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ABOUT ME


nicole merced

Hi, I’m Nicole.

I’m a freelance web designer based in Davao City, Philippines! I focus on making websites for women entrepreneurs who want to launch an online course, small businesses who want to reach a global audience and bloggers who want to give their blogs a fresh new look.

I  specialize in building WordPress websites using Divi by Elegant Themes. I have been using it for a couple of years and I believe it is the best theme out there (it’s popular for a reason!) at the moment because of its extensive functionalities, clean code and top notch support.

I have a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and hold the importance of color theory, UI best practices, typography and readability in high regard. However, I also LOVE coding custom functions for websites that give it that unique touch.

I am a lifelong bookworm and a massive Doctor Who fan.

If you’re looking for a web designer, please take a look at my work and get in touch if you think it’s the right fit.

TESTIMONIALS


Nicole was the absolute best! Talented, competent, capable, communicative, witty – a true joy to work with. She was a master of many tasks and able to independently solve new challenges without guidance – she’s been a part of my team for over a year, and I must say that I’m sad to lose her. If you have the opportunity to work with Nicole, consider yourself lucky!

Andrew Joia

Web Developer, Drew Drew This

Nicole is a fantastic web developer and has created two beautiful websites for me. She’d previously also helped me with traditional VA projects but her skill truly lies with design and website creation. If you’re looking for an intelligent and talented web designer/developer – you’ve found her!

Alexandra Jimenez

Blogger, Work, Travel and Live

Nicole and I have worked together a few times now. Although we have never met face to face she has learned my taste in no time and does everything the way I like without even having to ask! She’s got a sixth sense and always goes the extra extra mile. It’s really hard for me to delegate but with Nicole I don’t even think about it, I KNOW the job will be done and will be beautiful!

Ximena de la Serna

Blogger, Ximena de la Serna

FAQ


What's your design process?

In very broad strokes:

  1. Clients usually send me websites that they like and don’t like. It’s important for me to get a solid idea of what you want your website to look like as it eliminates the guesswork and cuts down the build time considerably.
  2. Then I ask about your preferences: Colors, typography, image placement, etc. Some clients send me a branding guide. If it works, I can follow your specifications. However, if it involves clashing colors, mismatched font pairings or weird layouts, I will try to steer you to the right direction. You hired me for my expertise, after all. 🙂
  3. I also need to know about your goals, target audience and future plans for your site. Will you be offering members-only content? Are you planning to sell stuff on your site? Do you have copy written? These things have to be considered for me to make a concrete plan on how to build your website.
  4. Then I ask for assets: professional images, logos, stock photography. I do not create logos.
  5. After about 1-2 weeks, I will have a layout ready for you. If everything is perfect and approved by you, then we will have a site turnover. I’ll teach you how to use your site and make updates. You will have full control of your site and pages. If not, then I will alter a few things here and until we get it right.

I totally understand if you feel like this is not the right fit. What’s important to know is that the right fit is out there for you, someone who can understand your goals and help you achieve them. I can recommend a handful of web designers whom you can reach out to and help you create your vision.

What things should I prepare?
  1. Yourself, of course. The design process is very tricky and quite frustrating at times. It’s a long journey that involves a lot of time and patience from both sides. Communication lines should be open. If you plan on taking a vacation, let’s talk when you get back. 🙂 I will suggest project management sites where we can collaborate (Asana, Basecamp, Trello, whichever you’re most comfortable with) so you can see which things I am working on and items which need your feedback.
  2. I will also need your trust when I make suggestions or when I try to talk you out of doing certain features or layouts. I assure you there is a reason why some things are just not done. I will explain, even send you links of publications or academic papers.
  3. Logos
  4. Content
  5. Branding Guide (if you don’t have one, that’s okay too).
  6. Images. Professionally-taken photographs of you will work best. Please do not ask me to lift images from your Instagram or Facebook, they are too low-res to work.
  7. Stock images. If you own stock images, I would need access to them. Otherwise I will use free stock images on your site as placeholders for when you do decide to use your own.
Do you do SEO?

Yes and no.

I will include basic SEO best practices. Use alt texts, keywords, etc. However, SEO relies on quality content. In order for your site to reach it’s goals, it will need marketing, social media engagement and ads – you need to get yourself out there. If you feel like you will have a problem with updating the content or writing copy, I can suggest some writers that can help you.

I do not do black hat SEO practices. Keyword stuffing, buying links, spamming. This was popular wayyy back in 2009 when people thought they could fool Google. Sure, the hack can work for a couple of weeks, months even. But Google always updates their search algorithms, it is always evolving. When (not if) the hack fails, you will still be removed from the rankings. And if Google deems that you were too overzealous, you could be removed from the search results entirely. Black hat = bad idea.

Do you offer blog maintenance?

Yes.

By default, your WordPress and Divi theme will not automatically update. I usually do it myself, about a week or two after an update rolls out. I do this because I need to check if the update is stable or if it has critical bugs or any major issues. If it does, I usually hold off for a couple of days and wait until it is resolved. My services are free for up to 3 months after site launch. 🙂 After which we can talk about ongoing maintenance and support.

You are also free to update it by yourself if you want. However, I would no longer be liable for any coding and formatting errors.

Questions? Clarifications? Do reach out and send me a message here.

RECENT BLOG POSTS


On Business and Philippine Fashion Week

There’s a first time for everything. This would probably be the first and only fashion post to every grace my blog.

I’ve always considered myself a no-frills, laid back kind of girl. My wardrobe is simple, relatively trendy but nothing in-your-face. And except for a boatload of white shirts, I wear whatever color/print looks good.

I was in Manila for a couple of days to see a client. He had a business proposal for me and was in the Philippines for a couple of days so could meet in person. Imagine my surprise when he asked me to go with him to Philippine Fashion Week. After declining a couple of times, my larger-than-life client finally convinced me to go. Our hotel was in Makati and was right beside a bunch of malls and a salon.

What’s On My Reading List?

Fast forward to 4 AM and I’m ugly-sobbing, nearly dehydrated from all the crying and just totally wrecked. Ugh, the feels. Oh man, IDK about you but when I finished that book, I got some coffee, sat down and watched the dawn breaking while silently evaluating my life choices. LOL

Life, Lately

Hello, non-existent readers! This is Nicole, doing the virtual version of the walk of shame – the post of shame. LOL nothing sexual or anything. Just really ashamed that we’re 2 weeks into February and I haven’t updated in what feels like a very long time.

I have been swamped with so much work, I don’t even know where to begin. I wonder if musicians feel this way just before they turn from normal, playing in local gigs, making ends meet musicians into fans screaming, sold out concerts, living large rockstars.

Not that I’m comparing myself to a rockstar, just that it seems like I woke up one morning and I have a career. A career that I love! A career that is taking off even! I mean, how awesome is that?

CONTACT


Do you need a quote or any burning questions? Send me a message, they are always welcome. 🙂

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