Finding The Right Web Designer

My website,,  was recently redesigned by the amazing Jian Chan.  I was lucky enough to have my cousin James  refer me to Jian.  James spoke so highly of Jian,  I was 95% certain he was the web designer for my site before I  met him.

Jian and I  exchanged a couple e-mails,  where we talked about my budget and my timeline.  We decided to meet to discuss the redesign of my website. I honestly think the meeting was the most important part because the website of an unpublished author isn’t about their books, it’s about their personality translating into their website.

Before we met, I looked at a couple dozen writer websites and took notes on what I liked and what I didn’t like. I also thought about what was and wasn’t working with my current website.

We talked for a couple of hours during which Jian  asked some really insightful questions and made me think about my website in a new way. He focused me on what I needed the website do and how to accomplish it.

I left that meeting 100% certain that Jian was the only web designer for my site.

I also  had some homework to do. I had to write and rewrite everything that was going up on my website.

Several times, I deferred to his expertise in making decisions about the site. I appreciated  how invested he was in the project and how he explained his choices to me.

Jian  kept in touch with me  while he worked on the redesign. He passed several options by me and implemented my suggestions. Sometimes even anticipated how I would like things before I even articulated it.

He created a test site so I could see what my site would look like before it went live. The day it went live,  he was available all day  to tweak things.

He stayed within budget, met every deadline, and kept in touch throughout the process.  He also put up with tons of questions from me  about the most basic  web designing things. And he always answered them politely and kindly. I can’t imagine a better experience with a web designer.

You can check out Jian’s work on my website. He also has examples of projects he’s done for other clients on his website: Celestial Sonata.

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22 Responses to Finding The Right Web Designer

  1. nice website. I can see why you love him.

  2. crubin says:

    Wonderful website. I suppose I will need to think about this soon, but it’s hard enough keeping a blog up. Thanks for some insight for when I decide to go this route.

    • Thanks! I really love the work he did, down to the slightly burnt edges of the parchment. 🙂 I had a basic site up before but it was pretty bad. I enjoyed working with my web designer. He made it a pretty stress free experience. 🙂

  3. berry says:

    Glad u found him
    Good web people hard to find. Love the site. Kudos jian

  4. Lucas says:

    Your new website is gorgeous! I love the pachment feel, the new font (especially how your name appears at the top) and the photos section. The links to poetry and novel excerpts within the text are handy. The colors are inviting and provide beautiful contrast. This is an exceptional collaboration between you and your web designer. Bravo.

    • Thanks so much Lucas! I mentioned I wanted parchment, but my web designer came up with the look and feel of it. I picked my 3 favorite fonts, but he selected the ones that would look the best on the page. He’s a genius at streamlining things and making them highly functional but still pleasing to the eye. The colors were all him. I really love the backsplash he created in browns and gold. The orchids on the homepage were mine, but he played with the colors until they fit with the overall page. 🙂

  5. winsomebella says:

    Nice site!

  6. Loved the look and functionality of the new site. A good web designer is so important – and the ability to communicate ( and it helps if the client has a pretty good idea of what is needed). Passing his info on.

    • Thank you! I owe most of that to Jian! He has terrific instincts and phenomenal skills. What I really appreciated about him was at the outset we looked at every single page of my original website and he asked me what its purpose was and what it was doing for me as a writer. There were several pages we did away with and I think it’s much more streamlined because of it. 🙂

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    The website looks great, Kourtney! When the time comes for me to have one, I’ll talk with a young cousin who’s a web guy. 🙂 He freelances with web design. He knows a heck of a lot more about them than I do. 🙂

    • Thanks, JM! Smart move. It’s great to have family who can help out or refer you to someone who can help. 🙂 I’m all for finding an expert and employing them. Rather than trying to figure it out on my own and cut into valuable writing time. 🙂

  8. 4amWriter says:

    Great idea to go with a pro. That’s the route I’ll take when I’m ready for an upgrade. You made some nice choices with your site. Looking forward to seeing it on a regular basis!

    • Thanks! My old site had been done by a friend and while it served its purpose it was getting outdated. It’s amazing what a pro can do. 🙂 Thanks! He really helped me realize my vision of the site. 🙂

  9. Pete Denton says:

    I think it looks great. I can see why you’re pleased. It does pay to get professional about the design as it shows you mean business 🙂

  10. I took a look, and it’s lovely. I also appreciate the advice on how you went about it. When I’m ready, this will help. Thanks for posting about it.

  11. Debra Kristi says:

    Beautiful site! How did you know I am looking into this information? LOL. Nah. Not an author’s site, yet. Just a self-hosted blog. Maybe I should get a more serious look as well as get more serious about the blogging. I bet your designer could help with that too. So glad you are happy. It looks great! Now all you need are “buy me” links for your books. 😉

    • Thanks so much Debra! After going through the process so pleasantly, I thought it would be useful to share this info. 🙂 He’s amazing. He’s great and he is super responsive and always kept in touch throughout the whole process. He’s also great at setting timelines and staying in budget. 🙂 I can’t wait to add those buttons! Sigh. Someday. 🙂

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