Confidently pre-plan every feature your website might include?
Create a realistic budget for your new website – one that could save you hundreds of dollars?
Know exactly which areas of the creation process you might need help with?
Understand confusing tech terms, such as self-hosted vs. website builder, free vs. premium themes, and domain vs. hosting?
Know precisely what questions to ask prospective website companies so you get the biggest bang for your buck?
You can accomplish all this, and more!
Laura Christianson of Blogging Bistro presents:
Whether you build your website yourself or enlist help, this actionable training program will help you create a solid foundation.
During these two short videos, meet Laura and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the course.
Most of us approach website building like this:
You know you need a website. There are a LOT of options to choose from, but you aren’t sure which one is best for you.
So you choose whatever’s cheapest. You cobble something together, and…
ICK! It looks like [insert your favorite colorful word].
You log in to the admin area of your site and attempt to fix things. But [insert more expletives], you can’t move anything around the way the sales literature promised.
Slightly panicked, you start contacting website vendors (aka, graphic designers and programmers). “I need a website. How much does it cost?”
Instead of giving you a price quote, the vendor starts asking YOU questions. Whaaaaat?! You don’t know the answers to their questions, and you feel like it’s the first day of kindergarten all over again.
The problem with this approach
I confess; I’m guilty of using this approach myself – more than once. The problem is that it skips the essential foundational stuff, like…
…Knowing what skills are needed to build a website (you need nine skills, by the way).
…Knowing which of those nine skills you’re good at… and which you’re not (so you can decide whether to call in reinforcements).
…Pre-planning every major feature that will go on your website, so you don’t get stuck during the build-out process.
…Creating a realistic budget for your website – start to post-launch – so you’re prepared for the inevitable hiccups.
…Knowing what questions to ask vendors – and what answers to expect – so you avoid scoundrels and hire a talented, trustworthy team who “gets” your vision and translates it into a compelling website.
That’s where Your Website Budget Blueprint comes in.
I want to help you stop guessing. To stop settling for mediocre.
I want the website creation process to be a positive, rewarding experience for you.
You can set yourself up for that to happen by making informed choices.
This course focuses on what I call “pre-planning.”
You’ll become aware of the critical first steps you must take BEFORE you begin creating your website… BEFORE you shop around for someone to help you build your website.
You’ll plan a realistic budget for your website, so you can avoid making costly mistakes and get the best possible value.
You’ll know what qualities to look for in a website vendor, which can save you headaches (this knowledge alone may enable you to recoup your entire investment in this course).
You’ll create the foundation on which you’ll build a high-quality, professional website that’s an excellent value for your investment.
The program is organized into three easy-to-follow modules:
Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll get
The program consists of in-depth video training and a comprehensive Website Budget Workbook.
There are three modules, including a total of 13 video lessons (instructional time averages about 20 minutes per lesson).
You’ll have lifetime access so you can go through the program at your pace, as many times as you want.
The key actions you need to take before you create a budget for your website.
Lesson 1: Evaluate your level of expertise in the 9 key skill sets required to create a website. (Training length: 19:39)
Lesson 2: Four creative ways you can reduce your website costs. (Training length: 9:16)
Lesson 3: Discover website design elements that appeal to you and will resonate with your target audience. (Training length: 14:53)
Lesson 4: Brainstorm absolutely every feature you might want to include on your website. (Training length: 17:15)
The nitty-gritty! You’ll create a realistic budget for the website you envision.
Lesson 1: The true cost of so-called “free” websites (there really is no such thing as a “free” website).
Why hiring help costs more than you might expect, and how to set a budget range and a budget cap so you don’t overextend yourself. (Training length: 21:16)
Lesson 2: Four non-negotiable items and features you absolutely MUST include in your website budget. (Training length: 34:21)
Lesson 3: Eleven optional features you may want to budget for, and approximate costs for each. (Training length: 48:32)
Lesson 4: Two recurring costs you can expect to pay to keep your site up and running.
