Digital MastersTM: Growing Your Web Dev Business

Automating Your Clients’ Businesses with Their Websites

When you’re building a website for a client, there’s a lot of things you need to think about. Their objectives and goals with the website, whether they need to make direct sales or get more calls, how they intend to earn an ROI for their investment – all things that you have to keep in mind before you build.

But the cool thing about a website is that it can do more for a business than just be a sales and marketing tool.

It can also help to automate processes in a business and make that small business owner’s life just a little bit easier.

Continue reading “Automating Your Clients’ Businesses with Their Websites”

Are You the Expert or Not?

I love Facebook Groups. They can be a great place to connect, find resources, and just generally commiserate with others in the marketing and developer communities.

There was a younger developer in one of my groups a few weeks ago. She was expressing frustration that her clients “didn’t understand” that they needed to provide her the copy and tell her exactly what they wanted her to build. She’s just the web developer who’s going to build it for them.

Oh sweet honey child, if only that were true.

Continue reading “Are You the Expert or Not?”

3 Key Decisions Before You Build a Website

Do you put a lot of care into your own projects for clients, but often find yourself neglecting those same processes when it comes to your own?

I’ll admit, I’m 100% guilty of that. I’m starting a new project for myself that I’m hoping to have live by the end of the year, and I decided that I needed to follow my standard process. But not only that, improve on it!

That got me to thinking. As I work through this personal website redesign, what decisions need to be made or thought about before you write a single line of code, think about a design, or write any copy? Continue reading “3 Key Decisions Before You Build a Website”

Are you in charge of making your clients CCPA and GDPR Compliant?

A couple weeks ago in a private group I’m in for web developers, a newer developer was complaining that she needed to provide “more direction” to her clients than she’d like. After all, those are their businesses! She wanted them to tell her exactly what they wanted and she’d build it.

Man, that sounds really easy right?

Unfortunately, if you’ve worked with more than 2 clients, you know that’s simply not how this game works. When you’re building a website for someone and their business, they trust that you’re the expert. That you know the questions to ask them. That you know the common pitfalls and things to look out for. They understand their business, sure, but they don’t necessarily know how to translate their business into the web.

Continue reading “Are you in charge of making your clients CCPA and GDPR Compliant?”

5 Reasons Web Design Starts with Mobile

When I started developing websites professionally 16 years ago, I only had to worry about a couple of screen sizes. Most monitors came in roughly the same size and we didn’t have to even think about phones.

Now, we have so many devices to plan for that when you develop a website you’re managing multiple breakpoints.

But if you haven’t made the switch to mobile-first design yet, you’re at the risk of being behind a pretty big curve.

Continue reading “5 Reasons Web Design Starts with Mobile”

10 Steps to Build a Marketing Machine Website

A website on its own will not bring customers in droves.

A poorly built website is, frankly, just a waste of money.

Unless you build a website that has the components it needs to actually convert browsers into buyers, a website won’t do much for your clients.

In my 16 (really 20, but let’s not get into that) years of building websites, the key pieces that make a website go from present to great haven’t really changed a whole lot. Continue reading “10 Steps to Build a Marketing Machine Website”

How I Build Custom WordPress Websites in 20 Hours or Less

If you have any agency experience, you know how long it takes to build a website matters to your boss’s bottom line. At one of my first agencies, we were budgeted about 40 hours for a full website (WordPress, custom coded theme, probably 5-10 pages and blog). That 40 hours was just development; by the time it reached the dev team, the copy had already been approved and the main designs created and ready for us.

But even then, I felt like 40 hours was a long time to build one website. That’s when I started to refine my own processes to figure out how to build a better website faster. After all, I was repeating a lot of the same work even though the websites were wildly different.

Over the last 7 years, I’ve found the trick that works for me and I’d love to take you through how I spin up a new dev site and get it built faster – sometimes in less than 15 hours for a full, mutli-page website. And buckle in, because this is some major tea I’m about to spill.

Continue reading “How I Build Custom WordPress Websites in 20 Hours or Less”

How Training Your Clients to Update Their Own Websites Helps You

Ok, bear with me here. I understand the concern many of you have about fully turning over the keys of a website to a customer.

In the years I’ve been a web developer (16 or so), I’ve heard everything from customers from “I have no clue” or “I don’t have access to that” or “My other web developer handled that, but now they won’t answer my emails.”

When a business doesn’t have control over their foundational marketing piece, i.e. their website, that’s very bad news for me. However, this is a way for you to strike a happy medium of giving them control without worrying about them breaking that site you spend so many hours creating.

Continue reading “How Training Your Clients to Update Their Own Websites Helps You”

Consistency Improves UX & Makes Your Life Easier

If you’re like me at all, you probably want to build websites faster every time you build one.

After all, time is money and a fast build means a higher profit margin – especially if you charge a flat rate fee.

I’ve learned through years of building hundreds of websites that the key to building fast and building for the best UX is the same answer – consistency. Continue reading “Consistency Improves UX & Makes Your Life Easier”

Optimizing Images for SEO & Page Speed

If you’re not worried about the page speed of the sites you’re building, you should be. Most of us won’t wait very long for a site to load – research says we have about 3 seconds before our users will go elsewhere.

One of the key ways you can speed up your website is by ensuring that your images are optimized properly.

That means your images are the right size – both dimensionally and are the correct file size – and ensuring that you use the right image types. There’s also an awesome side benefit to optimizing your images – improving your SEO and on-site accessibility. The key thing here though is most of this work happens before you even think about uploading your images to a website.

Let me walk you through 4 easy steps to optimizing your images every time.
Continue reading “Optimizing Images for SEO & Page Speed”