If you would like to apply to become a client of PDIS, please fill in my Contact Form. I'll get back to you by phone to discuss the nature of your project, preliminary costings and delivery timeframes, and your own level of experience with operating web sites and using the internet in a business context.
As mentioned elsewhere, my core priority is with our existing clients (it's just little ol' me after all). Making up the numbers in "3 quote" situations, or providing "on-spec" presentations to uncommitted prospective clients detracts from the time I have available for our committed clients, so, serious enquiries only please.
As a prospective client you may find this approach somewhat hard-nosed, but when you become a client you'll appreciate the fact that I'm back in the office doing your work, rather than delaying your job attending to every request for free advice thinly disguised as a request for a "chat about my web site" that walks in the door. My reward to you for choosing PDIS is to priortise your work and your needs, and do everything I can to ensure that I'm there when you need me.
2. Site Planning
A web site is a business investment and requires a business plan. Nobody knows your customers and the specifics of your business better than you do, so defining the business outcomes and operational parameters of the site are best done by you, and by answering 3 simple questions to a level of detail that allows for a web site model to be developed:
What are you selling?
How are you selling it?
Who are you selling it to?
These are the 3 questions that your web site visitors will be asking themselves when they visit your site in order to satisfy themselves that they're in the right place. I work with you to fine tune the web site model, however I can provide consulting services if you aren't sure where to start, or if you don't feel confident with your own skills.
3. Domain Registration And Hosting
Your domain is where your site will "live" and your hosting provider is the company that provides the online infrastructure for it to work. As mentioned in our Domain Names section, it is possible to register your own domain, but we strongly recommend that you using the company that will be hosting your domain to also arrange for its registration. It's best to get domain name registration and hosting out of the way before site costruction commences.
4. Back Office - Preliminary Issues
Building a web site involves work for both of us, and your first significant task will be getting your business ready for the integration of the web site into the way you interact with the world. Now is the time to start thinking about getting your web site and email addresses included on your stationery, brochures and vehicles, changing your "on-hold" message to include a reference to the site, ensuring that you are equipped to deal with your customers by email, and that your sales and marketing collateral is able to be delivered electronically.
Start talking to the people that look after these aspects for you - your IT supplier, your printer, your graphic designer - and also seek advice and perspectives from your staff and your customers.
5. Collect Your Content
I will need from you everything that will be seen on the web site. This includes body text, photos, logos (yours and anyone else's that you want included), price lists and rate cards, terms and conditions statements, refund policies, privacy statements, floorplans, maps and product schematics.
Also, if your web site is required to conform with existing brochuring or stationery, I will need copies of these, digital if possible, but printed at the very least. If your firm has a style guide, then we'll need a copy of it as well to ensure that we use the right fonts, colours and logo placement.
Body Text: The text content of the web site is often the hardest thing to organise because it needs something that many people in business don't have much of - a large slab of uninterrupted time to concentrate. If you need asistance with writing your text from scratch, or "massaging" existing copy into shape, I suggest that you contact a professional copy writer such as Libra Communications.
Foreign Language Content: In order to get the content that I need to build foreign language pages on your site you should contact a reputable translation service such as:
Japanet: A Japanese language web site developer in Brisbane that we have worked with in the past to develop Japanese language content for our clients. The quality of their work is evident and they have a strong tourism background.
Peter Schaefer: Based in Cairns, Peter is available for German language translation of web site and brochure content. His charges are reasonable and the quality is great.
Images: I can scan your images for you, but more and more aspects of business operation require supplying digital images to printers, designers, advertising companies, agents and resellers, customers, etc, etc. If you don't have a digital library yet, it's probably time you thought about getting one and having your images professional scanned.
Catalogue Photography: While most of the photographers listed above can help you out with catalogue and product photography, you should also consider Small Object Photography who are also based here in Cairns.