You’ll learn the difference between “self-hosted” and “proprietary” website “builder” services; the major differences between free and premium WordPress themes, and the difference between “domain” and “hosting.”
You’ll learn about the three types of hosting, so you can decide which is right for your site. (Training length: 20:51)
If you describe yourself as “tech-challenged,” don’t worry – the entire course, and specifically this lesson, is geared for non-techies.
Lesson 5: Two common “hidden” fees or potential costs, and how to budget for them. (Training length: 5:45)
Lesson 6: Three post-launch costs – services you can expect to pay for after you launch your website. (Training length: 12:35)
Concrete ways to find a knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable website vendor who will be the right fit for you.
Lesson 1: A simple, three-stage process for researching prospective website vendors (includes a complete list of questions that’ll make you sound like a pro when you screen prospective vendors). (Training length: 20:12)
Lesson 2: Three key items your website estimate should include. (Training length: 16:03)
Lesson 3: What to look for in the website agreement or contract, before you sign on the dotted line. (Training length: 10:37)
You’ll also get…
Your Website Budget Workbook – This 88-page printable PDF includes 19 charts, checklists, discovery sheets, and resource guides, including:
Rank Your Skills:Evaluate your expertise in nine essential skill sets to determine which parts of your website you can do yourself and areas where you may need to hire help.
Website Wish List:Decide which elements and features you want on your site.
Website Budget Worksheet: Spreadsheet to help you project the cost, time investment, and vendor fees for every item on your website.
Page Planner: Decide which pages you want on your website, and brainstorm the visual and written content for each page.
Creative Ways to Reduce Your Website Costs
How to Take Screenshots on PC, Mac, and Smartphone
28 Tips for Finding a Reliable Website Host
10 Popular Email Marketing Services
7 e-Commerce Platforms
Free vs. Premium WordPress Themes
5 Types of Videos You Can Feature On Your Website
Website Security Services
Researching Vendor Websites
12 Questions to ask a Vendor’s Clients
Website Vendor Interview Script
3 Key Items Your Website Estimate Should Include
12 Important Items to Look for In Your Website Agreement
All of this is YOURS when you enroll in Your Website Budget Blueprint
Lifetime access to all course materials, updates, and bonuses, including membership in our private Facebook community.
“Laura’s training makes mastering unfamiliar concepts fun and simple. She is accessible, easy to communicate with, and delivers professional results.”
Rosie Rourke, Real Estate Broker, RosieRourke.com
“Quick to respond to requests and sensitive to my needs, Laura is generous with her time and always reliable. Laura and her team designed a complex and detailed, yet friendly website that is easy to navigate. I enjoy my inviting website and so do my visitors.”
“Laura listens to my ideas, answers my questions, and offers expert advice. She and her team developed a website that truly portrays who I am and what I'm about.”
Grace Fox, Author, International Speaker, Global Worker, GraceFox.com
“Laura helped me work through all the difficult issues and the numerous questions I had about building my new website. I’m so pleased with the results.”
Shawn R. Logan, Insurance Agency Owner, InsuranceQuotesWa.net
A bit about Laura
I’m Laura Christianson, founder of Blogging Bistro, a digital marketing business based near Seattle, Washington.
I work from home, leading a virtual team that’s been creating custom websites together since 2009.
I started my career as an educator, teaching English and journalism in the public school system for 11 years.
After our sons arrived on the scene, I morphed into a freelance journalist, followed by stints as an author, corporate public relations director, professional blogger, writers’ conference instructor and co-director, consultant, and digital marketing professional.
Years before my company began building websites, I made the blooper of all website bloopers – I spent $10,000 to have a website built, and I lost my entire investment – my website and $10K (I’ll share the gory details in the course).
That mega-blunder taught me that my lack of knowledge, lack of planning, lack of skills, and poor budgeting resulted in wasted effort, time, and money.
