First – Questions… many questions.
This process can take a couple days or a couple weeks – depending on your answers. We’ll just keep going back and forth til we all understand what’s what.
We’re happy to chat on the phone/skype/GoogleTalk. Email is usually sufficient for most things, but talking through your project can often help crystallize your vision. Especially if you are non-technical. We can coach you through sorting out what you want & need.
Because we specialize in wordpress-based websites, there are some basic starting points. Every website starts with the same foundation. Then we assimilate your notes and turn those into something unique for you!
Design is evolutionary
You start with an idea and see where it goes. If you have a clear idea where you want to end up, it helps reduce the in-between time – sometimes, though, even if you have a crystal clear plan, a waft of inspiration can take us in a completely different – and sometimes better – direction.
Here’s the cool part – with WordPress you can change the entire look of your site with literally the click of a button. So one of the fun things we like to do is get on the phone with you so we can cycle through a bunch of pre-selected free themes that we think might be good starting points for you. This a) saves you a ton of time & money, b) helps to demonstrate just how awesome wordpress is, and c) shows how simple it is and that you can even do it yourself.
We don’t try to fool ourselves – so we won’t try to fool you – we are not the be all and end all… maybe we won’t click. But one thing we will do is try everything in our power to make it happen.
Another upside to wordpress is that content and design are SEPARATE (pretty much) so once we get your content in (either from your existing website or from word docs you supply) the design wraps around it and can change easily.
Once we have the basic look & feel established, we can get into the nitty gritty details. This is where the time & money comes in. The nittier & grittier you want to get with itty bitty design details, the longer and more expensive your project will become. It’s that simple.
The more functionality you need, the more it costs.
The more customized you want that functionality, the more it costs… and the longer it takes.
At the start of any big custom project, we will do our utmost to distill your project into a series of “requirements” and then associated tasks… this will guide the budgeting process. This will encompass any outside (3rd party) systems we need to work with, if any, and we will do our best to accurately estimate the time & skills required to achieve any integrations. Sometimes we cannot get enough information at the beginning of the process. Sometimes you forget a critical detail in your outline. Sometimes the pieces of the puzzle simply won’t fit and we have to back up…
There are unpredictabilities… when they are big, we’ll talk with you. When they are little, we’ll just deal. If they are going to impact the bottom line, we’ll bring you the details and renegotiate. Depending on where the changes stem from, we may absorb overruns.
Simply? You and your project are important to us. We will always treat you with respect and honesty. We will admit when we screw up, or miss something, and hope that you will do the same. We like to COLLABORATE with our clients. Projects need fluidity to get to the best end result.
Depending on the scope of your site this part could take days, weeks or months. We do everything we can to balance our workload to meet schedules, so we do like to set deadlines for things. Sometimes client emergencies come up, however, and things must get shifted. Sometimes projects CHANGE in the middle and deadlines have to be renegotiated. Sometimes, tasks that LOOK straightforward at the beginning become a lot more complex than anyone could guess… So, we stay in communication and do our best to achieve the goals we set together.
Average build time? hm. Well, the FASTEST site we’ve ever built went together from start to finish in about 6 hours – it was small, compact & very clear from the start. Other projects have been going on for years because the client is continually evolving & growing. Your project likely falls somewhere in between.