Alt Creative Web Design Process
Alt Creative Web Design Process
At Alt Creative, we know that beginning a web site project can be scary if you don’t know what you are in for. We strive to make the process as painless as possible and therefore we like to make sure the client understands how we work and exactly what they can expect. That’s why we have outlined our process here in our blog…
Decision / Planning Phase
Website Development Quote
If you have not already done so, you will want to take some time to think about what you wish to accomplish with your new website. Determine if you will need any special functionality or interactivity with your visitors; consider the type of design style which appeals to you and then be sure to let us know.
Based on the information you provided when requesting your website design quote, we attempt to determine your needs, what you are expecting from your website, and try to get a feel for your industry. This is why it is important for you to be as detailed as possible when requesting your quote.
We may have questions for you to help clarify certain issues and we will express those before quoting on your project. If we believe that your website development project could benefit from our services and skills, we will quote you on your project.
Website Development Contract
Once we have come to an agreement on project details, timeline and price, we will prepare a website development contract for you to review, sign and send back with your deposit. In addition to the contract and deposit, we require you to select a maintenance plan and sign a monthly maintenance agreement for at least 6 months after the site is launched.
The signed contract and deposit is required before we schedule a time slot for your project. The remainder of your balance will be due upon project completion. Once we have received your deposit and signed contract, we will provide you with a copy of the fully executed contract, a receipt for your deposit and your project start date. All projects are scheduled on a “first come, first served” basis.
Domain name registration / Website Hosting
If needed, we will immediately secure your desired domain name (pending availability) and include the first 1 year of service. The domain is registered in your name with your information and you will be the only registrant contact on file.
Alt Creative no longer resells web hosting, however we do offer it for free in conjunction with our maintenance plans. The high volume of space and bandwidth we purchase from our provider enables us to offer very free hosting to our maintenance customers.
Graphic Design Phase
Upon receipt of your contract and deposit, the project manager in charge of your project will email you to confirm receipt of your deposit/contract, give you their direct contact information and possibly provide a list of items which will be needed from you over the course of development.
You will need to let us know the site structure / navigation links you would like (such as home, about us, services, etc) and supply all text and/or product information to be included on your site. We are happy to consult with you to help you develop this site outline and we can even provide you with a template to help you develop and deliver this content.. In addition, you may also supply material such as company logo, personal photos, etc, if desired.
If you have any guide sites you would like us to refer to when designing your site or if you have any preference as to colors, style, etc please offer that information as well. Ideally, all of the above information should be supplied prior to us getting started. Work will commence on your scheduled start date.
Custom Designed Website Concepts
We will provide three possible custom designed home page concepts for your project. In most cases, we will be able to provide these designs within 3-4 weeks following your start date.
After you have reviewed the designs and decided which one you would like to use, we will continue to make modifications to the design until the final desired look is achieved. Once the final desired look is achieved, we will create the interior page layout, convert the design to HTML, add programming, etc.
During this process, you will have the opportunity to review progress. (See next item.)
In Progress Viewing
We establish a private directory for your new website on our testing server so that you may view the website development progress at any time. In addition, your project manager will inform you via email when extensive updates to the site have been made so you can review the most recent progress.
Website Development / Coding Phase
Programming / Coding
All website development programming/coding to run any special features/visitor interactivity on your website is completed and tested.
Based upon your contract and the final design you selected, we create as many static or dynamic pages as needed to complete your site.
Navigation links or drop down menus, and rollover effects, if desired, are completed.
Creation of a site map page is done which includes easy one-click access to all pages of your site.
Incorporation of your logo, photos and text content is included in all projects. Custom logo design is available for an additional fee as well as copywriting, SEO, and photography services, please inquire if interested.
CSS Stylesheets are used to define font faces, styles, sizes and colors for consistency throughout the site.
A favicon is a small image that displays in the address bar and on the favorites menu when someone bookmarks or adds your website to their “Favorites”. Creation of a favicon is included in all custom website development projects.
Response Forms / Email Contact Forms
We always recommend at least one contact form for your visitor’s convenience. Using a contact form, a visitor can email you directly from your website without needing to open their email program. This is especially convenient if a visitor is not using their own computer when their email program is not available.
Search Engine Readiness Check
Meta Tags, Page Titles, Page Heading, Alt Image Tags, Link Text, and Page Body Text evaluation and adjustment where needed throughout the website. At no time can we guarantee when or where the search engines will place your website within their search results or directory.
Browser Compatibility Testing
Your website is tested on a variety of operating systems and browsers to insure proper display and functionality.
Grammar & Spell Check
Before the website is launched, a grammar and spell check is performed to insure there are no mistakes. Please note: Grammar and spell checks do not catch every mistake. It is up to you to make sure you have provided us with the correct content.
Dead Link Check
A thorough check for misdirected links and missing files is performed just prior to as well as after the launch of the website.
Forms / Programming
Any email contact forms and/or programming features included in your project are tested to confirm they are functioning as required.
If you are hosting your website with Alt Creative, we can launch your site prior to receiving final payment. Otherwise, final payment is always due before we take the website live on your domain. Upon receipt of final payment, you will be emailed a final/paid in full receipt.
All necessary website files and scripts are copied to your domain and databases are setup.
After the website is live, any interactive programming and scripts are tested to verify proper function. Since the design and testing phase often occurs on a different server, it is very important to once again verify that everything is working correctly after taking the website live.
After launch and testing of the website, you are provided with a CD archive of all website files if requested.
Instructions & Documentation
When necessary, any documentation needed to use the administration functions of your website is included in Word or PDF format.
Search Engine Submission
Automated search engine submission occurs after launching, testing and fixing any issues there may have been. This is part of an add-on package and is not standard.
Minor Adjustments / Changes
Minor adjustments to the website are included at no charge for up to 30 days after the website has launched (maximum of up to 3 hours labor). Minor changes include adding changing text, adding or changing photos, etc. Any major revision requests will require additional discussion and possibly incur a fee.
Alt Creative offers web maintenance plans at affordable rates. We charge a flat hourly rate for your convenience. We have developed new maintenance plans to help our customers keep their website up to date. Click here to learn more.
Alt Creative understands that sometimes changes need to be made quickly. We normally attend to small changes within a 24-48 hour period. However, we do not guarantee that changes will be made within that timeframe. Alt Creative guarantees that any web updates will be made within 5 business days. The timeframe for large amounts of changes will be quoted on a per situation basis.
We recommend sending your web updates via email so that the request is documented. Also, since we charge by the half-hour, we recommend sending as many maintenance requests as possible at one time.