10:: Design and Development
Proofs, Production, and Deliverables — Proof details specific to your project are outlined in the Proposal. Typically, proofs will be supplied in digital format via email and in PDF or JPEG format. Website design proofs/pages will be presented on a live staging environment. I’ll design your project to the highest of standards using current technologies and best practices, but due to differences in viewing device screens, color processes (i.e., PMS and CMYK for print application, RGB and HEX for digital application and device screen viewing), diversity of print production processes, and differences in applications of design and development software, I can’t guarantee that the actual deliverable or colors will appear or produce exactly as conceptually designed or viewed in a proof.
Website Design and Development — I use third-party services, applications, software, and open source technology for website design and development projects. While every effort is made to ensure deliverables are free of errors, I don’t make any warranty that your website will be error-free or that access will be continuous or uninterrupted. I won’t be responsible or liable, financially or otherwise, for losses incurred and costs and problems arising from malfunctions of the website or any part of it, including where such malfunction is caused by errors made by third parties, changes to third-party software and/or applications (such as updates, upgrades, and bug fixes), updates made by you, or your failure to maintain your website with regular updates and backups.
Website Access and Permissions — For purposes of completing work according to the Proposal, you agree to: provide hosting, domain, social media, and other related account and/or login information as needed; grant me access to your website with rights permissions to all files and directories; grant me access to your hosting provider; and grant me permission to install any necessary WordPress plugins to achieve functionality as outlined in the Proposal and for maintenance and security.
Website Domain Name, Hosting, and Other Third-Party Services — I don’t offer website domain name registration, website hosting, email, or support for these and/or related third-party website services. I may offer service provider recommendations but I won’t be responsible or liable, financially or otherwise, for any product/service purchase/renewal, maintenance, failure, quality of service, and/or losses including, but not limited to, website going offline, service interruptions, limitations of these services, security breaches, and loss of data. I encourage you to research third-party providers to ensure their services will meet your needs. As part of my website design services, I may install and configure a third-party website analytics application on your website known as Google Analytics so that you can track and monitor website traffic for website improvement, search engine optimization, and marketing purposes, but I’m not responsible for monitoring your Google Analytics account and/or providing reports.
Website Design and Development Platforms — Websites are built using WordPress as the Content Management System (CMS) and Divi as the page builder theme framework. Both platforms are industry-leaders that are strongly supported, user-friendly for website owners to manage, highly customizable and scalable to evolve as your needs change, and search-engine friendly out of the box. To ensure these platforms meet your needs, I encourage you to learn more about them by visiting their websites and to confirm with your website host provider that they support WordPress websites. Additional third-party plugins might be installed on your website to extend its functionality and to meet your project needs.
- WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to edit, add, and delete pages and blog posts, text, images, and more.
- Divi is an all-purpose WordPress theme framework and front-end visual page builder. Divi extends the functionality of WordPress and is virtually unlimited in the types of websites it can build.
- A plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website to extend the functionality and add new features to a website. Divi comes feature-packed out-of-the-box, but adding plugins for things like marketing, social media, security, performance, and SEO can really add value to the visitor’s experience.
Website Optimization for Search Engines — I’ll implement basic on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to ensure your website is SEO-friendly and visible to search engines. These strategies include designing your website to provide a great user experience (UX); building your website on WordPress and Divi, which are SEO-friendly platforms; optimizing your images and pages with page titles, page descriptions, and media tags; installing and configuring the Yoast SEO plugin that includes XML sitemap creation and submission to search engines; setting up Google Search Console used in conjunction with the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure your website is indexed properly by search engines and also used to improve and optimize your website for search engines; and setting up Google Analytics to help you better understand your visitors and website performance to help in your ongoing SEO efforts. I don’t provide comprehensive or advanced SEO services and strategy and make no representations or guarantees that work delivered will increase traffic to your website or improve website search rankings or positioning.
Website Testing on Browsers and Devices — I’ll make every effort to design a website that ensures a visitor’s experience is appropriate to current browsers and devices it’s being viewed on and will test work for compatibility in current versions of major browsers and desktop, notebook, tablet, and mobile devices, but can’t guarantee and won’t be liable, financially or otherwise, for correct functionality and/or website pages displaying correctly across all browsers and devices, current or future. I don’t test in older, outdated browser versions, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, which is no longer updated by Microsoft so I can’t predict your website’s behavior or guarantee its functionality. Compatibility is defined as all critical elements of each page being viewable in these browsers and on these devices.
Website Accessibility — I’ll implement basic design and development best practices in effort to design a website that is accessible to potential visitors with diverse needs, including disabilities, but can’t guarantee, and won’t be liable for, financially or otherwise, that your website will be accessible by all visitors with disabilities. For a comprehensive accessibility-compliant website, I recommend consulting with an accessibility expert and can recommend professionals in this area.
Website Support — I’ll provide email and phone support for 14 business days after your website goes live. I encourage you to use this time to become familiar with your website, its functionality, and uploading content. Support is limited to the troubleshooting and fixing of items/content/functionality as specified in the Proposal. Issues reported after this timeframe, or additional support requests after the 14 business days, will be billed at my current hourly rate.
Website Training — Unless otherwise specified in the Proposal, I’ll provide up to 4 hours of training on how to make basic text and image updates to your content within WordPress and the Divi theme. Please note, though, that many structural and design elements require an advanced knowledge of markup and coding to perform. Training does not include general WordPress or Divi tutorials or support. If you’re unfamiliar with these platforms and want to learn more, I recommend you check out LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda), Udemy, and Elegant Themes Divi Documentation for tutorials on the topics that are most relevant to you.
Website Care — In my experience, website owners lose control of their websites very quickly by not properly caring for and maintaining them. WordPress, Divi, and plugins are always being updated with new version releases to address bug fixes, security issues, and changes/improvements to product and functionality. Updates are important and not keeping your website updated can make it vulnerable to security, performance, and SEO issues. I offer a website care plan for a quarterly fee which includes the following services performed each quarter: updating WordPress, Divi, and functionality plugins to their latest versions; maintaining security features and scanning for malware and other security breaches; checking for broken links; clearing cache to ensure the most up-to-date web pages are displayed to visitors; cleaning spam comments in blogs (if applicable); confirming backups are running within your host provider; and simple troubleshooting and fixes.