All our sites are built on the SquareSpace platform. We believe that SquareSpace does the best job of providing fully-functional websites that are maintainable by anyone without using code. SquareSpace is a template environment. As in all template environments, we are ceding a certain amount of flexibility in exchange for easy functionality. After your site is built, we hand over the keys. You will be able to add new pages and edit content with just point-and-click web skills.
We charge a single pre-negotiated design fee based upon your needs. Designs begin at $1200 on the low end.
You will also need to open an account at SquareSpace which costs approximately $216 per year for the Business Plan. (A few clients can get away with the $144 plan, but not many.) This will be your ongoing cost in addition to our one-time design fee. Included in the cost of SquareSpace is their excellent 24/7 web support, your e-commerce web store, a domain name (unless you already have one) an integrated blog and many other features.*
- You will open your SquareSpace account, and then we will invoice you for half our pre-agreed design fee.
- You will grant us admin privileges on your site, which allows us to create the design and all the pages.
- We'll have a preliminary discussion about design choices. You'll look at some examples of our work, and different navigation options available. Together we'll decide on a direction.
- We'll get started. After we've mocked up the site we'll have a check-in about the design. Then we'll finish building pages and making links.
- The second-to-last step is a phone tutorial whereby we talk you through the site's back-end. You will be able to make new pages and move things around. You can freely edit content and operate any hidden pages we've built.
- We will follow-up with a document with instructions for those things we discussed on the phone.
- We will invoice you the second half of our payment.
What We'll Build
Our full package includes the following, though not every author needs every feature, and your design fee will be priced accordingly:
- A clean, concise home page which immediately conveys the nature of your work
- A page for each of your books with 3D book art, flap copy, blurbs and buy buttons to several vendors
- Series pages to help readers classify your work into series
- Bio page
- Contact page
- Hidden ARC distribution page and workflow
- Hidden Squeeze page and freebie workflow
- Integrated blog and / or events calendar
- Sign-up page to capture newsletter subscribers
- Privacy page with disclosures for affiliate links, newsletter privacy policies and tracking pixel disclosures
- Social media links on every page
- Contact page so your readers can find you
- Blogger page and / or press packet
- Teaser page
- Awards you've won and blurbs you've received
- Excellent metadata for search engine optimization. We want readers to find you!
Whew! That's a lot of information.
What We Will Not Do
- Change SquareSpace. By choosing this amazingly full-service platform, we give up some freedoms. Example: you can't add a sidebar on certain pages in certain templates, and that's just the way it is.
- Custom CSS.
- Blogging widgets outside of Disqus, which SquareSpace integrates. You can add these yourself, though. Many plug-ins work well on SquareSpace, and they're easy to add. But our work stays inside the SquareSpace platform.
- Video editing. You can host video on your site, but we don't edit it.
*See their pricing page for an accurate accounting of features and prices.