Getting it right
Reflecting your wishes online.
It’s all about the people
I have come to believe that creating a website is a truly intimate matter. Like dancing, in some ways. I know how long customers may debate with themselves before they open themselves enough to allow someone else to see their dream, their vision, expose their emotions and ideas about how they view their own venture, to some designer or developer they do not even know.
I love people.
This is why in this work my first and foremost focus is the relationship with the customers, truly listening to them, to all they have to say. Because after I am done with their website, they will be left with it, they shall visit and operate it daily and… they should feel the website reflects exactly what they wanted it to reflect, what they envisioned. This has no price tag, one cannot estimate it in the number of minutes required.
Each website is
special and unique
Even if some parts of many websites may have a similar look,
they are all as special and unique as their owners.
Contact and connection
First and foremost, we need to understand what type of website is required and whether ‘Maof Dvora’ can provide the service which would satisfy the customer’s needs. If I cannot – I would do my best to recommend someone who can. At this time, we need to determine:
- whether it is a new website or an upgrade/move/redesign of an existing one;
- for upgrades it is important on which platform the website operates now (WordPress, WIX, Drupal, Joomlah, some other blogging base or altogether different), what would a move to WordPress entail, which would be the best fit and why;
- how well the customer knows WordPress and website operation in general;
- what service and niche the website targets;
whether the site is personal or commercial, i.e. including sales or even a shop or just marketing;
- and other general information.
Preparation for meeting
The customers are asked to prepare their “homework” – to consider and specify, as clearly as they can at this point, what they want:
- the type and scope of the website – as precisely as possible: what the customer expects to see, what the visitors would see;
- the important functions needed on the website – user registration; regular newsletter; events calendar; website network; interface languages; picture galleries; audio and video; article and document libraries; connection to social networks; blog etc.;
- the visitors’ roles on the website (contributing to article writing, for example);
- the existence of a shop or a sales page;
- the need for creating the graphic design or incorporate an existing design;
- the type of website the customer likes – “I want one like that”;
- the atmosphere the customer wants to create, which would be reflected for the visitors.
This may prove challenging for the customer, but in the long run – it makes the process more precise and improves the ability to find the right fit and achieve satisfaction.
The key to satisfaction lies in preparation.
The better we may define the site parameters and energy
the better it will reflect the intended spirit.
We go over all of the above and define the website. All kinds of questions come up during the conversation, and we go in detail through the examples the customers bring of what they like, determining:
- the customer’s level of command of the English language, to see just how much translation to Hebrew needs to be done, if at all;
- the readiness and accessibility of the content, the order, and person to upload it;
- whether a domain and hosting service were chosen, or need to be procured;
- whether a pro version of the theme and/or some of the functions is required, to include more advanced features, better suited for the site needs;
- the customer’s proficiency in website management, to determine how much training and maintenance is required and expected after the site is built;
- the estimated level of support expected after the completion of the project (it is always possible to tailor a support package to both sides’ satisfaction and benefit);
- the level of customer’s understanding of website promotion and SEO, as well as social media interface;
- prioritizing the customer’s requirements and requests: some are a must, some – it would be nice to have… (anything is possible, it all depends on the customer’s budget and time frame).
The goal is for the customers to become self-reliant and independent, thus ‘Maof Dvora’ invests a bit more in their training, to ensure they may manage their own websites on their own, and make some basic maintenance operations of SEO, newsletters etc. The level of literacy and expected independence will define the level of simplicity needed, to allow for the self-management. Sometimes this puts limitations on some functions, or on the choice of plugins and functions to use.
The pricing is estimated according to the above definition of the customer’s requirements and expectations for the website. Each requirement is estimated in the time needed to carry out the setup if all goes more or less smoothly, plus a bit for surprises. As they say, life is what happens to us while we are busy making plans. Surprises and changes as we go along are a natural part of life, and sometimes some obstacles can only be truly seen when we actually get to them.
I am self-employed, thus Israeli customers are to add VAT, but this is, as you understand, not mine.
After the estimate is sent to the customer, either it is approved, rejected or – the time comes to prioritize, to an extent, what to include and what not to. In short, a typical negotiation, to achieve maximum satisfaction. On both sides.
לקריאה ב: עברית