Working Together on Your Website
We are pleased to work with you on building and maintaining your website. Thank you for choosing Interactive Media Consulting!
We’ve assembled this document to help with website “care and feeding” questions that our clients often ask us. Please let us know any questions you may still have after reviewing this.
Our Customer Commitment
IMC strives to provide timely and friendly service for all our customers. With that in mind, we have developed the following processes to advance major scheduled projects with minimal delays, while still striving to provide timely turnaround for smaller updates or immediate needs.
Our process is to schedule the majority of the week with our larger projects, leaving the remaining time for smaller projects and update requests. We have regular status meetings to discuss progress on current projects and requests for new projects or updates. Completion dates are communicated to our clients after these meetings.
For large website projects, such as custom web-based applications or the creation of new websites, we will advise you of a timeline related to your project, and update you weekly regarding any changes to the schedule. The most successful projects occur when we meet our deadlines and you meet yours. When you provide us with your feedback, corrections, and data according to the timeline we agree to in advance, we promise to complete our work for you on time.
- IMC will do everything possible to meet project deadlines provided to our customers in advance. If necessary, we will work overtime, at no additional charge to meet these dates.
- If the necessary information or content is not supplied to IMC by the date agreed upon, the project will be rescheduled following receipt of the information. The project may be re-prioritized so as not to conflict with other dates already promised to other customers.
If you are thinking about an update or need to meet a specific deadline, please contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss the options available. We give our honest assessment regarding the work involved in each request. Some items that seem like they would be a quick update could actually be fairly complicated, while other items that may seem complicated could be quite simple. Give us a “heads up” and we’ll all be better prepared.
Given the significant increase in “immediate need” requests and resulting scheduling delays, we have added a dedicated customer support person to our staff and have instituted the following policies to make sure everyone is treated equitably and fairly.
- Updates to written content, photos, etc. will be scheduled at our regular Monday morning status meetings. We guarantee it will take no more than 5 business days from receipt to completion.
- Updates to scripts or databases can often be more complex than they appear, and they are therefore quoted in advance of our doing the actual programming. Upon written acceptance of the quote (email acceptable), IMC will schedule the project and communicate the projected dates after the next status meeting.
- “Immediate need” updates that require tasks to be completed within 2 business days or less will be evaluated. If the timeframe is possible, given the technological requirements of the request, a 25% rush charge will be added to the invoice to cover the overtime necessary to complete the task. Some requests are simply not possible, given the scope of the request. That information will be communicated back to the client and a realistic completion date discussed.
- “Immediate need” updates that require work to be completed between 5pm Friday and 8:30am Monday or over a holiday will incur a 50% rush charge.
You can contact us after hours via text message. Please reserve this for true emergencies only as the message is forwarded to the personal cell phone of a staff member who may or may not be in a place with immediate computer access. This should be used to report immediate information about unusual problems that we can address via cell phone (i.e. contacting technical support if your website is down).
The way to reach us in an emergency is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Content” is the information you provide on your site. It includes text, images, videos, and anything else presented to your site’s visitors. To reduce the amount of time necessary to complete an update or build out a new site, we have found the following content management procedures work best:
- Please send original content and all changes to us electronically. We can accept a wide range of files (Excel, Word, PDF, etc.)
- If it is a simple change, you can put it in an email. (Please be clear in your subject line that the email contains site update information.)
- If you would like to fax a marked-up copy to accompany the changes, please feel free. Our fax number is 518-584-5218.
- When you only provide us with a paper copy of your content, we must re-type everything. This is time-consuming and requires that we then proofread the content carefully for any errors, adding significantly to the time necessary to complete the task.
- Be as clear as you can regarding what needs to be done.
- Please mark updated documents so we know what has changed. For example, change the color of the text or highlight it. Or, give us some other type of clear instruction as to what we need to do.
- If we don’t have instructions otherwise, we will replace the content on the page with the content in the document. While this process is fast, it introduces a larger margin for typos and other errors and slows us down as more proofreading is necessary. We also often need to clean up the copy to remove coding that some word processing programs add automatically; this is why we prefer to replace only what is necessary.
- For image or video files:
- Please save files with relevant file names (i.e. JoeSmith.jpg is much easier for us to work with than DSC10983.jpg).
- Images do not need to be more than 100 dpi for online use. We are happy to resize images so they fit the space available. If there are any questions, it is always better to send us a larger, higher-resolution image as it can be reduced. It is much harder to increase the size of a small, low-res image.
- Please tell us what pages you would like images on (i.e. JoeSmith.jpg should go on the About Us page).
We review the changes as they are received and try to ask questions then. Sometimes, however, the questions are not evident until we get into the work. We hope for quick turnaround when asking questions so that we can complete your update in a timely manner.
