Need Website Help? REVIEW: My 4 Favorite Website Companies

Website stuff can be complicated. And stressful. 

I started blogging 7 years ago, and began creating my first website on the free Blogger platform as a DIY girl. As my online goals changed, I learned how to get a domain name, chose a hosting company, and how to upload and edit Wordpress themes.

Since then I've also learned how to create websites through WIX, Weebly, and Shopify etc. I've worked part time as a freelance designer for others, and have built several sites from scratch complete with widgets, buttons, graphics, lookbooks, and digital art etc. 

But. Over the years I've needed help with some projects so I began looking to hire designers as well. 

I've learned this: Sometimes the complete DIY route is not worth the stress, or time, that it costs you. 

Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash

 

For the past year I have researched and prayed about who God wanted me to work with for a huge upcoming project He has on my heart, and along the way I learned a lot about the variety of what different web developers offer.

One of the work positions I now hold is as a website consultant, so I have a wide range of experience on this topic, from being the consumer to being the service provider.

So I thought I'd take some of what I've learned and create a blog post for you about my four favorite web developers/designers/companies. 

I'm covering these 6 basic areas for each company:

#1) What they do for you

#2) What you need to do before working with them

#3) How long until project completion

#4) Support after project is complete

#5) Photography

#6) Cost

Company #1: Restored 316

 

#1) What They Do for You: 

Restored 316 provides provides feminine Wordpress themes for the female entrepreneur. They offer an additional service to install Wordpress and setup your chosen theme for you, or you can opt to do the installation and setup yourself. Their themes provide a lot of your branding  (colors and fonts) already done for you (logo not included).

 

#2) What You Need to Do Before Working with Them:

You will need to choose a website name, purchase domain and hosting, and purchase the Genesis Framework. They have an excellent Just Getting Started? page to guide you step-by-step through what you need to do. 

 

#3) How Long Until Project Completion: 

This depends on their queue at the time of purchase, but generally they have your project done within 7 business days. There isn't currently a long waitlist.  After they run sales, the longest it would be is about 14 business days. 

 

#4) Support After Project is Complete: 

They don't offer any monthly support service currently. They do offer a customization service for those wanting design adjustments to their themes ($75 for a half-hour time slot). 

 

#5) Photography: 

Not included. With each theme you will receive the link to purchase the  images you see in the theme demo, and they make recommendations in their Resources page about where to get great quality images. Restored 316 recommends Shay Cochrane of SC Stockshop for excellent brand images. You can purchase a 5 image brand bundle from SC Stockshop for $196, or individual images for around $59/each. 

 

#6) Cost:

All the beautiful themes through Restored 316 are $75 each. Their installation and setup services cost between $147 - $297 (depending on if you currently have a site, or are setting up a brand new website). So, for a full install + theme set up ($297), theme ($75), 5-pack of high-end photography ($196), the Genesis Framework ($60), a year of domain and hosting (let's say you go with the lowest $48/1 year plan), and a half-hour of theme customization ($75), your total is around $750. If you add up your all costs when looking for ways to have a completely professional looking site that does not have very limited customization abilities, I haven't found a option out there that is more affordable than Restored 316.  

Who is Restored 316 an ideal match for?

If you love a feminine website look, and don't mind going DIY on some elements related to your site, and you want a beautiful, professional looking website without it costing you a fortune, then purchasing a theme + services through Restored 316 is a perfect fit for you.

 

Bonus: 

The Restored 316 newsletter, and the tutorials on their blog, are fantastic for DIY-ers! They also put together a free eBook to guide you through choosing the right theme for your website. 

 

Additional Costs include:

Domain and hosting, photography, additional support after the site is launched (optional), a logo (optional), and SEO (optional) for your site. 

Tip: You will want to be aware of the fine print for whatever domain/hosting company you choose. Because what I did not realize when I began as a DIY girl is that after your initial plan is over (usually plans are offered for time periods ranging between 1-3 years) your hosting costs go up. Example: Depending on what you need, domain and hosting will cost you between $4-$15 per month (between $48 - $195 per year) when you initially choose your hosting plan. Then your costs become between $120 - $360 per year. It's helpful to think of hosting the way you would purchasing cable TV. You can choose a start-up plan at a price you are comfortable with, just be aware that after the introductory rate time period has passed, your costs are going to go up. 

 

Company #2: Love Inspired 


#1) What They Do for You:
 
They work with you to create a high-end, customized website design.
 
#2) What You Need to Do Before Working with Them:
 
Schedule a 30 minute "fitting call" to see if they are great fit for your needs.
 
#3) How Long Until Project Completion:
 
The Love Inspired team is typically booked out several months in advance, so if you signed a contract to work with them then you'd be added to their client queue, and the additional time for completing your project would vary depending on what you need or want done. It's safe to assume it would be several months until your project was completed. 

#4) Support After Project is Complete:

Ongoing monthly support is not available, but Love Inspired does offers support packages between $1,000-$1,475. See details here

#5) Photography:
 
Not included. A combination of stock photography and personally supplied photos are on Love Inspired sites. They can make recommendations for you to point you in the right direction. 

#6) Cost:

Branding projects (which included your logo design, colors, and fonts to represent your brand) cost between $1,750 - $2,250, and full website design projects currently cost between $12,000 - $18,000.
 
Additional costs include:

Domain and hosting, photography, additional support after the site is launched (optional), and SEO (optional) for your site.

Bonus:

The Love Inspired blog tutorials are excellent for the DIY people out there. They also offer some very helpful free downloads including a Website Content Roadmap, 50 Perfect Brand Pairings (this is about what fonts pair well together and communicate about your brand), and a helpful Web Platform Comparisons

Who is Love Inspired an ideal match for?
 

