It really depends on many factors. However, in most cases it takes anywhere from 1 to 3 months including design and programming work. Some of the factors that can add to the development time are database development and integration, custom CMS (Content Management System) implementation, photo editing. As the project progresses and as we need your signoff on various phases of the project the timeliness of your responses also affects our timeline. Static websites for small businesses are the fastest projects for us and usually can be finished within a month.
Prices usually start around $4000.00 and begin increasing as more features are added and necessity of items such as databases and CMS is determined. The more complex the website is, the higher the price will be. All these costs are one time costs. In many cases higher initial costs mean savings in future maintenance. An example would be a website that needs constant updates. Instead of hiring a person to do the difficult updates or outsourcing such tasks you could invest into a content management tool that will cut down on the maintenance time and also allow anyone without technical knowledge to make the updates. Usually, it is good to think of your initial cost as a productivity saving option rather than just an expense. In many cases the benefits you will gain from this investment offset most of the actual cost.
At Quantumline we are very flexible and easy to work with. We can either accept various materials from you or we can fill in any voids for material that you can't provide. We have professional copywriters and photographers that we work with to get us to our goal. Our staff has enough design experience and usability knowledge to be able to either do the entire project on our own or to help guide you in the right direction as well as make suggestions or comments on your
approach. It is our goal to make you successful online because your success means our success.
Typically, we assist our clients in setting up their site with a hosting company of their choice or one they already had. In some cases we recommend a hosting company but we do not host sites ourselves. We also can integrate your email needs into the project whether you have a separate email system or need to setup a new one. While we can assist you in the initial setup of a hosting plan and even domain name registration once the site is launched any technical problems with your server or email should be directed to the hosting company. Of course, we can always act on your behalf, however, keep in mind that in most cases you get free technical support with your hosting provider while we would need to bill you for our time.
This really depends on how your site was developed, what technology it uses and how often you need to make the updates. It also depends on the type of updates you wish to make. For example, adding a photo to a web page may not cost much but adding an entire new article may cost more. Adding the same article with a CMS will most certainly cost less and be faster than doing it without the CMS. If you need to do structural changes to the site it will be even more expensive. One thing to keep in mind is that the way we develop all of our sites focuses on increased productivity for you. Regardless of how complex your website will be, we “templatize” your pages and separate the design from content and functionality. To give you an example, in order to add a new section to your site and a new button that links to that section from your navigation menu, typically we would need to update only one or two files even if your site was made of over a thousand pages. So right away you can see the benefit of paying a little more up front and less in future.
We prefer to get everything for the site in electronic format. Any textual material should be delivered in formats such as Word documents. The reason we ask for this is because we want to be able to simply copy and paste the content into the site. If this is not possible we can also ask you to do the data entry once the site structure is established. If we are to do the data entry for you without the availability of electronic text your cost will be significantly higher.
Another thing to keep in mind is graphics and photographs. With graphics we usually mean logos. If you already have a logo we would prefer to receive it in electronic format and preferably a vector version of it. Chances are that if you have a logo and used it in print, your printer may have it on file so we would need them to send us a copy. If you use any specific font face that is not available for free you will either need to supply it to us or pay for the purchase of such fonts. If you require a new logo we will be glad to design one for you for an additional cost.
Photos that you wish to use for the site need to be delivered in high resolution form that we can use. Typically, we will have to do some photo editing regardless of how good the photos are because at the very least we may need to crop and resize them. Depending on how the photos are used it may involve more costs which would be included in the overall cost. In some cases such as presentation of products on a page we may instruct you on how we would like the photos to be taken. For example, we may need a specific background color. We also have a photographer on staff who can assist. The delivery of any electronic documents can be done either by email or through an FTP site if the files are too big for email. We would provide you with FTP information if necessary.
We first provide you with a set of documents including this FAQ document to help you understand the steps and what's involved. We ask you a lot of questions to give us an idea of what you are looking for. Once you have answered the questions to the best of your ability and have looked through the material we give you, we have an initial meeting either in person or over the phone or the internet where we discuss your answers and make suggestions. We take notes during this meeting. About a week after the meeting we submit a proposal to you with a timeline and a budget.
Once you accept the proposal we begin the project. Depending on the budget we may include 2 or more design revisions. When a new site is designed it is very rare that a designer meets the client's expectations on a very first try. This is why there is at least one revision calculated into the cost. Each design needs to be approved by you and once both sides reach an agreement and the final design is approved the programming phase may begin. During the project, at various stages, we may contact you for additional approvals or to answer specific questions or provide more information or materials. How fast you are able to accommodate our requests will determine how fast we can move on. While static websites for small businesses take much less time, if we have to design a database and integrate it with your site you can almost certainly double the amount of time needed to complete the project. We may also ask you to test the site at various stages of development. We will designate a special password-protected area on our server or possibly on your server if it's a new site and there is access so that you can keep track of the development.
If Quantumline is required to take care of any photo needs or write content we pull in our writer(s) and photographer at the appropriate time. This usually does not affect our overall timeline because we are bale to work on several items concurrently.
As the development approaches the final stages we begin the testing phase which involves, initially, us testing the site, and later, you testing the functionality and approving various components.
Once the site is completed we prepare for deployment into a live environment and launching of the site. We usually try to meet our original target date but often due to various factors beyond our control may not meet the deadline and be slightly off schedule. As the project progresses and we see that we may not be able to meet the target date we will notify you.