We are able to offer Quick Sites as a less-expensive alternative to custom-designed websites because we use templates and provide minimal customization on the website. To help keep the costs low, we need to keep to the following:
- Quick Sites include no more than 10 content pages. (For example: Home page, About Us, News, Products, Testimonials, Contact.) You need to supply us with the written text and images for these pages. If you need assistance in developing your content and determining what to say and show, we can help you with that for an additional fee.
- Please make sure that the overall organization of your site (navigation links/page names) and any content you provide to us have already received the necessary approvals at your organization.
- Quick Sites include include your logo and additional images (up to 3). These can either be provided by you or we will obtain suitable “stock” images from an online photo resource. Please provide an electronic copy of your logo, if at all possible.
- Quick Sites include a few standard page elements that appear on ALL pages. These include the header at the top of the page, the navigation links, the vertical “sidebar” column on the right side, and the page footer at the base (where we typically include your contact information). In thinking about the graphics and information that make up these spaces, be sure to choose things that will make sense when they appear on every page of your website.
- You will have the opportunity to review the site and make one round of text or image changes at that time. Please note: additional content or image changes after this review period will be billed at our regular website update rate. (If you send us approved text and images for the first round, you can use this review stage to improve the visual impact of your pages, which might include swapping an image, reducing text, or adding a few sub-headings, etc.)
- Quick Sites use standard WordPress tools to achieve some functions. We do not usually customize how those tools (called “plug-ins”) are displayed on the website. That means we cannot change the alignment, the font, the spacing, etc. Customizing plug-ins is available and invoiced at our scripting rate.
IMC strives to make all websites display well for current versions and at least one previous version of the following browsers on their available Mac and PC platforms:
- Internet Explorer
We also build mobile style sheets so that websites can be viewed more easily on mobile devices. Each browser and mobile device has its own way of interpreting page layout and while we use World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) compliant coding practices, each browser or device may display the web site slightly differently from another.
Internet Explorer is a special case. Currently no two versions of Internet Explorer being used (versions 6-10) display pages the same way. While we have supported Internet Explorer 6 in the past, its market share has continued to drop to just over 5% of internet traffic (source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_explorer.asp). Currently, Internet Explorer 8 is the approved version for Windows XP and Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 and 8. Based on this information, we stopped automatically supporting Internet Explorer 6 beginning November 1, 2010. Internet 7 compatibility was discontinued in September, 2013. If you need IE 6 or 7 compatibility, we can accommodate your need, but there will be an additional charge to do so.
We can register your primary domain (website address) as part of your hosting package. Additional domains are available for a small annual fee. We can specify you as the account contact if you would like. Alternatively, if you want to register your own domain, and then give us the account information, we can re-point the domain to our servers when we launch your website.
“Hosting” refers to keeping all the information that makes up your website on a much larger computer, called a server. This is how your information is brought up on a computer when someone types in www.yourcompany.com. To ensure your website never lapses, hosting accounts are automatically renewed at the prevailing rate at the end of each term. Each hosting account includes:
- 300 GB of disk space
- 3,000 GB of data transfer per month
- Unlimited POP or IMAP email boxes (250 MB per mailbox); you will need to tell us how many emails you would like set up for your website, and what the names should be
- Unlimited email forwards (so that email@example.com that is listed on your website is forwarded to JohnSalesManager@yourcompany.com and SallyCustomerService@gmail.com, for example).
- PHP, Perl, and MySQL support
- One domain name (i.e. yourcompany.com)
We require 30 days written notice (email acceptable) of cancellation. Fees for hosting accounts will continue to accrue, even if a site is moved elsewhere and we are not notified. Hosting accounts that are more than 90 days overdue will be suspended, and your website will then be unavailable, until payment in full is received.
Email support is included and we will help set up Outlook, Outlook Express, Entourage, and Mac Mail. Instructions can be found on our website as well. While we will provide all the necessary information to setup an email account, unfortunately, we cannot support all available mail clients. If we need to provide custom consulting for a mail client not listed above, our regular consulting fees will apply.
IMC routinely recommends software, such as WordPress or Dreamweaver, to manage websites. We will provide the information necessary to connect to your website and an abbreviated set of documentation to help get you started and perform the most common tasks necessary to manage the website. This software is used on both Apple and Windows-based computers in our office on a regular basis and will have been tested with sites before sharing the connection information with our customers.
We rarely see problems with this software, but if the software does not run on a particular computer, it is up to the customer to contact his/her IT person/department or Adobe Customer Support. As each person’s computer is different, it is up to that person to resolve any software conflicts. We are unable to support computers at that level.
We require a $500 down payment to begin the project and the balance plus hosting fee upon completion.
We require a 40% down payment to begin the project and will invoice items upon completion. Invoices will be due upon receipt.
Hosting invoices are Net 30. Reminders will go out at 30 days and 60 days overdue. At 90 days overdue, accounts will be suspended until full payment is received.
Finance charges equivalent to 18% APR will be added to all invoices 30 days or more overdue, beginning December 1, 2010. Finance charges will continue to accrue monthly until the invoice is paid.