• Isobel Hamilton Web Design
    Grow your business by getting online
  • Keeping it local
    Valley web design for Nova Scotia business
  • Value for money
    Professional websites for small business prices

What I offer

Small businesses deserve a website that is modern, professional, responsive and showcases their talents and products.
Based in the Annapolis Valley, I provide a personal touch to website design.

A professional website shouldn't cost the earth, and keeping in contact with customers shouldn't be complicated.
I won't confuse you with jargon or charge you for things you don't need.
Your website is like your business card, there for thousands to see. Make sure it reflects your business image!

Web design

I'll build you a website that fits your business, and helps potential customers decide to choose to shop with you.

Mailing list

The best way to keep in touch with current and potential customers. Don't rely on third parties like Facebook, get in touch directly!

Wordpress

Do you want to have full control of your site, and be able to make changes whenever you want? I can help make that happen.

E-commerce

Interested in selling products online? Get in touch and we can discuss the options.

My philosophy

I live and work locally in the Annapolis Valley. I understand small businesses and the challenges they face; my goal is to provide affordable, clear, personalised internet services to get local businesses online with professional modern websites.

Many web design companies charge too much, hoping customers don't know what's involved. If they do sell cheaper work, it is often poor quality, outdated and unresponsive. I want to give businesses an excellent, affordable website which will promote them online and give potential customers the chance to learn about their business and choose them.

I want to make web design more personal; I want to meet you and see your business, and give you the website you want.

Why do you need a website?

I want to help small businesses get a website that makes them stand out,
be professional, showcase their talents and product.

Perhaps you think, as a local business, you don't need a website. But did you know that 85% of customers use the internet to find local businesses? And in a large survey, most people were just as likely to turn to the internet as they were to ask for recommendations from friends.

And yet, 54% of small businesses don't have a website! Think about it... all those customers searching online for a business just like yours, but they go somewhere else because you're not online. Jim Blasingame, a small business author and host of 'The Small Business Advocate', an online and nationally syndicated radio show, says that every small business needs a website. If you don't have one, he says, "You might as well be a ghost. The customers and opportunity pass right through you."

However small or new your business, having a website gives you credibility, makes you appear more professional and gives potential customers vital information about your products and services. Perhaps you're in Wolfville on the main street and think everyone has seen your store. But what about potential customers in Hantsport, or Berwick, who would travel to you if they knew you were there?

It is important to consider the appearance of your web presence as well. Perhaps you have a listing on a directory site like NSLocal. Wouldn't you rather have your own site instead? Or perhaps you have a website made in 2011. Is it responsive (will it resize to fit different devices, like tablets and phones?)? Does it look smart and professional?

Having your own website can showcase so many aspects of your business to potential customers. Your website is your first impression, make sure it's a good one! A well-built website can impress customers, and also help you climb up the google rankings.

Still not sure? Here's a great article on entrepreneur.com on why every business should have a professional-looking website: Why You Need a Website

Testimonials

What previous clients have said about my work

Kings County Museum

www.kingscountymuseum.ca

We recruited Isobel to help us design a new website and then migrate from the old to the new. Not only did she accomplish all that we asked she went way beyond expectations to help us save money and ease the tasks of maintaining the new site. With a positive attitude and strong technical skills Isobel is a delight to work with. She clearly explained the tricky parts and offered alternative solutions when available. We would highly recommend her for future website projects.Kelly Bourassa, President, Kings County Historical Society

Kings County Museum

www.kingscountymuseum.ca

We have been working with Isobel over the past year creating a new website for our museum. Isobel took us through the maze of available platforms, templates and plug ins with a calm confidence. Isobel is a great communicator and we are very delighted with the straightforwardness of her skill and knowledge. Isobel had the abilities to take our ideas and concepts to reality. Our new website is vibrant, informative and helpful, a true reflection of Isobel's skillful proficiencies.Kate MacInnes, Office Manager, Kings County Museum

