As I talk with clients, I’m often asked, “What’s next?” The design process varies with every client as I work to understand your needs, but it looks something like this:
It all begins with you getting in touch. Perhaps you saw other work I’d done and made your way here. Seeing the work in my portfolio, you decided you like my work (which I would like to think means you like me), and you decide to contact me. Because you like
me my work, I immediately take a liking to you. A great working relationship is born.
To kick things off, I ask each of my potential clients to fill out an online questionnaire. This serves two purposes: 1) it helps me get a handle on what your goals and design preferences are, and 2) it helps you get a handle on what your goals and design preferences are. This is often followed by a conversation or two to ensure I have a good idea about what you have in mind.
After a review of your questionnaire and my notes, I create a custom quote for your site. This lays out the cost, deliverables, and terms, as well as any details that might be unique to your needs. I will create an estimate based on how many hours the job will take, but the final billing is for actual hours spent on the project.
Upon agreement of the proposal, we are ready to move forward with the design. I ask for 25% of the estimated cost prior to beginning work on your site. This assures a mutual commitment from both parties to the process. Invoices for accumulated hours are sent on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month. And also the not as occasional as you’d expect 5th Fridays.
Now it’s time for me to roll up me sleeves, take a firm hold of my mouse, and get to work. I will create for you what we in the biz like to call a comp — short for comprehensive layout. This is a non-functioning layout of the site with the design elements in place.
After I create the initial comp, I send it your way. This begins a round of feedback as you tell me what you like and don’t like, and I make revisions. This process continues until we have a design that you are thrilled with. Once the comp reaches it’s final state, I roll up my sleeves one more tuck to code the design into a working template. We are getting close!
It’s time to hand you the keys to your shiny new website. These keys take the form of an email with your login information for the backend. You can start working with the site and dropping your content in. If necessary, I move your new site into place from the development server and we are go for launch. Upon delivery, I invoice you for the remainder of the design fees.
I build sites with WordPress because it provides an accessible backend for managing the structure and content of your site. I find that most of my clients already have some degree of familiarity with it. However, I also want to make sure that you know how to make the most of your site. During the discovery process, I get a sense of your familiarity with WordPress. If we decide that training will be beneficial for you, then it is included in the proposal, and scheduled upon delivery.
Now that you know how it works, let’s get started with those introductions!