Web Site Client Guidelines
The better I understand your goals and ideas, the more easily I can produce a web site which is well designed and accomplishes the goals you have in mind. I believe in working as a team and involving you in the process, and I am committed to producing work which meets your highest expectations. You will always have the final word in design and content decisions.
I have put together some guidelines which both explain the web site design process and should assist you in clarifying the goals you have for your web site. Read through the entire guidelines, or skip down to specific sections:
Planning Phase - Planning a New Web Site For a printable (PDF) version of these guidelines, click here (file size is 200K). Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to read PDF files; if you don't already have it, download it for free here.
Planning A New Web Site
Developing an effective web site takes careful thought and planning. Any efforts you put forth in the planning phase will be well worth it in terms of the ultimate success of your site. The planning phase in essence provides the foundation upon which all further efforts rest, including the actual design of the site. Because of this, it is particularly important that you spend some time in the beginning thinking about your web site as well as gathering materials to be included. Here are some things to consider:
Look and Feel:
Do you have a color scheme idea?Please note: don't worry if no ideas come to mind, Webdillo Design will create a style which reflects the personality of your business or organization, based on consultation with you and review of your existing materials.
Do you have good quality graphics, images, or photographs which you would like included?Audience:
Who will be your target audience?Function of Site:
What will be the main function(s) of your web site?Content:
When a visitor comes to your web site, what will be the main things they will be seeking?Text:
Do you have the text written already or will you need to write or rewrite your text specifically for the web site?Goals:
Do you have specific goals in mind (such as reducing phone traffic, increasing access to your calendar of events, selling a certain number of products, etc.)?Site Preparation:
Will you need to register an Internet domain name? (www.yourname.com) I recommend godaddy or Hostway for domain registration.
Planning a Web Site Make-over
While it may be helpful for you to review the planning guidelines for New Web Sites (above), you will also have additional considerations, such as:
What do you really like about your current web site?
Once you have reviewed and given some thought to the guidelines above, you will be in an excellent position to provide Webdillo Design with a clear picture of the web site you would like. If you have read the planning guidelines above and feel stuck or overwhelmed, I can spend some time reviewing the key aspects to get a better idea of your plans.
Initial Free Consultation:
When you contact Webdillo Design to discuss your web site project and to learn how I can help you, your initial consultation is free (up to 1 hour of work). All services rendered after 1 hour of work will be billed at the appropriate rate (see Rate Sheet).
I will put together a project bid based on the information you have given, which will include the estimated total cost of your project and an estimated completion date. If the scope of your project is beyond my current abilities, I will let you know at that time.
The length of time required to complete your web site will depend on several factors including the number of pages on your site, the number of graphic elements, whether custom graphic artistry is required, the complexity of your site design, whether or not you are adding e-commerce to your site or require other non-design services, and of course, my current client schedule. Initially, I will be able to provide you with an estimated completion date only. Once I have reviewed your materials and more thoroughly assessed your web site design project, I will be able to give you a more accurate completion date.
Visit the Fees for Services page for detailed information on hourly and flat rate fees charged for each type of service offered by Webdillo Design. For your personal consultation, Contact Webdillo Design directly.
Upon your approval of the initial bid, I will send you a package of materials to fill out, sign and return. Along with these materials, you will need to send a deposit equal to 50% of the estimated total cost of the project. This amount will be fully credited toward the final cost of your project. Because every project is different, your initial quote is an estimate only. Your approval, in most cases, will be required prior to proceeding with work which would increase the total cost of the project. Any adjustments to your initial quote will be reflected in your final invoice.
I believe that listening to the needs and goals of my clients is the top priority. The web sites I produce will be reflective of you, your products and/or services, and your company/organization and must therefore be produced according to your vision. While I believe in being creative, and I may have my own ideas for how to approach a particular design, this will never be at the expense of your dreams for your web site. At all phases of the process, your opinion matters to me. I believe that, through clear communication and teamwork, we will be able to produce a site which meets your highest expectations a site which is distinctive, easy to navigate, and meets your goals outlined in the planning phase.
Communication regarding your project can be by phone, by e-mail, snail mail, or in person (if you are in the local area), and in the initial stages will involve a thorough review of your vision for the project.
It is during this phase that you will need to send me all of your materials to be used on the site, such as:
Written outline of major subject areas to be included and/or a list of specific goals to be accomplishedDigitized materials can be submitted by e-mail. Graphics should be sent as attachments (JPEG or GIF format preferred) with a 2 MB total attachment limit. Text should be cut and pasted into the body of the e-mail. As all text formatting will be lost when inserting it onto a web page, you do not need to format it in any particular way. If you would like some text to be italic, bold, larger sized, indented, etc., you can mail a printed version of the text and I will be able to make those adjustments on the web page. Alternately, you can submit digitized materials on floppy disk, SuperDisk, CD, or DVD (in Macintosh format). All non-digitized materials, such as sample brochures, typed or handwritten text, photographs, and artwork can be mailed (please insure any valuable materials sent through the mail), or, if you are local, delivered in person.
A Note About Your Materials:
Please remember that, in order to avoid costly legal expenses for copyright infringement, you must supply Webdillo Design only with graphics, photographs, and images which you have written permission to use, and which do not infringe upon the rights of any person, company, or entity. If you would like to use copyright free graphics from the Webdillo Design library, licensed stock photographs, and/or graphics/photographs created especially for your web site by Webdillo Design, just let me know. I have competitive pricing available on all of these options. The same holds true for text please write your own material (highly recommended), or hire Webdillo Design to do your copy writing.