Wolfville Newcomers Club

www.wolfvillenewcomers.org

Isobel's design for the Newcomers site dramatically changed the look of our original web page. It is easy to navigate and very accessible even to those who may not be familiar with the internet. It is colourful, artistic and, for the first time, dynamic. We are so glad to have found her to help us with a new "look". Isobel understood our needs and incorporated our ideas as well as presenting many of her own. We had a 2 hour follow up meeting with her where she educated us on how to make changes, additions or deletions in the future. For a small Club such as ours, it means being able to save money by learning how to maintain the site ourselves. Isobel is a highly skilled professional which is reflected in her work for the Wolfville and Area Newcomers Club.Barb Gibson, President, Wolfville Newcomers Club

Highlander Strength and Fitness

www.highlanderstrengthandfitness.ca

With the spiralling costs of marketing my gym and the uncertainty of the results you are going to get I can't imagine not having my website. The first port of call for people looking for a service is almost always a google search. If you don't have a website these potential customers won't even know you exist. Isobel built a website that shows my gym the way I want it to be seen. It's great knowing the site is constantly there promoting my gym. Of all the marketing things I have tried it is by far the most cost effective. It quickly paid for itself and every customer it delivers now is pure profit.Iain Smith, owner, Highlander Strength and Fitness

The Couthie Crumble Company

www.thecouthiecrumbleco.ca

My new website is fantastic. Informative,yet simple. Monochrome,yet colourful. Everything I asked for on paper was magically transformed into a fully functional webpage. Cannot recommended Isobel highly enough.Rachael Robertson, owner, The Couthie Crumble Company

About Me

Making web design personal and affordable

Who I Am

"Some companies will confuse you with tech talk about coding, SEO and page ranking. That's not what I'm about, I want to cut through the jargon and put you in control."

A lot of people aren't fans of computers and technology. I am! I first got online in the mid-90s, and it wasn't long before I was teaching myself how to build my own website. Since that time I have run a lot of different websites, from hobby sites to business sites. I have built websites from scratch and I've used templates and Wordpress. I have run my own online businesses, built online stores and subscription sites. I'm sure we can work together to build something for your business!

My Goals

My main goal is to make it as straightforward and affordable as possible for small businesses to get online. My family have run small businesses, and I have too. I don't think businesses should be confused into overpaying for something you don't need, or settling for something inferior due to price. I want to explain how websites and mailing lists work, help you to see the value in having an online presence, and help you feel in control of the whole process. I'd like to meet with you, see your business 'in person', and discuss how the internet can help you. If you don't know how to set up an email address, I'll help! It shouldn't be difficult to get your business online.

My background

I'm originally from Scotland; my partner and I moved to Nova Scotia in May 2013.
I'm entirely self-taught in web design; I made my first site in 1997 and my interest and ability has grown steadily since then. I have made websites for my own small businesses - art and mural painting - and for a local university football team.
For 7 years I lived in Glasgow and worked as a fingerprint examiner. At the same time I continued to build websites; one for my own ecommerce business, and another for my partner's fitness business, and I learnt about how complex it is to get a website noticed in a big city environment.
Now I live in the Valley, in Canning, with my partner Iain and our cat Puck. We love it here!

Other Services

I can help set up your domain name (your website address, for example www.mysite.com) and connect you with web hosting. I can help you buy this yourself, or I can provide it - all design packages come with one year of domain registration and hosting.
Don't be stuck with a personal email from eastlink, gmail or sympatico. Get a professional email address that matches your domain name.
Whatever service you buy - basic website, email, mailing list, Wordpress, or e-commerce I'll provide 1hr training and an e-manual on how to manage your site.

What's so great about a mailing list?

Can't I keep in touch with customers on my Facebook page?

Many small businesses use social media like Facebook to stay in touch with their customers; perhaps that is what you use for your business web presence. But did you know Facebook recently changed the rules for business pages? Your posts no longer get shown to all the people who 'like' your page. Instead Facebook show them to around 15% of your followers, expecting you to pay to show your post to the rest of your followers (I can tell you more about this if you're interested).

Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to capture contact details for potential customers, and tell them and your current customers about sales or special offers?

You could advertise, put up posters or distribute flyers. That will get the word out, but at what cost? Flyers to your main local area could cost $1000 or more for printing and distribution, and it's hard to know how many actually get read. Newspaper and radio ads are very expensive.

A mailing list is a free and effective way to keep in touch with your customers. They sign up for free on your website, or they leave their email address at your shop. Then whenever you have some important news - a new product, a sale, a special event - you send out an email to everyone on your list. Simple, and free!

Think about big business; they all use mailing lists. Stores as varied as Sears, Michaels, Best Buy and Home Depot all have mailing lists people can join to find out about the latest offers as well as news and tips about their businesses.

It's easy to manage a mailing list and send out professional-looking emails to your customers. I can help you set up your list, design your emails and show you how to send emails, so you can communicate directly with your customers, for free!

Prices

I offer great prices for your business

Compare our quality of work and price with other web designers; we think you'll be pleased with the difference!

Starter

$500

  • 2 webpages
  • 1 email address
  • 1 yr web hosting
  • Your choice of design
  • Your colours, photos, logo
  • Contact form
  • Your own domain name

Professional

$950

  • 6 webpages
  • 5 email addresses
  • 1 yr web hosting
  • Mailing list
  • Your choice of design
  • Your colours, photos, logo
  • Contact form
  • Your own domain name

Hands On

$1400

  • All 'Professional' features plus
  • Create your own pages
  • Ability to edit pages
  • Your own blog
  • Built on Wordpress

Bespoke

$contact

  • Custom design
  • Advanced features
  • E-commerce
  • Logo design
  • 1 yr web hosting
  • Contact form
  • Your own domain name

All packages come with the following:

  • 1 years web hosting on shared space**
  • Domain name registration (.com, .ca, .net etc.) for 1 year**
  • Full access to your website via Control Panel and FTP
  • 30 days email support

I recommend the Professional Package

  • Extra pages mean extra space to showcase your business and tell potential customers what you do.
  • Include photographs of your work, your locations, customer testimonials!
  • A mailing list is a crucial feature of your website, it connects you to your customers. To read more on why I think a mailing list is a must-have, click here.
  • Don't worry if you're not a tech person, I'll provide a 1hr tutorial and instructions on how to use a mailing list!

Looking for control?

Then you need the Hands On package. It will give you control over the text and images on your site, allowing you to edit and update whenever you like, without the need to know any coding. This package provides:
  • Installation of the latest version of Wordpress
  • Installation of key WP plugins including backup, social media sharing, SEO and site analytics
  • Site home page set to either a static page or blog posts - your choice
  • Mailing list with sign up form on your website
  • E-book manual to guide you through Wordpress, email and mailing list.

Want to sell things on your website?

If you are only looking to sell up to 5 items you can purchase this as an add-on to any of the above packages. If you would like a more subtantial online store, please get in touch for a quote.

Add ons

  • Photography : $50/hr (plus travel if further than 30km from Canning)
  • Sourcing stock images : $50
  • Writing website text : $40/hr
  • Up to 5 items for sale on your site : $120
  • Once a year general maintenance : $40
  • Use of specific template you have sourced : $30
  • Flyer/brochure/business card design : please enquire
  • Additional work to website after completion : $50/hr

**further years web hosting available for $40/yr, or website can be installed on your own web hosting.
further years domain registration available for $20/yr, or you can register the domain yourself (I can help with this).

Looking for something more bespoke - have a particular idea or design in mind?

Perhaps you'd like a very specific look to your website, or you want to sell lots of items online. Get in touch and we can discuss what you're looking for and I can give you a quote for the features you need.

Get in Touch

Feel Free to Drop Me a Line

I am happy to drop by your place of business, or meet somewhere convenient, to chat about the services I offer and how I can help your business.

© 2015 Isobel Hamilton Web Design.