Seagrape Web Design


Updated May 31st, 2021

The idea behind Seagrape Web Design is a client-facing, revenue-generating, web design business entity.

I need a place that’s able to be a storefront. A site that is not connected to me as either a freelance web developer or a portfolio site. I still need a portfolio site to get a job but this site is not that. Doing freelance work in a personal capacity would point to my portfolio site. I don’t believe agencies go on places like upwork.

The content on Seagrape is not for meant for developers, it’s meant for existing and prospective clients. This is where I can start flexing my marketing muscles and actually book clients and generate revenue. Started and LLC and get the ball rolling.

Building simple sites for clients is not ideal in that you’re probably going to end up in the WordPress CMS ecosystem i.e., Bill Erickson-ish, creating sites that are meant for a non-dev to create content

Although this is where Seagrape will likely start doesn’t necessarily mean that this is where it needs to end. I would like to do more complex projects. You must crawl before you walk.

This idea was really born out of the idea that if you can build a website a week, let’s say 50 websites a year and charge $2,000 a site then you’ve made it to $100,000 a year as a self-employed person. Naturally this math can be tweaked in different directions but you get the idea.

It’s named web design and not web development because web design is more what the public thinks of and it’s easier to say.

If there was to be a blog it would be about bringing value to existing and potential clients, (not fellow web developers or prospective employers).

This is the place I can hang my shingle. The reason for signing a lease and paying rent. The thing I can say I’m founder of. The thing I I can hire someone to help me run without me.

I’m pretty sure there is a gazillion website design agencies in the world but what makes this different is our ability to market, our ability to curate our sense of creativity, our sense of purpose for the needs of the client, our commitment to the client are non-greedy in nature to do what’s right and not necessarily what’s profitable. To go the extra mile to deliver more than what’s expected. Exceed expectations. Not be afraid to say we are not a good fit.

Starting a web design agency in 2021 feels like I’m late to the party. There’s so many do-it-yourself options like wix spare space self-hosted WordPress Facebook Instagram. Then there’s page builder options like elementor and self-hosted WordPress and web flow. But I feel like this is exactly why you need a web agency these days is to help someone navigate this landscape.

I feel bad for anybody who needs to step in and I realize there’s just so many options it’s very overwhelming. There may be an opportunity to just charge somebody a web design industry overview in 2021. The options are overwhelming here’s a quick guide to what works for you.

Our perfect client has a validated idea that may be a business or a non-profit that is looking to have a more professional web presence. They are looking to offer more functionality their users. Start getting into a A/B testing. Don’t want to be bogged down with the world of web development They just want to continue doing what they’re doing, what they’re good at, and are okay with paying for someone to handle the rest. They know that Facebook and Instagram isn’t good enough. They know that they don’t have the time to learn the different avenues and become the expert. At the same time they don’t want to hire someone full time. I feel you’re going to pay at least $50k+ a year having a full-time web person. Why not just pay an agency $3k-$10k a year to do it for you.

Other Things I Tell Clients

You have to figure out what what you want in the website. And besides the basics, what functionality do you want your website to perform. Everyone always starts with the brochure site right? The social links, the contact page, the address, the hours, the menu, etc. Functionality is being able to place an order being able to book an appointment being able to see availability. This is what you’re paying us for. This is why you didn’t just build your site in a weekend with squarespace.

Crucial to answering the “how you want your site to function” question is “how much time and money do you want to spend.” After the initial build costs for functionality there are still costs for administration/management (time).

I often hear “Build the community” and you know they want to create content via like a blog and they want to have this discussion on their website. I call this the content crusade. You have to commit to creating the content and then you have to market the content and you have to cultivate and grow a readership and then you have to foster a conversation. I am an optimist so it’s not impossible. You just want to be a realist with how much work it takes. You can commit to doing monthly blog posts for a different but still longer term time horizon with comments shut off and see how the page views go. Comments and showing page views can either help you or hurt you. If there’s a lot of eyeballs in your content and there’s a lot of comments of course you want to have comments and Page views. If no one is reading your content and there’s two comments a minimal pages, your advertising hey look what are you doing here You’re one of the few people that actually come here.

The Process

You’ve got discovery and you’ve got design and then you’ve got development and then you’ve got deployment and then you’ve got maintenance

inhouse: Monitor inbound leads: I am not doing a lot of marketing at first but I’ll have an email address and a contact form on the website. commit to checking my personal email daily.

Discovery Part 1: This is where we talk about your needs and what you’re trying to get a website to accomplish. We’ll talk about our process and the expectations that are needed from the client in order to make the project the success IE timely sending of assets timely feedback on design ideas. If we’re a match made in heaven then we’ll have you put down a deposit And we’ll start the process of making your dream a reality. Inhouse: need to develop scripts and talking points

Discovery Part 2: This is where we will collect a lot of your current assets a logos that you have images that you have a colors that you like. We can get your feedback on an inspiration board get a feel for what you like. In-house: need to get comfortable creating an inspiration board and stigma and sharing that via email.

Design: We take all the information from Discovery one and two and we start to craft the site and we start with structure first which is like a wire frame gray scale. And will email you that will get some feedback. Depending on how many photos you’re able to provide we may either task you with creating photos get you to hire a photographer or we could even send somebody from our team. once we have the photos we will create a design with fonts colors and images. This is essentially what the final website is going to look like but it hasn’t been created in code yet. Coding takes the most time and so making changes after we’ve you know kind of converted this design into code is time consuming and expensive. We’ll go back and forth a little bit with these design files and when you’re happy we’ll move on to the next step of the process. In-house: need to get comfortable building wire frames and designs in figma and emailing.

Development. Convert the design into code and test it. Make sure it works on different browsers, different screen sizes, ensure form-functionality works, etc. In-house: need to get good at turning design into code.

Deployment. This is where we’re actually going to launch the website, Do some training with you and then toss you the keys. In-house: kind of the most important part here delivering the final product.

Ongoing. We’re going to check on the side performance We’re going to install updates as necessary we’ll keep tabs on security logs. We’ll fix any bugs related to this initial design and development. we’ll be able to answer any questions you have once you get in there and start managing the site. From here we’ll usually schedule A meeting every 6 months to go over how things are going. In a few years we’re going to start to see things become deprecated and need to be rebuilt or refreshed or you want to add certain functionality. Then we’ll do another rebuild. Of course we can start from scratch and it’s going to cost a lot of money or we can you know make improvements and build upon the current site available cheaper. In-house: got this far Don’t drop the ball now get some referrals and keep clients happy.

The idea of partnership in this incredibly complicated web development world. The client runs their business or non-profit. The day-to-day. I help with your identity and functionality on the Web. The client didn’t have to become a web developer yourself in the spare time they don’t have. They didn’t build a cookie-cutter basic brochure website on wix. They didn’t increase their head count by hiring a full-time employee to manage your website. They have partnered to get ongoing support and down the road if they need to increase their functionality, or make changes, they have someone they can trust on their side.

Hosting: We do not do the hosting ourselves. The reason for this is ultimately flexibility on your part. If you decide to hire somebody else or you want to pull the plug, You have the control. You can typically set us up as an authorized user on your account so we can do everything that you would do. Invoicing and payment for hosting services and domain names will go through you.

Note: is some good inspiration and a great idea is a schedule a free Call Calendar (It’s a fifteen minute slot). Has a video with a pitch that’s probably good for marketing. Has a shop to purchase both your initial site (standard $499 – custom $999 – bespoke $1999) and ongoing support plan (Website-only $99/mo – website and changes $169/mo – website and marketing $249/mo).