Guide To Starting A New Website
So you need a website but you aren't sure how it all works? Lets look at some of the basic steps to getting you up and running quickly, effeciently and easily.
First we need to ask ourselves some questions.
- What exactly do you want your website to do for you?
- Do you want to be able to manage multiple articles and authors from once central easy to use platform?
- Will you be requiring regular maintenance / updates services from your webmaster?
- Do you have a web hosting solution? If you do then check that it meets the minimun requirements in order to run Joomla!.
- If you dont have a web host yet and you're looking for a reliable and complatible web host ready to host your Joomla! website with no problems then head over to my host to find out more and get your hosting account sorted quickly and painlessly.
- What is it you need from your template? Will your website's look and feel changes while browsing it's pages? Will you be using subtemplates and layouts or just a simple layout?
These are important questions to ask when starting the process of setting up a new Joomla! website. If you're not sure about something please feel free to talk to us. Below is a basic outline of the process I follow when setting up a new website or taking on a new client.
Step 1 • First Meeting / Project Scope / Analysis of Needs and Project Estimate.
First we meet up to discuss your projects needs. We will look at questions such as
Are you looking for a simple static (plain html/css) website or something a bit more interactive and powerful? Do you have large amounts of content to manage? Do you want to be able to update your website yourself? Do you require a regular webmaster service? How much web hosting space will your site need? Do you have a existing domain name and web hosting account?
These are important questions to answer before we decide on your final design. I will assist you an analyzing your requirements in detail as well as help you decide which course of action and design tactics might be the most effective solution to suit your particular needs.
Should you not have a domain name or web hosting account we will need to get you one before your website can "go live"
A domain name is the "address" of your website on the internet. Its the address users type into the url bar in their browser to navigate to your website. Your web hosting is your websites "rented storage space" found on a server network. Its where your sites contents are stored 24/7.
If you don't already have one, I can easliy assist you with registering a new domain name and selecting and setting up a suitable web hosting package in your own name. If you are unsure which package is best suited to you, contact me and I can help you make the best choice.
Once we have a clear idea of which needs your website must fulfill it will be much easier provide you with an accurate estimate. Should you approve the estimate I will send through an invoice at which point I require a 50% deposit which covers your web hosting, domain name registration and any other expenses I incurr on your behalf during this initial design phase.
Step 2 • Project Planning / Style / Layout and First Revision
Now the fun part.. we can start with your sites actual design layout. I begin with some rough ideas and play around with different colour schemes, layouts, images and navigation. A draft "Home Page" as well as all text articles, logos, images and other information should be provided by you unless otherwise agreed upon. Now is the time we can make changes, add or remove elements, and generally "tweak" your site to the way you have in mind. I am always open to constructive critisizm and value your insight (after all it is your website)
This template will form the basic outline of all new pages within your website. I will continue to advise, suggest and alter your pages basic "outline or layout" design until you are satisfied. Its also at this point which I will source the necessary third party solutions, add ons or extensions to make your site more powerful from within.
If you approve of the progress thus far and we can procees into the next stage
Step 3 • Second Revision / Content / Testing and Final Changes
At this point I take care of smaller details such as adding your additional text content into the template, configure extensions further and generally make things run smoothly and seemlessly. We then meet up again and should you approve of the layout and the content the remaining payment is due.
Once you are happy with your sites layout and template design we begin working on adding in the rest of your information. Making alterations and changes and working with you to get exactly what you envisage from your site.From here onwards we work per hour and provide you with regular updates on the design progress. Upon approval of at this point I generally ask for the next payment.
Step 4 • Final Revision / Approval / Go Live and Final Payment
We meet up for the last time to discuss the projects progress rom conceptualization to realization. We go over any final changes and final last tweaks. If all is well and you are happy with the final product we arrange for the final payment due and close the project. From this point on any additional changes or modifications are billed per hour.
Step 5 • Updates and Maintenance
A vital part of maintaining a strong web precense is keeping your site up to date and fresh. I charge per hour for updates with a minimum charge of one hours work. I offer discounts to update clients who arrange a regular update strategy and offer monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or custom recurrence agreements.