How we Build your WordPress Site

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How we Build your WordPress Site

How we Build your WordPress Site

The procedures we outline below are followed during development of a New Website Design as listed in our catalog. If you need us to modifying an existing site, refer to How we Modify your Site. Thank You for considering us for your project! We know your time is valuable. We have worked hard to provide you with all the information your company needs to make an informed decision. This page details information that Web Designers and those familiar with web sites, might find interesting. Project Managers might want to also read the WordPress Development Process page. Advertising Managers would find interest in Functionality that Promotes your Business. Accounting and Legal teams might start on the WordPress Project Cost and Guarantee page.

Overview

This service can be ordered on this page. I can also help you choose the options. Reach us by visiting our Contact Us page.

Coming soon: questionnaire leads to pre-configured product

Base price assumes that page is constructed from your content exclusively (i.e. text and photos that you provide electronically.) We would still provide vector graphics, icons, and other graphics needed for the site framework. To arrive at the final price, we present you with options below.

Coming soon: Chat window for support

We can use content directly from your ‘old’ website, or you can provide electronic revisions of some or all of the pages and/or posts. In this part of the project we sometimes recommend cropping, resizing, and saving the photos in web friendly formats (we do all of that for you.) We can also provide content and imagery. We will work with you and plan the best approach. We make it easy for you to work with us by providing drop box for easy transfer of large files, project status dashboards, updated timelines, and plenty of opportunities for you to provide feedback.

The next sections help you estimate the cost of your site.

Additional Fees

We charge hourly for certain kinds of work that are most often not required with t his service. This document list these items in italics. If you need these services, you might consider starting small, allocate a few hours and see what that buys you. If your satisfied, you can always add additional hours. If not, you can leave that part of the job to another graphic designer, for example. We are reasonable and proficient – but this is usually the most comfortable for everyone. We track and refund unused time!

Additional Web Pages

A new page is constructed and added to your website menu. Typically, these pages are presented to the visitor of your website as a standalone page, but some or all of the content can be added to the Home Page (this is important for content that you definitely want your visitor to see – even on small devices.) We charge $50/hr per additional page.

Content Scanning, Writing and Translation

If you need us to scan documents for content or photos, write copy, or provide translation services, add ‘Content Services Hourly’ to your shopping cart. We charge an additional $40/hr for this service.

Graphic Design

For graphic designs, such as a new company logo, or searching for professional graphics and photos, add ‘Graphic Design Hourly’ to your shopping cart. We charge an additional $40/hr for this service.

Professional Photo Search

If you need us to help you find a special photo for your site, no guarantees here… there is just so much subjectivity involved in finding a match. It really is best for you to select photos. BUT if you want us to see what we find in the collections we know about, we charge an additional $40/hr for this service. Keep in mind some photos will require credit toward the artist or cost a license fee to use on your site (license fees can range from $2 to $50 per photo.)

Graphic Modifications

For graphic modifications, such as removing backgrounds on photos, add ‘Graphic Modifications Hourly’ to your shopping cart. We charge an additional $40/hr for this service.

Server Provisioning and Installations

Scenarios when you might need these services are detailed below in italics.

Development is Done on Our Servers

We start by creating a new site on our servers and the website will reside on our server for the duration of development. For this service, we will providing a new website design, incorporating material from an existing website or text and images that you provide separately. We do not use themes. We use a page builder, with some additional custom code stored as ‘snippets’ when needed, and we use plugins that support the site’s operation and provide design elements that are not available with WordPress out of the box. If your website requires an integration to services or components that only exist on your site, we may build the integration after we migrate.

Why is Development done on our Server?

Mostly this due to the fact that we adhere to software development practices that require certain controlled environments. For the best outcomes, industry ‘best-practices’ require versioning and ‘unit’ testing. Having a controlled environment allows us to better predict completion dates and removes variables. Also we use specific productivity and development tools on our development site that enable us to deliver better results.

Why don’t we use Themes?

In our experience, we find that most themes box you into a corner. Your new website will be completely configured, using highest quality individual ‘theme components’. We can duplicate most themes easily. If you have a theme, you like, let us know; we will use it as a guide. The website we provide to you will be far superior and allow easier customization than any theme out there. You will have the ability to make customizations in areas that traditional ‘themes’ would not allow you to change. There’s an additional benefit: you don’t have to purchase a theme!

