Things you need to know

We want the web design process to be as simple as possible for you. Here we set out what we expect from you and what you can expect from us.

 
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies for visitor analytics. More Info I understand

Introduction

We want the web design process to be as simple as possible for you. And we also want to make sure that your new website does exactly what you want and works perfectly. You are spending a significant amount of money on a new website and we want you to be completely happy with it. In order for this to happen it’s important that we all know what to expect and when.

Having said that, we don’t want to bombard you with pages and pages of legal terminology. So instead of standard Ts & Cs we decided that it was far better to just set out what you can expect from Benchmark Web Design, and what we need you to do, in straightforward terms. Better? We think so.

Who’s Who?

To keep things nice and simple, throughout this document you will be referred to as ‘you’, we will be referred to as ‘we’ and the project you have asked us to do is the ‘project’!

Before we start

Before your project gets under way we will sit down with you to make sure we understand exactly what you want your site to do, and how you would like it to look. We will then make our own suggestions based on experience and good practice.

Once we are all in agreement, we will give you a proposal to summarise the scope, timescale and cost of the project. Assuming this is all acceptable we will ask for a deposit (usually 50%) before we start work.

Getting started

Firstly, you will need to designate one individual who will be the primary contact for the project. This will prevent confusion and conflicting information causing delays.

The design process may include the use of written content and images. Depending on what material you have available, we will either amend and update existing content, or start from scratch. This will be outlined in the project proposal we send you, together with any cost implications for new content or imagery. If you are providing us with existing images and content we will usually require this before the project starts. We plan projects to run to specific schedules and waiting for information causes us hold-ups that can add to the final cost of the project. That said, we understand that in the real world, things don’t always go to plan, so flexibility on both sides is also important.

Any material or content that you provide should be appropriate, lawful and unlikely to cause offence. We are pretty thick-skinned but if we think that something shouldn’t be included, we will tell you and explain why. We will also assume that you either own or have the right to use any images or content that you supply us with. It is your responsibility to make sure you are allowed to use any content or images you provide.

During the project

Once the initial visual designs have been built in to the site you will have the opportunity to review these. This will make sure that the design is what we agreed and allow for some minor tweaks. Do bear in mind though that it is not always possible to exactly match the original design due to the way internet browsers render the site, and that it simply isn’t possible to specify every last detail. Sometimes we will use our judgement to provide the best solution, however we will make sure that the site design is as close to the original as possible.

During the project there will be queries that arise and it is particularly important that we get quick responses to key questions regarding features and functionality. This helps the project to run smoothly and ensures that the flow of work isn’t interrupted.

We design all of our sites to be seen by the largest audience possible. We therefore guarantee that they will function correctly on the latest, stable versions of the most popular current desktop browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, together with mobile browsers including Safari and Chrome. It is not possible to design for every version (in particular older or historic versions) of each browser so we concentrate on the ones that the vast majority of people use.

Checking and testing

Before the site goes live we will give it a thorough check over and a rigorous test. We will also ask you to do the same. This is everyone’s chance to make sure that the functionality performs as expected, the content is correct and the site works perfectly. Ultimately though, the final responsibility to ensure that the site is correct falls to you, the client.

Handover

Once the site has been checked and tested we will get it live for you and ensure that it can be seen by Search Engines. If you have asked us to undertake a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Google AdWords campaign for you as part of the project, this will start now.

All of our sites are individually designed within WordPress, a widely used framework that incorporates a really simple content management system. We believe that you shouldn’t be charged an arm and a leg every time you want to change some text or images on your website. You should be able to do it yourself and a content management system makes this possible. Most of the content on your site can be easily amended — however there are certain elements that are built in to the design and will need to be changed by us.

Upon handover we will walk you through the system so you know exactly what you can change and how, and we’re always here for you if you need to double check anything (covered by your monthly support fee — see below).

Bugs, glitches and usage

With the best will in the world, it’s always possible that the site might have the odd glitch that requires fixing. As you would expect, we will accept full responsibility for any errors, bugs or glitches in the original site design and solve them as soon as possible.

Managing content such as changing images and text can be done by you using the robust content management system. It is virtually impossible to ‘break’ the website whilst doing this. However we will also make sure that there are controls in place to protect the site from accidental damage.

Extras

Every project we undertake is different. Some clients already have a website and just need it refreshed. Others are starting from scratch and need help buying a domain name, sorting out hosting and setting up emails. The requirements of your project will be specified in the initial proposal and priced accordingly.

In our experience though, sometimes the project specification can change during the course of the process, or clients can assume that something is included when it isn’t. We will happily make minor alterations to the brief, however major changes in specification may attract an additional charge. Rest assured though we will always discuss the likely cost implication for your approval before undertaking any changes.

Domain names and hosting

To make things as straightforward as possible, we can assist you in the purchase of your domain name should you not already own one. Do remember though that you will be responsible for renewing your domain name registration in the future. We will arrange and provide the web hosting for you as part of the project since this ensures that we can create a completely stable environment for your website. It also means that on the rare occasion of a problem arising, you only need deal with us and in turn we can fix things quickly.

Design credit

In order to keep our prices as competitive as possible, we like to put a small design credit at the bottom of your website. This simply lets visitors know who designed the site and is a promotional opportunity for us. This is common practice in web design.

Completion of the site

Once all of the design and development work is done, the site may not look ‘finished’ even though it is functionally complete. This can be due to missing content, images or product uploads that you haven’t done yet, or promotional panels and features that you haven’t decided upon. We deem the project to be finished once all agreed processes, functionality, layout, navigation and integration is completed; not when all content has been added and the site is published. This is due to the fact that the actual uploading and amendment of product information and related content, and the speed at which this occurs, is often your responsibility and outside of our control.

Ongoing maintenance and hosting charges

In order to make sure that your site works exactly the way it should at all times, we charge a small monthly fee that covers:

  • Site hosting
  • Maintenance of eCommerce platform (if applicable)
  • Maintenance of content management platform
  • Maintenance of site security
  • Training and support of content management system
  • Updates to support new browser and operating system releases

The amount of maintenance required varies from site to site — we will confirm our monthly support and hosting charge for your site in our initial proposal.

Payment

As previously mentioned, once our initial proposal has been approved we will ask for a 50% deposit before we start work. We will then complete the project within the scope of this proposal. The project is deemed to be completed once all design and functionality is in place. At this point we will invoice you for the outstanding 50% and payment should be made within 7 days of the invoice date.

If you change your mind about continuing with the build of the site at any time, you will only have to pay for the work undertaken to that point. You are under no obligation to pay the full project amount if the work has not been completed. However, we will not give refunds against work that has been carried out.

Maintenance and hosting fees will commence on the 1st of the month following completion.

In the unlikely event that there is a dispute over any issue relating to the website design, and monies owing are withheld as a result, we reserve the right to suspend the website.

To conclude

We have tried to keep this as simple as possible, whilst making it clear exactly what you can expect during the course of the project. If you are unsure about anything, or would like further information about your project, please do get in touch with us. We’re here to help.