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Web Design Procedures

Through the years, we've developed a list of guidelines we use when developing a new web design project. Below, you'll see these guidelines listed so you can familiarize yourself with the procedures we use to develop projects. If you have any questions, please do let us know.

Web Design Procedures

Web Design Procedures

Below are the guidelines that Designs by CM follows for the development of new projects as well as the rebuilding of existing websites. Please review the information below.  If you still have questions, please contact us to clarify any unanswered questions.

Guidelines for Project Design / Re-Design

Experience has shown us that the best websites are produced for the lowest cost when these guidelines are followed:

  • Use email. Email is the most effective method for communicating with us, particularly because it gives both our client and our company a written record.  Be efficient with your emails.  Try to group all your questions/answers into one email message to keep everything as organized as possible.
  • Be clear on what your goals are. Let us know what you want from your website.
  • Decide what content you want to present on your website. We will be in charge of the design and coding of the site.
  • Deliver content to us in an organized and timely manner. Text you submit to us should first be be finalized, proofread by you and ready for publication. Graphics should be named carefully and labeled correctly so that we have no problems in determining which graphic goes with which context. You can email graphics or we can provide you with an FTP site.
  • Offer clear, helpful feedback to design draft(s). Remember that the process consists of only 2 free rounds of revisions from the initial layout you select.
  • Leave it to us to produce a professional website. Be flexible and aware that time is limited.  If you fall behind and cannot produce the items we need from you to finish your project within the indicated time frame, your completion date/time may be extended.
  • We will not produce sloppy, unprofessional, busy designs.  Our goal is to produce a professional, modern, clean and good looking website design ... something we can be proud to display in our portfolio.  If you push us to produce an unprofessional design, that we would not be proud to display in our portfolio, you may be charged an extra fee, since we will not be able to show your site in our portfolio.  Graphics must be clean, neat, modern and professional, and something we are proud to display.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have some common questions that you may have, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  If you cannot find answers to your questions on this page or on the FAQ's page, please contact us so we can answer your questions.

Design Process Steps

Step 1 - Initial Design / Layout Phase:

Once you have selected a design package or approved a custom quote prepared especially for you, and paid the retainer fee, we'll ask you for several items so we can move forward. A design is the color scheme and overall graphical layout of what your new website or re-design will look like ... how it is arranged and such.

The items we'll need from you to prepare your sample design are:

  • Any existing logo that you have or currently use (if any);
  • Any color schemes that you would like to use on your new or re-designed website; and
  • Other websites around the web for which you like the look of ... so we get a visual idea of what you're looking for.

We will also need the name of the domain you are wanting us to purchase on your behalf, and the mailing address and phone number you wish to declare with this domain (if applicable).

When sending the information outlined above, please make sure that you know what you want. It is imperative that you have some idea of the way you want your website to look as we do not provide endless design samples for free. Take your time and determine what you like before you begin this first step of the design process. If we have to prepare more than 3 design samples for you, you may be charged an additional fee for the extra time needed to work up a final design for you.

Once the information outlined above is received by us, we will then prepare a design sample. We may prepare one sample or several, depending on what information you provide and if we think more than one is necessary for your type of project. You will then be presented with a link to the sample(s) for your review. We will work with you to tweak a design that you like.  This process consists of only 2 free rounds of revisions from the initial design/layout you select. Again, just make sure you know what you want before we get started. 

Finalizing and signing off on your design will be completed in this step so that your site can begin to be coded.  No site will be built nor coded until the final design is complete and approved.

Step 2 - Site Content and Navigation:

In this phase of your project, we ask you to provide us with layout of your site. This means that we'll need each page link that you plan to have on your site ... which is also known as the "navigation" of your site. At this time, you should also gather up and forward to us all site content in standard text format, i.e., MS Word file, text file, standard email message, etc. Site content is the information that each page of your site will contain. The content should be well laid out, when sending to us for incorporation, with easy instructions as to what information goes where on your site.

Step 3 - Site Coding and Content Implementation:

In this phase of your project, your site's coding will be implemented and the site fully constructed.  We will create and code all pages of the site, the navigation, and any other coding aspect of your site.  We will place all content that you have forwarded to us on the pages and construct the site in its entirety.  This phase will as well consist of only 2 free rounds of revisions to the content of the site only.