If you have want a high-end, highly-customized website with an artistic flair, then Love Inspired is the ideal match for you. Having worked with multi-million dollar brands, they are strategic and intentional with the details of the customer user experience, with your unique brand style/voice and ROI being top priority. Example: See how they designed The Contract Shop

Company #3: Contemplate Design 


#1) What They Do for You:
 
Contemplate Design can create any website you can dream up. They have one of the widest ranges in the "style" of the sites they create that I've seen. Websites that work for women, men, bloggers, businesses, or non-for-profits.

#2) What You Need to Do Before Working with Them:
 
Send them an email expressing your interest in working with them, and they will guide you to setting up a free phone call consultation to discuss more in-depth your vision and goals for your website. 

#3) How Long Until Project Completion:
 
Their waitlist/client queue is currently about 3-4 months before the project would begin. Though specific timing will vary from project to project, if you hired them for a full website design it would be safe to expect an additional 10-14 weeks for project completion.
 

#4) Support After Project is Complete:
 
Contemplate Design offers monthly support packages between $55 - $360/month. Hourly-rate help is available at an additional cost as well ranging between $105/hr - $75 /hr dependent on/in addition to the support package you choose.
 
#5) Photography:

Not included. They can give you suggestions for where to find stock photos online, but otherwise they will work with the photos you provide. 

#6) Cost: 

Website project costs vary depending on what your needs are. For full logo, branding, shop setup and site design a safe estimate is between $5,000 and $8,000.

Additional costs include:

Domain and hosting, photography, SEO (optional) and additional support (optional) after the site is launched.

Bonus:

Ted Barnett is the designer/developer/strategist behind Contemplate Design, and he is five-star fantastic to work with. I've hired him twice myself (not for the Little Lunch Maker website you are currently on. This platform I did myself from a Shopify template. I wanted to be clear about this because his work is much better!). I am currently working with him on that major project I mentioned previously because it includes very complex back-end stuff (Ted is creating custom structure for the unique, interactive online course I'm launching this winter). I first discovered Contemplate Design through a high recommendation from Ann Voskamp, and discovered that several other online leaders I respect worked with Contemplate Design to create their websites, too. 

Who is Contemplate Design an ideal match for? 

Bloggers, platform builders, business owners, and not-for-profits who can afford to wait a few months for their site to be developed/re-designed, and have the money to invest. Also, if your vision for your website involves really complicated back-end technical development, Ted is the rare combination of excellent designer and developer. There's no question in my mind that you would be thrilled with your end result.
 

Company #4 : Site Metropolis


#1) What They Do for You:
 
They take all the website-related stress off the plate of website owners. They do everything: Set up your domain and hosting, Logo and branding, custom website design, professional photography, ongoing on-site SEO, ongoing management and maintenance of your website, unlimited done-for-you edits and support etc.
 
#2) What You Need to Do Before Working with Them:
 
Nothing. They set up everything from scratch, or transfer your existing content for you. 

#3) How Long Until Project Completion:
 
30 days. They literally start a countdown timer after you submit the form telling them the details of what you want on your website. It will be completed to your satisfaction within 30 days, or you get your money back. 

#4) Support After Project is Complete:
 
Site Metropolis offers ongoing support and maintenance as a part of working with them. This support includes any edits or additions you need or want done to your website completed within a guaranteed 24-hour turnaround time period. They will manage and maintain your online store, booking appointments or reservations etc. Their support also includes ongoing SEO work for your site, and a yearly refresh of your entire website so no matter how fast things change online your site is always fresh.  
 
#5) Photography

Included. They schedule a time with you in week 2 of your 30-day website creation/re-creation process and send a local professional photographer to take high-quality pictures of you and your business so your website looks awesome. 
 
#6) Cost:
 
Everything I mentioned - secure domain and hosting, logo and branding, custom optimized site design, professional photography, SEO work, ongoing support and maintenance, unlimited edits and additions, yearly website refresh etc: $1,999 for the initial build, and $199 per month. Which means the custom website and a year of unlimited support for: $4,387. 

Additional costs include:

None. 

Bonus:

I can get you $800 off the price above, if you want to be referred to the Site Metropolis team through me. So, if you want a personalized, in-depth website review to see if Site Metropolis is the best fit for your business, then you can email me directly and I will set up a free, 15 minute phone call with you. Contact me here: elise@sitemetropolis.com 

Who is Site Metropolis an ideal match for?
 
Business owners, platform builders or entrepreneurs who want a beautiful, functional, strategic website, but don't want to spend their time messing with it.
It's especially ideal for those who never want to wonder if everything is functioning properly, or if it's secure, or updating your website to deal with legal things as they pop up (like how sites now need to be GDPR compliant).
And if you already know you'd like to add a "wing" to your business/what you offer online sometime in the near future, then you'd have a team of professional designers/developers on standby to implement your changes within 24 hours.
If you want a team of kind, professional people to get your site done quickly, well, and maintain it for you, then Site Metropolis is the ideal match for you. 

4 Extra FREE Resources for you :) 
 
1) For clear, effective communication with your reader/customer/website visitor: How to Tell a Story PDF by Donald Miller 

2) Free stock photography: Unsplash or Pixabay

3) A list of handy tips & tools that are to-the-point, and easy to understand: The Useletter by Amy Lynn Andrews 

4) Lead yourself well to best serve others: Michael Hyatt's Lead to Win Podcast


If you'd like a free website consultation, contact me here: elise@sitemetropolis.com