frequently
Asked
questions

Below is a list of our most commonly asked questions, it also includes general info on our work process, inclusions and exclusions, and contract and payment terms. Have a walk through and if you still have questions don’t hesitate to ask »



SO HOW DO I KNOW IF YOU’RE RIGHT FOR ME & MY PROJECT?

You probably already knew it within moments of landing on this website… and that is why you’re still reading, instead of off onto the next one. You may now just be gathering more info to make sure it really IS a good fit. The truth is, if my work speaks to you on that kind of instant gut level, then we are likely already a great fit, cause your gut already called it 😉   Of course, the absolute best way to find out, is to send me an email, or call, or however you prefer to communicate, so you can better get a sense of that for yourself. I am not about convincing you of my value for you or your business, rather what I aim to do is display the value I have to offer as clearly as possible so that you can decide for yourself if it is just the thing you need, or not. No urgency, no bull, no underhanded tactics and no ulterior motives…  just the meeting of a genuine need with a genuine service. A simple exchange of value for both parties… no pumped up promises to wade through, just the goods and a clear and honest connection, that’s what I aim to deliver. If that sounds good to you, get in touch! I’d love to be of service.    Back to top »


WHAT’S WITH THE NAME “THE SALTY OLIVE”?

To be honest, it just came to me one day, and it felt absolutely right. Not only is it simple and easy to remember, but it speaks to the “flavor” that much of my work possesses. The ‘salty’ part speaks to the powerful punch that that flavor adds to your marketing materials when done well, and in balance, because everyone knows too much salt is as bad as not enough. The ‘olive’ part speaks to something that is light and yet substantial and nourishing, something that feeds you and in turn helps you feed others… because that’s what genuine businesses do! Back to top »


HOW DO YOU WORK, WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS?

I currently only take on 10 clients per calendar year, and have packages with flexible payment options for those spots. If you’d like to get the details or inquire about availability, just shoot me an email or give me a call! There’s never any pressure or obligation.   Back to the top »


CAN I WORK WITH YOU IF I DON’T LIVE NEAR YOU?

Absolutely. In fact 99.9% of my clients are not local to the small Northern California town I live in. I work with people all over the world via email, phone, or tin-can telephone. (just kidding on that last one)  Back to the top »


I’M REALLY EXCITED TO GET STARTED, BUT ALSO A LITTLE NERVOUS, THIS IS MY BUSINESSES MOST IMPORTANT MARKETING TOOL, AND I REALLY WANT TO GET IT RIGHT. CAN YOU SPEAK TO THAT?

Yes. Your website IS your single most important marketing tool in this day and age, and it’s perfectly understandable that you would feel a kind of delicious mixture of excitement and nerves. This is a good thing, because it means your boundaries are being pushed a little and the time for expanding your business has begun. If I were to speak directly to your nerves, I would ask them what it is they want, and they would probably tell me that they want the new website to result in sales. I would then ask them what it is that drew you to consider THIS sale (of investing in your new website here with me) — and they would most likely tell me something so terribly simple, that it’s almost unbelievable… they would tell me: “because it’s beautiful, and it captivated me”.  That’s right, as over-simplified as it sounds, we are visual creatures. We buy based on what pleases our senses, we buy books by their covers and wines and craft beers by their labels, and when on the web, its the very same way. These designs are not only visually appealing, they resonate on a level that is difficult to even put words to… I hear this from my clients again and again. There is a FELT presence in them that draws your viewer in, and reflects back to them the quality of experience they were looking for when they came to your site in the first place. What led you here, is the very same thing that will lead your people to you.

As we all know too well, there are simply no guarantees in life. People sometimes say this is a drag, but to tell you the truth I believe it to be one of the greatest privileges, for we could not have the thrill of adventure without it. To be able to take that leap, and step out into previously uncharted territories, not knowing how it will turn out, is one of the greatest gifts of being alive. Like a sailor on the open seas, there is no telling what is yet to come, but we do it for the love of the ride. And hey, since this is design-work we’re talking about and not an old-timey ship, you don’t have to worry about getting scurvy, or ending up with a peg-leg or anything. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

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DO I HAVE TO COME UP WITH MY OWN PHOTOS FOR MY SITE?