We always require an initial deposit in order to begin any work. Under no circumstances will we begin work on any major project without a deposit. Depending on the project size the deposit we require will be equivalent to a third or a quarter of the total cost. You will get two invoices before the project begins. One will be due right away that's the deposit. The second will be due in thirty (30) days. That is the second installment. The reason we submit two invoices to you right away is so that you can plan your second payment and so that we can receive the second payment in a timely fashion. Once we begin the work the initial deposit is not refundable even if you stop the project. It is most likely that a week after your deposit we have started the work and will not refund your deposit. However, in some cases we may be able to give you partial refund depending on the circumstances.
Depending on the project length and the number of payment installments, you will be billed once a month except for the final payment. The final payment is not due until the project is completed and you are satisfied with the deliverables.
You, the client, own all the material we developed or used in the process. We do not prevent you from having access to any of our work. This is beneficial to you in case you wish to do additional work yourself or hire other vendors in future to work on the same project. At your request we can provide you with a CD or DVD that has a copy of all the files we worked on including all the source files. This may include layered Photoshop files, source Flash files, XML documents etc.
Depending on your site complexity you may also get documentation for the site including instructions for making updates.
If training was a part of the initial contract you also get training of staff who may be involved in things like site updates.
The truth is that when you shop around for a design or development firm you will find that the prices range from very cheap to very expensive and the seemingly same website may cost anywhere from $1000 to $35000, for example. We don't hide the fact that we are not the cheapest solution out there, but at the same time we can say that we are one of the very few professional firms that can deliver a top of the line product to you. We can bring countless examples of bad design or beautiful sites that never get found on the search engines. But there are so many hidden aspects that you do not know about that it is impossible to compare these prices and vendors. Instead we can guarantee you that if someone quotes you $1000 for a site that should be worth more than $10000 it's probably too good to be true or you are getting a very unprofessional service and in the end you will need to redo the entire project.
Our approach is to give you fair and competitive pricing commensurate to the level of service and the features and technology used. Every site we develop will not only conform to the most recent standards of web development in various technologies but will also address the following issues:
- Browser compatibility we test your site on over 15 major browsers to ensure it not only looks the same but functions the same on all of them.
- Platform compatibility we also ensure your site performs well on all three major platforms including Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
- Download optimization we ensure all the graphics, photos and other documents on your site including the actual web pages themselves are optimized to load as quickly as possible into the browser.
- Resolution optimization we apply a series of known and proven techniques to the design in order to ensure your site looks and performs well on screens of all sizes.
- Usability when developing a new website we always think of the end user. While it is important to please our clients it is actually more important to satisfy the end user, a visitor to your site. Because each visitor is a potential client for you we want these users to have the best possible experience while on your site. This will ensure a higher return rate and more conversions of potential clients into real customers. To achieve the best results we employ the proven techniques and latest trends on the web.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) since the introduction of search engines to the web the concept of SEO has become its own industry and is now very complex as website owners struggle to get on top of the search results. The truth is that if anyone will promise you that you will rank as number one or be in the top ten, they are lying to you. Not only is it impossible to make such guarantees it is also not possible to guarantee how long you will rank in a certain position even if you do get to enjoy a certain high position for a while. All of our websites are optimized for best possible results on all major search engines. We just include this in your price and pass this benefit on to you. Because we understand how search engines work we incorporate all the necessary optimization from the start. Of course, we will not guarantee you any spot on the rankings but we will also show you what to do to get better results. Our approach to SEO solves only part of the SEO puzzle. There is also work to be done by you and we don't hide this fact from you like many developers do. But you can rest assured that anything we, as a developer, can do to make you rank high, will be included in your site.
A very good question. When dealing with Search engines there are several things to note. First of all it is no longer possible to get top positions for free. There are parts of SEO that you will be responsible for and there are parts of SEO that your developer will be responsible for. There are also paid options for getting top positions. The very first thing to do is to do some research and learn what your industry leaders do to get top positions. This means identifying and researching your competition. Once you see what they are doing it is time to get into the shoes of your customers to try and find out what they may be searching for in order to get them to your site. This is where the keyword research comes into play. First you need to brainstorm and come up with a rough and broad list of keywords and phrases that are important to your business. Then identify the purpose of your website and who your audience is. Once you have all this in place it is time to narrow down the list of keywords to the most important ones and throw away any redundancy.
Once we have the revised list we do a keyword analysis for your industry to see what people in real life actually search for. When we narrow down the list we then optimize for phrases in that list. This also includes keeping your site fresh and writing the web content in a search engine-friendly way as well as exchanging links as much as possible.
Many vendors or developers will tell you that they will submit your site or pages to 100's of search engines. Well, we have to disappoint you. That is simply not the right way to go. Over 85% of the search engine market is owned by three search engines and over 505 is owned by Google alone. So ask yourself, where would you rather be listed, with the three major engines or with a 1000 insignificant ones where almost no one will find you anyway? If done right, SEO will put you where you need to be with the big players and you will not have to worry about getting found. You've come to the right place if you want to get found.
Well, there are several major mistakes that we stay away from and you can be sure will not happen if you hire us to do the work. Firs and one of the biggest ones, is when you see a website that is completely done in Flash. Sites like that are usually very interactive animated and often look very cool. But the problem is they don't get listed on search engines because spiders can't find them. If we are asked to develop a site completely in Flash we normally refuse the job unless the client understands the drawbacks and does not care about the rankings.
The second and nowadays less common mistake is using frames on the site. We also don't use them and discourage them. There was a time when many sites used these but those days are long gone.
The third mistake is the improper usage of database-driven sites. It is really important to know how to develop a good dynamic site and make it search engine-friendly. Fortunately we have that expertise in house.