Need a website? Here’s what to expect and think about

desktop with oversized graphic of a web design ux/ui

What to think about for your very first website

Never had a website before? Start here.

Let’s first address who this entire article is for.  I’m not talking to people who’ve had websites in the past or run a massive corporation.  I’m talking to people that are just getting started with a small business, in independent contracting, or even as a job seeker.

I’m pretty sure if someone like my dad was starting up his own business, he’d be asking for help with everything from logo design to website help. Which got me thinking.  People don’t necessarily know what to ask for or where to start if they’re just starting up their own small business or for contracting or looking for a job. 

In fact, based on past calls I received, they don’t know how web designers may charge them for help with website development.  Having knowledge on where to get started, is important when you’re figuring out how much money you’ll need to have in your cost analysis for the business plan and understanding your initial budget.


Website Domains & Hosting

First off, what’s in your wallet? 

Anytime you look for tech to help you with a problem, you’ll have to create a budget.  This isn’t a willy-nilly process since there are realistic costs upfront to even having a website to begin with.  Best thing to do, is to start with a list of basic costs and create a realistic understanding of how to create your initial budget. This means you’re looking at initial costs of (at a minimum) of $154USD just to have a website plan that works online. 




IP Address


annual – base minimum



personal – per month

WordPress Business


business – per month



base plan – per month



personal – per month



personal – per month

Investigate the costs further, what I didn’t mention is that the IP address can cost up to a few thousand dollars depending on what you’re looking for.  The ballpark is around $10 to $20 dollars per year.  Finding a domain and purchasing one can be done in a number of places (here are a few of your options). 

If you’re a job seeker (or a contractor) you can use a personal plan without a hitch for the basic price of about $154 per year.  They’re simple to set up on your own, or with a professional’s help.  Most places offer guided instructions to help you, so you can do this without spending extra cash. 

For business owners, a basic business plan is a great way to get started.  In this case, you’re looking at around a base of $310USD (minimum) per year to have a domain and website hosting.  You’ll need the extra options as a business for integrations and themes that you’ll want to have.


Content is a mixed bag of items.  Typically, when you hear or read the word “content” you should be thinking about, text, graphics, photography, and video.  It’s what’s contained in a website and on the web.  So, it should go without saying that you’ll either be handing over your content to a having it created for you, giving it to a web designer, or posting it yourself. 


If you need content written or edited by a professional, there’s going to be a charge for it.  Rates for good writing will vary, but there’s a typical range you will see that’s asked for in the industry.  And there are a couple of ways a writer will charge you for their work, either per word or by the hour.  Both usually work out to about roughly the same price.  If you aren’t writing your own content, you’ll need to budget on a copywriter.



Copywriter Rates



Per Word



Per Hour



Graphic Art

Art is important as part of the content of your brand, and it isn’t free.  This can include your logo, typography, and digital art.  The things that make up your brand should be included, even on a bare-bones website.  A digital graphic artist can range from $50-$150 per hour based on their skills sets. 


Professional photography makes a significant difference in content & sales.  If you’re business or personal website needs either you or products to look good, you’ll probably want to consider a photographer.  Photographers my offer a package for their work, but the standard rate is around $100-$125 per hour.

Web Designer

Depending on the type of website you’re in need of, your price range for a web developer will range from $100-$180USD.  I’ll point out here, the more complex the work, the more expensive it becomes.  A UI/UX designer might charge a little less than a back-end software developer, but overall, you’ll still need to consider that you’ll spend on average $125 per individual per hour. 

Ready to get your website up & running?

It’s pen and paper time. 

When you call your friendly web designer (you can read this as: me), we’re going to ask you some basic questions.  When I get calls it’s always “How much do you charge?”  Well, that answer, as you probably guessed by now, varies.  There’s a better way to get started to save yourself some time and energy when you make that call.

In fact, here’s a list of questions you’ll need to be able to answer for any web designer:

  1. What is your website for?
  2. Who are you targeting?
  3. Can you show me 3 to 5 websites that you like from your competitors?
  4. Can you provide examples on those websites of things you do not like?
  5. What features do you want to include on your website?
  6. What is the timeline to start and when would you like to launch?
  7. What’s the overall style of your website that you are imagining?

Therefore, you’re first question should not be “How much do you charge?”  It should be, “Can we discuss the different types of websites you create?”  This will get you pointed in the right direction of getting help you need to create a website that works on your budget. 


Need more help?  I’m available and can give you direction or help you with a new website.  Give me a shout at with some deets about what you’re looking to create.


Anna Pilette

Anna Pilette

Owner & Project Director, Atomic Dumpling LLC.

About a million years ago, I was in the Navy. After, I worked for a bunch of companies and eventually realized that their business practices left a lot to be desired. Today, I’m helping small businesses and freelancers avoid mistakes and build their own brands.  You can follow me on TikTok or where.  You can also reach out for help

Are your job advertisements doing the job?

image of newspaper clip for a job advertisement

Job Adverts Written to Anyone

Writing a job advertisement seems like it should be a straightforward project, right? Your business needs extra help, you know what you want them to do, so you write a job advertisement for a job board. Viola! You’re interviewing in no time!