During the past decade, as I’ve helped transform hundreds of people into savvy online marketers, I realized that most of us have absolutely NO IDEA how much a website should cost, what features our website should include, or how to hire someone to help build our website.
The idea for this course took root three years ago, when a client shared a horror story of a website vendor who left her high-and-dry midway through the development of her site. (My company came to her rescue.)
I hate it when unscrupulous vendors get away with this atrocious behavior. I vowed to do everything in my power to prevent this from happening to others.
My train of thought:
Help people avoid shady vendors. To steer clear of charlatans, we need to know what questions to ask. The single biggest question EVERYONE asks a vendor is, “How much does a website cost?”
So, before we shop for a website vendor, we need to plan a budget for our website. Planning a budget means we need to know what pages we want on our site, what elementsandfeatureswe’ll include, and what platform we’ll build our site on.
Your Website Budget Blueprint was conceived out of my desire to empower you to make knowledgeable choices about your website.
I feel as if my career has come full-circle; I’m thrilled to return to my first love: teaching. Instructing online courses allows me to combine my teaching “chops” with over a decade of on-the-job experience helping business professionals improve their brand messaging and online marketing.
Check out the BONUSES!
Exclusive access to our private Facebook community
This member-led group is a great place to bounce ideas off one another, share your progress, and access additional tips and support as you go through the program.
Laura will post regular updates and host Q&A sessions.
Lesson: Care & Feeding of Your New Website
You need to know how to care for your website AFTER you launch it, so it looks its best, functions smoothly, and entices people to return. We’ll walk through 12 areas of your website that you should regularly examine, test, and tweak.
Plus, you’ll get a printable checkist to help you plan when you’ll conduct each post-launch checkup.
Free updates to the course
In the world of websites, what was shiny and new becomes obsolete as soon as website developers adopt new features and systems.
I’ll update the training to reflect these changes. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of the latest, greatest. I’ll do it for you!
This course is ideal for solopreneurs, consultants, small business owners.
The program is valued at $500.
But for only $297, you get lifetime access to all course materials, bonuses, updates, and our private Facebook community.
“Laura breaks down what she teaches into understandable language. Her instruction helped me bring my website to the next level.”
K. Douglas Brown, Author, Pastor ShotgunRide.com
“Laura is a pleasure to work with. When her team created my custom website, they made my ideas and requests a priority, while providing necessary support and feedback. They made my vision a reality.”
Michelle Hollomon, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, MichelleHollomon.com
“Somehow, Laura takes my words, reads my mind, and puts into a visual medium precisely what I am thinking about. I absolutely love the organization and simplicity of the custom website she and her team created for my business.”
Dr. Laura Monahan, Medical Director and Owner, Atlantic Veterinary Hospital, AtlanticVetSeattle.com
“I have partnered with Laura on dozens of joint projects over the past seven years. She really knows her stuff when it comes to website development and online marketing. She is the ONLY person to whom I refer my clients; without exception, they come back to me and say, ‘thank you for sending me to Laura. She’s been amazing.’ I feel exactly the same way.”
You know you need a professional-looking, smooth-functioning website to promote your ideas, products, or services.
You believe that a website is an integral part of your marketing plan and you view your website as an investment in your business.
You plan to launch a website during the next year and are motivated to learn how to create a realistic budget for your new site.
You have built a website and are considering replacing it with a site that’s better, stronger, faster. You wonder, “Where do I start?” You know there are many options available; you want to evaluate your choices and confidently select the ones that best meet your needs and fit your budget.
You feel overwhelmed by the “tech stuff” required to create a website. You know there must be a good alternative to mastering the tech, but what is that alternative… and can you afford it?
You may be good at one or more of the following areas, but you’re not proficient in all of them:
You are a time-strapped, budget-conscious entrepreneur who suspects that you’ll need to hire help to build your website. You plan to comparison shop for a website vendor. You need to know how much vendors typically charge, how to find reliable vendors, and what questions to ask them so you get the best return on your investment.
