I found my passion for web design back in high school, when I wanted a place to post reviews and articles about computer hardware. Rather than using a template, I decided why not do things my way – so I developed a custom WordPress theme for my new website. A lot of late nights and skipped homework assignments later, I had something that looked and worked pretty darn good for a first website.
I graduated from Marin School of the Arts for Creative Writing, and despite my novel sitting at one chapter done for years now, I like to think that I put my creative writing skills into the design and code of your website. An introduction, content, and conclusion is no different than a header, content, and footer, right? Right.
After high school I worked at a computer repair shop for several years. While working with those clients, I found that a lot of small business owners were either overpaying for decent websites, overpaying for terrible websites, or just didn’t have an online presence at all, and that’s when I decided to start building websites professionally.
Why Choose Me?
I know you have a lot of options when it comes to web design and development… Whether it’s outsourced freelancers, local agencies, your 15-year-old, or drag-and-drop site-builders, there are so many people and/or places that will take your money and give you a website.
But just any website isn’t good enough these days. When your competitor across the street or across town has pretty much the same website, based on the same template, and slapped together by the same people, there’s no reason for your potential customers to become your customer.
I offer something a little different. As a local, I understand you. As a small business owner, I understand you. You bring something unique to the table, and that’s what I capture. It’s that energy that I put into your website. Whether you do auto repair or landscaping or plumbing, or something else, I get to know you, your business, and your customers – and build you a unique, high quality website.That’s the “Michael Staake difference” and why you should hire me to build your website instead of “the other guy” or “the other guys”.
Here’s the thing – I’m not for everyone. If you expect me to show up wearing a suit in a freshly waxed BMW, we probably aren’t the right fit. If you can look past my lack of an office, however, I take pride in everything I do, and I’ll take care of you, your business, and your website, at a price you can afford.
Whether it’s your first website or you’ve worked with other website providers in the past, you might find that my process from start to finish to updates is a little different.
1. We meet in person (if you’re local). At a coffee shop or your business – because I don’t have an office. Please don’t judge – it’s how I keep my costs down and those savings get passed on to you in the form of much lower pricing than you’d expect. No obligations, no pushy sales tactics, just a consultation. I get to know you, you get to know me, and if the conversation gets there, we go over which of my website packages would benefit your business the most, and what unique changes we need to make so that you get exactly what you need and don’t pay for anything you don’t.
2. I build your website. How long this takes depends on the size of the job, how busy I am, and your communication speed. You’ll have a private preview of the website before it goes live so you can make sure it’s exactly what you want, and we can work all the bugs out.
3. We launch your new online presence. If you opted for any of my social media marketing packages, we’ll work together on those.
4. Sure, your new website might seem done, but websites are never really done. I can show you how to update the content and images of your site, or, if you chose one of my website maintenance packages, I’ll be taking care of everything for you.
You might be wondering… what about the money, Michael? Well, each project is different, but generally how I work is that a 50% deposit is due before I begin working on your website. Once it’s complete, the remainder of the payment is due before the site gets launched, or transferred to your hosting provider (if you don’t host with me). On larger projects, the payment plan might be slightly different (1/3 up front, 1/3 at a predetermined checkpoint, and 1/3 upon completion), but we’ll discuss it all up front and outline everything in the contract so both of us are protected.