Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Ember & Co

Can I work with Ember & Co if I don't live in Colorado?
Absolutely! One of the best aspects of my business is the ability to work with anyone, regardless of location. Ember & Co has clients all over the world.
Who will be handling my project? Do you have a team?
While I (Caitlin) handle the vast majority of the project management, design work, and creative direction for Ember & Co — I will sometimes partner with trusted experts in niche fields to help make your project a success. This might include SEO strategists, social media marketing experts, copywriters, and/or advanced web developers.

As the saying goes, "Teamwork makes the dream work." You will always know ahead of time who will be tackling what.
When will we be working on my project?
You will receive a project start date during our onboarding process. On a day-to-day basis, I am a big believer in maintaining a healthy work/life balance, so that I can bring you my best self and most creative work. I am also a full-time mama who is honored to have the opportunity to spend most of my daytime hours with my busy toddler :) That means that I often have to get creative about when I fit my work in during the week. My work hours may not be your work hours — and that's okay! If your project is expected to span multiple weeks, you will receive a project timeline that will outline when each phase of the project is expected to be completed.
How long will it take to complete my project? What if I'm in a hurry?
Your project timeline will depend on the scope of work and how quickly you’re able to provide feedback for each phase of the project. I would plan for at least a month for most projects; websites and full branding suites can take close to three months.

If you don’t have that kind of time, you can pay a 20% rush fee to get your project moved to the front of the queue 🙂
What happens if I miss my feedback deadlines?
Whenever possible, it’s important that we both hit the project deadlines that we commit to at the start of the project. A small delay here and there likely won’t affect things too much, but know that your project completion date will likely be shifted back.

If there are significant delays on your end, the project will be paused and rescheduled for a later date so that it doesn’t interfere with other projects. A rebooking fee will apply.

More importantly, though, hitting the deadlines you set for yourself is a commitment to your own joy and success. It's how you show up for yourself and your business — and every delay is a pushing-off of your own goals and desires. So be kind to yourself!
Can I add on more website requests and/or content updates?
Yes! We included a minimum number of content updates in the standard package for those who won't need as much support with content, but every plan is customizable. If you know you'll want more help with content, we can add more to your monthly package. This guarantees you more of our time each month. If you just have a month or two when you have more content requests, we're always happy to accommodate them as our availability permits. Additional requests will be completed at our current hourly rate and billed separately.
What will you need from me during the process?
I like to refer to the three C's: collaboration, communication, clarity. If we ensure that we're a good fit for each other, communicate openly and authentically, trust in each other's expertise, and speak with clarity — we'll do great together 🙂
How can I guarantee that our project together will be a success?
I like to refer to the three C's: collaboration, communication, clarity. If we ensure that we're a good fit for each other, communicate openly and authentically, trust in each other's expertise, and speak with clarity — we'll do great together 🙂
How do I book you?
Introduce yourself here. That’s the first step! We will schedule a time to chat about your project in more detail, and if it seems like a good fit, I’ll send over a proposal, contract, and an invoice for your project down payment. All three pieces (proposal + contract + down payment) must be complete before your project is officially added to my project calendar.

Payment Questions

Do you have payment plans?
Yes! For most projects, 50% will be due at the beginning of the project, and 50% at the end.

If you’re booking your project more than a month before the start date, 35% will be due to book, 35% will be due at the start of the project, and 30% will be due upon project completion.

Projects over $2,000 also have the option to be on a 35/35/30 payment plan, if desired. 35% will be due at the beginning of the project, 35% will be due one month later (or mid-way through the project, whichever comes first) and 30% at the end.
Which forms of payment does Ember & Co accept?
Ember & Co accepts all major credit cards (there is a convenient payment button on each invoice you receive). We also accept checks — just let me know when you drop them in the mail so I can keep an eye out for it. Bounced checks will result in a 10% penalty fee.

If we have the opportunity to meet in person I am happy to accept cash, but for your safety, I prefer not to have cash mailed to me.
When do I pay?
Unless we’re on a special payment schedule, 50% of your project total will be due before we book your project. The remaining balance will be due at the end of the project, before I hand off your final design files.

If you’re booking your project more than a month before the start date, 35% will be due to book, 35% will be due at the start of the project, and 30% will be due upon project completion.

Projects over $2,000 also have the option to be on a 35/35/30 payment plan, if desired. 35% will be due at the beginning of the project, 35% will be due one month later (or mid-way through the project, whichever comes first) and 30% at the end.
What happens if I miss a payment?
Life happens, and sometimes payment dates slip our minds. A payment that is a day or two late isn’t the end of the world and with good communication, we’ll bounce right back.

