Why Dark Horse Solutions? dark horse: a symbol of something ordinary that comes out a winner.
solutions: the process of solving a problem.


It's a digital world: if you have a business, you do need a positive web presence. With my design and marketing background, I can translate your business goals into an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-navigate, and search-engine-friendly presence online without breaking the bank.

You CAN build a website yourself or find someone on almost every corner to build one for you.

Prices vary from "free" into the thousands of dollars.

Would your marketing dollars be better spent in other advertising activities rather than on the design, or re-design, of your website? In some instances, that may be the case. Your business is different from all others and so too are your needs.

I can develop a custom site that reflects your business and targets your ideal clients; it should have more effect on your bottom line than using a free website template or helpful family member.

Dark Horse SolutionsMy name is Patty Armstrong. We live in the small town of Yamhill, in the shadow of the coast range, south of Portland Oregon.

"Dark Horse Solutions" was born from my desire to be a part of the local community in a creative capacity and to help other small business owners realize some of their goals. I was originally trained as a graphic designer and have been building websites for local small business owners since 2005.


Patty Armstrong | 503-662-4867 | 7000 Krono Rd. Yamhill, OR 97148 | email

Building a successful website is a process.The exact process will vary slightly from project to project, but the basics are the same.


I begin every project with a complimentary consultation where both sides get general questions answered. I prefer meeting face to face but email, google hangout, or skype will work as well.

How I approach projects can be divided into six main areas:

  • information gathering: This first step is actually the most important. It involves getting a solid understanding of your business goals, site purpose, target audience and content.
  • planning: Using the information gathered from phase one we put together a plan or site map for your web site. A site map is a list of the main topic areas, sub-topics, and what content will be on the site.
  • design: Your customer must be kept in mind when designing your site; they are the people who will be buying your product. In this phase we determine the look and feel of your site. Communication between us is crucial to ensure that the final web site will match your needs and taste.
  • development: The design is applied and the web site itself is created. Individual graphic elements are collected, functionality is created.
  • testing and delivery: Your site functionality is tested, code is validated and after final approval, it is time to deliver the site.
  • maintenance: Adding new content helps your site stay relevant, which effects search results. Usually billed hourly, as needed. A maintenance package contract at a reduced rate, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions, is also an option.

Can potential clients find your website?

SEO means “search engine optimization”. Building html sites for organic search results, that are CSS driven, that keep web usability and web standards in mind, are easier for search engines to index.

My job as web designer is to make sure there is enough educational content for both the human visitors to read and the right keywords and key word phrases are targeted to your customer and are in the correct places.

It is ultimately about someone finding your web site, staying long enough to understand your services, and determine by your content they would like more information, or not.

Offline marketing efforts also help with how people find you. Everything works together.

Because it is important for the "findability" of your business that your online presence be cohesive with what you are also doing offline, my experience in graphic design is an added benefit.



What will a website cost?Every web site is different so giving a flat price for any particular site is difficult.


If you develop your own site, it will cost you time.
If you have a professional do it, it will cost you money.

Pricing is ultimately determined by what you need. Your business isn’t a “cookie-cutter” so no site should be. Every site I have done is customized and reflects the personality of the business or industry they represent.

Most informational or small-business, non-flash web sites range from 5 to 12 pages, include custom graphics, stock photos, and simple web forms. Project duration, from initial meeting to final launch, usually ranges from 45 to 90 days after content has been approved. Cost? $750 to $2,000. Generally speaking, a site will cost $100-$150 per page.

Once we meet, we will have defined your needs and goals and will be better able to answer the cost question.
Are my prices too low? High? Let’s chat.

You only have one shot at making a good first impression. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. With a well-designed site, your operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company.

If your site looks like it was designed by an amateur (like your nephew), or doesn't show up for the keywords your potential visitors are typing into the search engines, it may need revamping. Many site owners get so caught up on improving their site’s “ranking position” that they forget that SEO is really about visitor/customer growth. Ranking well will only take a business so far: you need to give the visitor what they are looking for or they will leave.

Building a successful website of any size requires thought, planning and is a partnership between client and designer.


Web Development Services!


1. Home page analysis:
The first impression of your business happens the moment someone lands on your website. Although it is most often your home page, with the search algorithms today, that is not always the case. The home-page-analysis will above all evaluate what a visitors first impression of you might be. The site navigation and ease of use will be evaluated. I will see if your site displays in local search results. Many small business owners don't actually know what they might need help with.
2. Free web hosting for one year: $85+ value. New hosting account, my choice of provider. Not valid on hosting renewals.
3. FREE, for a limited time, development or redesign of your company logo (with a 5+ page site design. Most sites run $100-$150 per page, depending content development and photography needs.): $250-$500 value.

Why offer this? Your company mark is your calling-card and is literally the first reflection of your company.
Graphic Design is my first love and I love the challenge.


4. SEO: comprehensive, 25-point analysis normally takes 4 hours at $50/hr. In addition to the items mentioned in the home page analysis description, above, I will look in more detail at your content and keyword usage, and site design/website architecture. A large part of how a site performs is based on how [ever-changing algorithms] search engines feel about your site content being “relevant”. Do you appear to be an expert in your field? I will look at your local competition and see why they may perform better.
5. $350.00: 2-page starter website: Are you a sole proprietor?  Do you have a web presence that allows potential customers to learn about what you do, 24 hours a day? Included: home page, a few images, and an additional information or contact page.
This “slider” style site may also work for you, depending on your content. Contact me for details.


6. design or re-design of your website: The development of most non-dynamic 7-page websites run $100-$150 per page. Quotes available.


Let me show you a few site re-designs: Your website is an important part of your business. treat it as such.


If you have a business, you should have a website.

My ideal customer is a local, small business owner located in NW Oregon. I make all attempts to Shop Local as well.

We live in rural Oregon, surrounded by vineyards, tasting rooms, orchards, horse training and boarding facilities, and varied livestock operations. If your business falls into one of those categories, please give me a call!

Below are a few sites that needed updating. Hover over image to view old site. More samples on request.

Contact:

Patty Armstrong
503-662-4867
email

 

Testimonials:

“Patty Armstrong designed my business website. I can’t say enough about how wonderful she has been. She has an artist’s eye which is equaled by her fluency with the intricacy of website design. Time and again, she would take an idea of mine that was not especially feasible in a website and present several alternatives for me to consider which would be eye-catching, artistically balanced, and always done with an eye toward keeping the website easy to navigate and speedy. She is articulate, friendly, and a joy to collaborate with. Over the years, she has always been more than helpful when dealing with updates to the site: prompt, friendly, and efficient.”
-Susy W., Idyllic Beach House

“Patty listens well to ideas and has been very helpful in keeping our website current for the past four years. She is always positive and is a great ally for any business or organization.”
-Sandra Van Bergen. Office Manager,
St. James Catholic Church

I haven’t seen this clean of work in several years! Great job!!—Stan

 

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