Collaboration. It’s why I wrote “We.”

Websites are always a collaboration to a degree, but the game goes like this for most design firms:

  1. You tell them what you want
  2. They impress you to death while beating out any competition. (This is where they work the hardest.)
  3. They build it, all the while trying to keep you from getting creative or having any input beyond the initial scope. (They call this “scope creep”.)
  4. You pay them big money now and into the future for any little change, upgrade or maintainence.

But you want all 3, right?  You want it Cheap, Fast & Good, and who doesn’t, but how do you break the laws of service?

You get it by getting involved at each step.  Here’s an outline of what’s required of you:

  1. We meet, via phone or in person.
  2. I will come up with a proposal for pricing, and specify the scope of the project, tailoring it with your feedback.
  3. You pay a third as a non-refundable deposit.
  4. I do any photography and I come up with preliminary design.
  5. We meet about the design ideas, and alter to suit until you’re happy with a final design.
  6. You pay the second third, and you own the design at this point, even though it’s not been built yet.
  7. You are in charge of the content, which is mainly the words.  That’s what Google sees and catalogs. You know your business better than I do.
  8. I do all the tech stuff, the graphics & the art: the site, it’s inner workings and features, and I get it all presentable and working.
  9. Your copy is in now, and you are empowered to edit or change it.
  10. Together, we’ve finished it and it’s time to go live on your domain.

By the time it’s done, you have the know-how to be the webmaster.  That’s right: I put myself out of a job and hand you the keys.  You drive off into the future.

That’s OK, though — my thing is to be like Johnny Appleseed, a sort-of technical troubadour & mentor, spreading a web of communication & ability where there was none before.  You are a newbie no longer.   I move on.

How cool is that?