Website Creator Workshop

Do you need a new website that you can manage – that’s within your budget? Here you go …

If your website: (select all that apply)


I have the solution to make your life easier.

Who am I, and why should you listen to me?

My name is Leslie Smith, I own Heron Design (you can learn more about me here, here, and here). I’ve worked in marketing and communications for 30+ years (really, since before the internet). I founded my own company in 2001, and since then have provided graphic and web design services to small to medium-sized organizations and businesses.

For the past 12 years, I’ve designed websites almost exclusively in WordPress. It is the content management system standard that all other websites and blogs are compared to. It is flexible, mobile-ready, SEO-friendly, and secure.

WordPress is often touted as easy to set up, and even simpler to learn. That’s just not true. I’m an expert in php and html, yet there were times early on that I struggled to make WordPress look the way I wanted. If you don’t have a good understanding of html and php, creating a WordPress site with a custom look can be incredibly frustrating.

I love weaving a client’s look and branding into a custom WordPress website. Our custom websites typically run between $4,200 and $10,000. Many smaller organizations don’t have the budget for that. Heron Design isn’t above the ‘norm’ in our costs for website design: Here are screenshots from other companies, with links to their articles/websites.

As a solution, I developed the Website Creator Workshop.

Anyone can learn WordPress – with the right program (and someone to take care of the technical details!)

I can teach anyone to use WordPress to keep your website content up to date. Here are examples of WordPress websites I’ve built – and taught their owners to maintain – this year:

Baylor Swimming websiteCenter for Mindful Living websiteCouples Coaching Couples websiteSquare One Venue website

What happens during the Workshop – and how long does it take?

The Website Creator Workshop is a work at your own pace program.

The process can go as slow or as fast as you need it to; the typical website takes about six weeks to create.

Our system – developed through two decades of building websites and three decades of working with nonprofits – takes you from Concept to Live and beyond. You’ll have Content Worksheets, Writing Prompts and resources to help you generate and gather your content while we develop your look and set up your website.

  • We’ll suggest a color palette, fonts and layout to match your branding and marketing materials.
  • Once you’ve approved the look, we’ll design and build your website, while you work on your content.
  • It all comes together during online coaching sessions where we walk you through every step of adding your content to the site on a private testing server. Typically, workshop participants take part in three or four online sessions, which are offered multiple times each week and last 45 minutes to an hour. However, you can sign up for as many as you need to finish your website.
  • When the site is ready, we’ll work with you to point your domain name to our server* – or do it for you if you’re technically-challenged – and then your site will be live.

You’ll have a new, custom-made, professional, dynamic, beautiful website that engages your audience and helps your organization reach your goals.

And it doesn’t stop there: With our (optional) website support and hosting program, you’ll get ANYTHING-web-related support. If you ever get stuck on a WordPress or website-related problem, we’ll help you through it. (Plus you get blazing fast server speeds, unlimited disk space, domain registration and renewal, worry-free WordPress code and plugin updates, a free SSL certificate and content delivery network and up to 30 emails @yourdomain. We can even handle your content updates for you.)

*Or, if you prefer, you can manage your own website hosting and domain name. In that case, once your site is ready to go live, we’ll move your site to the web host of your choice.

How much does it cost?

There are two ways to put a value on building a website: your time and actual dollars.

The Value of Your Time
  • The time it takes to build a custom website varies greatly, and estimates range from six hours to 100+. For our exercise, let’s assume you’re somewhere in the middle in terms of coding ability, and that it’ll take you 55 hours to build your website. What is the value of your time – not what you are paid, but what you generate? Multiply your hourly value by 55 = that’s the true cost of building a website in WordPress, from scratch, to match your organization’s branding.
  • Add in the time it will take you to keep your website up to date. WordPress software and plugins absolutely must be kept up to date for security, and you’ll need to test your site after each update to make sure everything still works properly.
  • Don’t forget to include time spent troubleshooting if you accidentally break something. That’s probably the biggest cost of DIY.
  • Let’s estimate that all of the above, conservatively, takes 70 hours the first year you DIY your website:
Actual Dollar Cost

Of course, the ‘easy’ way is to pay for custom web design. A fully custom-designed website can easily cost a mid-sized nonprofit $10,000, plus ongoing monthly hosting and content update charges.

