So, you have questions? You're not alone! We get a lot of questions - and if you're a savvy biz owner, asking questions is exactly what you should be doing! Your website is an investment in your business, and we know how important it is to choose the right branding and website design agency.

We've taken all our commonly asked questions and rounded them up here for you, and we hope we're able to address all the questions that may come up! If you still have Qs, reach out to the team at or book a free call with us today!

General Questions

What kind of stores/businesses do you work with?

We specialize in the boutique clothing, gifts and accessories industry; however, we work with all kinds of businesses.

If you have a business where you sell or want to sell any physical or digital product or service, our packages are designed for you! If you are in a specialty niche or have more advanced website needs - we may need to provide a custom quote and are always happy to do so! We can also chat if you book a call with us here!

Are your services/packages for Shopify or CommentSold websites?

We love Shopify and CommentSold, and we work with both! 

We do not normally work with other platforms at this time - we have chosen to specialize and be the BEST at these two instead. If you have a more advanced custom project - we may be able to make an exception (and we do have experience on other platforms such as showit and wordpress).

What if I’m not on Shopify or CommentSold?

If you aren’t currently on Shopify or CommentSold, we’d love to help you make the move! Otherwise, our packages are designed for Shopify or CommentSold only.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes! We offer both Sezzle and ShopPay payment options (if you qualify), making our services super affordable*! As well as in-house payment plan options (interest fee, just a small administrative fee to cover the additional admin manangement time involved).

*ShopPay details:

With ShopPay, if you qualify, you can split your payments up into 3, 6, or even 12 months! For example, an $800 purchase could be split into 12 monthly payments of $72.21 at 15% APR, or 4 interest-free payments of $200 every 2 weeks.

Rates from 0% APR or 10-36% APR. Payment options through Shop Pay Installments are subject to an eligibility check and are provided by these lending partners: Options depend on your purchase amount, and a down payment may be required. State notices to consumers


In-House Payment Plan Options:

While we would love you to use Sezzle and ShopPay - so we don’t have to fuss with managing payments - we also offer in-house payment plan options.

Here are the details on that:

  • Full Pay: for our full Signature package, this is $6,950, paid upon booking
  • 2 Pay: This incurs an administrative fee of $150, so this is 2 payments of $3,550. First payment due upon booking. Second payment due 3 weeks later (unless we are starting your project past that point, in that case, we request the second payment to be due the week we get started on your project).
  • 3 Pay: This incurs an administrative fee of $200, so this is 3 payments of $2,383. First payment due upon booking, second payment due 2 weeks later, final payment due another 2 weeks later.
  • Our Signature Lite package follows similar rules to above, but the full cost is $4,450, or 2 payments of $2,300, or 3 payments of $1,550.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about our payment plans/options. We want to make this accessible for you :)!

When can we get started? How soon will my website be ready?

We assign Project Start Dates on a rolling schedule based on availability and booking date. (First come, first served!)

Most projects take approx. 4-6 weeks after your project start date as long as we receive everything we need from you on time.

If you have a specific launch goal or deadline for your website and want to discuss this before booking, please do reach out. We also offer a rush/priority project fee of $1500 if you need to get started immediately and remain top priority (though we can only allow a limited number of clients to hold priority status at once).

If I book now, what happens next?

Once you book, you’ll receive an intake form via email that we need you to complete. The next day we’ll shoot you another email with our basic (industry standard) legal agreement and a bullet list of the next steps!

I’m busy or work a 9-5, how can we work around that?

That’s not a problem! We can easily work later in the evening, or earlier in the morning (preferred). We also can work on weekends if that is the only time you can focus.

Is there a maintenance fee? Monthly cost?

With Hot Mess, there is no monthly fee or fixed term contract! That’s one of the things that makes us different! We provide you with basic training on swapping out photos and uploading products, so you can do this ANYTIME!

Can you help me with my POS/hardware questions?

Yes! We are proud Shopify POS partners and can help sign you up, ensure you are on the right POS plan if you are already utilizing it, guide you to the right resources, or even handle your migration from another platform. This isn’t included in our package rates but can be added on!

Branding + Website Design Package Questions

I want to know AAAAAALLLLLLLLLL the juicy details of your main full package! Give me the DEETS!

We don't want you to go cross-eyed, so get ready because our branding and website design package includes A LOT!!! Here's all those juicy deets you're looking for....

The Signature Package includes a full custom brand design for your business + a complete Shopify or CommentSold store build + website optimization, and so much more!

Here’s a breakdown of everything you get:

  • Full Custom Brand Design:

Our brand design process will bring your vision to life! Your designer will help you choose the best colors, typography, and aesthetic based on your ideas. Need a HOT new logo? We’ve got ya, too! You'll end with a brand guide and all the logo files and variants you can need for different digital and print purposes. Many clients do already have a brand in place when they work with us, so they use this project as an opportunity to strengthen, tweak and/or revamp that with our expertise.

  • Signature Store Build + Optimization:

We set up and fully optimize your website, incorporating your branding.

We help with amazing website organization and webstore or Shopify theme setup and customization (based on current industry best standards and our Hot Mess golden standards). Think ease of use/functionality for your hard-earned website visitors!

We also include additional pages and our favorite coding ‘magic’ tricks to make things easier for you and your customers**.

