Equine Website Design, Equine Web Marketing - The Design Process, Getting Started!

The Design Process, Getting Started!

Even though each custom website will have unique requirements,  the design process is fairly similar. Some websites may be adjusted accordingly,  but in all the basics will apply. 

1.) First, we will discuss your needs for a site either over email, or the phone. Once we get any idea of what you need and size requirements, we will send a "Description of Work" document in either a pdf, or MS word format. We will need your contact information such as business name, address, phone, domain requested etc. This document simply spells out what pages, size, price and other information involving the building of your site. At the bottom is a place to confirm you have read our Terms Of Service, and also address retainer and payment options. You can send back this document either by fax, scanned Email or snail mail.
2.) Once we have the Description of Work and non-refundable retainer 
( normally half down ) in hand, we are ready to go! Why do we ask for a retainer? Most of it goes toward purchase and setup of your hosting account, the rest is a good faith start to all the work we will do for you!
3.) The "Getting Started" Document, if we have not send this to you already, you can download a sample above. Now it is important to note that this document is a "helper" in gathering information and materials, for your website, it can be a little "overkill" if something does not apply, just leave it!

What are Materials? Materials are simply the files and images we need to create your website, just as a builder needs nails, lumber, etc to build a house, so we need your materials to build your site. Materials can simply be your photos, logos, text, and basic order or layout of site. Why do we ask for them in advance. We get this question allot, but in order to start your website design we require ALL if not most of your materials, why? The design part of your site is the most important, we assemble your materials, research, and start the design based on all these items. Materials added after the design process is started can dramatically change the design can incur extra charges.
What's in the Getting Started Document?
a.) First it covers how, what where, we need your files and materials, and how best to get them to us!
b.) Company information need to get your account going and make sure your domain name is correctly registered.
c.) Comparisons, we will ask you to list sites that you like and don't like and why. This gets us on the same "page".
d.) Colors, we will ask for some color choices, please keep in mind that now a days we have billions to chose from! Narrowing down the tones will happen when we see your materials!
c.) Basic Business information, to best research your business we will ask some information about your industry or farm.
d.) Domains transfers or existing hosting account information, if you already have an account or domain we will need access to it!
e.) Keywords, we do what is called natural search engine optimization meaning we build into your site keywords, but so not to "Spam" only send us pertinent ones to your industry!  
f.) Text, we request all text to be sent in electronic format, hand written pages are fine as along as print is clearly written and easy to view. Handwritten pages could incur an extra typing charge. Typed documents are Ok, as long as no notes or handwritten areas are visible, ( we scan with OCR and input into a document. )
e.) Sending to us! you can either send materials to us, via postal mail, fed-ex, or other what is know as Snail mail services. Or you can send via email or use your Client area. Please note if you send via email, spread it out over several email , and make sure items are well labeled!
4.) We will set up a Client Journal, to track all our correspondence, offer a place to archive notes, and provide a place to upload materials. 
5.) We may also create a "Coming Soon" on your website. At this point we will have your domain registered, and a hosting account set up for this domain. This depends on the what the Description of Work document spelled out, whether we are hosting your website, most common scenario or using an existing account. 
6.) Logo, If you do not have a logo and wish us to design a new one this is where we will work on it. Normally we will put together "about" 10 samples, from these we can refine the final draft. Rarely does this go past 20 samples, if at this stage we have not worked out the right draft, we will recommend getting your logo done by an outside party. After logo is designed we are ready to start design!
7.) The Design itself, once we have all your materials in hand, we will research, and then start a rough draft based on all the information we have received from you, please be patient during this period, as we are working hard to create a unique design, that will be just what you need! This may take 1-2 weeks, but be assured that this patience will pay off for you.
8.) Once we have a rough draft ready we will show it as a sample and remind you that is it a rough draft. At this point we are looking for input from you as to colors, basic graphic etc. We may "fill" in the text areas with filler text that really does not say anything! In case you are wondering it is Latin!
9.) Once the draft is approved by you the customer we will get started on the rest of the pages, using the approved draft we will create a template with which to create all the pages of your site! This process can also take a few days! It is important to understand that the template will now be coded into your website, any changes could affect the site dramically. So if there are any requested changes to the template it should be done before we code the website, or extra work charges could apply. A template is like a puzzle, the code pulls everything together, change one element and the whole template will need to be adjusted and recoded.
10.) Once we have most of the site done, we will post to a temporary location, for you to proof carefully, look for spelling errors, change out any photos etc. Please note we will wait to apply your edits until you have had time to proof the site carefully. Please take your time, maybe even print out the pages, ( Please note: websites do not all print out the same, this does not reflect on the viewabilty of your site on the web! If major reworking is requested, or edits applied continuously this may incur extra changes and at that point we will send you an estimated costs. 
11.) When we have applied all the edits from your proofing we will then post to your hosting account, test any submit forms, apply final SEO, and finally submit to DMOZ, ( A major portal for major search engines). 
12.) Your site is done! At this point the balance of site quote is due, plus any extra fees that make have incurred.
13.) Feedback, we would love any feedback at the end of this process to let us know how well it worked for you!

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Equine Web Marketing LLC † Harrison, Arkansas
(720) 675-7195 • Fax: (719) 315-4449  
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