The cost of our workshop?


Plus optional* ongoing monthly web support & hosting charges

That’s a fraction of the cost of a full-blown custom website design, or your time to learn to build a DIY site. And at the end of the Workshop, you’ll have the skills needed to keep your content up to date.

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Web Support & Hosting Packages

Do we have to buy web hosting from Heron Design?

Short answer: no. If you prefer, at the end of the workshop, we can move your new site to the web host of your choice for a one-time setup fee of $185, or you can download a copy of the website you’ve created.

A website is a living document – and it needs attention to keep it secure, and looking great. We offer that attention: every week, we’ll scan your site for WordPress code and plugins that need to be updated and check for any ‘mischievous’ code that might have crept in through an unlocked door.

The element that makes our website hosting different? The support. With our hosting, you have a built-in technical support staff: if you have a question or problem with your website, we’ll help you through it. And if we can’t explain how to fix your problem in a way that you can understand, we’ll fix it for you.

Our basic web hosting package is $49/month. This includes:

  • ANYTHING-web-related support for you – if you get stuck or need help/advice, we’re here for you.
  • 30 emails with cloud-based IMAP accounts
  • Unlimited email aliases that forward to ‘real’ email accounts
  • Blazing fast server speeds – up to 20x faster than comparable hosting packages
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • WordPress code and plugin updates
  • Secured with an SSL Certificate from CloudFlare
  • Regular site backups
  • How-to tutorials in your admin area for everything you’ll need to update your website content
Always short on time? We can help you keep your content updated, all year round or just in your busiest season: everything from your calendar to optimizing your images to posting/scheduling your latest blog entry.

Managed Content Website Hosting – Bi-Weekly Updates

  • $124/month: everything in our basic hosting package, plus we’ll check in with you every other week for website updates

Managed Content Website Hosting – Weekly Updates

  • $250/month: everything in our basic hosting package, plus we’ll check in with you every week for website updates

A Guarantee

I believe I can help ANYONE create a website. But sometimes things happen, and I understand.

If you sign up for the workshop, give it three weeks of honest effort, and then decide that it’s not the best way to build your organization’s website, all you have to do is email me, and I’ll refund 100% of your money.

I’m taking a risk by doing this: three weeks in, you’ll have all our Content Worksheets, Writing Prompts and the color palettes, fonts and layouts that we recommend to best represent your organization. You could sign up for the workshop just to steal free consulting, and rip me off. But I believe most people are honest. I’m going to trust that you aren’t going to do that to me. So, I’m offering you a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

And a Gift

The first thing I look at when working with a new client is their logo.

Over half of the new website clients I’ve worked with have sent me logos that weren’t in a format that works well on a website – for example, jpegs with a solid white background, creating the dreaded ‘white box’ effect in an otherwise beautiful website header. Or an almost (but not quite) clear scan of a hand-drawn logo. Or the wrong size. Or worse: four different-but-similar versions of their logo.

If your logo isn’t in tip-top shape as a crystal-clear non-pixelated perfect-header-size transparent .png, I’ll redraw it for you.

Normally I charge $200 for this service, but if you sign up today, I’ll clean up your logo for free, so that you have the best possible start for your Workshop.

Registration for the current workshop has closed. Want us to let you know when the next workshop is scheduled?

Keep Me Posted!

Need more time to decide – or want to get to know us better first?
Sign up for our newsletter, Volare. You’ll be the first to know when the next workshop is scheduled – and get weekly WordPress & website tips.

P.S. How much time is it going to take you to create a website on your own? Wouldn’t you be more effective focusing on the things that you are good at, and leave the technical ‘stuff’ to us?

A professionally designed, dynamic website that connects with your audience will help you reach your goals.

And it is within your reach. Our Website Creator Workshop will help you create a website that connects with your audience.

Trust our process: sign up today, and I’ll clean up your logo – for free – as my gift to you.

Questions, or just want to talk to me before signing up? No problem. Email me and we’ll set up a time to talk.