General Contract Structure
When requesting a proposal, estimate or quote there are two distinct types of effort that is placed into each: an estimate & a quote.
Estimates are usually not formally presented and will only have a cursory review of the project. This is referred to as a ballpark figure. This can be done same day with details being provided by the client over phone or email.
A quote is also a proposal for work. This will always involve a dedicated 60 minute meeting with the client to research the parameters of the project, metrics for success, deadlines, dependencies, and other requirements.
The proposal will typically be delivered within 48 hours and serve as the contract if accepted. It will contain a link to the Terms and Conditions listed on this website.
A quote will contain the following information:
- Scope of Work & Project Requirements
- Client Obligations
- Payment Schedule
- Project Timeline
- Cost Breakdown
Projects mostly adhere to the following payment structure:
- 30% Deposit due at contract signing
- 30% Payment due at mid project (when final design is completed, approved, and delivered to the Client)
- 40% Final payment due at project completion
Depending on the scope of the project, the payment structure can be modified.
General Project Structure
Every project will account for each of these phases. Depending on the complexity of the project, new phases may be added or phases may be combined or eliminated altogether.
This is where the project is researched and solutions decided upon. For new websites where there is no existing architecture to maintain, this step may be very quick. For redesigns or updates to an existing site, this step may take longer.
Next, a detailed list of all the pages on the site will be accounted for and a plan determined for each of them. For existing sites, this process will require time and input from the you/the Client to make final decisions on the content and how it should be organized with recommendations from me. For new sites, a list of all pages that will be created shall be provided to you/the Client as a reference for the Content that you will be creating.
Wireframing for small businesses usually takes the form of a sketched out layout. If a site has a complicated feature, such as a reservation system or ecommerce, wireframes will be used to show the relative placement and organization of content and data on a page. This step is to ensure that despite how your site may end up looking, that it functions correctly.
This part is arguably the most fun for the Client. This is where the creative part of the process comes to life. A designer will create a comp based off of detailed instructions and direction derived from you/the Client. This process will typically have several rounds of revisions. Development WILL NOT start until this process is complete and signed off by you/the Client. This is also a really good check-in spot to make sure all parties are happy working together. If the process stops here, you/the Client can take the materials that have been delivered and walk away. The data gathered up to this point is usable by any other developer that you wish to contract out to.
This phase begins once the Design phase is complete and the designs have been approved for development. During this time, Developers will be working on the project and once we have made it to about 80% completion, we will deliver a dev site url where the Client may see a fully functional, staged version of the site.
Recalling the Site Map and Information Architecture, this is where all those decisions and content that have been created by the Client are implemented. Unless content is outsourced to a copywriting service, this is a deliverable for the Client and during the Development stage, the content will be requested from the Client.
Once we are in the QA phase, all major content, development, and design aspects of the site will be complete. Establishing data parity with an already existing site can be tricky if this phase lingers too long.
Launching a site is usually as specific as the site itself depending if hosting is changing, platforms are changing, domain transfers, e-mail transfers, acceptable down time, etc. During the discovery and exploration phase of the project, the launch plan is determined