This is entirely up to you, the vast majority of my clients rely on what is called Royalty Free or Stock Photography if they do not have stellar photographs of their own. Stellar photography is absolutely essential to good design, so if you don’t have them, I can get them for you, and that is in fact a BIG part of my process in the design. Choosing photos whose angle, light, hues, tones, and “feel” not only compliment eachother, but your brand all across the board, is my specialty. Stock photography is NOT included in your estimate, but you can set your own budget for it and I will work within that budget. A good stock photo budget can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand and that is entirely up to you. If your business is around products rather than services, or you are a personal brand then yes, you will need to have your own photography done. Just be sure to pick an absolutely fabulous photographer when you do, as this is vital to your overall look and feel.  Back to the top »


WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MY WEBSITE DESIGN?

  • Complete website design & development from start to finish.
  • New logo and optional tagline development as part of the organic design process for your brand.
  • Up to 3 rounds of changes to the design before moving into the production/programming phase. (*note: it’s not 3 changes, it’s 3 ROUNDS of changes)
  • Insertion and formatting of site text and photo content (IF chosen). Up to 3 rounds of changes to content included.
  • Final publish, post launch and testing of website.
  • Caring and attentive customer support, including timely and thoughtful answers to any of your questions or concerns. We pride ourselves on excellent communication skills, quick response time and ability to truly hear your needs.
  • Tutorial videos showing you how to update, add-to, and manage your site.
  • If special functionality is needed, (i.e.- databases, bookings systems, etc.) – and if it is not included in your estimate it will be assessed and quoted separately. Detailed and specific quotes can be prepared at any time on request.

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WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN MY WEBSITE DESIGN?

  • Your Domain Name Registration or Renewal fee’s (generally $15 per year or less per domain)
  • Your Hosting Costs (starting at $12-$29 per month when paid annually)
  • Your Stock Art & Photography costs (this is highly recommended unless you have absolutely stellar photography of your own to use) See here for details »
  • Any 3rd Party provider plug-ins such as e-commerce shopping carts, mailing list services, or booking systems. These fee’s are assessed separately by service provider and will be managed by you directly.
  • All of the above can be set up for you if you need, but the costs will be passed on to you as a separate charge from the original estimate. (we do not mark-up on any of these services, the cost is just passed-on)

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WHAT IF I NEED UPDATES IN THE FUTURE? CAN I DO MY OWN UPDATES?

Yes. The vast majority of my sites are built as custom WordPress themes, what this means for you, is that you have a built-in CMS (Content Management System). It also means you get the benefit of WordPress’s superior SEO foundation (Search Engine Optimization), and their host of available free plug-ins, for extra functionality and plenty of room for future growth. WordPress’s CMS will allow you to do your own text and content updates, and add new pages, and photos, etc. ad infinitum. If you go this route, I will also provide you with WordPress training tutorial videos after your site goes live. And of course, we are available for maintenance any time if you should need it and also offer monthly maintenance packages if you don’t want to do it yourself. Back to the top »


I HAVE HEARD HORROR STORIES ABOUT SKEEVY DESIGNERS WHO DIDN’T GET BACK TO THEIR CLIENTS, DIDN’T LISTEN, DIDN’T COMMUNICATE, AND LEFT THEM HANGING… ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE?

Well, let’s be perfectly honest and admit right now that if I was, I certainly wouldn’t tell you I was. That is why I would never expect you take my word for ityou can take my clients word for it instead. One of the most consistent compliments I’ve received from my customers is their disbelief in how much I was there for them, and cared for them, how easy I was to work with, and how quickly I responded to their every request and concern throughout the process, and never once left them hanging. But again, don’t take it from me, take it from my long list of over-the-moon clients…. Click Here for Reviews & References »


DO YOU TAKE CREDIT CARDS?

Yes. I take credit card payments online via my billing system, which also allows you to pay by debit card, or e-check. You can always pay regular check by snail mail as well. Unfortunately I don’t accept actual snails, “clams”, monopoly money, or pinky-swears at this time. 😉 All credit card transactions are charged a 3.5% processing fee. Back to the top »


WHAT IF MY PROJECT GOES OVER ESTIMATE?

