A plug for my web designer

September 25, 2010 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

Kickstart Media by John Flynn

My background is in web design and development, so I never dreamed I’d hire someone else to do a site for me. But when I came across the portfolio of beautiful work at Kickstart Media, I was so impressed that I thought I might want to have them do my long-awaited blog redesign for me; after talking to the owner, John Flynn, and hearing about how professionally he runs his business, I was sold.

I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years, and I know how hard it can be to find a good, reliable web designer, so I wanted to give John Flynn and Kickstart Media a plug here on my blog in case anyone out there is in need of a site. I’ve received no compensation for this post — just wanted to share my recommendation in case it’s helpful to others.

So here are all the reasons I think you should use him for your next project. (If for whatever reason you don’t go with him, this also happens to be the same as my list of top things you should look for in a web designer. Well, except for #9.)

Top 10 Reasons You Should Use
My Web Designer for Your Next Project

1. He does both websites and blogs

Many designers specialize in either blogs or traditional websites, but Flynn’s skills are strong in both.

2. His sites are beautiful

As you can see from his portfolio, Flynn has a great talent for creating beautiful sites. (I think the one he’s done for me here looks awesome, if I do say so myself!)

3. His sites are easy to navigate

Many designers are good at creating sites that look fabulous or that are easy to navigate, but not both; so you’ll end up with a site that’s stunning but your visitors can’t find any information, or one that’s clear but ho-hum in terms of design. Flynn has a great ability to do both well.

4. He’s responsive

I’ve had countless friends tell me stories of hiring designers who seemed great but then suddenly started taking weeks to return phone calls, or flaked out half way through the process. I was very impressed with how easy it was to get in touch with Flynn and how quickly he responded to my inquiries.

5. He creates sites that you can update yourself

He uses the Word Press engine for both blogs and traditional sites, which means that you’ll be able to update it yourself without any specialized software. This is huge, especially for businesses and organizations. It used to be that you’d have to pay a monthly fee to your designer or hire someone who knew HTML to keep your content fresh, but now you can do it yourself for free with a couple clicks of the mouse!

6. His rates are reasonable, and he’ll work with you on price

Flynn’s rates aren’t the cheapest, but they’re more than reasonable given the quality of work he does. (Honestly, I think he under-charges, but — shh! — don’t tell him that or he might raise his rates.) Also, if you’re a charity, individual or non-profit, he’ll work with you on price.

7. His rates are clear

It was so refreshing that Flynn simply gave me a flat rate for the work he did, and that was that: no hidden fees, no shadiness about the actual price.

8. He has a great process

As I know from being on both ends of this type of work, the process for getting a website done can quickly turn into a morass if there isn’t a good leader to move the ball forward. Flynn has an extremely clear, tried-and-true process that made it a snap to get it done. (For example: it took about five weeks from the time I first contacted him to the time my new site was live — and that included a totally new design and transferring 990 posts and 22, 000 comments from Blogger to Word Press.)

9. His dad wrote a cool book

I just have to mention that his dad is Vinny Flynn, who wrote Seven Secrets of the Eucharist, a book that gave me a whole new sense of awe toward the Holy Eucharist.

10. Kickstart is a family business

One of the things I loved about working with Flynn is that I was getting a site with the same quality as if it had been done by an upscale agency, but I was supporting a big Christian family: Flynn and his wife have eight children, and he supports the family through his work as a designer.

I had fun writing this up. Getting my new design off the ground was such a great experience (other than some Blogger-to-Word Press glitches that drove me to the brink of insanity, but that’s the subject of a different post). Anyway, hope that’s helpful to anyone out there in need of a new/redesigned site!

7 Comments

  1. Leila

    Wow! If I ever get as popular as you, I’m going with Kickstart! Beautiful work!!

  2. bwya

    I love that book! I also have an audio CD of a talk by Vinny Flynn on the same topic. I am tickled to learn your web designer is one of *those* Flynns! That explains why its so fantastic. 🙂

  3. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    I’m so jealous that he moved all of your comments. 🙁 My designer couldn’t move all of mine and I lost thousands. It was so sad!

  4. Hallie Lord

    What a talent!

  5. Lily

    Beautiful work and beautiful site, indeed! Love the connection to Vinny Flynn, too. I listened to “Seven Secrets” as a talk on CD and it changed my life (as promised!).

  6. John Flynn

    Wow! Jen, thanks so much for the kudos…. I so appreciated being able to work with you! So many times I am stuck doing projects that although are valuable to the client, are just not in my passion. To work with other strong Catholics and aid in their ministries is truly a blessing for me. Thanks for the experience… also, thanks to your readers for their generous comments!

  7. Julie

    I’d be cautious. Kickstart can do good work, but I just finished a nightmare experience with them.

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