Aerial Photography:Aerial Impressions regularly visit the North Queensland area and can be inexpensively contracted (from $99.00) to do custom aerial shoots of properties and locations while they're here. SkyEPics have an online catalogue of aerial photography of North Queensland for sale from $9.95 per image.
Logos: Having digital copies of your logo prepared, and a style guide created that describes and defines its useage, saves time and hassle when assisting your resellers. Talk to your graphic designer to get a digital copy of your logo prepared, or contact Create Design And Copy. If you need a logo designed, then talk to Martyn at FootePrint, or Gavin at Decoy Design.
Floorplans: A professionally prepared floorplan can really help sell an accommodation property. We recommend Visual Impact, a Cairns company that counts just about everybody amongst their clients.
Brochure Artwork: If you have an existing brochure I'd appreciate having a copy of it provided so that we can get a feel for the design direction you've taken already. Ask your brochure designer to create a low resolution (72dpi) PDF version of it, and email it to me. If you don't have a brochure and would like one done, I recommend the services of Gavin at Decoy Design, Cameron Lebherz, Serge Van Dycke, Susan at Sweetlip, or Suzanne Ashmore Graphic Design.
Brochure Downloads: Having your brochure available for download from your site in Adobe PDF format is always a good idea. Ask your brochure designer to create a low resolution (72dpi) PDF for you. Dont forget that most people have A4 printers so the the brochure may need to re-formatted to print out properly on A4 page (try a test print yourself on your own office printer). This format also allows you to easily email it to your customers, saving the cost and delays of postage.
Video: The company that created your video footage can usually advise you on "internet ready" versions of the work that they've done for you, and that are suitable for web site delivery. There are issues relating to "streaming" versus "non-streaming", file size, frame rates, resolution and a whole heap of other stuff that need to be attended to. It's definitely not as simple as just taking it from a CD and dumping it onto the site. I recommend Visibility Video or Visual Obsession for video production or the conversion of any existing video footage into a format that is appropriate to use on your web site.
Virtual Tours: The more reputable companies creating these sort of products will be able to quickly and efficently create virtual tours that don't require the use of plug-ins on your site, and that are suitable in size and quality for delivery from a web site. I exclusively recommend the services of Kym Joseph at Photography 4 Real Estate.
Legals: There are compliance issues to be addressed by all businesses including privacy statements, disclaimers, terms and conditions of booking and payment, refund and exchange poilicies, copyright statements, and the acknowledgement of material provided by third parties. More information can be found at the websites of the ACCC, the Queensland Office Of Fair Trading and the Federal Privacy Commisioner.
6. Get The Content To Us
As a general overview, the following media delivery criteria apply:
We don't support Macintosh formats, and this includes CD's containing files that use "illegal" characters in the filename making them unreadable by PC's. Media delivered in Macintosh encoded formats will incur extra costs due to outsourcing required for conversion to PC format.
Body Text: Please deliver on disk, CD, or by email, in a standard Windows word processing formats (Word, Notepad, Word Pad, etc). Charges apply for manual typing of text.
Text And Numeric Data: Data such as product listings, retail price lists and membership listings should be on disk, CD, or by email, in a standard Windows spreadsheet or database formats (Excel, Lotus, Access, MS Works, etc). Charges apply for manual typing of text.
Links: URL's and link descriptions for any external web sites to be shown as links from your web site should be provided in word processor, spreadsheet or database format.
Multimedia: Multimedia components may require additional pre-processing regardless of delivery format. My preferred delivery formats are MPEG, Quicktime, Real Networks, MP3 and AVI. Multimedia content will be used on the web site as supplied. An additional hourly charge will be applied if digital conversion or enhancement is required.
Photos: If you would like me to do the scanning I would appreciate being able to scan from transparencies, first generation 35mm slides, or photographic prints to ensure that the final image quality is as good as possible. Being Windows based, digital delivery of pre-scanned images should conform to the following specifications:
TIF (RGB), GIF (RGB), or non-compressed Windows JPG (RGB)
File Size: At least 1000 pixels in largest dimension
Resolution: 72dpi (but hi-res is also OK)
Logos: The supply of logos in digital (EPS or TIF) format is preferred, however if digital copies are not available, company and product logos should be provided as bromides. If bromides are not available, a clear reproduction that is larger than 5 cm and on plain non-textured white paper will provide the best results.