SITE DEVELOPMENT PHASE
After reviewing all of your materials and considering your goals and ideas for the web site, I will provide you with an overview of my design ideas for your site. Depending on the complexity of my design ideas, I will call or e-mail this information or send you diagrams or color mock-ups of the site. I will also let you know if I think additional graphics, photographs, content or services might further enhance the site. At your option, these enhancements will be worked into the design.
At each major stage of the project, your approval will be required before proceeding further, so that we can both be assured that the project is going as expected. If at any stage additional services not outlined in the initial bid are required to meet your goals, I will notify you of the anticipated additional cost involved. In most cases, your approval of this cost increase will be required before proceeding with the additional services, or we will need to discuss alternate plans for your site's design which do not involve a cost increase. Please be aware that, while I will do my best to keep to our initial schedule, the requirement of additional services will usually delay your project's completion date. In order to avoid further delays, please respond promptly to these notifications.
Once you have approved the design proposal, Webdillo Design goes into full production phase. Custom photographs or graphics are created and edited (if required). Images are scanned if necessary and optimized (compressed) so that they load as quickly as possible on the screen. Text is formatted and inserted into the page layout. If copy writing or text editing services are required, these take place. Clip art and stock photography is located and optimized as needed. Page layouts are tested in different browsers to ensure that they display correctly. Pages are connected with links, and meta tags are added so that search engines can locate and catalog your site.
At crucial stages of the design process, pages of your web site will be loaded onto a temporary and private online location for your review. Because changes made later in the process require both more time (and expense) to implement, your careful review of work in progress is essential. Check the content, layout, design, graphics, text, etc. to see if any changes need to be made. Once you have reviewed the work, your list of changes needs to be communicated to me (this is best done by e-mail, so that nothing is overlooked). Once I receive your list of changes, I will contact you if I need any clarification, or simply go ahead and make the requested adjustments.
This process will continue until all work is done, everything is fine-tuned to your specification, and your site is complete.
SITE COMPLETION PHASE
Uploading Your Site:
Once your site is complete, a final invoice will be sent to you with any cost adjustments noted (and credit for your initial deposit). A full accounting of time spent on each type of service will be provided, and adjustments made for time over or under the initial estimated amounts. Once your final payment is received, Webdillo Design will upload the pages of your web site onto your host's server, where it will be ready for the public to view.
So that your site is ready for immediate upload, you will need to have a registered domain name and be signed up with a web host (see below for details). You may also want to give some thought to site promotion.
Domain Name Registration:
If you have not already researched and registered an Internet domain name, you can do this yourself at one of many online domain name registration sites (Webdillo Design recommends godaddy or Hostway for domain registration). For an additional fee, you can have Webdillo Design assist you in finding and registering an appropriate domain name. Here are some things to bear in mind when choosing your domain name:
All single words in the English dictionary have already been reserved with the .com, .org, and .net suffixes, so you'll need to get creative!Web Site Hosting:
Webdillo Design does not host web sites. If you don't already have a web site host or server, you will need to set up an account with one. Web hosts will charge you a monthly service fee to store the pages of your website on a server, so that your pages are visible round the clock and can be accessed by multiple users at the same time. Hosting costs currently runs about $10 - $100+ per month, depending on your needs). Webdillo Design uses and highly recommends Hostway as a highly reliable, professional, low-cost ($10-15/month + one-time set-up fee for most sites) webhosting company. If Hostway does not meet your needs, for an additional fee, Webdillo Design can locate a host for you, or you can research companies and set up an account on your own. Some things to consider when shopping for a web host:
Once your web site is online, don't forget to promote it! For an additional fee, Webdillo Design can register your site with the top search engines (or, if you are feeling ambitious, you can do this yourself). Be sure to include your web site address on all of your promotional materials including your letterhead and business cards. You may want to send a promotional mailing to your clients announcing your new online presence.
An effective method of site promotion is to link your site to other web sites (and request a reciprocal link back to your site). Target web sites with a similar (and complementary purpose) and e-mail the webmaster to see if they will link to your site. For example, if your site sells garden sculptures, you might want to link to sites which specialize in garden design (but don't sell their own garden sculptures). Also do some research to locate sites which specialize in referrals to your type of site, and ask to be added to their referral list (sometimes this involves a small fee).
After your web site is online, I will add a link with your business logo and a description of your web site on the Webdillo Design Clients page, so that visitors from this site will be able to see work I have done on your behalf as well as visit your site if they are interested in its content.
SITE MAINTENANCE PHASE
By keeping your web site fresh, posting new information and updating the layout, design and graphics, you can help keep visitors coming back to your site. Webdillo Design can perform regular site maintenance services on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. You set the schedule based on your anticipated needs. If you need to periodically update an event calendar, post the next edition of your newsletter, change the prices or inventory in your e-store, update your contact information, or periodically update the text content or photographs on your site, then a web site maintenance plan is highly recommended. It's also a good idea to periodically check your web site to ensure that everything is still working as it should, to verify links, and to make any necessary corrections. Don't let your web site become a cobweb!
Visit the Fees for Services page for detailed pricing information on web site maintenance services.
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