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Web Design Checklist

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Prospective customers often request a consultation for the development of a new or existing web site without a clear idea of what is involved. The following web design checklist will help you determine just what your needs are, and what areas to consider prior to requesting a consultation and price quote.

1. What is the purpose of your site? - You should determine the purpose of your web site prior to planning the layout and design phases. A web site may be for personal or commercial use. The site may serve primarily as an information resource or "online" business card. A web site may also be designed to serve as a commercial outlet by offering products and services online. If this is the case, you should consider what level of E-commerce you intend to conduct through your site (more on this later...).

2. Do you have a domain name registered? - A domain name is an internet address such a  Domain name registration charges vary from about $42-$72 for two years. Registration can be completed through a variety of providers, including Blue Crescent Technologies.  If you do not have a domain name registered prior to requesting a consultation, you should select at least two names that meet your needs. As a rule of thumb... you should try to find a name that is meaningful and easily remembered (also easily entered without misspelling). The shorter the name, the better as long as you are not sacrificing "meaning" in the process. Finally... if you do have a domain name registered, please note where it is currently hosted (or parked) in your consultation request.

3. Do you currently have a web site? - If you are requesting a re-design of an existing web site, please provide the URL so that we may get a better understanding of what type of content you intend to offer. Please provide the name of the web host for your existing site as well. We will need to know what account features you have access to prior to developing your web site (CGI for instance). If you do not currently have a web site, it is often helpful if you provide the URLs to one or more web sites that offer "similar" services and content to what you intend to offer on your own site.   Blue Crescent Technologies also has a great line of customizable website templates via our Design Center.

4. If so, where is your site hosted? - Please consider our Web Management Services. We offer substantial discounts to design clients. However, if our services do not meet your needs, we will help you find one that does!

5. Do you have a LOGO? - Do you have an existing company logo or trademark that you want incorporated into your new site design?  If so, do you have the original graphic files on hand?  If not, a custom designed logo can be developed as part of your project via one of our excellent graphics partners.

6. How many graphic images will you need? - Many sites integrate existing photos in digital format. These are sometimes used to display products, company employees, or the facilities themselves. For personal sites, family photo albums can often be developed online. In requesting a consultation, it is helpful to know how many images you have planned for your new site. If you intend to use any existing images from a current web site, it is important to note that in your consultation request as well.

7. How many pages of content do you have? - This question can often be difficult to estimate. Think of your prospective site in "outline" form... that is, if you had to write an outline for how the site would be structured, what would it look like? You should start with main menu items and work your way down into sub-menus. By doing this, you can get an approximation of how many pages the finished project will require. As an example, consider the following rough outline:

     - Our Founder
     - Company History
     - Widgets
     - Gizmos
     - Whatzits
     - Thingamajigs
     - Request a replacement
     - Look up a part number
     - Request service
     - Phone List
     - E-mail Form
     - FAX info

From this example, you can estimate approximately 19 pages for the project. It is very helpful if you are able to provide an outline similar to this in your consultation request.

8. Do you intend to conduct E-commerce on your site? - If you will be conducting any kind of business on your site, you should consider just what level of business you intend to conduct. For instance, if you intend to offer a catalog of products online, you should decide if you want to process orders entirely over the Internet or if you wish to simply "take" orders online and process them in your store.

There are benefits and costs associated with both. In order to completely process orders online, accepting all forms of payment (credit cards and checks mainly), you will almost certainly need a merchant account. There are a wide range of providers that you can obtain an account from. On an average, you can expect the following expenses in setting up your merchant account (these are third party vendor fees, they are NOT fees we charge you): - Account application fees ranging from $135-$800 - Possible "in store" equipment purchases for processing transactions $350-$450 - Monthly Statements at approximately $10 - Per transaction fees between .20 - .30 cents - Bank charges for processing the electronic charges - Monthly minimum service charges of between $20-$30 - Service fees of 3-10 % of each transaction

** Please note that these are broad averages in price. For the best available rates, you should research the providers for your best rate. Other less costly options include processing payments via Internet checks or simply taking orders online via a secure Internet connection and processing them offline in your store, using your existing processing systems. Finally, if you do intend to offer a range of products online, please describe the product line in terms of # of items, photo requirements, and how often the product line will change.

9. Do you require any non-standard features? - These include "Flash" introductions, custom CGI or Java scripting, database development, or other "unique" features. If so, please provide as much detail as possible regarding those needs in your consultation request.

10. Do you intend to maintain the web site yourself? - Upon completion of your project, we offer 30 days of free site maintenance for minor changes and revisions. These include changing links, contact information, and text changes of a paragraph or less. After the initial 30 days, Blue Crescent Technologies does offer our Web Maintenance Services. For those comfortable with HTML, the final project can be edited by the customer as they see fit. Please note that errors created by a customer "self editing" their site are NOT covered in the initial 30 days of free support.

Answering these questions will provide a strong foundation for determining the structure and requirements of your web site. Please answer all of these items to the best of your ability. If you have any additional questions or information to offer, please include them in your consultation request. Once again, thank you for considering our services.

We hope that this checklist has been helpful and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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