Our engagement process
The primary factor in who you hire should be whether or not they can solve your problem. Once you’ve identified that source, the money should be secondary. In the long run, it will undoubtedly cost you more if you hire the wrong designer.
Before you make any commitment, we believe you have the right to as much information as possible about how we think and work. Against that background, we’re sharing our engagement process to help you make the right decision.
01 Initial contact
You contact us by email, contact form, or phone. We’ll respond and, if appropriate, we’ll arrange a time for an introductory phone call. Most likely we’ll also suggest a few pages we’d like you to read (including this one).
02 Introductory call
During our first call we’ll speak candidly about your situation, goals, and whether or not we’re a good fit for you. We’ll also discuss:
- Decision process
Most of our clients have found that staring into a webcam is stressful and tiring, so we no longer do videoconference meetings. It turns out most folks just want to talk, and not deal with one more layer of flaky technology. We couldn’t agree more. No more Zoom calls.
03 Project profile
If we agree that we might work well together, we’ll send you a link to an online Project Profile form to complete. The purpose of this form is threefold:
- Confirm details of our previous discussion
- Gather additional technical information and requirements
- Help us imagine a strategy on which to base your new website design
We’ll confirm that we received your Project Profile by sending you a copy via email. At this point, we may ask a few more questions to get additional information. If appropriate, we’ll schedule a follow-up call to discuss your project in more depth.
04 Follow-up call
During our second call we’ll review your Project Profile together to clarify any questions and responses. We may also discuss:
In the next step we’ll review all the variables, and get a sense of the different ways we can help you achieve your objectives. Then we’ll develop some options and schedule a time to share them to you.
05 Discuss options
If we make it to this step, we’ll present you with a very brief proposal outlining several options that we feel would be appropriate for your business. We’ll explain each option in detail and you’ll decide which alternative — if any — would be best.
Note: As a matter of policy, we rarely respond to requests for proposal (RFPs). Our written proposals are just a brief summary of the pricing options that we explain in the appropriate conversation. We wouldn’t want you, or anyone else, looking at this document without having the context of that conversation.
06 Website design agreement
If you’ve chosen to proceed with one of our solutions, we’ll begin working on a comprehensive contract that will guide our design and development decisions as we build your website. When this Design Agreement is finished, we’ll send it to you for approval and electronic signature.
Down payment: After signing the agreement, a 50% down payment must be submitted prior to the start of work.
07 Service provider review and setup
Shortly after the website design process begins, we’ll gather all of your current login credentials, and help you set up any required new service provider accounts. We’ll also add ourselves as administrators to your accounts, so we can better manage the migration of your new site to your new host.
08 Research and analysis
Before we create any content, we conduct extensive research into your specific industry; both locally and nationally. We also review your biggest competitors to determine the best position and strategy for your business within your primary market ares.
09 Content creation
We not only make content recommendations, we typically write much of your website copy ourselves — For you to review and improve at your discretion. We also edit existing text to make it more appealing for online consumption.
Note: There is no additional charge for this service, and it greatly accelerates the development process. If you don’t currently have a website, we’ll help you create all content from scratch.
10 Demonstration website
About 2–4 weeks after your project start date, we’ll provide you with a fully functional development website that we’ll use to share progress during the final design process. It will have multiple pages, working navigation, preliminary content, graphics, and images.
11 Website review and revisions
With your helpful guidance and feedback, we’ll review and improve content until we’re ready to go live (in about two weeks). The ultimate goal is to launch your new website as soon as possible, then make improvements when necessary.
Note: We don’t limit clients to a set number of “rounds of revisions.” Nor do we charge you for small changes that may drift out of scope. We want you to be confident in your new website — No matter what it takes. If we think you’re being unreasonable, we’ll let you know.
12 Final approval
Once the demonstration site has been reviewed and approved by you, we make any final revisions and prepare your new site for launch at an appropriate date and time.
Launch approval: At this time, we’ll send you a Launch Approval form for your review and electronic signature.
Final payment: Your project fee balance — less any deposits — must be paid prior to launch, and before the transfer of any files.
13 Website launch
Once final payment has been received, and we have a signed Launch Approval form, we’ll go ahead and transfer your new site to your new hosting account on the agreed upon date. We’ll notify you by email when the launch is complete and everything is working as expected.
14 Post-launch support
Depending on your agreement and performance window, we typically include a post-launch support period of one to three months. During this time we keep a close eye on things, and make any necessary corrections or revisions. We also monitor traffic to your new site and make any usability improvements that may be indicated.
15 Optional ongoing support
Launching a new website isn’t the end of the process — It’s just the beginning. And although we can’t guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong with your website, we can minimize the chances.
We offer a basic monthly service plan that is designed to keep your site up to date, secure, and running at peak performance. Two additional plans provide increasing levels of personal support, depending on your budget and content goals.