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  1. #1

    Question Web site design procedures

    Just wondering what procedures you web design businesses go through with your clients. For example we were looking at using the following system.

    1. Quote client project cost
    2. Write up a design proposal
    3. Draw up a service level agreement to be signed
    4. Charge 25% upfront for project cost
    5. Design and submit layout
    6. Develop and implement system

    Anything else we need to consider?
    Tek Gear - Aussie Online Solutions
    Online: www.tekgear.net.au

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Posts
    949
    Don't do design, but this is our procedure on Site Development (might be of some use).

    1) They send us description
    2) We send estimated cost
    3) They accept cost (or send us counter-offer)
    4) Once agreed upon, We get the first hours worth of work Pre-paid. We then send them the proposed system we have designed (ERD, Table Diagram, Page Layout)
    5) Once we have our documents mirroring how they want the system, we begin coding.
    6) Complete the system locally, they test it out, we receive compensation, they receive files.

  3. #3

    Upfront costs

    Your clients are happy paying an upfront deposit? We would like to do this but has been our biggest concern as we dont want to drive customers away.

    I like your idea for storing files locally. There are great advantages of this. In our system we could even upload the site to a directory on our server account so the client can view the site as if it was on there server but not have access to the actual data.
    Tek Gear - Aussie Online Solutions
    Online: www.tekgear.net.au

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Grand Junction, CO USA
    Posts
    106

    Re: Upfront costs

    Originally posted by tekgear
    Your clients are happy paying an upfront deposit? We would like to do this but has been our biggest concern as we dont want to drive customers away.

    I like your idea for storing files locally. There are great advantages of this. In our system we could even upload the site to a directory on our server account so the client can view the site as if it was on there server but not have access to the actual data.

    Considdering that every customer is not the same, if they aren't sketchy and the job doesn't cost that much (ie, your could get burned and not have to live in your car), then don't charge them upfront. But, if your doing a $6k job, and you get burned, it's your fault for not making them put some money down upfront.

    Usually if I can meet with the person face to face, and know where they live (no, really), then I won't charge them a deposit. If they are in Singapore (for example, no offence intented to anyone), I might ask for atleast 50% upfront.

  5. #5
    I have barked about this before, but we always require some deposit up front and until the development is 100% paid for, we make them host on our servers. I come across a lot of people with the old Field of Dreams ideology of web sites.........and if nobody ever does come to their site, they really won't mind sticking it to you.

    If you have a proven track record and you have been in business for a while, no client should really mind you asking for some money up front. If they are antsy about paying you some money up front, I would worry about them getting you the money down the road.

    Getting back to your question, I think this is something that you really have to judge on a case by case basis. If you are dealing with a client that has no computer/internet experience and all they really care about is the end product, hold their hands through the process and skip the chart drawing and mapping unless it helps you code. There is no reason to bother them with the details when they really don't care. For the clients that know what is what, go ahead and do things by the book.

    One thing I would suggest, which I stupidly do not always do, is spend an hour writing down exactly what is included in the price of your quote. Put it in simple English and have them sign it and send it back to you. This will prevent scope creep, both the techies and the non-techie clients will understand what they are getting up front and it will probably hold up as a legal contract if the pooh hits the fan.
    http://www.schooldebts.com -- Consolidate Student Loan Debt

  6. #6
    I think a deposit or prepayment is wise for most service based business ... at least it shows that they are genuinely interested and likely to service the invoice when full payment is due.
    Web Hosting Stuff - Over 10,000+ Hosting Companies Listed
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Jakarta
    Posts
    1,585
    I would do it like this:

    Get Quote
    First Contact & Planning
    Storyboard, Samples
    Coding and Testing
    Payment to be received 75%
    Installation & Final Publishing
    Payment to be received 25%
    Hostime Managed Hosting
    Opening the bridge between your business and the world.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,607
    I always charge 50% upfront.

    If they pull out in the middle of the design, I keep the down payment -- if I can't complete the design, they get refunded the down payment.

    I do a contract as such, they sign it, I sign it.

    None of my clients have ever had a problem with it. Especially since there's a signed contract backing the transaction up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    211
    one more thing on payment upfront...do you not charge your hosting clients in advance? Granted it is probably less money it is till done. In our everyday lives this is the case as well, cable, cellphone, ISP are all usually entirely prepaid.

  10. #10
    I do a contract as such, they sign it, I sign it.
    Do you send contract via Fax of some sort? Or by snail mail for them to sign?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,607
    Snail mail..

    They sign it, photo copy it, send it back to me, I sign it, photocopy it and send them the photocopy of it signed with my name, etc.

    I pretty much start the design waiting for them to mail it (usually comes with 2-3 days).

    Never have had any problems with any of my clients.

    I've been doing that for almost 6 years now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    37

    Host client Locally

    We always host client locally and NEVER put their site on the server. Unless it is just the HOME page or INDEX page of their site.

    Not to say that everyone is out to screw you but you must remember that you new design you created for them, if you put it up on your server for them to review at their office. They can with IE click SAVE AS and save the whole page with graphics, code and all, even CSS. If it is a 10 page site it wouldn't take long to download the whole site with all attached files and graphics. Some things that might take them a little more work if they are knowledgable are roll-over images. The ON image will not save using SAVE AS.

    Just something to keep in mind for those simple sites that are just CSS, GRAPHICS and HTML files.

    Cyber-Dock

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