Integrations to Specialized Services or Components

If your ‘old’ site integrates to a 3rd party service or service, then we might need to build the integration on your server. In some cases, this may be the only way forward. In that case, we would start the project on our server if it’s still possible and makes sense. Every project is different so we adapt as needed. In these situations, we would assess the cost separately.

Designs are Imported to your Website

There are some different scenarios here depending on whether or not you have already provisioned a web server, with WordPress installed and an operational website. In this section, we summarize how we would proceed in each case.

You have an Existing Web Server

In this case, either:

  • We can provide files to you (for you to import) at no additional fee. Your provided with instructions and were available to support you if you have questions.
  • You can have us import the new designs to your WordPress site (we charge an additional $50 for this operation.)
  • We can install WordPress for you. Depending on your provider’s security guarantee, we might suggest Bitnami images which are constructed for maximum security. Once your WordPress site is installed we will also import the new designs (we charge an additional $125 for this operation.)

You need a New Web Server

  • We can provision the website and get it configured. Our servers use the Amazon EC2, which provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. On the server, we deploy Bitnami Virtual Machines containing a minimal Linux operating system with WordPress installed and configured. In WordPress we connect JetPack. Monthly hosting fees, email and backup software ranges between $19/mo to $47/mo. Once your WordPress site is installed we will also import the new designs  (we charge an additional $125 for this operation.)

If your new to WordPress hosting, here are some additional things you should know:

  • With hosting, there are some great deals out there today, but still, you pay a bit more for the good ones… In addition to the hosting fee, you might expect some additional monthly fees for backup service and email. We can refer you to these services if needed. Total costs typically range between $19/mo to $47/mo.
  • Additionally, some ‘plugins’ (extra software) might be required for the proper operation of your WordPress site. These have a one-time fee and an annual support fee. We can recommend certain ‘premium’ plugins depending on your business needs. In many cases, there is a cheaper or free alternative (but not always, especially when it comes to ecommerce sites that have products that require a specialized display for customers to select product options.)
  • Cost are considerably higher for ‘large’ web operations that store extra data (beyond just the website files.) Likewise, business ‘critical’ websites that require higher than 99.9 percent uptime also cost considerably more. Finally, websites with ‘high bandwidth’ requirements (i.e you expect to get a lot of web traffic,) will cost more. Please let us know, if your web operation meets these descriptions.

6 Months Complimentary Web Hosting

As part of our service, for websites that qualify (not for ‘large’, ‘critical’, or ‘high bandwidth’ sites,) we can provide you with complimentary 6 months of web hosting (BUT, you still need to pay for your backup service with a 3rd party, that we refer you to at $7/mo.) Also email hosting is not included. We can refer you to email services if needed.

Site Structure

Theme Elements

Theme elements persist throughout the site and include items such as Header (usually with a Menu,) and Footer (sometimes with a Contact Us form.) Your new site will have all of the most common elements found on most WordPress sites. Some of the items are add-ons, in terms of pricing. You get to pick from 5 add-ons in this service. Additional add-ons are an additional $50. We also offer Premium Add Ons which are priced separately.

Splash Screen (Add-On)

A splash page lets you add a welcome page with background image or video. It also provides you with some important features like Age Validation, Checkbox opt-in, for Disclaimers, Agreements, Terms of Use, etc. You can choose dates that it is shown.

Header

All websites will have a header  that can accommodate a logo and your company name (or a logo could incorporate your business name.) If you have a single header, the same header appears on all pages. Header can be configured to persist and shrink as you scroll down the page.

Additional Header (Add-On)

Some web sites present a different header in certain sections of the site. For example, you might have a web page reserved for logged-in users that presents specific content.

Menu

On the header, you get two menus:

  • ‘Top’ menu, usually used for social icons, login, registration, account, and cart links (if you purchased the e-commerce package.)
  • ‘Main’ menu for links to your pages, and any other ‘external’ links, that you provide.

Note that the blog page also presents a sidebar menu.

