Every marketing guru will tell you that its cheaper to keep a customer than gain a new one. And you know what? It's actually true.

Think about your average customer. How much do they spend with you in one transaction? $100? $250? $500? Or more?

Is that a one-time purchase? Or do they make more purchases over time? When you think about how much they spend, and how the continue to spend that money over time, you really start to realize what the lifetime value of a customer truly is.

(Don't mind me over here in the corner crying about how valuable I am to Target...I'm sure they know. Because I just realized what my lifetime value is.)

If you want to increase your customer's lifetime value, here are some ideas to get you started:

Your website is an asset – an investment you have made into your business. And just like any other asset, you take care of it and protect it.  

That’s what a care plan is – a way to protect your valuable, money-making, customer-producing, appointment-booking, 24/7/365 days a year #1 SALESPERSON - otherwise known as, your website.

Would you buy a shiny new car, drive it every day to work and back, run errands, pick up the kids, but skip every oil change? Never replace the tires? Hope the brakes still work great after 5 years? NO!  

Your car is an asset and to get the most return on your investment, you have to maintain it!

Websites that aren’t maintained are the same as a car that hasn’t had an oil change – plugins, themes, apps need updates or they become glitchy, or worse, stop working all together. 

Would you leave your car unlocked and running with the keys in the ignition, while you run in the store? Then, why would you let your website become outdated and unsecure and vulnerable to hacks?

Questions I’m often asked about website care plans.

Why are care plans so important? 

You spent good money on a website. You invested in a tool that helps you increase your revenue.  It is vital to protect it.  

Good care plans ensure that your plugins and themes stay up to date (so your website stays secure and functioning properly).  That your website stays up and running (good hosting) all the time (and fixes problems quickly if things fail). That if the worst happens and your website goes down, or is hacked, you have backups to quickly get you back online.

My website isn’t that big or complicated, do I still need a care plan? 

Even if you don’t hand off the care of your website to a professional, your website, no matter the size, needs to be maintained. 

Do you sell items on your site? Take payments from customers? Then you need to make sure your website is continually maintained to prevent data breaches.

Do you rely on your site to make sales? Do your leads come to your site to book with you? What would happen to your business if your site was out of date and didn’t work?

Can’t I just run the updates myself? 

Of course you can. But is that really the best use of your time? As a business owner, you wear many hats, and you are capable of completing nearly every task your business needs. 

But, I would bet, there are tasks that you delegate to experts. An accountant to do your taxes. A bookkeeper to do your payroll. A social media manager to help you build your tribe. A virtual assistant to manage your email and calendar.

I know I do.

I could do my own taxes. But, what if someone else was better at it than I was? Or could do it faster than I could? Or could find better ways to do it than I could? (Who could save me more money??) And if I delegated it off my plate, I could focus on money-making tasks in my business that would be a better use of my time.  

Maintenance is vital to keeping your website running its best all the time. Either you invested dollars, or hours of your own time, to create your business’s site – don’t let your hard-earned dollars, or your time, go down the drain.  Your website is not a “Set it and Forget it” thing. 

Love it.

Nurture it.

Take care of it.

And it will take care of business.

The success of any project comes down to good communication.  If the team is on the same page, and everyone knows the expectations, it is so much easier to get to the end goal.  And projects evolve – in the case of web design – things change along the way so there isn’t always a clear, one way path to get the project complete.  Every project is different. 

And maybe you don’t have a team – its just you.  But you still work with clients, or vendors, and this checklist is still applicable to you.

Even though every project is different, all projects need these five things to be successful:

Roles and responsibilities

Sure, this seems obvious, but it is vitally important that everyone involved knows what is expected of them.  By being clear in the beginning about what each person will do and their role requirements, you avoid lots of headaches later (“I thought you were in charge of that?”)  And by assigning roles and responsibilities in the beginning, you can be sure that you have “Aces in Places” and each person is staying in their zone of genius rather than delegating tasks to the wrong people. And you won’t waste valuable time on tasks that aren’t relevant to the project.


