Frequently Asked Questions

More information about me and my services.

What is your business entity?

Brian Shim Web Development, LLC is a licensed and insured S-corporation, so I’m not affected by CA AB5 (freelance contractor) legislation and you do not need to file a 1099 form when working with me.

What kind of clients do you have?

I have a wide range of clients from one-person companies to billion-dollar companies. I also work with many nonprofits and churches.

How much do your websites cost?

The cost for a site can vary drastically depending on the level of design customization, the number of revisions of the content that are required, whether custom programming is involved, and many other factors.

I’ve set up websites for as low as $1000 (a one-page landing page), and have worked as part of a team on a website costing over $100,000.

I also do updates, fixes and maintenance work starting at $100.

How can I reduce the cost of creating a website?

Often, extra cost comes from repeatedly replacing content on the site that client hasn’t finalized. If you can make sure your content (text, images, etc.) and design concepts are proofread and approved by your organization before starting, that will save cost.

Having said that, some changes and tweaks after seeing the live site are always inevitable.

Another way to reduce this cost is to have me develop the site with your initial content, then update the content yourself later. That’s the great thing about WordPress – you don’t need a programmer to update the content.

Customized features also add to cost. The themes I use come with great styling and have enough flexibility to make your site look unique without having to go full custom. It’s like building a kitchen. If you want full custom cabinets, it will cost a lot more than standard cabinets. If you can make standard cabinets work with some smaller customizations, it will save you a lot of money.

But what if I need a highly custom site or custom features?

Since I’m a PHP and JavaScript programmer, I can provide a custom-programmed solution and not rely on pre-made templates and plugins, if that is what you need.

Do you do e-commerce sites?

Hosting your own e-commerce site brings with it a lot of responsibility. Even routine plugin and theme updates must be done with the utmost care, making backups and testing on a staging server before even considering updating a production e-commerce site. There needs to be a plan in place for regular backups and fast restoration if something does go wrong. Finally, there are lots of legal issues related to website privacy and accessibility, and e-commerce sites are becoming a more frequent target of lawsuits every day.

For these reasons, I recommend that my small to medium-sized clients utilize an all-inclusive e-commerce service like Shopify rather than trying to host e-commerce sites themselves.

For larger e-commerce clients, I would be glad to recommend an excellent developer who specializes in e-commerce WordPress websites using WooCommerce.

I have a site that’s broken. Can you help?

Yes! I fix broken WordPress and PHP sites all of the time.

Do you set up email?

I can recommend good email services and show you how to set up the site to use them, but I don’t set up or support email services.

Can you create sites that are WCAG2.1 and ADA section 508 compliant (accessibility)?

I am familiar with these regulations and can create sites with varying degrees of compliance that will lower your risk of litigation, but not eliminate it. I do not guarantee compliance.

Most of my clients are happy if their sites are “more accessible than many of the sites out there”. This can be accomplished by making sure your site meets these fifteen guidelines for accessibility. Here’s another web accessibility checklist. Read more about the Risk of Digital Accessibility Lawsuits and why instant accessibility widgets and overlays don’t work. Here’s another article on overlays. And one more.

If you need your website to be 100% compliant with these regulations, I can work with a third party company that specializes in getting sites to be 100% compliant. But, keep in mind that doing so can drastically limit the design possibilities of your site, in terms of colors, contrast, font sizes, hover effects, sliders, animation, third-party embeds, and many other features and effects. Many common website features are not compliant with accessibility laws (videos need to have captions, PDFs and most social embeds are not accessible, etc.)

Can you create sites that are compliant with CCPA / GDPR privacy laws?

Compliance with U.S. and European privacy laws is an organization-wide issue not confined to your website. I’d be happy to work with your legal counsel to add the appropriate content to your website for compliance as dictated by them.

For smaller organizations without legal counsel, there are third-party services that offer privacy policy and terms templates. These do not guarantee compliance but can reduce the risk of litigation.

Which browsers do you support?

I check my sites on the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, as well as iOS at the time of your site’s launch. I can test on both Windows and Mac. I do not guarantee functionality on Microsoft Internet Explorer, since it is an obsolete and unsupported browser with diminished feature support.

Do you offer web hosting?

I’d be happy to recommend great web hosting for your website which you will own. I don’t offer hosting myself because I’m a strong believer that YOU should have full control and ownership of your web hosting. That saves you money as well. Many of my clients have had previous web developers hold them hostage because they didn’t own their own hosting.

For the same reasons, you should purchase and control your own domain name, directly from the domain hosting company, not from a web developer or third party.

Here are my recommended web hosts.

How do I hand off my design concept?

I have worked with everything from pixel-perfect Adobe Photoshop files to back-of-the-napkin sketches. Every client is different and I can adapt to whatever level of design definition you have.

Can you help with training?

Yes! I love helping my clients learn how to use WordPress to update their own sites. We can determine how much time is needed based on your level of experience.

Can you help with photography?

Yes! I can help take photos of your business if you are in the Los Angeles area.

Can you help with SEO?

I have my own blogs that generate thousands of dollars per month through organic traffic, so I have years of experience in SEO and I’m happy to offer my advice and opinions that have helped me achieve number one ranking in my target keyword categories.

Having said that, I believe that the number one factor in good SEO is having high-quality content. That is something that you, the client, would have to provide. There is no magic code that I can add to your website to make it suddenly appear on the first page of Google for generic searches, and you should beware of anyone offering that type of “too good to be true” SEO service.

How do you get your clients?

I get the vast majority of my clients from referrals and word of mouth. I don’t advertise. Instead, I put that time and effort into helping my existing clients.

Contact me for more information or leave a comment below. – Brian

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