While those seem like logical steps, clicking through Indeed and LinkedIn is telling me otherwise. We need to talk, folks. Your job adverts kind of stink now let’s talk about why.

A job ad should be hyper-focused on explaining what the role encompasses and be directly written for the individual you are looking to hire. Again, this seems straightforward, but it isn’t. Most of the jobs that I review are written from a boilerplate template (straight from the job board) and give very little information about the company, role, or who you’re looking for.

What to include

The Basics of Good Job Advertising

What we need is a solid list of information that your business needs to advertise. This is marketing after all, and you want to put your best foot forward. It’s also an exercise in sales. You are selling your company to potential employees to attract their talent. Their talent adds to your business capabilities.

The list first needs basic outlined, think of it as what, why, and where of your business. Then we discuss the who and how.

  1. What does your business do as a whole?
  2. Why does your business need help?
  3. Where will the employee be working?

Let’s start breaking these three points down.  

First, you need to explain in a paragraph the business section you’re hiring for. This provides context to potential employees and hopefully will spark their interest to apply. It also provides a bit more background about the job role that we’ll be getting to. Nothing in this section should be found on your website, the point is to outline the department and the function of that space.

Second, why does your business need the help? Providing a little bit of information helps a potential candidate weigh the role further while rounding out the context for the hire. This is the part where you’re discussing the longevity of the role. Will you be hiring a permanent employee, contract, or temporary? It’s also good to discuss if you’re open to independent contractors.

Third, you’ll need to discuss where a person will be working. Is the role a remote position or in an office?

While almost every job posting lists What, why, and whereas a single word bullet point, you can strive to write better descriptions. Remember, this is an advertisement, the entire point is to market your business and advertise it! Providing a little more detail, in the beginning, is going to save you time down the road.

Yes, You Need to List the Compensation

This brings me to the next part. This is where you lead with how you plan to compensate someone for the role. Compensation is imperative to a job advertisement. I’m not sure why people don’t put details on the ads. And don’t give me “because anyone will apply”. People will apply for jobs if they think they have a shot at getting them. You’re missing the mark if you are not spelling out compensation, including the base payment of salary information. I can tell you that I skipped these job listings routinely because I knew companies that did not list their salaries were out to lowball people.  

Everyone expects the basic compensation package to include medical, dental, and vision. If you’re looking to hire, you need to step up your game and provide a base salary, how much PTO/Sick Time, and the extras you plan to give people. Lay it all out on the line and explain it.  

Totally as a side note, I’ll just tell you to know, that if you give a salary range, everyone will ask for the top of the range. Here’s another freebie for you too, if the compensation you provided is too low, you’d better reevaluate the role.  

The Meat and Potatoes of Job Advertisements

Crack your knuckles cause we’re about to dig into the good stuff. Next, we need to discuss the how what, and who of the job advertising. 

This is the heavily detailed section of information that explains what the job is and who you want doing it.

I guess I need to talk about something that is continuously overlooked in job advertisements. When you write a blanket explanation that anyone can do, then expect anyone to apply. This means you are not advertising to your target audience. Which is a giant waste of time and money.

Breaking this down to basics:

  1. What responsibilities and authorities does the role encompass?
  2. How will a person be completing the role?  
  3. What tools does a person need to know to complete the job functions?
  4. How competent must they be to correctly do the job?
  5. Who is the ideal candidate that you are writing to?

I’d like to point out that while number five on the list is last, this is the theme for the entire job advertisement. “Who is your ideal candidate?” is the reason you’re advertising and that is your target audience. 

Throughout this blog post, I’ve asked you to consider this advertising and sales. This means that the writing you are doing is both technical in nature and persuasive.  

Who you are writing to needs to be considered. Moving forward, you need to provide a detailed outline of their responsibilities and the authority they’ll have in carrying out the role. This means that there’s an expectation for an experience level as a guide with additional competencies that also need to be examined.  

Lastly, how a person is expected to complete the work must be explained. What tools does your company possess? This means providing details for software, hardware, equipment, etc. 

Bringing this information to the forefront narrows the pool of individuals that will feel competent to apply.

To Advertise or To Hope, that is the Question

Ideally, you are looking for a single person in a sea of candidates. How do you want to spend your time? 

Do you want to write a detailed job advertisement and candidate description? Or do you prefer interviewing the applicants to a generic job ad that might get you the right fit? Which is more valuable to you? Should you spend time fleshing out the ideal candidate on paper? Or bringing in multiple candidates for interviews? I know which I’d pick.

If you need help writing job advertisements the right way, feel free to reach out to me. I’ve spent a lot of years as a hiring manager and building competent teams. You can reach me at

Anna Pilette

Anna Pilette

Owner & Project Director, Atomic Dumpling LLC.

