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The Website Design & Development Process

The process of developing your website is divided into 4 stages:

Stage 1 – Discussion, Estimate Proposal & Invoice for 50%
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Discussion: This where you and we talk together about what want your website to look like, and what functions you want it to have. This phase is critical, because it is during our talks that we will be able to get a clear picture of what you really need – and – just as importantly – what you don’t need.

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Estimate: We use what we learn from you to create an estimate for you that outlines the scope of work to be done and the total cost to you at each stage of the project. At this time, you will review the proposal and either approve it, or suggest changes.

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Invoice: When you have approved the estimate, we will send you a detailed invoice for 50% of the project cost. Once you have paid your invoice and arranged web hosting, (with us or independently) we will start on Stage 2 – Design.


Stage 2 – Design & Invoice for 25%
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What happens: You and we work together to get the appearance – the “look” of your site working just the way you want. We want you to LOVE your site, and we need your ideas and feedback in order to create exactly the look you want. This stage sometimes requires lots of back-and-forth.
We will post your site design at a temporary web address so you can go there whenever you want to take a look and monitor what’s happening. You should feel free to contact us to discuss what you see and suggest changes. We will implement your changes (or explain to you why what you want may not be a good idea or even be possible), and you can then provide more feedback. We will work together until you are satisfied with the basic look of your site.

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Invoice: When you have approved the design, we will send you a detailed invoice for 25% of the project cost. Payment of your invoice signals approval of your site to this point, and we start Stage 3 – Development.


Stage 3 – Development & Invoice for final 25%
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What happens: At this stage we will be adding the content you have provided to your website.The first thing we do is to simultaneously add content to your website and create a logical way for visitors to navigate your site. After that, we will install and configure any extension items specified in our contract Ilike blogs, forums, image galleries etc.)

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Invoice: When you have approved the estimate proposal, we will convert it into a detailed invoice for the remaining 25% of the project cost. Payment of your final invoice signals your approval of your finished website, and we will then turn your website over to you.


Stage 4 – Handing Over Control of Your Site At the End of The Project

Once your website is completed and you have paid the full balance due and indicated that you are satisfied, we will hand over control of your new site to you. This means:

  • giving you your login details so that you can access the editing features of your site;
  • teaching you how to make changes to your site so that you don’t need to rely on me anymore;
  • possibly purchasing some training and support time, if you wish.
Why Do We Do It This Way?

The fee for each stage of work is payable in advance. It acts as a retainer, and is refundable if you are not satisfied. You only pay for the next stage when you are satisfied with the previous stage, and then the retainer on the previous stage is no longer refundable.

Our payment policy is designed to ensure:

  • your monetary risk remains low;
  • we get paid for work that we have completed to your satisfaction.

Your Role in the Process

The process of designing and developing your website is not just a project for us – it’s a project for you, too! Things you need to be prepared to do in a timely manner in order for the process to run smoothly and efficiently:

  1. approve each stage in the process by paying your retainer fee for the next stage;
  2. consider our suggestions – we are making them for a reason;
  3. respond to emails and telephone messages;
  4. provide as required:
  • pertinent feedback
  • text for the site – page text, and product descriptions if you have e-commerce (we do some minor editing, but we cannot write it for you)
  • any documents for download from your site ready to upload in .pdf or .doc format
  • images (and product images for e-commerce) for your site
  • videos for your site
  • logo or other branding materials
  • log in credentials for your domain or other accounts
  • other things that come up as the process moves along

It can take more time than you think to gather up all the details for your website. A little advance planning and some dedicated effort on your part will make the whole experience much faster and easier.

When will your site be done?

The length of time it will take to complete your site depends on a combination of factors:

  • how complex it is
  • how dedicated you are to providing feedback and information for your site in a timely manner
  • how quickly you approve one stage of development and pay the retainer for the next stage