Before we get started. . .
You’ve done your homework. This should sound like the list of things you’ve recently checked off your to-do list:
Researching, pinning and planning
You’ve done lots of googling and have bookmarked and pinned your favorite websites both inside and outside of your industry. You have a Pinterest board dedicated to your brand filled with things that inspire you in your business. Things like art, design, typography, fashion, and photography.
You’ve zeroed-in on your website needs. You have goals in mind for your website as a tool for your business. You also have a sitemap, meaning you know exactly what pages you need to have. You may even have worked with a business coach or marketing consultant to help you get where you are today in the planning process.
Content is king
You’ve written your copy or worked with a copywriter to write your copy (A.K.A. your calls to actions, about page, a few blog posts, and all the other language that will appear on your website).
You’re still trying to find the perfect copywriter and need a recommendation. Shoot me an email and I’ll send you a list of my favorite wordsmiths and copyeditors.
A picture speaks a thousand words
You know that photography can make or break a website, so you’ve either:
a.) purchased beautiful stock photos or have some bookmarked;
b.) scheduled a photo shoot with a professional photographer; or
c.) have had photos taken professionally recently; or
d.) need some suggestions from me (hint: shoot me an email)
You have a hosting account and own a domain name.
You have “Sign-up for hosting and domain name” on your to-do list, but just need a good recommendation. I highly recommend Bluehost, Siteground, or WP Engine for WordPress sites. If you’re curious why, get in touch with me and I can send you a few more details.
If your website will be on Squarespace, let me know before you sign up and I can send you a coupon code. You can also make them your domain name registrar, but it’s not required.
You’ve checked out my list of services
Since you’ve zeroed-in on your website needs and what it should do for your business, you’ve also looked at my services options and figured out how I can help you achieve your business goals through the power of design and strategy.
Now that you’ve got all your ducks in a row, here’s how it works:
We’re in this together
My process is highly collaborative, so it’s important that during our project you know you’ll be available to provide quick feedback (within approximately 24 business hours). You know you can also be decisive when it comes to decision making and committing to a design, so that our project stays on time and on track.
So if all said ducks are in a row (or they will be before your ideal start date), here’s my 12-step process:
- Complete the Project Starter Q&A
If you think I’d be a good fit for your project, the very first step is to complete the Project Starter Q&A
- Brainstorm, strategize and chat on Skype over virtual tea
After you inquire, I’ll review your project brief (we may have a few back and forth emails). Then I’ll determine if I think I’m a good fit for your project. If so, the next step is for us to sit down over tea or on Skype to discuss your goals for the project, design inspiration, site structure etc. This will help me to develop your proposal with an estimate and timeline forecast.
- I propose to you (in a non-romantic kind of way)
This is where I email you a PDF proposal detailing the scope of the project, deliverables, investment, payment plan and timeline forecast.
- We have an optional 15-minute Skype Q&A
During this 15-minute call, we can chat about any questions you have regarding the proposal and I’ll answer them for you in real-time.
- You say “I do.” Then we dot our i’s and cross our t’s.
I draft a contract agreement and send it to you with an an invoice for a 50% deposit. This contract and payment saves a spot for your project in my schedule.
- Project planning and management
I’ll e-mail you regularly as I manage your project. I’ll be sending you details, to-do lists and status updates. That way you’ll be able to track our progress every step of the way.
- Content Delivery
At least one week before our start date, you’ll create a well-organized Dropbox folder and share it with me. It’ll include your logo, copy, social media links, photos, and anything else I might request.
I’ll curate 3 mood board options from your Pinterest pins to help you visualize your new brand aesthetic. You get 2 revisions on one of the mood boards, so that you can be confident that your web design will align with your vision. The final mood board will set the tone and serve as inspiration for our website design direction. This part of the process usually takes 1 week.
We start by designing the desktop computer version of your home page. You’re given 2 design options. From there, you choose the one you want to move forward with and get 2 rounds of revisions so that the home page design swoon-worthy. Then, I design the inner pages of your website. Now that we’re clear on your design preferences and direction, you get 1 version of each of these pages and 1 round of revisions per page. This part of the process usually takes 4-5 weeks.
- Development or DIY
If development is included in your project, this is when we work closely with a trusted WordPress developer to bring our designs to life on the web. You’re welcome to work and speak directly with the developer and build a relationship with them, if that suits your working style. I’ll also be project managing the development to make sure everything works as planned before the site goes live. This part of the process usually takes 4-6 weeks. If development is included in your project for a Squarespace site, I’ll begin to build and modify a Squarespace theme that best suits the design I created for you in order to bring your site to life on the web. This part of the process usually takes about 1-2 weeks. If you’re DIY-ing (developing it yourself), this is where YOU come in and our project ends. I email you finalized design mock-ups, images and style guide, so that you have everything you need to bring our design to life on your own.
- Final Payment
8 weeks after our project start date, you’ll pay me the remaining 50%. This helps make sure the project continues to run smoothly.
Your launch day has arrived! Your website goes live and you also receive training via a custom screencast tutorial that walks you through your website and how to use it. This will show you how to easily update and maintain your own website. I’ll also send you a Website Owner’s Manual PDF that includes maintenance information, on recommended services and plugins, and other tricks of the trade that will keep your website running smoothly. You also get 20 days to report any bugs that you find post-launch and we’ll fix them for you within 7 days. That concludes our project together and you’ll be on your way with your shiny new website.