When the world went digital in the early 1990’s, I didn’t exactly jump on the bandwagon. I had a teahouse, a very real place. Then people began talking about the internet and how we ought to have a website. I looked at the idea with skepticism. “When the internet can boil water, you let me know,” I’d say. Even cellphones were not allowed in the teahouse, to preserve the “be here now” atmosphere.
But eventually we did put up a basic website. I had nothing to do with it — out of ignorance, not snobbery! It was all a mystery to me.
Fast forward to a few businesses later. I had become pretty good at reconnoitering the information highway. The world wide web was well-established and geographic boundaries no longer mattered as far as business went. I now lived in the country, had a small son and needed to work from home. An online tea business would be ideal.
Tea, I knew. Building websites, I didn’t.
I tried to get various techie people to build it for me. Friends, relations, even freelancers in India and eastern European places. It all basically came to nought. I have come to the conclusion that most website developers are flakes. Things start out well, but then you can’t get ahold of them, or you don’t know what information they need to move the project forward and they are not responding to your emails. It stalls. They’re busy with other projects. Flakes.
I was stuck. >>
I said, “I can build another teahouse in the time it is taking these people to finish this website!”
So I did. And it was a beautiful teahouse. But the 2008 crash happened and life happened and the business failed and c’est la vie.
But the reality is, that even if they had gotten that website built, I would not have been able to maintain it. I didn’t know how to update information or text or photos — like owning a car I couldn’t even do the basic maintenance on.
I would have continued to be dependent on others. Not a wise longterm business strategy. >>
So I decided to learn how to build websites. I chose WordPress as the platform, because while you can’t boil water with it, you can do almost everything a small business or individual needs to have a professional-looking web presence.
If you have — or hope to have — any kind of business at all, you must have a website, if only because nobody uses the phone book anymore. If people even just want to call you, the first place they go to find your number is the internet, either on the computer or on their smartphones. If you are an artist or a writer, you need a way for people to access your work from wherever they are, whenever it is convenient for them.
So you need a web presence. It can be very simple, or it can perform a variety of functions to help you be efficient, successful and connected to your customers. >>
I want to build you a website so your service or product won’t get skipped over when a potential customer or client goes looking for it. And I will teach you how to update information, how to add or delete text or images.
Building a website is a collaborative process, because I need your text, your images, and your vision. This is your place on the web. If you have a vision of what you want it to look like and what it should do, describe it to me. I want to make it happen. If you are busy doing your own work and want to leave colors and fonts and style up to me, we can do that, too. I’ll turn out a website that at least I’ll like!
I focus on one website at a time. A steady flow of content from you will maintain the project’s momentum. And I won’t flake out on the job.
Solectrix.com is a small electrical contractor which specializes in solar installations. Since all of their work is custom, they needed a site which was mainly general information about solar PV systems plus contact details, along with images of completed projects. This project included the logo design.Check it out!
This is a website for a small specialty food company in Chiangmai, Thailand. They wanted to highlight their product, where it can be purchased, and provide information about ways to use it, as well as explaining the company philosophy. This site will also have a password-protected section for wholesale customers.Check it out!
This is an easily-navigable site for a start-up tour company, encompassing multiple pages, links and images. The overall effect is aiming for gothic and mysterious, but providing sufficient information to prompt visitors to contact the tour operators for more.Check it out!
Here is an example of a blog, which aims for a clean look to focus on the writing, with featured images, slideshows and simple categorization. This project included the logo design.Check it out!
“Alia Pirzada designed and built my very first commercial website, crunchymonkeygranola.com. The process went very smoothly and caused so little heartache it seemed to happen magically. She was quickly on top of all issues, consulted with me with amazing regularity and openness and kept me motivated to get information and images to her so she could get the project finished on time. She is very creative and extremely skilled at collaboration, which is critical and, I suspect, is a sore spot with many web developers out there these days.
Alia at alia.link, is a great person to build your website, whether a personal one or one for your business, especially if you’re just getting started and have little experience with web projects. She’ll make it easy for you overcome years of saying: “Gosh, I know I need to get a website, but I’m horribly ignorant about the process and intimidated. I say: Leave it to Alia. It won’t cost as much as you think to achieve quality, and she’s a ‘budding genius’! Virtually.”
We needed a website upgrade and logo redesign for my sol
I gave her free rein. She asked some questions, then quickly delivered a nice-looking site that I thought could be better. Alia took my suggestions and returned with what became the final design. She offered me the ability to update the site myself, but I prefer to leave that to the professional, which she certainly is.
I’ve gotten many compliments on our new site. It is easy-to-navigate and confidence-inspiring. We’re proud to send prospective customers there. The bottom line is that the site Alia built brings me regular projects that improve my bottom line.
Working on our Dracula Chronicles Tours website with Alia has been an unexpected pleasure, not only with regards to her knowledge and expertise, but also to how attuned she was to our purpose.
She has certainly gone above and beyond her duties as a web designer. As a result, our website is interesting, I would even say intriguing, but it also contains all the information the visitor would want.
I highly recommend Alia to anyone looking for that special web designer who will spend time figuring out what would work best for them, rather than presenting them with a cookie cutter solution.
I hired Alia Pirzada to give me a kick-start on WordPress by setting up this long-planned food blog. I gave her very little input, but the first design she came back with just needed minor tweaking before it suited me just fine.
She startled me with the header/banner she designed, and when I asked that it be significantly shrunk, she immediately did so, readjusting the graphics to the new size. I wanted the site to be turn-key, so that I could immediately start posting entries, and she quickly did that, too, pointing me to the best WordPress tutorials to get me fully up to speed, which I will do very soon.
Highly recommended for designing any small/medium WordPress web site.
You can think of your website as your new employee, or as your new place of business. You can think of it as your portfolio in the sky that anyone in the world can see. A business card as big as a constellation.
It is open 24/7, everywhere. You don’t have to be there all that time, and the roof never leaks. Your digital business card is available everywhere to anyone who is interested — which preselects for likely clients, unlike scattershot advertising in the newspaper. You can update contact information or pricing instantly, or move the furniture around in your website office with a few clicks.
“Yes, yes — but what does it cost?”, you’re thinking. The most truthful answer is the most unsatisfying: “It depends.” It depends on how complex your website is, how many pages, how many features, how many revisions. If I build your website, it will cost more than doing it all yourself, unless you factor in your time and frustration and loss of income because you’re not busy doing your business or creating your creations. But it will cost less than you might imagine, and it will be built in a timely fashion.
A good-looking and functional website gives you and your business credibility. Because, perverse as it may seem, nowadays if you’re not virtual, you’re not real.
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