Your project will never go over estimate without prior written approval and consent from you. Reasons a project might go over estimate are: excessive rounds of changes, addition of functionalities or pages that were not initially quoted, etc.


DO YOU DO SEO {SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION}?

Your site does come with a basic SEO Plugin for WordPress that you can work-on and customize further yourself (keywords, descriptions, stats, etc.) – HOWEVER – Search Engine Optimization is a VERY specialized and constantly-changing field. It is a profession of its own, which is why I recommend you hire an expert if you want to really focus in on your search rankings. I can help you find someone suitable, and/or point you to some DIY resources that you can learn and use yourself on an ongoing basis. Back to top »


IS THERE ANY FINE PRINT? AND IF SO, CAN YOU MAKE IT NOT-SO-FINE?

Yes. There always is isn’t there? But it’s best we’re all clear from the get-go so that we preserve our harmonious working relationship in the long run. This way, everybody is in “the know”.

1. We reserve the right to apply our site credits (and link) to your website in a clean and discreet manner below the main window of your site design. If you do not wish to have our site credits on your site, please inquire about cost to remove the link.

2. I strive to create a unique and distinctive site design for every one of my clients individually, and deeply honor each and every one of my clients endeavors. But I need to make it clear that securing a project with me is in no way securing exclusive rights to me as the artist, or contractually securing me from working for other companies IN or related-to your field. If that is something you require or are interested in, you may inquire about exclusivity and cost.

3. The artwork created for you, by me, is performed as an independent contractor, and once paid for – is yours to keep, circulate and freely make changes to under your ownership of the company the artwork was originally created for. However, as an independent contractor the artwork created is property of The Salty Olive and may not be RE-SOLD or duplicated for another (SEPARATE) company’s objectives without The Salty Olive’s prior written approval. You may also not claim or re-claim design credits (no removing or replacing design credits with your own or someone else’s name)

4. Your site will be launched, tested and approved and we will fix any “breaks” that happen there-after for a period of 30 days, just in case there is anything that was missed. After that time, “breaks” or “bugs” will be assumed to be client-error in doing updates, or because of browser software updates, and will need to be addressed and quoted separately. Don’t worry, this very rarely happens, and if/when it does it is usually a quick fix. But if it happens past the 30 day coverage period, you will be responsible for the charges.

5. The Salty Olive does not give refunds. Your finished, beautiful website will be supplied without fail, so once you’re signed on, we’re 100% committed to completing your project, and so are you. This is a good thing, because it keeps us both focused, steadfast, and fully committed to the completion of your new presence on the web. Beautiful partnerships and progress are made when both parties are “ALL IN”.

6. You are responsible for supplying your text content and decisions in a timely manner, turn-around times weigh heavily on your ability to provide content and decisions – if it takes longer, that’s okay, but just so you are aware that we cannot be held responsible for missed deadlines if content was not provided on time.  All sites and branding projects must be completed in 120 days from start date unless otherwise arranged, or additional fee’s will be incurred.

7. Late Fees: All invoices are due upon receipt. If a payment is not collected within 15 days of original receipt, a 3% fee will be added to the bill.

 

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we'll help bring out your unique

brilliance

so you can stand out in the crowd

The power of great design in branding your business is that it not only excites and inspires your clients, but it excites and inspires you too! When you meet your genuine brand, all fleshed out before you, it re-invigorates and re-inspires YOU about it too, it brings your vision to life in a whole new way, and that inspiration goes right back into the business… equipping you with everything you need to meet your market head-on, and grow your business from a fresh and strong foundation. As a successful business owner you already know that whether you’re selling a product or a service, what you’re really selling is an EXPERIENCE, and the best way to sell an experience is to give your prospective customers a “taste”. Here at The Salty Olive we specialize in just that very thing, and we’ve been doing it for 16+ years: distilling it all down to the heart of your business, and designing all your marketing materials to do just that—give your clients a true “taste” and FEEL for YOUR UNIQUE BRAND EXPERIENCE. The fact is people connect on a tactile, and emotional level through words and imagery—it’s what moves them and ultimately inspires them to choose you—that’s why we design your brand as an answer to what your clients most want to feel and experience,  because when you do that, you go from being A choice for them, to being THE choice for them.

DISCOVER THE POWER OF A GENUINE BRAND »