Enhanced Menu (Quoted Separately)

There’s lots of options for menus. It’s becoming popular to load menus with content along with submenus. Since there are so many possibilities, we would need to know more about your companies needs. We will asses your needs and quote this item separately.

Contact Us Form

The ‘Contact Us Form’ can appear on the ‘Contact Us Page’ and the Home page. Since it is so important, a common practice is to also place it in the footer section so that is appears everywhere on your site. We support all the common formats of ‘Contact Us Forms’. We can include additional questions such as a dropdown of ‘Service Interests’ or questions like ‘How did you Hear about Us?’. In addition, we can present Google Map and Hours of Operation, etc.

Registration Page (Premium Add-on: $125)

You might need to capture additional information for another purpose. Similar to Contact Us forms, Registration Forms also can ask for the visitor’s name and email address, etc. But registration pages are used for a different purpose. Your users can register to gain access to certain blog content. Typically, when they return to your site, they login (cookies are used so that login are not required for every visit.) The ecommerce package also includes a type of registration. This can be optionally merged with that registration or be a separate registration (customer who bought you products might also see the same content reserved for those who ‘register’.) Finally multiple access levels can be configured for different content levels. You can optionally charge a fee for access.

Newsletter System (Premium Add-on $125)

This service does not require a monthly fee if you have less that 2,000 subscribers and you do need ‘stats’ (which most people agree is important.) However, you can get unlimited subscribers and stats for only $10/mo (compared to Constant Contact, for $45/mo.) We will setup your account initial in the ‘free’ mode and refer you to the sign-up page once it’s configured.

Newsletter Opt-in Form (Add-on)

You might also want to add the user to your newsletter. These simpler forms require some extra configuration in the ‘back-end’ to connect to your existing ‘list email provider’, such as Contact Contact. Alternately, you can have us setup a Newsletter System for you (see the Newsletter System Premium Add-on.)

Registration Page

Your users can register to gain access to certain blog content. When they return to your site, they can login (cookies are used so that login are not required for every visit.) You might also want to add the user to your newsletter for example.

Pages Included in All Sites

All our websites have pages that fulfill the established requirements of ‘typical’ WordPress sites. You probably will recognize these from websites you visit. Here’s a bit more information about what makes these pages important and some recommendations:

Home Page

The ‘Home Page’ on most WordPress sites is setup as s ‘one page scrolling’ page. This is an adaptation to the fact that most people need a website to be easy to read on a small screen, like a phone… This does not mean that all links on the main menu should deliver content from the Home Page. We can optionally setup your site so that your visitor gets just the content that you want to deliver for each link. We use a special system that eliminates the need to have content editing done in two places. For example, if your ‘About Us’ content is present on your Home Page and you want to have a site that does not scroll down the Home Page when a visitor clicks on ‘About Us’ in the Main Menu, but instead lands on a page dedicated to telling the full story about your business. When you want to edit your ‘About Us’ content, it can change in both locations.

Blog Page

Your Blog Page would be in a special location, for example, www.yoursite.com/blog. It can be called something different, for example, instead of Blog you may want to call it ‘Articles’ (in which case the ‘URL’ would be www.yoursite.com/articles. Not everyone recognizes the importance of having a blog. It’s highly recommended that you use a blog, even if you think you don’t need it – it’s an essential component for Search Engine Optimization, Social Media connectivity, and Email-marketing campaigns. Also, you can have your blog ‘serve’ blog ‘post’ content to other areas of your website, which makes it easier for you to keep it current. We have a technique that allows FAQs, About Us, and Team information to be linked to your blog! No more poking around in widgets to change your website! For this service, we will setup up to 5 ‘Posts’. If you need more, we charge an additional $20 for each additional 5.

Blog Training ($25 Hourly)

We can train you so that you become proficient at using your blog.

Windows Blog Writer (Free)

We can configure your website to integrate with a Windows editor that makes it easier to write content for your blog.

Additional Sidebar (Add On)

If you have seen WordPress blogs on the web, then you know that often there is a ‘sidebar’ area where the ‘posts’ are categorized and a menu is displayed to the visitor so that they can read additional ‘posts’. A similar sidebar can be present on some or all pages. Sidebars present functional parts, called ‘widgets’. You can any number of widgets to a sidebar. Widgets provide functionality such as featured pages, popular posts, calendars, login prompts, maps, images, contact info, primary or secondary menus, YouTube channel galleries, social icons with followers, subscribers, and likes counts, etc. Some premium widgets do come with some extra cost. By the way, if you have the eCommerce package, you’ll get a optional sidebar included for your ‘Shop Page’.

