need help making, or re-making, a website?

A LITTLE LINE BURIED on this website’s About page says: “I love technology, and particularly the platform called WordPress, and I consult with a few select clients a year to help them enjoy the digital medium as much as I do.”

Somehow, despite the soft voice, some of you find me for such consulting work. Now I’m saying that a little louder here, as I suspect there are more of you who are either daunted by the complexity, or price (or both) of making a website—and also by how to tell your story (what we might call “branding” if we were being all corporate-like and fancy). I’d love to help you with that, too.

Do you need a cost-effective website that can empower your creativity or your business, and/or help scripting a sharper message? My friend Stefan Matei and I can help.

For 12 years I’ve been using WordPress—first at my former job at Martha Stewart, and since early 2008 on my own, to power A Way to Garden. I proselytize about plants, and nature, but I also love to inspire people to embrace this platform.

About 8 years ago, I met freelance web developer Stefan Matei through a mutual friend, and since then together we have made or revamped many sites. I have learned so much from him technically, and along the way we’ve also had a stimulating cultural exchange. We are of different generations (guess who’s older?); I live in rural New York State, and Stefan in busy downtown Bucharest, Romania. We’ve had lots of talk about books, and cats, two things we both like a lot (besides WordPress).

client feedback

‘Margaret and Stefan’s guidance has been a life saver. Their solid advice not only gave me a website that beautifully captures my brand, but one that actually functions, and they didn’t waste time and money on needless extras. I cannot recommend them highly enough.’—Matthew White, Hillsdale General Store

We’ve made or revamped sites for nonprofits in my community, for organic flower farmers with a CSA and nursery owners, for authors like Katrina Kenison, for a cooking school and dozens more.

We believe everyone should be able to avail themselves of this powerful technology–so we have devised ways to keep our process streamlined and costs down.

Many people we have helped had older custom-built websites that made them dependent on expensive ongoing web support services, which had become prohibitive—or their site was dated, yet they feared making a new one was just too dear.

Bottom line: We work in WordPress because it can grow with you, and you can manage it yourself with limited monthly outlay. (Stefan is available for ongoing support, of course, if you are tech-averse!)

client feedback

‘Margaret and Stefan came to my rescue. They transferred the contents of my clunky old WordPress website over to one that reflects the simplicity I strive for in my writing. Within days, I had a whole new look—clean, clutter-free, inviting. Best of all for a technophobe like me, it was quick and painless with a minimal learning curve.’—Katrina Kenison

how we work:

1. You fill out this contact form (or email awaytogarden [at] gmail [dot] com), requesting information on our services. The kinds of things to include in your message:

  • Do you have a website now?
  • What is the reason for building (or rebuilding) a site?
  • Briefly, what do you envision that the website will do? (Examples: Be an online calling card for your business, offering what you do and contact information or open hours or directions, or a calendar of events with the chance to reserve tickets, for example? Sell something, like signed copies of your new book, or shares in your farm’s vegetable CSA, or a whole line of seeds? Serve as a journal for your hobby or work, with regular blog updates or “news” being posted. Something else?)

2. Margaret will get back in touch by email and schedule a short call (usually by Skype) to determine together whether to go ahead with “scoping” the site, both its form and function.

3. If you wish to go forward, the formal process begins with a 3-hour consultation with Margaret to start to visualize the site and its messaging. Copywriting services are also available. This includes two, hour-long sessions (on Skype, with screen-sharing for show-and-tell) and the creation of a memo that will be our working plan to give to Stefan. She makes it easy for you, and you learn a bit about WordPress along the way.

4. From that memo, Stefan creates a cost estimate, and a timeline. If approved by you, the project is scheduled. Some clients hire Margaret for additional hours to interface during the build with Stefan (rather than do the back-and-forth themselves); others work with him directly.

Further details and ballpark costs will be discussed in the initial consultation. We also have freelance colleagues who can create logos and other add-ons.

We look forward to hearing from you.