Frequently Asked Questions
Why collaborate with Lotus Pod?
I created Lotus Pod as a way to collaborate with small business owners (of any kind, even dentists!) and artists to create something truly unique together. I'm a photographer who loves designing websites using Squarespace, because the templates offered are effective, modern and can be visually stunning. I enjoy using my photography and video skills to tell stories, and hope my creativity will help elevate your business. I will commit to your project and handle everything, so you don't have to.
Not only are the templates visually stunning, but the form and functionality is awesome, too, because Squarespace incorporates cutting edge UI/UX best practices. Squarespace works seamlessly, and is fully managed from top to bottom because it is a self-contained platform. So you'll never need to update software, add plugins or widgets, or patch security vulnerabilities like you would have to do with other platforms.
How do we start?
First, I will want to get to know you and the vision you have for your business so I can design your site and help drive traffic to you. In order for me to gain a good understanding of the nature of your website's scope and size, I will provide a short questionnaire for you to fill out before we decide on the best template for you. Your answers will also help me think through your project creatively, as well as the best way to present it online.
Selecting a Squarespace template
Once I have a good understanding of how you'd like to present your business online, I will show you a few templates I think would work best. Each template can be fully customized to meet your needs and make your website more unique.
Are Squarespace templates optimized for tablets and smartphone devices?
Yes! Your website will mobile responsive, and look great on any device. It will be extremely mobile-friendly, which is now a big factor for Google to crawl to your site. Google doesn't want anything hidden behind buttons, menus, or expandable sections. I will add a mobile bar which will allow people to call, email or find you on a map with one touch.
What kind of content will I need to provide to get our project underway?
Ideally, you'll be able to provide high-resolution images, your logo or other branding, and all the original content you'll want to include on the site. If you can't provide all of the content, Lotus Pod is a multi-media outfit and is poised to help you with all your needs - from photography to video production, and even logo design. Any extensive copy that needs to be written will be outsourced.
Do I need high resolution images for my website?
If you want to use images that you already have for your new site then, yes, they have to be high-resolution. Small files do not have enough pixels for them to look good large. Squarespace templates are designed with strong imagery in mind, so it's important to provide visually strong, high-resolution images. If you are providing images, you will also have to own the rights or have permission to use those images on your new website. If you don't have images already, Getty Images offers Squarespace users a very extensive image bank, and those photos are available to license through Squarespace for $10 an image.
I highly recommend that you have unique and creative images of you and your business. Lotus Pod Designs offers photography for an additional price. We are also poised to offer story-telling feature style videos. If you are not in the San Francisco Bay Area, I can find a local photographer in your area to photograph your business.
Can Lotus Pod create a domain name and link it to my new site?
If you don't own a domain name already, we can purchase one for you through Squarespace (first year is free with a hosting plan), or another provider, for about $14-20 a year. I will take care of pointing your domain to your new website when it is time to launch your site.
What if I already have an existing website and domain?
Lotus Pod will point your URL to Squarespace when we are ready to launch your new site. When that takes place, your old site will not be visible anymore.
Can I sell products on my new Squarespace site?
I will customize your product page to meet your needs. The checkout process is extremely secure and will be easy to maintain yourself once your site is live. You will need to start a free Stripe or Paypal account to manage the transactions between your bank and your customers.
What about search engine optimization (SEO)?
Squarespace has the best SEO practices; many elements are already built into the template for a strong SEO strategy. Site descriptions, page titles, custom URLs, search-friendly formatting, and other key elements are all easily managed to ensure SEO success. There is a built-in sitemap that helps Google to crawl, understand, and ultimately, rank a website. I also will design your website with all the best practices to ensure SEO success. If your site is already ranked I will make sure your current ranking doesn't change and will only improve. I also work with closely with an SEO specialist who offers various plans for you to consider, if you want monthly SEO maintenance.
How much do Squarespace templates cost?
Squarespace offers different hosting plans, ranging from $216 a year for a business plan to $312 for an e-commerce plan. We'll pick the plan that's right for your needs.
Will I have any revisions before the site launches?
You will have two opportunities for revision before the site is launched. Basically, after I design the site we will go over it together so you can let me know what you want changed. After the second round of revisions, we will then agree on a launch date.
Can Lotus Pod manage my site after it launches?
I will transfer ownership of the site to you after we launch and the final invoice is paid. If you'd like me to continue to oversee the site for you, I can do this for a site management fee.
Will you train me, so I can maintain my own site?
I will give you a 60-minute personalized training session so you can have a better understanding of the back-end of Squarespace to make changes yourself. I will also offer a free week of support after the site launches.
I will provide a flat rate for each project after I determine about how much work will be involved with designing your site. I require a small deposit (1/3 of the cost of the site) once the website design contract is signed. When the project is complete, I'll send an invoice that can be paid online.