Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about my business.

Do you do web design and web development?

I do full-stack web development and custom programming/scripting on the WordPress platform and in HTML/CSS/PHP/JS. I also develop on Shopify.

I have designed many sites but I don’t do graphic design or branding from scratch. If you have an existing brochure or style guide, I can use those to create a site that matches your brand identity.

If you want to create a new brand image, I can refer you to designers and agencies that specialize in that process.

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.

If you’re used to agency pricing, I’m very cheap. If you’re used to Fiverr pricing, I’m very expensive.

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

I also do updates, fixes and maintenance work starting at $100. My rate is $90/hour.

Do you subcontract any of your work out?

No, I do it all myself to insure the highest quality. When you talk to me, you’re talking directly to the developer of your website.

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 builder themes I use come with great styling and have enough flexibility to make your site look unique. 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 money.

But, if you need custom features, I can deliver those since I’m a programmer, not just a designer.

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 website 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 goes wrong.

For these reasons, I recommend that clients selling physical goods utilize an all-inclusive e-commerce service like Shopify (which I can set up) rather than trying to host e-commerce sites themselves on WordPress.

If you still want to host your own physical-goods e-commerce site on WordPress, I can recommend an excellent developer who specializes in using the industry-standard WooCommerce plugin.

If you just want to sell digital downloads, I can implement that in WordPress.

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

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

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

I am well-versed with these guidelines and can create sites that are accessible and will lower your risk of litigation.

Keep in mind that accessibility can 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 actually not compliant with WCAG guidelines. For example, most PDFs, many social embeds, video players, embedded ads, and image carousels are not accessible.

For this reason, and because I m not a lawyer, I do not guarantee 100% compliance with any particular accessibility law, guideline, or regulation.

Most of my clients are happy if their sites are mostly compliant with WCAG2.1 AA standards. 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.

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 add the appropriate privacy content provided by your legal counsel to your website.

For smaller organizations without legal counsel, there are third-party services that offer privacy policy templates. Keep in mind that simply adding a privacy policy to your website does not guarantee compliance with privacy laws.

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 test on both Windows and Mac. I do not test functionality on Microsoft Internet Explorer, since it is an obsolete browser no longer supported by WordPress itself.

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 because you cut out the middleman. 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.

How do I hand off my design concept to you?

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 can provide.

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 tens of thousands of dollars per year from 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 networking. I don’t advertise. Instead, I put that time and effort into helping my existing clients.

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 payment methods do you accept?

I normally accept Zelle, Venmo, ACH, and of course, paper checks. If you need to pay by credit card, I can temporarily enable your credit card transaction for a 3% fee.

Questions?

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

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