On: New Client Stuff
- So, what's this studio all about?
- How do I get on the client waitlist?
- What's included in your web design packages?
- What can I expect my project to cost?
- Why do custom projects cost so much?
- How do you accept payment?
- What are your payment terms? When will I be billed?
- What happens once I become a client?
- Could you assist with smaller design projects, like helping me with just a logo or creating an item for my blog's sidebar?
- Maybe custom isn't the right route for me. Do you offer any pre-made WordPress themes?
On: Our Services + Process
- What is the difference between a theme and a custom build? Which do you offer?
- What can I expect once my custom web design project begins?
- I’m having issues with my blog/website. Do you offer tech support?
- What happens once my project is complete? Can you still assist if I need help with graphic design or web maintenance?
- Am I allowed to keep the files you’ve designed for me for my own use?
- I’m interested in having a media kit/sales sheet designed for my business. Do you have an examples of kits you’ve designed?
On: WordPress Questions
- Do you design for any platforms other than WordPress?
- I'm new to WordPress and need a host. Do you have host server recommendations?
- I’m so confused about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Help!
- Do you build on a particular WordPress framework, like Genesis?
- I want to move to WordPress but am currently on another blog platform. Can you migrate me?
Victoria McGinley Studio is a boutique graphic and web design studio that specializes in helping small businesses in the creative and lifestyle spaces build custom brand identities and websites. While the studio can assist you with a whole bunch of graphics needs (including creating logos/identity suites, a website, and marketing collateral like business cards, sales/line sheets, or media kits), at the core of our work, we really like to help make you look good online! If you’d like to see more of what we do, be sure to stop by the studio Portfolio, and learn more about Victoria here.
As an offshoot of the studio, Victoria is also the co-founder of <em>press themes, a pre-made WordPress theme shop. If custom design isn’t the route for you, maybe one of our WordPress themes is the solution! Check it out here.
Check this page to view current availability. Clients are generally accepted on a first come, first serve basis (and assuming that we’re excited about your project, too!). You’ll need to submit your deposit in order to secure your place on the design calendar. Because of our size, we can typically only work on a small number of projects per month, and the number of projects accommodated may also vary at different times of the year.
A word of advice: when you submit an inquiry, be sure to provide as many details as you can about your design project, which can expedite the client intake process and help us each determine if VMS will be a good fit for you (in other words, it can help you get on the list faster!). Note that submitting an inquiry does not automatically secure your place on any waitlists.
VMS does not offer fixed, flat rate packages for projects. Instead, all web design projects receive a customized proposal, following email communication and a conference call, which allows us to learn more about your project and all your needs. The goal of such a customized proposal is to walk you through the studio’s design process, and also break down how your budget is allocated. We’ve found that understanding more about our clients’ needs up front has led to better solutions for them in the long run.
That being said, all projects include an identity design component (creating a brand moodboard, suite of logo marks, and system of fonts for your brand, among other things), and mobile responsive website design and development. Small design details, such as favicons, Pinterest hover icons, affiliate widget integration, and the like are generally all included free of charge. If you have a question on whether a specific feature you’re after is included, just ask!
Oof, the million dollar question (ok, not literally!). To be honest, it all varies so much based on your particular design needs, the nature of your website, the size of the design build — so many things! For a general range though, most of our blog sites start at an average rate of $8k for design and mobile responsive development, and can scale up from there based on the level of customization and number of templates that are being created. The size and scope of the identity design (for example, are we creating one final logo, or three?) can also impact the overall cost. Our rates reflect the amount of time, care, customization, and personal attention we strive to give all our clients.
All that being said, we highly recommend contacting the studio so we can discuss your specific needs, vision, and create a customized quote. You can get in touch here.
All of our custom projects are built from the ground up. This means we start from scratch, and create a new brand identity, visual direction, and web presence for your business. All of our websites are built on custom code that is unique to your site. Doing this not only gives us (and you!) total control of your site, but it also means we can build something that’s completely tailored to your business needs, audience, and even how you like to create content. With a custom build, if you can dream it, we can build it.
We can spend anywhere from 5 to 8 months working with a custom client. Our rates reflect the amount of time, care, customization, and level of service we dedicate to these projects.
Invoices are sent digitally via Freshbooks, which allows you to pay with the credit/debit card of your choice. The studio can also accept a personal check for certain projects, with prior approval.
Your proposal and Client Service Agreement will discuss the payment terms in detail, and we’ll let you know when you’ll be invoiced, via email. Typically, all projects are billed in two increments, with a 50% deposit due at the time of contract signing. The notable exception is with media kit designs, which are typically billed in full before work begins. For all projects, you will need to submit your deposit in order to hold your place on the studio’s design calendar.
For custom identity and website builds: When we onboard you as a client, you’ll receive a Client Service Agreement (your contract!) and a deposit invoice. We also invite you to join a private project management board, just for your project. Your board will be filled with resources and homework to help kick off your design! It’s fun times, seriously.
For media kit clients: You’ll receive your Client Service Agreement, and a link to some homework that will help us gather the materials for your kit design.
Likely not. Due to the nature of our typical project workflows and time constraints, we prefer not to take on à la carte projects such as creating individual widgets or feature pieces for blogs and websites. However, in some cases, we do take on brand identity projects if you’re in need of a full suite of pieces for your company (such as multiple logos, stationery, business cards, and other marketing materials). If you are a previous or existing client interested in à la carte services, please get in touch as we are happy to assist you with these items!
