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  1. #1
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    Does anyone have suggestions as to what steps a succesfull freelance web design project should entail? I have a few projects under my belt, but they all went way over budget for me, and I ended up spending much more time on the projects that what I was getting paid for.

    Can you guys share your thoughts on what has worked for you? Perhapse a a good list of deliverables or a project timeline?

    Here's my rudimentary process...Comments/suggestions/corrections?

    1. Client chooses plan (number of pages, number of graphics, etc.)
    2. Client signs contract and pays half of bill.
    3. Account is created with web hosting company and Domain name registry.
    4. Client chooses design from 3 or 4 options.
    5. Copy is generated by client and given to designer
    6. Site is built.
    7. Site is uploaded.
    8. Client pays rest of bill.

    Any thoughts?



  3. #2
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Simple enough, yes.
    I'm curious though, when you have your initial consultate with the client, you should be able to get enough info to do just one design..........then go back and make the necessary changes.
    With 3 or 4 options, that seems like time wasted.
    The other issue is time line. It really depends on your workload, skill and availability. Most clients don't blink at a 2-3 week turnaround and if you can fulfill that deadline each time, you should be fine.
    I think your layout is to the point, simple and realistic. Now it is a matter of getting the clients.
    Good luck....

  4. #3
    Senior Member Shani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    How many unique layouts do you use?

    I have a very different method, which allows for any number of pages, no "plans." Basically, I break stuff down like this: graphics, basic coding, advanced coding. Graphics includes everything from logo design to photo editing to optimization. I have found some clients already have these things, so of coures, I wouldn't charge them unless I have to alter it somehow.

    I generally ask for a down payment of a round number based on the scope of the project. Basically 25-30% if I've estimated well. From there I go into a planning phase (not always necessary for smaller sites, but if it's 20+ pages, I'd highly suggest it). Here I develop a detailed site map and nomenclature, and organize all the files.

    At this point we sit down and determine the exact cost and a timeline. Client pays whatever is left to make it 50%. Then I do the layout for the homepage. This may take some tweeks, but once it's approved, we move into development. Then I create an internal page. Now I go find as many computers and test test test. (25% payment). The final part before uploading is duplicating the internal page and changing the information. Link testing, form testing, etc. Delivery & final payment.

    Obviously this is not a very complicated method, and it needs modifications for "Extras" like Flash & graphics. It's very flexible, though. I guess the 25-25-25-25 is better for large sites, but smaller ones I'd go 50/50.

    Also, in reference to the timeline, I'm like a postal service, if you want it done faster, you have to pay more.

    I have an eye for detail like you'd never believe.

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