At this point in the development, it is too late to make any changes to the design/layout of the site without incurring additional fees.  This includes changing of any graphics, colors or schemes, or any other change to the design of the site.  By the time we reach this step, you will have been given your 2 free rounds of revisions to the design, and will have approved the design, before the site was built.  If you still decide you want to make a change to your already approved design, and the changes you request are substantial, we may require you to pay the remaining balance on your final invoice before the requested changes will be made, or at least pay 50% of what will become your "new" final balance, due to the changes requested.

Step 4 - Completion of Site:

Upon completion and approval of the site, the final remaining balance on your account is required. All websites remain on our web servers until the account is paid in-full. No domain rights, nor passwords to website hosting nor any other items will be turned over to customer until customer's final invoice is paid in-full.

After Project Completion - Changes/Updates Cost:

For standard text changes, a couple photo additions and deletion, and other minor changes, the rate is $25/hour. For changes to custom PHP programming, a MySQL database, CSS, jQuery or Javascript coding, the rate is $45/hour.

Copyright Information

Websites are not automatically copyrighted and affixing the Copyright symbol to your site without properly obtained authorization from the Library of Congress is illegal.  We will not affix any copyright information to your website until you have obtained authorization for this privilege. You can obtain copyright approval from the Library of Congress on your own using the following information:

Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington DC 20559 (202) 707-3000

Here are some excerpts from the Library of Congress regarding websites:

  • The original authorship appearing on a website may be protected by copyright. This includes writings, artwork, photographs, and other forms of authorship protected by copyright. Procedures for registering the contents of a website may be found in Circular 66, Copyright Registration for Online Works.
  • Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 800-786-9199, for further information. However, copyright protection may be available for logo artwork that contains sufficient authorship. In some circumstances, an artistic logo may also be protected as a trademark.
  • Copyright law does not protect domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that has assumed the responsibility for domain name system management, administers the assignation of domain names through accredited registers.

You can obtain additional information by visiting the Library of Congress's website at: 

Statement of Liability

In no way should you advertise or promote your website or project until it is complete. Completion is defined as the final review of your website/project, and final payment on your account. 

Designs by CM will make every effort to have the project finished by indicated time frame; but in no way will Designs by CM be held liable for any loss of advertisement nor profits to you, nor any third party, for not meeting indicated completion time frame.  Situations beyond our control sometimes affect our being able to work on projects, i.e., winter storms, loss of power, thunderstorms, natural disasters, etc.  The completion time frame is an approximate time and should never be confused with any other meaning.

The entire risk as to the quality and performance of any project provided by Designs by CM rests with you and your ability to maintain the website. In no event will Designs by CM be held liable to the you, nor any third party, for any damages, potential or lost profits, including, but not limited to, service interruptions caused by acts of God, the hosting service or any other circumstances beyond our control; any lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential, punitive, or special damages arising out of the operation of or inability to operate any scripts or custom development; failure of any service provider, or any telecommunications carrier, or the internet backbone, of any internet servers, you or your site visitor's computer or your site visitor's internet software. Any damages done to the coding or site files or project files by you who decides to alter same, shall rest on you and you may be charged an additional fee to restore the files to their original state. By contracting Designs by CM to provide any web-related service, you agree with all terms outlined here.

Designs by CM Main Location:
Near Brookings, South Dakota, USA ... home of South Dakota State University
Other Locations:
Florida, Texas, Minnesota in the USA; London in the United Kingdom

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Responsive Web Design, Database Development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Graphic Design

Designs by CM is an affordable web design company operating out of Elkton, South Dakota, USA. We build custom responsive websites, we build and develop custom databases, we provide search engine optimization services, and we are graphic designers. We not only provide custom web development services to customers in the USA, but we have a strong presence in the United Kingdom and Australia as well. We have also worked in many other countries such as Sweden, New Zealand, Uganda, China, Canada, Mexico and Ireland.

Click here to get a Free Web Design Quote.

Designs by CM is a subsidiary of Purr-fect Creations | Website Extension: Script Store