These extras include (to name a few): our automatic product photo resizing, sizing fit marker guides on each product page along with a sizing guide page, shop by color filters setup on your collection pages, and our large catalog of color swatches loaded into your theme.**

**some of these are only available on Shopify, but whichever platform you are on (CommentSold or Shopify), we optimize it to the max based on what’s possible.

  • 3 Hours of 1-1 Hot Mess Team Time

Meet virtually with your project manager and graphic designer throughout the project to plan your new store.

  • Social Media Engagement Booster Pack (signature lite includes a smaller set of social graphics*):

• 2 x Branded Profile covers

• 10 x social media graphic templates (2 x new arrivals posts, 2 x brand highlight posts, 2 x sale posts, + more!)

• 5 Highlight stickers (HOT, New, Love it, Get it, Shop now, We’re going live!)

  • 3 x Print Media Designs (not included in signature lite):

Traditionally your business card, thank you package insert, and a hang tag - but you can substitute for items of equal value.

  • Custom Packing Slip Design (not included in signature lite):

Make your deliveries extra special!

  • Spently Transactional Email Setup (not included in signature lite):

Transactional emails customized with your branding, including order confirmations, invoices, and shipping confirmations.

  • Marketing Email Setup, such as Klaviyo or Mailchimp (not included in signature lite):

Includes Welcome Email and 3 x marketing email templates with instructions for use and for creating additional templates

  • Setup + Customization Canva Brand Kit *NEW*

Once we’ve done this setup for you, creating exciting new graphics will be a breeze!

  • Three months Hot Mess Subscription *NEW*

Editable Canva templates + written promotional swipe copy (sent straight to you every month)

  • Ongoing Support & Training:

UNLIMITED email support DURING your project

30 Days email support AFTER your project

Wrap-up call with a member of the Hot Mess Team


  • Product Management (including upload/migration, syncing/integration, bulk editing/tags, photos/descriptions) is not included in any of our packages. But this can be added-on!
  • Full wholesale setup (for a wholesale only, or combined retail/wholesale site) will incur an additional cost.

I already have my own logo/fonts/color scheme/full branding. Can you still help me?

We understand that sometimes you’ve worked hard to create something for your biz that you want to keep, and our team will work to incorporate your current branding details when possible. However, we don’t offer discounts or changes to our packages if you already have some of your branding in place.

We designed our Signature packages to support biz owners with both branding and website optimization - because they go hand in hand! Many clients do already have a brand in place when they work with us, so they use this project as an opportunity to strengthen, tweak and/or revamp that with our expertise.

We know you’ll fall in L-O-V-E with the designs from our expert team! When you work with your dedicated designer, they’ll listen to what you want and work to incorporate elements that reflect your style to craft a unique brand for your business.

What’s not included in the Signature packages?

  • Your Shopify theme. You do need to purchase your theme (we offer this package on one of our top 3 themes because we know these particular themes, and they’re the best in the biz too)! This is $180-400 and is a one-time fee.
  • We do not include any product management within this package - though we can train/advise you on what you need to know here. This includes product upload/migration, syncing/integration, bulk editing/tags, photos/descriptions. Or product migration can be added-on to your project at an additional cost.
  • Full wholesale setup (for a wholesale only, or combined retail/wholesale site) will incur an additional cost as we have a whole list of additional items that we work on with you if you sell wholesale!
  • Your monthly website and/or email marketing platform costs. Shopify starts at $29/month, for example.

Why do you only work with certain Shopify themes? What if I already have a paid theme?

Your Shopify Theme is the foundation for a successful e-commerce store. After working with over 2,500 business owners, we’ve worked with a LOT of themes. We know what works and what doesn’t. We’ve learned what’s worth it and what’s fluff.

And we’ve narrowed down the playing field to the themes we know are the strongest foundation for your business. Buying a paid theme is an investment - and the paid themes we recommend are worth it!

That’s why we like to stick to our Hot Mess-approved themes for our Signature services.

If you already have your own paid theme you want to keep, or if you’re looking at something outside of our approved themes, you’ll want to check in with us on project cost. We may need additional time for our team to devote the time and resources needed to fully optimize your selected theme.

Which Shopify themes are Hot Mess approved for your Signature service?

These are the themes we recommend for our clients:

FREE: Dawn

PAID: Impulse (most popular), Turbo, Icon or Stiletto (newly reccomended)

And don’t worry - we’ll help you choose the best theme based on your needs!

Why don’t your packages include Product Upload/Migration, Product Syncing/Integration, Bulk Editing/Tags, or Product Photos/Descriptions?

It’s not what we do! We specialize in branding and optimization.

Product management is an entire beast all its own that can take a ton of hours (aside from the work and time included in our packages).

Needs in this area vary from client to client, depending on which platform you are moving from, which data you need migrated, how much data needs to be migrated, etc.

If you need help with product migration, it’s not a problem - just reach out for a quote (email us at

I need help with Marketing and/or SEO! Do your packages include this?

Our branding and website optimization packages do not include SEO or other marketing platform setups; however, we do localized SEO during our process, image uploads, alt tags, accessibility backend tools, and email automations.

We want to help you maximize the results (and drive more traffic) to your website once it’s beautiful and fully optimized. We can chat about your marketing needs during or after your project with us as we have resources and trusted partners we can refer you to!