Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: February 26th 2018

Working with Ethercycle

How do deposits work?
We collect 100% upfront for all projects (except custom theme development.)
For our custom theme development projects (starting at $25,000) payment is based on three or four milestones.
What’s your availability?
It’s our policy to work Monday through Thursday, 9am to 5pm CST. We reserve Fridays as personal development days to better our business, while nights & weekends are reserved for our families of course. If you have an extremely urgent issue, we are available at a rush fee of $500/hour for work occurring outside standard hours.
What’s your hourly rate?
We don’t have one. All of our projects are fixed price, fixed scope, and billed upfront. This ensures that you always know exactly what you’re paying and for what outcome. Our fixed-prices mean no blown budgets.
How does ongoing maintenance work?
To aid you with ongoing improvements, and to make managing the process as simple as possible, we offer a Flex Fund. The Flex Fund is a block of pre-paid time that can be used to handle any task related to improving your business. Whether you need us to update content, review your analytics, install a new app or design a new banner, you’ll have this block of hours at your disposal. All requests are billed against this block until the time has been depleted, at which point, you’ll have the option to purchase another block so we can continue providing support.
Each FlexFund includes 20 pre-paid hours billed at $3,495 USD. All requests are against this time. Once depleted, your FlexFund can optionally be renewed for another 20 hours. Payment is due prior to the start of any project.
Do you offer a guarantee?
We stand behind our work, and will refund your entire fee if you find evidence that we have not performed in a professional and ethical manner within 60 days of any payment.
Do you offer a warranty?
We’re available to answer questions about any engagement during the project and for 30 days after delivery.
We will correct any bugs in themes caused by source code or data developed or modified by us at no charge for a period of thirty (30) days following the installation of such theme code onto a live store.
Can you provide references?
We’re discreet with our clients and protect their time from interruption— just like we will with you when we work together.
Will you sign my NDA?
We never sign NDAs as a precondition of talking with a potential client. (The only exception is when working with celebrities.) If you don’t trust us enough that we won’t snitch, then we’re not a good fit. However, if it’s a precondition of working with you, we will sign a very narrow NDA after you’ve signed our Master Services Agreement and Statement of Work.
Could you discount your services?
Running a small business ourselves, we can certainly appreciate wanting a price break. But with 100+ paying clients – including non-profits and tiny startups – all paying full price, we can’t make a business case for discounts.
Can we pay you with equity?
We’re conservative business-wise so equity isn’t a good fit for us. We’re sure we’ll regret not taking the offer when you’re acquired by Facebook for a billion, but we’re just not gamblers.
How can I share files or documents with you?
For large files or groups of files, collaborative file sharing software like Dropbox or Google Drive are your best options. To share documents, we prefer Google Docs.
Do you create content or copywriting?
You know your audience and product better than we do, so we’ll ask that you supply the source content we’ll work with. Photos, illustrations, and copywriting. We’ll then punch that up and lay it out nicely in your Shopify store.

Shopify & Ecommerce

What should the product image size be for Shopify?
For product photos, square is ideal. It'll keep things look nice in both the product grid in collections and the thumbnail grid on the product page. The theme and Shopify will work to resize photos, so you should aim to upload the max size Shopify will accept at a square resolution.
Here are the stats:
Size: Square, up to 2500x2500 px
Type: JPEG
Quality: 90%, progressive, don't embed color profile as it has little value.
Pro-Tip: Before uploading them to Shopify, drag & drop them all into ImageOptim, it's a free, safe, and automatic image compression tool.
What about SEO?
I’ve found there are three broad categories to SEO: technical, content, and backlinks. The latter is off-site so we’ll skip that for now.
Shopify and the current generation of premiums theme do a great job of tackling technical SEO for you. All of the tools and optimizations are already in place.
The other piece of on-site SEO is the content. Google has one goal: provide relevant answers to queries. Adding great original content is the way to do that. If you can nail that, you’ll have no issue.
What should I blog about?
It’s easy to say ‘You should blog!’ It’s more difficult to give a roadmap to creating high-quality content that helps you earn links. In a few sentences, this is that.
For the next three months, when a customer, a prospect, or a vendor asks you a question, log that question in a file on your computer.
Then, once every two weeks, pick the most frequently asked or most interesting question to answer, and write a 500–1,000 word response as if you were writing an email to a friend answering the question.
After that, post the content to your website, blog, Facebook, and newsletter.
The next time someone asks you the same question, send them a link to the blog post or page. This way, you’re creating an evergreen library of content that answers your most frequently asked questions— and is the type of content that people in your niche naturally seek out to read, share, and link to.