However, keep in mind that each payment is tethered to your project’s progress and work will not commence/continue until each payment milestone is met. If you fail to make a payment entirely, a 10% late fee will be added to the project total every 30 days until the total balance is paid off. Timely and honest communication is essential when it comes to avoiding potential fees 🙂

Website Design Process

How much does it cost to have my website designed/developed?
Prices start at $1,475 for a landing page, and go up front their depending on your needs. You can find more details here.
How much does it cost to maintain my website once it's launched?
One thing I love about working with Wordpress.org is that it's FREE. If your website functionality needs are relatively simple, you may have zero ongoing platform fees. Your only required ongoing costs will be your domain and your hosting account (more on that below).

If you would like, you can maintain your website yourself. It's very important to make sure that your plugins, theme files, and core Wordpress files are up-to-date. This ensures that your website continues to perform well, run smoothly, and avoid security threats/hacking. If you don't want to have to think about it, you can opt-in for our website care plan. We love caring for your website post-launch. And it gives us an excuse to stay in touch!
I’ve never built a website before. How does the whole process work?
That’s okay! Most people haven’t. I’ll be here every step of the way to lead you through the process. You can learn more about Ember & Co’s website experience here.
What is a domain name?
Think of your domain name as your address. It’s how people will find you when they want to visit you. You want your domain name (URL) to be simple, memorable, and easy to spell.
What is a website host?
Think of your website host as the plot of land you build your house (or in this case, website) on. It’s the physical location that your domain name (your address) will lead people to. Some hosts are cheaper than others; it’s often worthwhile to pay a little extra to get added security and privacy. I wrote a lot about this here.
Do I need my own domain and hosting?
Yep! I let you choose your own domain and hosting so that you have full control over billing and ownership. I’ll help you set everything up after you’ve purchased what you need. My recommended domain providers are Google Domains and Siteground. My recommended hosting providers: Flywheel is my top pick for WordPress sites. Siteground is also good, though you’ll share space with other websites on their starter plans.
Will my website look good on mobile?
Absolutely! In this day and age, it’s essential that your website looks just as good on mobile as it does on a desktop. I use responsive design principles to build out a website that looks great no matter where/how your customers are viewing it.
Do you do eCommerce/Online Store websites?
Yep! Keep in mind that your website package investment will increase based on the complexity/scale of your online store.
Will you teach me how to update my website myself?
Of course! I want you to feel like you have full ownership of your website, and I don’t want you to have to make a request every time you want to update the text/images on your website.

I use industry-leading drag-and-drop builders on every website I create so that you will be able to make basic updates to your website without any coding knowledge. I also film a walkthrough of your website before hand-off (showing you how to make yourself at home) and offer a free training session post-launch if you have any questions after diving in 🙂 I will never leave you hanging!
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization is a fancy way to say that we want your website to come up in Google search results when your customers are searching for businesses like yours. There is a lot that goes into SEO and if you get really serious about it, you’ll likely want to hire an expert that specializes in it.

However, there is a lot that we can do to get you started on the right foot when we launch your new website. My standard website package includes basic SEO set-up. You can help by giving some extra attention to your copy. Focus on well written, keyword rich and appropriate content is the key.
Do you write the content/copy for my site?
Ember & Co can help with some basic editing and optimize the copy you provide so that it fits within the structure of each web page and the goals we’ve set. However, we don’t write the copy for you.

Effective and well-written website copy is just as important (if not moreso, in some cases) as the website design itself. If you’d like some professional expertise, I’m happy to connect you with one of my trusted copywriting partners.

I highly recommended STORYBRAND by Donald Miller if you’re interested in writing effective copy that tells a story and captures the heart of your ideal customers. It’s a fairly quick read (or listen) and will completely transform how you talk about your business.
When do you need my website copy?
Your final copy (whether you write it or have someone help) is due BEFORE we start on the website development process. Within the first week or so of our design process, I will provide you with a wireframe of each main website page that is filled with placeholder copy. Sometimes it can help to “fill in all the blanks” rather than starting from scratch.

I recommend having all of your rough copy ready before we start, and fine-tuning after you’ve approved the wireframe and we’re about to start on development.

Website Care Plans

Do I need a care plan? Or can I do it all myself?
If you're on WordPress, yes, you need to be doing regular maintenance. WordPress is an amazingly expansive and collaborative ecosystem with 55,000+ plugins, thousands of themes, and endless opportunities to customize, add, and tweak code. Its open source nature makes it one of the most powerful and scalable website content management systems on the planet. However, as the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility."

WordPress powers roughly 34% of the internet, but accounts for 90% of website hacks. Out-of-date plugins, poorly coded themes, plugin update conflicts, and poor host security opens you up to a whole slew of issues, from poor performance to security risks to downtime. 