You’re wary of getting burned by an unscrupulous website vendor. You need to know red flags to watch for so those shady characters don’t take advantage of you.
You hope to establish a positive, long-term relationship with your website vendor. In your ideal scenario, you’d have such a great experience with your vendor that they would build the website you need now, and they’d help you manage and update your site throughout its lifetime. Then they’d build your next site.
You want the website creation process to be a positive, rewarding process for everyone involved.
Others who might enjoy this course
In addition to solopreneurs and small business owners, others who will benefit from this course include:
Marketing professionals who work with clients who need a website. The training will help you equip your clients with solid, reliable information about their website options.
Website vendors who design, develop, write content for, or manage websites. The training will help you clearly communicate expectations and outcomes with your website clients.
You probably shouldn’t enroll in this program if:
You want to learn how to design a website. We will discuss the nine skill sets needed to create a website (graphic design is one of those skills). You’ll evaluate your level of expertise in each skill set to determine whether you can do it yourself or would be better off hiring help for a particular area.
During the course, you’ll explore type fonts, color palettes, images, graphics, and key page elements. The research you do will help you choose an overall design style that will work well on your new website. Your Website Budget Blueprint is about the prep work you must do BEFORE you begin building your website.
You assume that you can build a professional-looking website for free, without any help, even if you have zero graphic design or programming skills. I used to operate under that assumption, and the vast majority of people I talk with believe it, as well… until they attempt to build their own site and get stuck. This course busts the myth of the “free” website. It equips you with practical strategies for planning a realistic budget so you can avoid costly blunders.
The investment you make in this course will cause financial hardship. If you are reluctant or unable to invest time or money into creating a website, I suggest that you take advantage of the free tips and tutorials on my blog. Sign up for Marketing Munchies, and you’ll receive over 100 practical tips, delivered weekly via email.
If investing a one-time payment of $297 isn't doable at the moment, I suggest socking away $75-$100 per month in a “website” account. The next time registration for this course opens, you'll have saved enough to purchase the program. Invest in Your Website Budget Blueprint when you feel ready.
You want to drive traffic to your website or get people to follow your blog. You’ll learn how to properly optimize each page on your website for discoverability. However, driving traffic to your site is part of the ongoing marketing you will do after your site launches… this course focuses on PRE-launch budget planning.
You want to set up or configure email addresses. During the lesson on website hosting, I’ll give you pointers on budgeting for email addresses as part of your hosting plan. The hosting company you choose can provide you with setup assistance and tutorials.
You are in the process of building your website and want technical help. During the course, you’ll learn about the types of technical work that are part of most website build-outs, and the rates vendors typically charge for technical services.
One-to-one technical assistance or troubleshooting services are not included in this course. However, our parent company, Blogging Bistro, LLC, offers custom website design and development. We do all the tech stuff as we create your site and are available to manage post-launch technical challenges. We would contract with you separately for website development and post-launch services.
You are a fan of content management systems other than WordPress.org. I am an avid user of the self-hosted WordPress platform; the case studies I cite throughout the course are mainly WordPress sites.
I will talk about “website builder” services such as Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace. You’ll learn how they function, how they are different from WordPress.org, and how to budget if you are considering a website builder service.
You want to know which WordPress theme you should choose. There are thousands of WordPress themes available. I will not recommend specific themes, but will talk about the differences between free and premium themes.
You plan to build a complex Learning Management System (LMS), corporate site, government site, or e-commerce site. These specialty websites require that you buy a system and/or work with a website vendor skilled in developing a specific system, integrating multiple layers of security, and other elements that many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t require on their websites.
Your Website Budget Blueprint focuses on basic, no-frills websites. I will share tips about how to shop for an e-commerce service and will give you a list of popular e-commerce software platforms that you can research on your own.
