang up can make the whole project suffer. Those just things to consider. Try a couple of ideas and see what works best for you. Knowing these in combination with a good client analysis will help you determine how valuable your connection is to that new client. Just because you may specialize in one area doesn’t mean you can not go outside of those boundaries and offer other skills, as well as the skills of others.  It is a classic case of going for the “NO.” What I mean by going for the no is after talking to the client about what he/she/they need, propose other other things they may need that you can help them with until they say “no.” Most times there are a few things that weren’t thought of that you can offer to the client. Helps them with more options to meet more needs and gives you more income. But your network is the most under utilized tool most people have in business. It has taken me years to realize that my network allows me to offer more than just branding, illustration, and websites. My network allows me to connect client to resources for interior designs, professional photography, catering, and even as far environmental sustainability.  It all depends on what needs they have, what they need after talking to them, and what my network and I bring to the table.  Again a happy client becomes another connect to offer through your network. Like I said, most of my business comes from the old “Hey, I know a guy that does that…” and I love that. Why? Simple. That means I have done an extremely good job of help out clients to the point they are now friends, and trust me enough to recommend me to others. How did I do it? By bringing my network to their aid as well. It is the greatest feeling you can have in business. So much so that I implemented a new program:
Network=Net-worth
I give whoever my referral comes from 10% of my take home income. If i make 1500, my referral gets 150. All for connecting me to someone; for using their network to help their clients. It’s like double money. I don’t upset clients to cover it. I cover it out of my pocket. Sure that may sound bad, but we all come out ahead. And it’s easy money for the referral. Leave me comments below or ask me any questions and I will email you back.