Line Art: Line art images such as maps, floor plans, schematics, and logos will be scanned (if necessary) and reproduced on the web site as supplied. An additional hourly charge will be applied if extensive image editing, quality enhancement or re-creation is required.
7. Site Construction
Work begins once I have all of the materials required for the completed site. A preliminary design brief will be prepared and emailed to you, and following sign-off the actual construction of the web site commences.
All work that I do is chargeable, and this includes the preparation of a second, or subsequent, design concepts in cases where an initial design brief has not been supplied by the client, or where the requirement exists for more than one design concept option to be presented for assessment prior to commencement of work. It also includes structural and/or graphical changes prior to public release of the site resulting from significant changes to the initial agreed design brief.
The final draft of the completed site will be delivered to a temporary location on our server for final proofing online, and then final changes will be performed to prepare the site for release.
The following delivery times (in working days) apply to the completion of various stages of the web development process. The times shown commence from the point at which I have all necessary content, materials and direction with which to finish that particular stage.
To Design Brief
Then To Final Draft
Then To Release
Minor Content Updates
Major Content Updates
Structural Modifications To Existing Web Site Including Additional Pages
1-5 Page Web Site
5-10 Page Web Site
10-20 Page Web Site
20+ Page Web Site
The following payment schedule applies for new sites:
On receipt of final payment, the completed site will be delivered to your domain and tested. You will receive a confirmation email advising that this has occurred, the temporary copy on our server will be removed, and you're ready to tell the world about your brand new site.
It's assumed that by now you will have set up your email software to receive email messages from the site, and be familiar enough with the content and layout of your site to guide customers through it, and to direct enquiries to particular sections of it.
10. Back Office - Operational Issues
Now comes the next significant task for you - final implementation of everything planned in Step 4 (above), and getting your staff into the habit of referring to the web site and directing customer enquiries to it.
It will also now be your job to let your customers, suppliers, clients, friends, relatives, etc know that you have a web site. This can be done by fax or email as part of your next scheduled mailout, or whenever the opportunity arises as a normal part of business contact.
Opportunities exist for savings in communications costs by swinging as much telephone, fax and snail mail contact as possible (including newsletters, flyers, etc) across to delivery by email. The release of your new site provides the perfect opportunity for this - as part of your fax out or mail out announcing your site, include a fax back or mail back contact details "update" form asks for the recipients email address. Every piece of paper you send by email saves you the cost of a stamp, or the cost of a fax.
Procedures should be developed for handling customer contact from the web site, and for including directly attributable income and expenses to it in an accounting sense. There are also issues involving your EMDG grant, and the capital asset value of your web site.
11. Web Site Marketing
Now that you've told everyone that you already know about the web site, it's time to let strangers in on it. There are 2 distinct parts to this job:
Search Engine Management: The technical aspects of making your web site perform well on the search engines so that people can find you easily. I can definitely help with this. (More info..)
Marketing And Networking: Using the very same search engines to go out and find people who could buy things from you, or assist you with selling to others. The internet is just like the "real" world - it's not what you but who you know - and relationship building and networking is just as important online. We offer training and assistance, but fundamentally this is simply a matter of using your existing business skills and methods to develop a new network of contacts - just like the "real" world..
12. Ongoing Maintenance
I don't charge any on-goings, retainers, or programmed maintenance fees, and future work on your site will be charged at my scheduled rate at the time, and will only be performed at your request.
Routine updates and modifications can be sent through by email or delivered on CD. I'd appreciate clear instructions also being provided on what needs to be done, and which page(s) the changes relate to.
For really minor changes simply print out a copy of the web site page in question, scribble the changes on it, and fax it to me on 07 4055 8471.