Yes! In the Fall 2017, the studio launched a separate pre-made WordPress themes shop, called <em>press. You can check it out here. Themes start at just $69, making them a great, low cost option if you are new to blogging and don’t need (or want!) to invest in a custom build. We also offer a number of WordPress plugins that can work on any WordPress.org site, not just sites running our themes!
We offer both!
A custom build means the studio is working with you one on one, usually over a significant period of time, to touch every part of your company’s visual identity. This includes creating a new identity suite, website, and often marketing collateral pieces (business cards, media kits, hang tags, line sheets, etc.). Because your site is being built from the ground up, we also have incredible flexibility to design your site in a myriad of ways. With a custom build, if you can dream it, we can build it.
The studio also offers pre-made WordPress themes. A pre-made theme is more hands off than a custom build. Simply shop our themes and test our theme demo sites, then decide if a layout works for you and your business. If it does, you purchase the theme and upload it to your site. Presto, a new design is installed! Pre-made themes are a great option for clients who wish to get a designer’s touch on their site, but don’t have the time or budget to spend on a full custom design. If you are a brand new blogger, we recommend trying out a pre-made theme first, so you can gather metrics about your audience that can better inform a custom design down the road. Shop all our themes here.
Prior to your official project start date, you’ll receive access to a private project management board. Within the board will be a series of homework assignments for you, one of which is completing an exhaustive questionnaire about your business, visual inspiration, how you like to work and create content, and so much more. We’ll also set up an additional time to talk on the phone to go over your questionnaire.
Custom website projects kick off with a moodboard and a suite of logos, presented to you via conference call. From there, we’ll revise your identity suite until it’s perfect, and begin work on designing your website. Website concepts are presented to you via InVision, a prototyping platform that will give you a realistic sense of how your site will look and feel online.
All projects include a set number of revisions. Once completed, we begin prepping your files for development. We’ll remain your partner throughout the entire process, inclusive of an exhaustive review of a test site, and final quality assurance checks once your site goes live. We are also available for ongoing retainer services, to help you manage your site and continue iterating on it as your content needs change.
In short: we’re invested in your business, and want you to consider us a part of your team!
Web design packages include two weeks of support after installation. Either Lisa or Victoria can typically help with basic troubleshooting issues, especially if it’s just a matter of showing you where certain things live and how they work on your site. For ongoing maintenance, we offer customized programs for former and existing clients. If you’re a current or past client, please inquire about our Code Concierge programs for more information on pricing and service options!
If you’ve landed on this page because you’re looking for troubleshooting help with your site and you’re not a client of the studio’s, feel free to get in touch and we can send you a list of referrals for shops that help with WordPress fixes.
Yes! We offer a retainer services program for our clients called Code Concierge. Packages are available in monthly or quarterly cycles. The program includes regular audits of your site, strategy conference calls, and exclusive emergency support access should anything technical go awry . We also work with Concierge clients for regular design updates — historically, this has included things such as tweaking design features, adding new features, or designing custom templates for specific projects (gift guides, anyone?).
If you’re a current or past client, please inquire about our Code Concierge programs for more information on pricing and service options!
Yes, you’ll own the rights to your brand art. For websites, we do ask that you keep a site credit on your site, as designed. Things like custom templates or graphics should not be re-sold or shared without written permission first. For media kits, the kit price includes your choice of InDesign or Photoshop files that will allow you to update text within the document, so that you can revise your media kit as your blog grows!
Yes! Please check the VMS portfolio page. You can sort projects by ‘media kits’ along the top filter to see plenty of examples.
The vast majority of our web projects are built on WordPress.org. For clients interested in e-commerce, we design for Shopify*, as well as WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Please contact the studio if you have a specific e-commerce platform in mind, as it may be an option.
While we do not design for SquareSpace or Blogger, if your current website lives on either of those platforms, we are able to assist you with migrating your site to WordPress as part of your web design package. Our pre-made theme shop also offers migration service packages, should you wish to buy a theme instead of pursuing a custom design.
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Yes! We often recommend clients sign up with FlyWheel*, which offers a managed WordPress hosting service, fantastic customer service, great security features, and real time updates. However, managed hosting plans such as FlyWheel do tend to cost a bit more — though as we’ve found with clients time and again, when you really need it, there’s nothing like great customer service from a web host, and unfortunately, you often get what you pay for.
That being said, if you’re just starting out, a host like BlueHost* is a great option. It’s affordable, easy for developers to use, and reliable. On the flip side, established sites with high amounts of traffic or who have significant memory and storage needs could benefit from using a host such as Media Temple*. In addition to dedicated server plans, Media Temple also offers WordPress specific hosting, so you don’t have to worry about updates. I’ve also heard great things about A Small Orange!
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No, the studio does not use the Genesis framework. Our custom projects are built from the ground up.
If you are a client with the studio, yes, a migration is included as part of your project build out. We are able to migrate from Blogger, SquareSpace, and some versions of TypePad.
If you’re interested in implementing a pre-made WordPress theme, <em>press also offers blog migration services, which includes the cost of a theme! You can learn more about these services here.