“What do you need to begin working on our website?”

To develop a new website for you, I need to know exactly what you want it to be able to do. We can communicate via email or phone for free, or if you prefer I can meet with you for an in-person consultation (Salt Lake County and Utah County as far south as Provo).

To work up a proposal and contract for you I need:
A list of all the desired features.
A detailed description, and/or mockups of your vision.
The text for the website — or indication that you want me to use the text on your existing website, if any.
The images (a logo, a staff photo, product photos, etc.) and other multimedia for the website. The higher the resolution of the images, the better.

To begin working on your project I will need:
A signed contract (derived from the proposal I provide)
Access to your hosting account (username and password) or FTP and PhpMyAdmin access/credentials.
(If you do not have a host I can assist you in setting one up)
For WordPress websites I need administrator credentials
In some cases I may need access to your domain account (username and password)
(If you do not have a host I can assist you in setting one up)


“What is the difference between a developer and a designer?”

More often than not my clients think a developer and a designer are one in the same, this could not be further from the truth. A designer will design, or create, the visual aspects of your site from scratch. Usually they work with software programs, drawings and mock-ups. Well trained designers can throw together colors and shapes onto a blank slate and have you believing your brand was born to look like that. But that is where design stops, there is no coding, building or actual web site involved, a designers job is all about how your site will LOOK. The pretty stuff, like putting on makeup. If you need to brand your business, a good designer is worth their weight in gold!! Think about all the logos you recognize without actually seeing the company name in it, that is thanks to a good designer.

A developer on the other hand takes all the mockups from the designer, as well as a detailed list of the clients needs, and they make it happen. Developers code the website. Despite popular belief websites are not made with a Photoshop-like program, they are coded, with words, words that most human beings do not understand. A developer must absolutely be able to look at the code of a website and fully understand it, if your developer can’t do anything outside a CMS, (like WordPress), you should run. There is NOTHING wrong with WordPress, it is in fact my favorite CMS, and I even teach clases on it, but developers that use only WordPress understand nothing when it comes to programming languages and the code that actually makes up your site. These kind of developers are sort of like landscapers that come to your home and add grass and flowers and call it a job done but have no clue how to put in sprinklers, drains or grades…. You can imagine how this might be problematic. A developer should be able to build a website, with all the bells and whistles, from scratch, using code, like PHP or C++.
Ask your developer what programming languages they can develop in, if all they say is HTML and CSS, or WordPress, go find yourself a better developer, you will be so glad you did!!


“I am on a budget and can not afford a designer and a developer, what do you recommend?”

First you should look at your needs. Do you need a basic, static website? Something that has zero functionality, and just acts as an online ad for your brand? If so, your money is probably best spent with a designer. If you need anything above a static website, it is crucial to have a developer that knows what they are doing. Coding a website is no easy task, and a novice may have been able to master html easily, but programming languages are complicated, you need someone that knows what they are doing. I can not tell you how many of my past clients were burned by designers that claimed they could “do it all”. If you can only afford a developer, there are plenty of great templates you can use for your design, I can absolutely assist you in the design phase. I encourage clients to get ideas from other websites and then we can sit down and pick a design that feels right.


“I have seen companies that advertise website builders, some are even free, why should I hire a developer instead?”

First thing is first, the company offering you this service owns your website. They can limit what you are able to do with your website and most likely they will eventually want you to start paying for their service, likely at very inflated rates. Owning your website is important, it means no one can tell you what you can and can not do with your own site. If you want any sort of shopping cart, member area, or other functionality, it is in your best interest to avoid web builder companies. You might be thinking, “All I want is a basic website and maybe a contact form” It is likely the company providing your site will start charging you if you get more than a few contact form entries, or if you want to use more than a specified amount of space on their server. You will likely get a domain name that is part of their name, like www.someonelseswebsite.yoursite.com and if you want your own domain name they will charge you an arm and leg for it. They will probably put advertisements on your site, of which you have no control over….. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t fall for the marketing gimicks that promise you a website for free or cheap, it will only be a major headache in the end. Owning your website is like owning a home, only much more affordable! A domain costs about $10 per year and a hosting account can be had for as little as $5 per month. Then you are free to do what you want with your site, the sky is the limit, with a good developer your website can be whatever masterpiece you can think up. More importantly you have no landlord telling you what you can or can not do, or trying to raise the rent!

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