About a million years ago, I was in the Navy. After, I worked for a bunch of companies and eventually realized that their business practices left a lot to be desired. Today, I’m helping small businesses and freelancers avoid mistakes and build their own brands.  You can follow me on TikTok or where.  You can also reach out for help

How To Write An Applicant Tracking System Resume

african American woman sitting at a computer working on her resume

Would you be gobsmacked if I told you that you can apply online without retyping your resume 50 times?

Yes, that is correct.  It is possible to apply online one time.  I bet you’re wondering how.  Well pull up a chair and let me delight and amaze you.

First, and foremost, it needs to be laid out what the problem is that you’re running into with online application.  Now, I’m talking about the type of online application that requires you upload your resume, then fill in multiple pages of information.  Not the once and done upload.

Applicant Tracking Systems

It’s soul-crushing to upload a resume online, only to see that it does it incorrectly or leaves everything blank.  There’s a reason this is happening to you.  They system they are using is called an Applicant Tracking System.  Now I talked about this in my TikTok videos and included instructions on how to approach online applications.  Here’s where I’m going to lay out for you the process and reasoning.

Firstly, you need to know what these systems are.  Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are Human Resource (HR) software suites that allow business to automate their hiring process, track candidates, and match candidate profiles to job openings.

Next, you need to understand how it works.  Now there are several ways these ATS systems work so here’s the simplest explanation.  Basically, these software systems allow business to source candidates, post vacancies on job boards, publish vacancies to social sites, etc.  The ATS also creates a candidate pipeline, by tracking incoming resumes, allowing background screening, and providing tools for HR for the hiring process.

Lastly, it also automates the hiring process by creating everything from offer letters to streamlining the onboarding process.  This is supposed to be a means for making recruiting easier for corporate entities and create a process for hiring that is mostly automated.

Does it work for business?  It sure does.

Does it work for you?  Probably not all that well if you’re reading this.

How To Create A Resume For An ATS

I referenced an article a hot second ago What’s an ATS-Friendly Resume? And How to Write One, that the author, Amanda Augustine, does a great job with the information, but leaves out a few details I think are important.  So let’s dive into how I write the resumes to get everything to jive together.

Creating A Magical Resume

Let me also make the following statement that will probably hurt someone’s eyes.  The original document is a text (*.txt) file.  This is how I begin composing a resume.  If you’re on PC a great free tool for this is Notepad++.  For Mac, I use Text Edit or Google Docs.  Is it basic as hell?  Yup, it’s basic and it works for what you’re about to read.

Text Document Setup

This is pretty straight forward.  You’ll need the font set to either Time New Roman or Ariel.  The font point to be 12.  That’s it!

Now we also need to set some conditions about this document.  You’re very limited to what can go into this document.  That includes character types.  You’ll want to stick with simple commas, periods, and hyphens.  Do not use the following:

  • Symbols
  • Equations
  • Characters other than , or .
  • Tabs

You’ll also want to restrict the document to 2 pages between 750 to 1000 words.  This is important because you’re text is restricted for entry into the ATS.

The ATS Resume Layout

At the top of the document, you’ll want your contact information:

  • Name:
  • Phone:
  • Address:
  • Email:
  • Webpage:
  • Portfolio:

Use the lead and colon.  This will tell the software what is going into each slot.  No, it will not add those words to your information online. So here is what it should look like.

Name: Jane Roe

Phone: 123-456-7890

Address: 123 Write Way, Portland, Oregon, 97201




Since you’re using a text file, there’s not going to be a header or footer, which makes this much easier to remember.  You also are not going to have any graphics, charts, or tables in your text file by default.

Importing information into an ATS works on text parsing.  If you haven’t guessed the ATS is looking for specific information in an explicit order.  Therefore, we need to lay out the next section with specific orders as well.  Those are:

  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Skills

You’ll be writing the sections the same way you did for your contact information.  However, you’ll need to skip a line as follows:


Hire me because I’m cool and I know stuff…


Company Name, Month Year
Description of company

  • Bullet points – do not put punctuation at the end


School, City, State, ______________ of ___________ (BA, BS, MA, MS, etc.) Degree (must be fully spelled out without punctuation), Discipline, Month Year – Month Year


Comma-delimited, must be annotated in work history, and know this section is actually an option for the ATS, so you probably will not need it.

Get the template for free here!

The Big Conclusion

Here are some important points to note when you are laying out your ATS version of your resume.  Do not expect that this is going to look cool like your finalized PDF.  That’s not the point of this version of your resume.  It’s designed to get your information into a text parsing format and get it into the boxes correctly.

You’ll use your longer version that’s prettier for upload at the end when you can add additional documents.  It’s important to remember you’ll be scored and matched based on the content of the ATS version, so make sure you get the details in where they count.

Need help with building your resume?  Contact me at

Anna Pilette

Anna Pilette

Owner & Project Director, Atomic Dumpling LLC.

About a million years ago, I was in the Navy. After, I worked for a bunch of companies and eventually realized that their business practices left a lot to be desired. Today, I’m helping small businesses and freelancers avoid mistakes and build their own brands.  You can follow me on TikTok or where.  You can also reach out for help