Website Design Company
TriCities offers Professional Website Design Solutions, Internet Marketing, Website Development and E-Commerce business solutions.
The company is owned by Tina Mellen-Whittimore.
She was raised in Arizona with a family of amateur artists and musicians - from brothers to mom and dad.
Not realizing she had artistic talents, one day she tried her hand at oil painting. To her surprise, it was rather good for the first time using paints. She never thought she'd go from accountant to web designer one day though!
Pictures are posted of the owner, Tina Whittimore, and her family, if you'd like to look at them and get to know her. This is nice for those long distant clients who we really never meet face to face.
Who is Tina?
A note from Tina: I'm a child of God, a mother of 2, a wife, a daughter and a sister of 7 and have my in-law extended family here in Tennessee. Both my father and step-father were lifers in the Military and loved to travel and sightsee where we were stationed. I was able to live in Tokyo, Japan and Karlsruhe, Germany and able to visit quite a few places. We always managed to return to Arizona between stations, so I do call Sierra Vista, Arizona my home town and named my second child, Sierra, after it. I graduated with a BS degree from ETSU in 1995 with a 3.498 GPA in Accounting. I worked for CPA firms for many years. Website building became my business at home since 2005 and full time in 2007. My family is artistic and I think I picked some of that up. I play a little guitar (the one in the picture I won over the internet). I have a clarinet and a saxophone and wish I were better, but it doesn't come naturally for me, but is still fun when I want to relax. Life landed me here in East TN where we've owned our home for almost 20 years and have two children. My husband loves to fish and has worked in Surgery and Endoscopy as a scrub tech for the past 30 years. Life is slow, secure and sometimes pretty boring, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I created Tri-Cities Web Solutions when my employer's companies moved locations to Cookeville, TN from Johnson City, Tennessee where I had managed the accounting, shipping and the website part of their three businesses. They asked me to continue being their webmaster and also suggested that I continue this type of work for the general public. So I started to pick up some clients and opened a web design company, while still working long distance as their employee invoicing and writing their payables checks, until I fully trained the new accounting staff.
So here I am, ready to serve you. My clients really appreciate being guided on how to grow their businesses by my suggestions and enthusiasm in helping them figure out things that they never thought about doing. They've hired not only a web designer but a caring partner.
If you would like one-on-one attention, are looking for just a small outfit to cover your present needs, don't want to pay the high dollar fees, and want to count on someone who will be there for your long term growth, we hope to do business with you soon.
Please feel free to look at the example websites. I'm confident we'll work something out within your budget. Just let me know what I can do for you. And by all means, feel free to contact my clients for any referrals.
Thank you for your interest in Tri-Cities Web Solutions
Our web design solutions can accommodate small to very large website designs. Our clients range from 1-page websites to having some with over 1,000 pages. If you're looking for a small home page presence or a large 1,400+ page website, we already have such clients and a fee schedule that will work within your budget. Your internet marketing should reach domestic and international customers as well. We can do that for you here with our internet marketing skills, web development and our E-commerce business solutions.
Questions and answersQ. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Most common of my hires are for website designs - from mild to wild. I started designing Responsive/Adaptive designs for mobile/handheld devices. I create business cards, flyers, graphical manipulations, Magazine Ads, Banners, Social Media setups, Shopping Carts, brochures, etc.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. JettResearch.com moved away and wanted to hire someone local where he is, but he came back to me to do his ProtoProducts.com website rather than hiring someone local like he had planned. BulletSlick.com wanted a gun cleaning website that I've built using Responsive design that is soon to go live when their products are ready for the stores. UCFM.org is being converted to Responsive design and you'll see it soon. Mikes-Rental.com bombarded me with adding new product images and it's going smoothly.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Find someone like me! I have always gone over the top of what my clients expected of me and am a perfectionist and run on and on like the Energizer Bunny. I like to be taken advantage of, so use me and abuse me! Please read my testimonials!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. You want to hire a web designer whose coding can be taken over when fired (or death, etc.) and not something that is so extensively programmed that only a high dollar programmer can work on it. Sometimes websites are pretty and cool and interactive, but if the coding isn't common knowledge to the majority of webmasters, you're looking at big bucks to take it over, even if it was done fairly cheap for you in the beginning.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Fees, examples and testimonials are important.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. I would call the designer's clients for testimonials and read the ones on the website of the potential designer. I would ask about loyalty and honesty as well as ease of working with them. I would also be very specific to what you're needing. When thoughts are left out, you'll believe the initial quote still holds, but that wouldn't be fair to the designer. So make sure you cover everything up front.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My website designs are custom made rather than templates that are limited. I can create just about any design you'd like and a lot of interactive features you might want.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. My clients really appreciate being guided on how to grow their businesses by my suggestions and enthusiasm in helping them figure out things that they never thought about doing. I love being able to share my thoughts and the clients taking me up on them and feeling very secure that they've hired the right person - not only a web designer but a partner who sees what the future can hold.