You want to learn how to write the content for your website. We will discuss writing, editing, and proofreading in general terms. I’ll give you specific ideas about the type of freelance writer to look for, and the fees they are likely to charge.
You want to know EXACTLY how much it will cost to build your website. Every website is unique; in a course that serves many students worldwide, it’s unrealistic (and impossible!) to plug exact dollar amounts into every item you’ll need on your website.
I want you to become familiar with every element you might want on your website, to make thoughtful decisions about how much to budget for those features, and to learn concrete ways to find a vendor who will be the right fit – and the right price – for your project.
You believe that a professional-looking website will result in an immediate increase in sales. A snazzy website does not guarantee a surge in sales. Sales increase when you apply an array of marketing strategies. The way you use your website – to showcase your brand, build leads, and connect with customers – is one of those strategies.
This course does not tout a secret “system” that will magically increase sales or ensure that you’ll rake in six figures. When you enroll in Your Website Budget Blueprint, you’ll do good, old-fashioned legwork. You’ll watch and listen to instruction. You’ll study. You’ll research. You’ll complete activities to further your learning. You’ll share ideas with fellow students in our private Facebook group.
When you finish the course, you’ll have an excellent grasp of the features you want on your website, how much it’ll cost to create your website, and how to find the help you need to make it all happen.
What people say it’s like to work with me:
“I have lots of ideas and concepts for how I want my website to look and function, but I don’t know how to translate my ideas into reality. Laura listens carefully and then creates exactly what I am envisioning.”
Angela Welsh, Professional Photographer, Hair Stylist, Makeup Artist, AngelaWelshDesigns.com
“I have learned so much in Your Website Budget Blueprint. The course material helped me understand all the elements to include on my website – including things I typically wouldn’t think about, such as hidden fees, software compatibility, and ongoing costs after you launch your website. The beauty of this course is that I can review the lessons anytime and further develop my skills.”
I recommend completing one lesson per sitting. The exceptions are in Module 2, Lessons 2 and 3, which are the longest lessons. I suggest breaking them into two or three chunks.
Each lesson is organized topically. As you watch the videos, pause between topics and give yourself time to process, brainstorm, or discuss what you’re learning in our private Facebook group.
Move through the course at a pace that feels comfortable for you. I recommend giving yourself two weeks to watch the video lessons and do the action steps for each lesson.
Then, give yourself another week or two to re-watch the entire course and fill in any gaps you may have missed the first time through.
Is this course one long sales pitch for Blogging Bistro’s website design and development services?
Definitely not! You are welcome to work with any website vendor you choose or to build your website yourself.
I do share case studies from our website clients, but that’s because their experiences are similar to most people’s, and I believe in using real-life case studies.
Our parent company, Blogging Bistro, LLC, specializes in CUSTOM-built WordPress websites, which are a higher price point than other types of websites. Our services are an excellent fit for people who are comfortable investing several thousand dollars to create a custom website.
If, after finishing the course, you hire the Blogging Bistro team to build your custom website, I will deduct $297 from your website fee. (Simply show me your completed course materials.)
How do I pay for the program?
Click any payment button on this page to visit the checkout form. Enter your payment details and submit your one-time payment.
Your membership welcome email and login details will be sent as soon as your payment is processed. Allow at least 30 minutes for the confirmation email to arrive; it will include your login details.
As soon as your payment is processed, you will get immediate access (via username and password) to the ENTIRE course. No drip-feeding of individual lessons once a week – you get it all, all at once.
You’ll have 24/7 access to the three modules (13 video lessons total), course workbook, other features inside the program, and the bonuses.
Whenever you want to watch a video training, log in to your account with your username and password. Click on the module and lesson you want, and press “Play.” The course website includes an area for you to download resource materials that you'll use as you work through the lessons.
What does “lifetime access” mean?
You will have access to all course materials, updates, bonuses, and support as long as the program remains online. If I ever close the program, I’ll give you 30 days to download any content you need.
How will you communicate with me?
