Seven Steps to Your New Website
What does it take to get your site online? Can I have it ready by next week? How much is this thing going to cost? Making a website is a process that involves work on both sides of the laptop, the client and the designer working together to put together something great. That’s how I make sure that I’m making your site, designed just for you to meet your needs and serve you. Cost and timeframe are dependent upon how many clients I’m working with at any given time, the complexity of your project, and how fast you get YOUR part of the project to us – login information, logos, photographs, and content. Doing that takes a little time and several important steps along the way.
STEP 1: INITIAL CONTACT
Get in touch with me and let me know a little bit about what you’re looking for. There are a lot of ways to get ahold of me: fill out the form on the contact page, shoot an email to email@example.com, or give me a call at 615.881.5115. When you make initial contact, let me know a little about your project and make sure to include as much contact information as possible. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
STEP 2: GATHERING INFORMATION
Once we’ve made contact, I’m going to need a little more information before I can work up a quote for you. At this point, I ask that you very thoughtfully fill out my Design Inquiry. I will send this short questionnaire by email and after you fill it out, I’ll email you back to schedule a telephone or Skype conversation. The point of these consultations is to get a sense of who you really are and what you’re looking for, without you having to know all the fancy technical words to describe it.
STEP 3: MONEY TALK
Based on our conversations, I will be able to put together a quote for your project. I’ll think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how affordable it can be to get a custom-built website with a lot of bells and whistles. If you decide to hire me to build your website, I’ll invoice you for a deposit, 25% of the proposal quote to hold your place in my queue. Quotes are good for 30 days only, and your deposit is what solidifies both your place in the production queue and your price. I take Visa, MC, AmEx, Discover, and PayPal, or you can mail me an old-fashioned check, too. When it’s time to start building your site, I’ll invoice you for an additional 25%.
STEP 4: CONTENT CREATION
It’s time to figure out exactly what you want to put up on your site. What do you want to say? Do you have graphics and images you want to use? Content and design, design and content…it’s hard to figure out what to put on a website that doesn’t exist yet, and it’s hard to build a design to hold imaginary contents! This is the one spot where a design process can most likely end up stalled and drifting. If you want your website quickly and on schedule, you must actively participate in the content process and meet the internal deadlines we set.
My normal quote doesn’t include creating any of the content for your site. I do some editing, search engine optimizing, etc., but I don’t create full-blown content for that fee. I can offer suggestions, refer you to other sites for content ideas, and generally guide you once you have provided me with your draft copy. However, if you really do want me to apply my copywriting skills to your project – I can do that, too. Give me an outline of what you’re looking for – just page titles can help – and I’ll work up a quote and a timeline.
If you’re providing content, I need as much of it as possible BEFORE starting your design. Design CANNOT begin without your having delivered to me the content you are comfortable launching with. You can always add more later – but I need the initial content bundle before I start.
STEP 5: DESIGN TIME
This is the fun part! I’ll work with you to create a design around your content that looks great, is easy to navigate, and just plain works. It’s my job to make sure that, while it looks good, your site plays nice with the major search engines and is easy to use, update, and make minor changes to without having to do a complete overhaul. You play an active part in the design process so that I can be sure that the site is exactly what you want it to be. Only when you’re 100% satisfied will we declare the project a success and prepare to launch. At this point, I will send you an invoice for the second half of my quote and once you’ve paid that, we’ll go live!
STEP 6: LAUNCH!
It’s time to celebrate! After the site goes live, I’ll then follow up with a congratulatory email to you (a testimonial in return would be great), make some noise with my social media networks about it, and strongly encourage you to do the same.
STEP 7: KEEPING IT RUNNING
After we finish up and take your site live, I’m not going to leave you to fend for yourself. If you decide to maintain and update your site yourself I’ll give you the training you need to take control of your site so that you don’t have to wait for me for most changes and updates. Or you can sign up for my Website Hero service and I’ll provide ongoing maintenance and support for a monthly fee. I monitor your site quietly in the background and am available to you when you need minor changes to content, graphics, plug-in help, etc. Without this service, I will still provide support but the support will come with an hourly or per issue fee depending on the situation.