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Web Site Development: Why you need a comprehensive plan, and How you go about it

August 21, 2007

"How much would you have charged for this site?"

Pause. No quick answer for that question. That question deserved an hour's answer, or none. Pricing a web site is no simple matter, though it will always cost more and take longer than the client expects, or an inexperienced designer anticipates.

Though I like to keep meetings with clients fairly informal and free-flow, I realized that I do work through a mental checklist. The first hour is free - I get a good sense of what my client wants, I ask questions, and I make notes. I get specific. I make more notes.

At an hour I stop. I summarize; I tell the client how much time I expect it will take to develop a comprehensive plan with detailed specifications. I will discuss an hourly rate for as much fact-gathering, meeting, planning, research and writing as it will take to develop a comprehensive Web Site Development Plan.

The client may walk - and if they do, they'll at least have a sense of scope. A more realistic idea of what's possible, and what isn't. And once they've been burned by someone more sloppy or less scrupulous, they may well come back.

If they agree: they get a very sound development plan. With realistic projections. They may or may not be interested in having you develop their site - it will seem far more complex than they ever anticipated, and it will cost far more than they hoped or expected. But if they stay with you, you've set the ground for a very positive, satisfying relationship. Both of you know exactly what you're building: how it looks, how it works, what it delivers. Far fewer arguments, far less resentment over time spent or costs incurred. And ultimately, both you and the client will have the product you both envisioned.

This article, necessarily, has two parts:

Yahoo Search Submit Basic: do you or don't you?

July 17, 2007

Google's great, but many sites have trouble getting included in the Yahoo search directory, or are getting so few hits from Yahoo that there's little difference. But you want the traffic - Yahoo has the third-highest Search Engine usage in the world.

Yahoo offers several URL submission/promotion programs. Yahoo Search Submit Basic is the most basic version: for a flat fee of $49 per URL per year, your links appear in Yahoo's search results. It seems a no-brainer, but is it worth the cost?

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Find the perfect image: 2,500,000 royalty-free stock photographs

July 16, 2007

You need an image - that perfect image - for whatever reason. You know you don't have it. And you need it, well, by yesterday.

Google Images or other Search Engines don't turn up the image you want - and these images aren't yours to begin with. They're copyrighted; you can't just borrow them.

Fortunately, that perfect image is available. Often for free, or for a very nominal fee. Royalty-free stock image sites provide a wealth of images, usable under a variety of licenses. Our three favorite stock image sites host over 2,500,000 images between them, and you're likely to find what you need within minutes.

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