Every project is handled individually, but the overall process begins with a consultation to determine your needs and discuss ideas, then a project Scope is outlined in an Agreement and sent for your approval. An estimated cost and timeline for completion is included, based on the information you provide, and an initial invoice for the downpayment is submitted to secure your project. Each project usually consists of a downpayment and final balance due upon completion.
To publish a website on the internet, you need the following:
- A Domain Name: your “.com” for instance, which can be registered either during the process of signing up for web hosting, or at a reliable Domain Registrar. A domain name is an important business asset, and is an ongoing investment. For instance, you renew the domain name annually to ensure it is always active and that nobody else can purchase it. That said, you may want to purchase other variations of your domain name to prevent others from purchasing your domain name with other extensions (ie: .org)
- Web Hosting Package: to store your files and serve them on the internet.
- A professional website design, of course!
YES – I always recommend a reliable, cost-effective hosting company that is capable of handling any technical issues and can answer your questions with confidence. Our first choice is Canvas Dreams. They are 100% wind-powered, have reliable servers (uptime, server settings, etc.) and can provide assistance when necessary. If you have another hosting provider in mind, we would be happy to review their service and make sure they will meet your needs.
When your project begins, an account will be created for you in Basecamp, our project management system. This will allow us to communicate, share files, and keep track of your project from start to finish so nothing gets misplaced or overlooked. You’ll have access to your project 24/7, can post messages/responses, upload or download files, and send approvals at specified milestones. You will receive your login information via email. *This login is different from your billing account.
Gravity Station specializes in professional, custom WordPress website design and development. We provide custom WordPress theme design (no templates used as a base), hand-coded CSS/HTML and customized areas in the WordPress admin that will help streamline the process of managing your own website. We also provide website maintenance to ensure your WordPress website stays updated, including database and file backups, WordPress upgrades and Plugin upgrades. It’s extremely important to keep your site updated, so if you do not feel comfortable handling the updates yourself, we can set up a monthly (or as-needed) maintenance package for you, and you can relax and leave the techy stuff to us!
In the past we also provided print materials, such as business cards, brochures, postcards, flyers, and especially CD packaging design. We’re not opposed to still creating print materials as part of a web design package, so if you need anything in addition to your new website, please let us know!
Logo files are best as “layered” files, meaning each of the design elements are on separate layers. Photoshop or Illustrator files are best – they have any of the following file extensions: .ai, .eps, .psd. Your logo designer probably provided you with at least one of these files when your logo was completed. If you do not have a professional logo file as mentioned above, we will do what we can to work with any file you provide, such as .png, .jpg, .gif, .tif, pdf – however, the quality may not be as easy to work with (especially if we want more control over the background behind the logo, or if it needs to be resized).
The difference between different formats can make your site look great (or not). For example, a .jpg has a background already, whereas a transparent .png file does not. If we receive an Illustrator file, we can use the logo without that background, and will be able to resize the logo without losing quality. If we receive a Photoshop file, we can also use the logo without the background, and can scale your logo down without losing quality (if the logo was created by a professional) – I would not recommend resizing the logo to a larger scale in Photoshop though, that would be best in Illustrator.
FORMAT: Photos are always best provided at high resolution, and can be provided as .jpg or .tif files.You may be tempted to provide your photos in a Word document or PDF file, but if possible, it would be best to provide your images individually. You can either upload them separately, or .zip them into archives that are labeled accordingly, so we know where your images are meant to be placed. Zip files can be uploaded to Basecamp, or sent via an external website such as DropBox.
RESOLUTION: This does not mean we need images that are 5000px wide, but rather, images that can be scaled down without losing quality. If you need to have your photos resized, it is best to provide high quality images that are not blurry, not smaller than the size we need*, and your website will look much better if the images are taken professionally, if possible.
*If your images are too small to use, they can not be scaled larger – not without losing quality. They will look very blurry, distorted, and unprofessional, that’s why we recommend high resolution images.
Video files are tricky, and it all depends on how large the files are. I always recommend using either YouTube, Vimeo, or Amazon S3 to serve your videos on the site because they will load quicker for your visitors. Your videos should be high quality, high resolution, and be available in Full Screen mode whenever possible. Most new computers are not the old 800 x 600 monitors anymore, they are much larger, so if your video is available at full screen but is not clear, it will not be very appealing to the viewer.
Audio files are much easier to publish – the most popular format is .mp3. Any other format may or may not be cross-platform compatible.
iFrames are evil. They cannot be viewed in many browsers, and certainly not on mobile devices, so you may want to avoid them (at all costs!)
The 2 most important things to remember if you want to view your site on iPad and iPhone is to avoid Flash, and avoid iFrames. For all other mobile devices, you’ll need a mobile design created (bascially, a stylesheet that is different than what your regular website uses). Since iPad and iPhone use the Safari browser, they will most likely look fine when your website is launched, but all other mobile devices need specific changes that will allow your site to be viewed on mobile platforms.
If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.