Contact Us Page

This page displays the Contact Us form and additional information such as a Google Map and Hours of Operation, etc.

3 Additional Pages

Here is a list of common additional pages. Of course, you can have us build any 3 pages, on any topics. Additional pages are $50/each (except Portfolio pages, which are $80.)

About Us Page

the About Us page can use content from your blog and/or additional text. You might consider taking some new pictures if the ones you have need to be made current, before we start (typically, one picture is used here, or a slider of about 3-5 pictures.) Additionally, often this is where you might find information on companies ‘Team Members’ or ‘Office Staff’.

Team Members (Add on)

If you want to include pictures of your team for inclusion on your About Us, for example, we provide you with a special tool that makes it easy to update and add as many team members as you want. For this service, we will setup up to 10 team members. If you need more, we charge an additional $20 for each additional 10.

FAQs Page

The FAQs Page can use content from your blog and this helps direct traffic to your blog (highly recommended approach.) It typically uses a ‘accordion’ device, but we can design it to suit your needs. For this service, we will setup up to 10 ‘FAQs. If you need more, we charge an additional $20 for each additional 10.

FAQs Premium (Premium Add on: $125)

The questions in the FAQ section can be the basis of a Help Page. Visitors can search questions  and browsing categories. You can add search ‘widgets’ to specific pages on your site which can display specific FAQs pertinent to the page. The FAQs can be ordered by the number of ‘votes’ they receive and relevance by keywords. This type of FAQ works well for an inexpensive ‘Knowledge Base’ or ‘Get Assistance’ solution.

Services Page

The Services page usually consists of a few different ‘sections’ one on top of the next. One of those sections lists your actual services. The top-most section typically starts with an offer; like a free PDF for download that contains your full catalog or some other useful information. Then comes the ‘services’ section, which lists the services you offer with details about each of them. Then, it’s typically followed by ‘Sign Up’ section such as the Newsletter Opt-in Form (Add-on). Alternately, you might present the Pricing Table (Add on.)

Pricing Table (Add on)

The ‘Pricing Table’ is used when you need to have a side-by-side comparison of similar services so that your prospective client can decide which service levels is right for him. Typically these sections have a button under each one for “’More Info’, ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Purchase’. Of course, the eCommerce package would be needed for the later.

Testimonials Page

Testimonials can be displayed many different ways. You can display pictures of your reviewers. We will import your testimonials and create both a separate page for displaying them in response to a Main Menu selection and we will optionally add them to your Home Page (usually, it’s important to have them on the Home Page as well.) For this service, we will setup up to 10 ‘FAQs. If you need more, we charge an additional $20 for each additional 10.

Testimonials Premium (Premium Add On: $125)

Testimonials can be collected from your registered users and customers with accounts. You can allow them to select the Service that they are reviewing. Additionally customers that bought products (if you have the eCommerce package) will be able to review the items that they purchased.

Portfolio Page

Portfolio Pages are typically displayed with a slider and/or a gallery of photos and additional descriptive text. They typically allow for photos to be enlarge upon click on them, typically in a lightbox window that floats on top of the page. Similar to a services page, additional elements are added to allow the visitor to ‘Sign up’. Some websites with a single service might use a portfolio page instead of a Services page (and service information would reside on the Home Page.)  For this service, we will setup up to 10 ‘Portfolio Items’. If you need more, we charge an additional $20 for each additional 5.

Theme Elements

On each page, you select the theme elements that you want and the order that you would like them to appear. These elements, for each page, can be viewed from our collection. We have a tool you can use to construct model pages from this collection.

Our Guarantee

A bit more on the guarantee: We will create a new website, initially the website will reside on our server. As we progress, we will send you PDFs for proofs for your approval. Once the design is approved, 50% of the payment will be non-refundable (this protects us from people who might take advantage of the 100% guarantee, since designs on the web can easily be copied.)