Website Design Process
Many clients have asked us how the custom website design process actually works and what happens throughout the website design process.
This document explains the process from start to finish and gives you an idea of what you could expect when working with us.
This is just a guideline, your development project may have needs that are not addressed here.
Decision / Planning Phase
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 or revised website. CowboyUp Websites can help with this process with some questions. See our FREE Quote Questionnaire. We can accomplish this through emails, or a phone call. You may also want to check our Planning Guide for suggestions and ideas.
Analysis and Prototype
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. CowboyUp Websites will provide you a quote for the anticipated website.
When you agree to work with CowboyUp Websites, we will design a prototype web design specifically for you. The FREE Quote Questionnaire needs to be completed at this time. We charge $50.00 upfront to build the prototype. This is NOT refundable, but it will be applied toward the cost of your website design if you decide to continue to completion.
The prototype consists of the main page of your website. The page is placed online into a approval folder (at a web address that is blocked from search engines and password protected). We will email you the links to review the design. In most cases the prototype is on the server where your completed hosted website will reside.
As a general rule we have a very good idea of what you want so you'll be pleased with the design. You can elect to have changes made at this time. If for any reason you're not happy with the design, CowboyUp Websites will either make changes or even start a new design if necessary.
Website Development Contract
Once we have come to an agreement on project details, timeline and price, we will prepare and email a link to our online website development contract for you to review and submit.
After submitting your contract, you'll be emailed an invoice from PayPal - use your account or a credit card if you don't have a PayPal account - for the first half of the agreed upon website costs.
CowboyUp Websites uses PayPal to offer a secure payment experience, keep our costs low and provide you with several options for payment.
Initial Deposit, Balance and Start Date
The contract and 50% advance payment 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 50% advance payment and contract we will provide you with your project start date. All projects are scheduled on a “first come, first served” basis.
Upon receipt of your deposit and contract, we will email you to confirm receipt of your deposit/contract and provide a list of items which will be needed from you prior to your project start date.
You will need to supply all text (content) and/or product information to be included on your website pages. In addition, you may also supply material such as company logo, personal photos, etc, if desired. Read our submission guidelines. Read Google's guidelines for content and search engine placement.
All of the above information should be supplied after submitting your contract but before the agreed start date for your website. Delays in sending the information may result in changes to the timeline and your project's start date and completion date.
Your Website Design
In most cases we will be able to provide your completed website within two weeks following your start date if we have all your text and information to complete the website.
Incorporation of your logo, photos and text content is included in all projects. Custom logo design is available for an additional fee, please inquire if interested.
All projects include use of professional stock photography images from our current collection to help establish site theme, if needed. You may also provide us with images you may want on your website.
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.
Search Engine Optimization
Meta tags, page titles, keywords, etc., are placed into the source code of your website. These are hidden tags that search engine robots use to determine where to place your website into the search engine indexing. At no time can we guarantee when or where the search engines will place your website within their search results or directory. Read Guidelines from Google for why optimization needs to be part of your website project.
Forms / Programming
Any email contact forms and/or programming features included in your project are tested to confirm they are functioning as required.
Final Approval for Publication
Once the full website is completed, you will be sent an approval email form. Once you have indicated your approval and submit the form to us, we will create a PayPal invoice for the balance due for the project.
If the domain name and hosting arrangements have been completed, all necessary website files and scripts are copied to your domain and databases are setup. Read about our domain name and hosting arrangements.
After the website is live, any interactive programming and scripts are tested to verify proper function. Even though CowboyUp Websites places the design, testing and approval phases on the same server (within a subdomain hidden from search engines), it is still very important to once again verify that everything is working correctly after taking the website live.
Instructions & Documentation
When necessary, any documentation needed to use the administration functions of your website will be emailed to you or sometimes it may be necessary to discuss this by telephone.
Search Engine Submission
Hand submission and automated search engine submission occurs after launching, testing and fixing any issues there may have been.
Minor Adjustments / Changes
The price includes one round of minor edits (less than 10%) within the first two weeks after site design is complete. Edits consist of text revisions (spelling and grammar) only. It does not include removing nearly all the text from a page and replacing it with new text. Design changes requested by the Client after prototype site design approval is complete will incur extra charges. Clients are responsible for proofreading their web site.