Do you know what the end goal is? Do you have a clear idea of what the team is working toward? Does everyone on the team understand the vision?  If everyone is on the same page and is working to the same goal, your project will be a success.


A company that I worked for had a mission statement that started with, “Our mission is to be financially successful..” I am in business for a lot of reasons, but one of the many reasons is to make money (and I bet you are, too!) And you can’t be profitable if you don’t have a clear budget.  Things come up, so always have some wiggle room in the budget.  And make sure all the decision makers agree on the budget. 

Timeline & scope

Every project needs a clear timeline and milestones in place before work begins.  This ensures the project will run well and finish on time.  Everyone involced in the project should be aware of the scope.  If the scope changes (and it sometimes will) it is important for the timeline to adjust as well – otherwise deadlines will be missed. 

Scheduled check in

Communication is so important to success of the project.  Whether its check-ins via email, Slack, Zoom, or in-person meetings, communication is key to identifying potential roadblocks or concerns the team may have.  And it is so important to check-in with your client and keep them in the loop. 

Cue the Jimmy Buffett tunes and pour up that pitcher of margaritas! It’s another edition of Cocktail Party Knowledge!

You need a website.  And you are figuring out that there are web designers and web developers.  So which one do you need?

First, what’s a designer and what’s a developer?  

A designer is a focused on the visual aspect of the website – how it looks and the useability of it.  They consider how the user will interact with the site, and cater to making it easier for the user.  

A developer focuses on coding the website – laying the framework, the bricks and mortar behind the scenes of how the website functions.  

Remember the last post on HTML and CSS?  Imagine that the developer builds the HTML.  They code all the elements of the website.  And imagine that the designer creates the CSS.  They make the elements functional to the user and they make it look nice. 

So do you need a designer or developer, or both?  The answer varies.

Web designers can create a beautiful, custom site that uses the best design principles to ensure the user has the best experience.  Web developers can use their coding skills to bring the design to life and get it published on the web.

But there are designers who can code and create, and there are developers who can design.  So although there can be a distinction between the two in strict industry terms, in real life, the line between the two can be fuzzy (and that's not just the margarita talking!) Or there can be no line at all. 

So, if you need a very large, complex website, and are spending $$$$$, then you definitely need a designer and a developer.  Large projects require a division of labor for efficiency.  But for most web design projects, a small agency or freelancer can fill both roles and still deliver really great results.

Pour a glass of wine, stir up an Old Fashioned, and shake up that martini! It’s time to learn some more “Cocktail Party Knowledge” about the web world!

In this blog post series, I’m giving you the bird’s eye view of different web terms so you can have the confidence to speak intelligently about it with others, instead of grabbing your coat and running for the door when the subject comes up, i.e. you have cocktail party working knowledge.

If you have a website, or are building a website, or have someone building a site for you, chances are you have heard of HTML and CSS.  But what the heck are they?

HTML and CSS are languages.  HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language.  It’s the language of websites.  It gives the website its structure and content.  It is the code that tells Safari or Chrome how to display the website.  CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It describes what the HTML looks like.

Imagine your website is a building.  The HTML is the foundation, the walls, the roof.  It is the basic elements of the house.  CSS is the paint, the crown molding, the vaulted ceilings, the hardwood floors.  It is what makes the house come to life and look good.  

Unless you are learning code, you may never have to deal with HTML or CSS.  There are even web designers who don’t even use much HTML or CSS – there are many easier ways to build websites these days. Lots of designers use builders such as Divi or Elementor that don’t require code, but allow the designer to “drag and drop” to build a web page.  

However, you can do some really cool things with CSS to make web pages look neat – I just learned how to animate a gradient background and it’s all done with CSS.  Cool, huh?

So now you know what HTML and CSS are and what they do! Cheers!

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