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Most clients ask about SEO (search engine optimization). Clients have to provide their own text and pictures and then assume that we can get them on page one of Google magically or very easily. My response to them is that the client must learn what I say works and then follow through; whether it's more text/content on their pages or submitting their website to various directories, creating videos, forms, social networks, ghost writing, etc.. However, I will guide them and search out their main competitors to see what works for them and offer further improvements. SEO has changed so much over the years and concentrating on keywords does not guarantee them first page, but content writing is where it's headed these days. I do basic SEO services for free so that my clients aren't overcharged or suckered into scam SEO services. If clients cannot write their own pages, it would serve them well to hire one of my ghost writers to write content for about $20 per 500 words. If such doesn't land them on page one, we can take SEO services further. My main suggestion is to listen to me rather than what you read about SEO, and to take the time to build what works with me rather than stagnate.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I do have a favorite story, but it's a sad story. My employer (at the time) had a ten page website and I took it over and into a 1,400 page website adding new car parts. We worked in his house. He became so big from what I had done that he branched off from Jaguar parts and into the American Muscle Car parts industry and hired his number one competitor's top sales & technical expert. Eventually, they moved further away from me and asked me to work from home running their accounting for Payables, Receivables and Payroll. After five websites were built, they were bombarded with website programmers wanting their business who criticized my work. Although I warned them over and over again, they caved into what seemed to be a better web designer to them because the person specialized in the car industry, but they lost over 8,000 traffic hits per month. It took them over two years to regain that traffic and I'm sure a lot more money. You can read the story on my website where I show graphs of what happened. Notice their top competitors in relation to what I had done. I was proud of my work and they really didn't receive anything better or special - just a different design after they changed company colors and logo. Although vindicated in the end, I find that very sad, as that business become a part of me and I truly miss it. The websites that are still under my name, still rank number one on Google's pages and the rest of the search engines.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I not only build websites, but I am not shy when it comes to marketing or business ideas. I'm actually a Financial Accountant by degree and past employment at CPA firms, but I have a mind for marketing and business ideas that will help you grow.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. This line of work just kind of fell into my lap when I went to hire someone to change a ten page website for my employer and he didn't seem to be doing a good job. A friend gave me a website building program when I was managing a forum on Classmates.com so I opened the package and learned how to code. I tossed the idea to my boss and an example and from then on, I became experienced and was able to quit my day job. (actually they moved away from me) I now have clients across the nation and gain most of my business by word of mouth. That says a lot. I haven't even created any business cards for myself!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Gosh, there are a few that I really like my designs on that really stand out, but I would have to say my major accomplishment is with a ministry that I manage the database and secured login private offices, student testing and am converting it to a mobile design now. I love to learn things and database programming is no easy chore. I do this website for free and they bonus me some good money when they have it, and I feel they just love me when they do that! My work is my life (I haven't one) but being appreciated is just awesome!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I read, and I read, and I read. If I didn't, I would just be normal and not excited about this field anymore.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Responsive/Adaptive mobile ready designs are the newest thing. They are more difficult and the coding is coming along. Everyone has many ideas and I adapt and test what I come across. Also, with Google's constant algorithmic changes more effort will have to be placed on content writing rather than SEO. It seems that more and more writers are needed these days on top of designers. My line of business may flow into a partnership but that's only to serve YOU better.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Website Responsive Design for $300. Each page $25. Monthly maintenance $25. Shopping cart setup is $300 (and a lot of work). The initial design was created in a week.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Not complicated and negotiable and try to stay within your budget if somewhat profitable. My norm is: Website Responsive Design for $300. Each page $25. Monthly maintenance $25. Shopping cart setup is $300 (and a lot of work)
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Do it from your heart, not for money and please have some sort of artistic skills. If you do SEO services, do so honestly.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. Teaching about why I do what I do and why you should consider what I say as Golden. Oh, did I say, "know-it-all"? Seriously, I can most likely get you where you want to go.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. Coding for Mobile Ready websites is the newest technology and I have built several sites using this type of application.
Q. What's the story with all the websites looking the same these days?
A. Blogs are easy and profitable because the client doesn't realize they're not custom websites and can be setup with templates and dropped into the client's hands - and then the webmaster charges custom fees and can charge hefty fees when clients mess them up. Hiring a custom designer who is not limited to what they can do for you is a lot better than trying to do it yourself and paying hourly fees after a cheap design is made.