Process

You want a website

You want a website, but you don’t know where to start. That’s my specialty. I’m an experienced web developer with strong communication skills. I help non-technical people build and maintain websites. Here’s a broad overview of what you get when you hire me.

We start with an idea

Send me an email and we can get the conversation started.

It’s okay if your idea is vague. When we talk, I’ll help you articulate your idea into something actionable. At the end of the call, both you and I will have a clear picture of what you want from your website.

I formalize the project scope

If our intake call goes well, the next step is on me. I’ll take your ideas, requirements, and specifications and turn them into a formal scope of work document.

That scope of work document is yours to keep and use, for free. You can use it to price shop with other developers and show to anyone else who may be collaborating with you. With the scope of work in hand, you will have an opportunity to make changes to the project, ask clarifying questions, and otherwise ask for the things you really want.

Once we all agree on the scope of work, I will begin the project.

I create a sandbox environment

In the scope of work document, I’ll determine the appropriate technology to meet your requirements. With that knowledge, I’ll create a staging environment. The staging environment is a sandbox where I can do the web development work and send it to you to review at your convenience. Typically it’s a live website you can view on any internet connected device.

You send me the content

This is the most critical step of the whole process. Content is king on the web. It drives site navigation, layout, design, and functionality. The more content you send me, the more you will like the final product.

Send me any and all content you have. If you don’t have all of it nailed down, that’s fine. You can also send me examples of filler content that might make an appearance on your site. I’ll be able to put this starter content on the staging site so we can develop, test, and review your website in a real world context.

This stage commonly takes the longest. I’ll likely come back to you with clarifying questions and requests for additional information. The more we can get done up front, the smoother the rest of the process will be.

I lay out the website

With the content in hand, I’ll set up the site navigation and overall page layouts on the staging site. This is a big-picture stage. We won’t get into the weeds on look and feel. I’ll let you know when the content is staged and laid out, and you’ll be able to walk through the site navigation on your own.

At this point, we’ll likely identify gaps in content, missing pieces of functionality, and other missing items. We’ll go back and forth to make sure we’ve covered all our bases, and you will have the opportunity to request changes to the site navigation and page layouts.

We give the site personality

With content, site navigation, and page layout squared away, the real design work starts here. For clean and simple website designs, I’ll provide you with battle-tested fonts and color palettes to choose from to make your website stand out and look good.

If you want more artistic direction, I may recommend hiring a third party designer for that task. I work with talented designers of varying styles and can act as a liasion. If we go this route, I’ll work with the designer on implementation of this phase.

I deploy the website, you own it all

I’m an end-to-end developer. After you approve content, site layout, and design, I can consult with you about hosting options. I’ll handle the deployment and set you up with the keys to everything. I never lock my clients into specific web hosts. You get full autonomy over your website after deploy.

I document all my work

I live by the principles of documentation driven development. I write the documentation for every new feature I add to a website before I implement that feature. This means at the end of the project, I’ll hand you a set of well written materials that explain how everything works under the hood.

My goal is to make my documentation clear enough that non-technical clients understand it. But for the bits and pieces that must be overly-technical, the end goal is a set of documentation you can hand off to an entirely different web developer in the future. I give you the power to make informed choices about ongoing maintenance and additional work to your site.

Maintenance

Visual bugs which render content looking incorrect can be fixed for free for a period of 30 days after the launch of the site. Major bugs which render content inaccessible can be fixed for free for 90 days after the launch of the site.

Depending on the scope of your project and my availability, I may offer extended support services for retainer fees.

Payment

When I provide the scope of work, I’ll break out each of these steps into detailed milestones. Each milestone will carry an associated price. That price will never change. You’ll know precisely the cost of your project before we agree to start work.

Avoiding hourly charges incentivizes me to work quickly and meet deadlines. It also means you never have any billing surprises.

Finally, if at any time one of us decides to leave the project early, you’ll only owe for the completed milestones. You won’t pay for unfinished work. You will only pay for the deliverables you actually have on-hand.

I can’t wait to hear from you

If you'd like to get started, email me to schedule an intake.