Think of it like a car. It's tempting to stick your head in the sand and assume all is well — and maybe all will be well, for a while. However, the longer you neglect it, the more likely it will be that something catastrophic (and costly) will happen. Just like regular oil changes and tire rotations for your car, simple maintenance tasks for your website will keep it running smoothly and extend the value of your investment. A little TLC now safes you a load of pain down the road.

That being said, if you feel like you can't afford a professional care plan right now, make sure you turn on "enable auto updates" for most of your plugins and installed themes. This is now available in the WordPress dashboard, and many hosts offer this feature, as well. Log into your website at least once per month and check for any updates that were missed, and make sure that your most important pages are still looking great and running smoothly. Limit the number of plugins you use and only install new ones if they're absolutely necessary for the functioning of your website. When possible, stick to well-reviewed, high quality, well coded plugins and themes. They're less likely to cause bugs and plugin conflicts. In general, more plugins invite more problems.

A quick note: while it's super important to keep plugins updated, sometimes those updates can cause plugin conflicts and break your site — especially if you have a ton of different plugins installed. This is why frequent backups are so important. 

It's also incredibly important to be on a quality, well-secured Managed WordPress website host. They will help you to keep your site safe. My top suggestions are Flywheel, Siteground, and Cloudways. Flywheel actually offers free malware cleanup if you do get hacked, which is super helpful if you don't have a web professional caring for your site.
Does a care plan guarantee that my website won't get hacked or experience downtime?
Unfortunately, no one can promise you 100% uptime or guarantee that your website won't get hacked. Sometimes, these things just happen. However, being on a care plan will ensure that you have a recent backup to roll back to and professional support to get back up and running quickly. A care plan and quality hosting will also serve as your best line of defense against downtime and hacking, so while the chances are never 0%, they'll be much, much lower.
Can I sign-up for a care plan with Ember & Co even if you didn't build my website?
We love to support websites we built because we know them inside and out and know the care that we put into development. However, we're always open to supported new and existing clients who had their websites built by someone else. Before we select a plan for you, we'll request to do a full audit of your website and hosting environment. This helps us to get a feel for how it's set up, if/how long it's been neglected, and what it will take to keep it well maintained. This audit will be performed at our current hourly rate, and an onboarding fee may apply if we decide to move forward.
Do you support more advanced websites, like eCommerce or course websites?
We do! However, these websites are much more complex and will likely need more time and attention to care for properly. We want to make sure that you don't lose transactional history or experience downtime during standard plugin updates and routine maintenance. As a result, an additional fee will likely apply. We're happy to provide a quote :)
What's your turnaround time for maintenance and content updates?
Maintenance tasks will be performed on a set schedule, likely weekly or monthly (depending on the task). We will aim to warn you 48 hours beforehand in the event that you'd like to postpone due to a special promotion or heightened activity on your website during that time. When you request content updates, we'll strive to address them in 48-72 hours — sometimes sooner if we're able. Our response time does not include evenings, weekends, or holidays.
Can I add on more website requests and/or content updates?
Yes! We included a minimum number of content updates in the standard package for those who won't need as much support with content, but every plan is customizable. If you know you'll want more help with content, we can add more to your monthly package. This guarantees you more of our time each month. If you just have a month or two when you have more content requests, we're always happy to accommodate them as our availability permits. Additional requests will be completed at our current hourly rate and billed separately.
Do monthly content updates rollover?
As much as we'd love to offer the ability to rollover unused content updates, it makes scheduling too tricky month-to-month. Think of it more like a retainer. That space is reserved for you each month, and resets at the start of the next month. We'll aim to get you on a plan that "fits just right" and maximizes the value for you.
What's the best way to get in touch with you? What if it's an emergency?
If you're on an active care plan, email support@emberand.co. Please start a new email for each request (rather than responding to an old thread) and provide a subject in the title of the email. Describe your concern or request in as much detail as possible so that we can address it right away, rather than going back and forth for clarification. We strive to respond within 24 hours. You will also be provided with a phone number that you can call or text in the event of a true emergency. 
How does billing work?
We bill for care plans on a month-to-month basis. When you sign up, you'll enter your credit card information into our secure payment system. Your card will get auto-billed once per month until either party requests in writing to suspend/cancel the care plan. You will have full coverage until your plan expires.
What do you need from me in order to set up a new care plan?
We will need login credentials for your WordPress admin, hosting provider, and domain registrar. We store this information securely in LastPass. If your website is new to Ember & Co, we may need to perform a one-time audit to ensure that your website is eligible for a care plan. If we decide that it is, we'll recommend a care plan package and there may be a one-time onboarding fee. If you're an existing Ember & Co client and we already have the credentials for your website, we may not need anything else from you!

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

No problem! Reach out via the contact page, or via email (if you're an existing client).

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