How much does a website cost (Oakland)?


So you realized you need a website. Naturally, the first question on anyone’s mind is, how much is it going to cost? Obviously, there’s a huge range of options and in the Bay Area, there are many agencies who won’t even take your call if your budget is under $14k.

At our agency, the average price for a website is about $6,000, and we’ve made simple one-page sites for as little as $500. It’s the best deal in the Oakland/Berkeley/San Francisco area that I know of for web design.

Obviously, everyone’s project is different, and the most accurate quote comes after a 30 minute consultation (which you can book for free here!). But, if you’re in a hurry, I have instant quote calculators for Squarespace Website Design and for WordPress sites (what’s the difference?).

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No-BS SEO Advice


Ok, so here’s the deal with search engine optimization, i.e. how to get your site ranked higher on google. You want more traffic, so it’s tempting to pay an SEO expert to tell you how to get better rankings. Of course, said expert is going to be a bit biased– after all, he’s not impartial, he’s selling a service- the service of search engine optimization. 

I’m here as a website-maker for over 20 years to tell you the no-BS truth that seo experts won’t tell you. It all boils down to one secret, that’s not really a secret: content is king.

Well, that’s not 100% true. The biggest factors in google’s ranking you are actually a bit out of your control. But more on that later.

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Fixing Mixed Content SSL Errors


A former client wrote into me today with this puzzle, and I thought I’d share it in case it’s useful to anyone else:

Hello Hunter,
A while ago you updated my WordPress website. I noticed that when I go to my blog (diannej.com/b/), I see that the connections suddenly show as “Not Secure.” However, when I go to just diannej.com, it does show as secure. I have paid for an SSL certificate which should cover the whole site, but does not appear to be doing that. 
Any ideas why? Owen said he went to Siteground to get help, but they no longer seem to have a ticket desk for problems. 
Thanks for any assistance you can offer.

Best,Dianne
Mixed Content SSL Error
If you right-click on your website and choose “inspect element” in Chrome or Firefox, you pull up an info window like this one. Click the “Console” tab to see errors and warnings such as the Mixed Content SSL warning

Yes, absolutely! Happy to advise. Bummer that Siteground is so unhelpful!

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The best free way to market your website


Think about it… who’s the best potential client for you, realistically? It’s the folks you already know, who trust you and like you!

So, how do we keep what we do (and our new fancy website!) on the tops of their minds? An email signature is a great start, and best of all, it’s super easy!

How to setup an email signature in gmail

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what is https and why should you care?


Ok, so here’s the deal about http versus https, in layman’s terms:

https sites have their identity confirmed. It’s like Anne Hathaway being carded to confirm she’s really her and not just an absurdly good look-alike trying to get free drinks at the exclusive club.

what an https warning looks like

Why does this matter? You’ve heard of phishing, right? When a site poses as another site to steal your password or credit card information? Right? Good. So, this poser phishing site, it can look the same, even down to the url in the address bar, thanks to super sneaky technology. This is like being an Anne Hathaway lookalike who actually changes her name to “Anne Hathaway” to fool more unsuspecting bouncers. https is our defense mechanism against this, a technical way to confirm the identity of the site you’re visiting to ensure it’s the real deal.

But my site doesn’t even take credit cards! Why should I pay for a security certificate when I don’t ask for sensitive information?!

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Is your website responsive?


1. Your site may not be affected.

The best way to check is this website. It’s Google’s test for your responsiveness (aka how friendly your website is to cell phone and tablet users). Just plug in your URL and if it says “Awesome!” in green, you can sit back and drink your coffee with smug satisfaction, knowing your site is safe from the looming SEO disaster.

Of course, it’s also a good idea to just pull up your website on your smartphone and see how it looks: is the text tiny? Do you need to scroll in to read parts of it? Are things overlapping? These are serious issues. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, go straight to your friendly local Oakland web developer for a free consultation and we’ll get it fixed. Continue reading