You Have a Friend in Web Design

VF20Designs.com is a one-man-shop offering multimedia, graphic, animation and web design services.  With over 7 years of experience in web design and html, I am confident I can create the site you envision, easily integrating into your social media presence.

My goal is to provide web services to small businesses and individuals, including restaurants, music groups, fan sites, attorneys, and celebrities.  I limit the number of projects I accept at any one time and stand behind my development timeline and overall delivery commitments.

I know that small businesses need a fast, reliable web design service.  You talk to me – no assistant.  When you call, you talk to me.  That one-on-one service assures you of my undivided attention and desire to fulfill the vision you want for your web presence.

What is a “Content Management System” (CMS)?

A content management system (or CMS) allows publishing, editing, and modifying content as well as site maintenance from a central page. It provides a collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual or computer-based, and it affords the client to make additions, changes and updates at their discretion, and not be billed by a web designer for the hours of work.

Is WordPress a CMS?WordPress, the most popular web-building system is a type of “content management”.  Different professionals will argue that WordPress is NOT a CMS, but I disagree.

WordPress provides a back-end structure that allows you to enter, manage, move, delete, update, correct and administer your website.  You can change the look, add new features or plugins, or make virtually another other changes from one location without writing one sentence of HTML code.

That last sentence is the key – and is the most important thing in today’s digital environment.  You want control over your website and want to be capable of updating, changing or modifying the content without having to pay a designer for each change and without having to learn a new programming language.  WordPress provides you with all the tools you need.

The Process of Building Your Website

Design Process
Every client has different needs and goals.  Some clients do not want to take the time for face-to-face meetings, preferring instead to use skype or other online communications methods.  My goal is to provide services via whichever method best makes use of your limited time.

building a quality website

Step #1 – “So, tell my about your ideal website?”

I need to know what you envision; what you hope to accomplish with your web presence, and your anticipated audience.

Are you selling anything directly from the website?  Are you taking information and referring those leads to sales staff or others depending on various criteria?

What information do you wish to put on the website?  Do you want new and updated information or news?  How often and what will the source be?

How many people within your company will be accessing the site and making changes?

Step #2 – VF20 Designs For You

Design

The design stage typically involves moving the information outlined in the planning stage further into reality.

This is where the visual layout of the website begins to take shape, using information gathered from the client in the planning phase.

Mock-Ups or Draft Sites

We prepare a draft or example site using placeholders and generic images to make sure we are on the right track.  If you approve of the direction we are taking, we begin formalizing the structure and content based on your needs.

Review & Approval Cycle

A cycle of reviewing, tweaking and approving the mock-ups often takes place until (ideally) both the client and VF20 Designs are satisfied with the design. This is the easiest time to make changes.

Step #3 – Project Contract Development

The project contract sums up the information that has been gathered and agreed upon in the previous steps.  This is a crucial element of the process and includes payment terms, project closure clauses, termination clauses, copyright ownership and timelines.

At this time the client is responsible for a payment of 50% of the contract’s total value for VF20 Designs to start design production.
Step #4 – It’s coding time
Development

Development in general encompasses the bulk of the programming work, as well as loading content (whether I do it personally or your staff learns this process).

We suggest someone in your organization be assigned to this process.  It isn’t difficult, has a short learning curve, and will save you money in the long term.

Testing

VF20 Designs performs a full website review using a file manager, and walks through every single page created. Everything from the home page to the submission confirmation page is tested, making sure everything is in working order and that nothing is missed visually or functionally.

Cross-browser viewing (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, iPhone, BlackBerry) is also reviewed in multiple browsers before the next step.

Step #5 – The Soft Launch

At this point the client previews the website on a testing space, in a ‘soft launch’, and before the site goes public. The purpose of the ‘soft launch’ phase is to prepare the website for public viewing. This requires final polishing of design elements, deep testing of interactivity and features and, most of all, a consideration of the user experience.

An important early step in this phase is to move the website, if need be, to its permanent Web server. Testing in the production environment is important because different servers can have different features and unexpected behavior (e.g. different database host addresses).

Polishing

Particularly if you’re scrambling to meet the deadline, polishing a basically completed design can make a big difference. Here, you can identify parts of the website that could be improved in small ways. After all, you want to be as proud of this website as the client is.

Step #6 – The Launch

Business re-enters the picture at this point as VF20 Designs takes care of all the little tasks related to closing the project. Packaging source files, providing instructions for use and any required training occurs at this time.

VF20 Designs always leaves the client informed, and tries to predict any questions that you may have.

You have my word.  I want you to be happy.