Tough enough to be a web designer, crazy enough to LOVE it!

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Web design requires considerable time and effort on both client and designer. To make the process run smoothly, I’ve created this guide to help you articulate and identify what your goals are. Your response will define the initial direction of your new website based on a clear understanding of your vision, type of business and requirements.

So, take your time, there are no right or wrong answers.



Nicole was the absolute best! Talented, competent, capable, communicative, witty – a true joy to work with. She was a master of many tasks and able to independently solve new challenges without guidance – she’s been a part of my team for over a year, and I must say that I’m sad to lose her. If you have the opportunity to work with Nicole, consider yourself lucky!

Andrew Joia

Web Developer, Drew Drew This

Nicole is a fantastic web developer and has created two beautiful websites for me. She’d previously also helped me with traditional VA projects but her skill truly lies with design and website creation. If you’re looking for an intelligent and talented web designer/developer – you’ve found her!

Alexandra Jimenez

Blogger, Travel Fashion Girl

Nicole and I have worked together a few times now. Although we have never met face to face she has learned my taste in no time and does everything the way I like without even having to ask! She’s got a sixth sense and always goes the extra extra mile. It’s really hard for me to delegate but with Nicole I don’t even think about it, I KNOW the job will be done and will be beautiful!

Ximena de la Serna

Blogger, Ximena de la Serna


In very broad strokes:
  1. I provide clients with THIS questionnaire. This gives me a clear idea about their goals for their business.
  2. Based on the answers on the questionnaire, we formulate a plan for the website build. If all parties are in agreement, we sign a contract outlining project scope.
  3. We create a brand guide for colors, typography and layout. Client turns over assets: professional images, logos, content, etc.
  4. After about 2-3 weeks, I will have a layout ready for you. If no changes are needed, we will have a site turnover. I provide tutorials on how to use the site and make updates. You will have full control of your site pages and content. If not, then we revise until we get it right.

I totally understand if you feel like this is not the right fit. What’s important to know is that the right fit is out there for you, someone who can understand your goals and help you achieve them. I can recommend a handful of web designers whom you can reach out to and help you create a website that you will love.

What things should I prepare?
  1. Yourself, of course. The design process is very tricky and quite frustrating at times. It’s a long journey that involves a lot of time and patience from both sides. Communication lines should be open. If you plan on taking a vacation, let’s talk when you get back. 🙂 I will suggest project management sites where we can collaborate (Asana, Basecamp, Trello, whichever you’re most comfortable with) so you can see which things I am working on and items which need your feedback.
  2. I will also need your trust when I make suggestions or when I try to talk you out of doing certain features or layouts. I assure you there is a reason why some things are just not done. I promise I will explain and hold your hand through the entire process.
  3. Logos
  4. Content
  5. Branding Guide (if you don’t have one, that’s okay too).
  6. Images. Professionally-taken photographs of you will work best. Please do not ask me to lift images from your Instagram or Facebook, they are too low-res to work.
  7. Stock images. If you own stock images, I would need access to them. Otherwise I will use free stock images on your site as placeholders for when you do decide to use your own.
Do you do SEO?

I will include basic SEO best practices. Use alt texts, keywords, etc. However, SEO relies on quality content. In order for your site to reach it’s goals, it will need marketing, social media engagement and ads – you need to get yourself out there. If you feel like you will have a problem with updating the content or writing copy, I can suggest some writers that can help you.

I do not do black hat SEO practices. Keyword stuffing, buying links, spamming. This was popular wayyy back in 2009 when people thought they could fool Google. Sure, the hack can work for a couple of weeks, months even. But Google always updates their search algorithms, it is always evolving. When (not if) the hack fails, you will still be removed from the rankings. And if Google deems that you were too overzealous, you could be removed from the search results entirely. Black hat = bad idea.

Do you do website maintenance?

By default, your WordPress and Divi theme will not automatically update. I usually do it myself, about a week or two after an update rolls out. I do this because I need to check if the update is stable or if it has critical bugs or any major issues. If it does, I usually hold off for a couple of days and wait until it is resolved. My services are free for up to 3 months after site launch. 🙂 After which we can talk about ongoing maintenance and support.


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nicole merced

Hi, I’m Nicole.

I’m a freelance web designer based in Davao City, Philippines! I focus on making websites for women entrepreneurs who want to launch an online course, small businesses who want to reach a global audience and bloggers who want to give their blogs a fresh new look.

I  specialize in building WordPress websites using Divi by Elegant Themes. I have been using it for a couple of years and I believe it is the best theme out there (it’s popular for a reason!) at the moment because of its extensive functionalities, clean code and top notch support.

I have a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and hold the importance of color theory, UI best practices, typography and readability in high regard. However, I also LOVE coding custom functions for websites that give it that unique touch.

I am a lifelong bookworm and a massive Doctor Who fan.

If you’re looking for a web designer, please take a look at my work and get in touch if you think it’s the right fit.