I will email you periodically about course updates, changes, or new trainings. I’ll also alert you to related live trainings and webinars you can register for/attend.
The “members” area of the course will include an email address you can use to contact our team.
When you enroll in the course, you can request to join our private Facebook community, where you’ll interact with others who are taking the course and with our administrative team. Think of the Facebook group as your virtual classroom. Ask questions. Share your website bloopers, successes, tips, and resources.
I’m a non-techie. Will you throw a bunch of tech jargon at me?
No! I describe myself as a non-techie. During the infrequent times that I “talk tech” during the course, I will explain terms and acronyms. If you get stuck, ask for clarification in our private Facebook group.
Does the course include information about website hosting?
We will discuss how website hosting works, and you’ll get tips for how to find the type of hosting plan that best suits the website you intend to build. I will suggest several popular website hosting companies you can research to determine which one meets your needs.
Will I learn how to connect my website to my social media accounts?
We don’t cover that topic. Your Website Budget Blueprint is about laying the foundation for your website before you build your site. Connecting social media accounts happens in the late stages of a website build-out.
Do you refer to website budget items in U.S. dollars (USD)?
Yes. I realize that people from many countries will enroll in this course, so if you use a currency other than USD, please convert the dollar amounts to your preferred currency.
What is a website vendor?
This is a generic term I use to describe anyone you might hire to assist you with an aspect of your website creation: graphic designer, programmer, content writer/editor.
Do you donate any of your income to charitable causes?
Yes! When I was a kid, I got 50 cents a week; 25 cents was my allowance, and the other 25 cents went in the church offering plate. The habit of tithing a portion of my income and a portion of my time is deeply ingrained; it’s part of who I am and I love doing it. So yes, I donate 10% of my income to charitable causes.
I currently donate to three organizations I am passionate about. In all three cases, the people in charge are dear friends, and I know that close to 100% of my donation goes DIRECTLY to helping others, as opposed to marketing their non-profit.
The organizations I help support are:
Bruce and Deb Robinson, long-time Christian missionaries in Northwest Haiti. They use the funds we donate to build wells, maintain roads, and build latrines for local schools. Bruce and Deb are affiliated with an organization called CrossWorld.
Renewal Ministries Northwest, directed by two long-time friends, Denise Easter and Dianna Kunce. This organization has an amazing prayer ministry with individuals, churches, and leadership teams from a wide array of faith backgrounds.
International Messengers Canada – Our friends Grace and Gene Fox direct the Canadian branch of International Messengers, an interdenominational missions organization that sends teams to Eastern European countries, where they host English Camps, Discipleship Camps, Women's Conferences, Basketball Camps, Ski Camps, Family Camps, and more.
I also believe in tithing my time. I serve on the board of directors for West Coast Christian Writers and volunteer my time to plan and market their conferences.
“I really enjoying working with Laura. My only experience is from the user end of a website, so it's a fascinating and exciting process to see what goes into creating the other side.”
Carrie Kwiatkowski, Writer Specializing in Women in History, CarrieKwiatkowski.com
“Laura and team helped develop my style so well... they produced a beautiful logo and website with a truly custom design. People are finding my café more easily now, and business is booming!”
Jennifer Cote, Restaurant Owner and Cookbook Author, GratefulTable.com
“We love the website and get compliments daily!”
Sherrie Davis, Founder, Mountain River Youth Ranch MountainRiverYouthRanch.org
“I wanted a responsive-design website that would showcase my books and blog and appeal especially to women with young children and grandchildren—and that’s exactly what I got! Laura and her team are creative, technically skilled, organized, and patient.”
Because I’m committed to delivering the highest-quality product, I’ve invested more than 600 hours and several thousand dollars developing this course. Plus, I bring over eight years of experience creating websites to the table.
But I do understand that you might decide the program is not for you.
When you purchase Your Website Budget Blueprint, you receive a 72-hour money-back guarantee.