DQuinn.net

FAQs

Ask Away

Here are a handful of Frequently Asked Questions I’ve been asked with regard to my process and what it’s like working with me.

All Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a website cost to make?

Websites, like automobiles, come in all shapes and sizes. Some websites are basically bicycles: they get you from point A to point B on kinetic energy alone. Other websites are basically spaceships: they’re flying, laser-toting battle-wagons with more buttons than you’ll ever know what to do with. Here is a wildly generalized range of budgets to give you an idea of cost:

No CMS doesn’t mean you can’t still hit the road in style: super-lightweight and a few cool racing stripes. $3-5k+, 2-4/wks
No-frills brochureware, suitable for most small businesses. Cheap, reliable, will get you to work. $8-15k+, 2-3/mos
Now we’re talking options. Want a sunroof? User registration? eCommerce options? Language localization? $20k-40k+, 4+/mos
Website as web application, built to destroy the competition. (I’ll need to bring in the A-Team for this one.) Highly scalable, complex user interactivity, advanced functionality. $60k-80k+, 6+/mos
Want to test the limits of WordPress? Website as enterprise platform—totally out of this world. $100k+, 1/year.

I charge a flat fee, which I share with my designer (if I’m working with one). One-fourth of that fee is due up front as a deposit, and you get invoiced for the remaining fourths as we progress through each stage.

Can you help me make changes to an existing website?

As a freelancer, I don’t do maintenance work or work on legacy projects. Although I am essentially an Internet plumber, this Internet plumber only fixes toilets he built. In the end, I want to ensure that every piece of my codebase conforms to certain standards of quality, and I can’t guarantee excellent work for my clients without being completely in control of the process and the work.

If you need help that involves visual design or adding self-contained functionality to your existing website, however, that’s a different story and let’s get in touch.

Can you help me build out my design?

Yes. I’d be happy to build out your design. I have worked with numerous designers as a freelancer and as a member of a team in the agency world, and have a great deal of empathy for visual designers and user experience experts. I will do your design justice when translating it to code.

I chose an existing WordPress theme and need it modified. Can you help?

One of the best things about the WordPress market is that there are a zillion fantastic themes out there that you can install right away for extremely low cost and get up and running. If you find one that works for you, by all means do not hire me! WordPress theme developers and web developers who use WordPress to build websites are different animals and have different goals in mind. I use WordPress as a platform for building websites, whereas WordPress theme developers build themes that can serve the needs of as many web editors as possible. This is because WordPress theme developers want to sell their theme to as many people as possible. As a consequence, the themes you buy on the theme market are often heavily abstracted (and oftentimes bloated and over-engineered) with features and functionality that you may or may not need. They are also all built in their own (not always endearingly unique) ways. Because I have my development process down to a science, I don’t muck around in other developers’ code when I don’t have to.

Can you take over an existing website after my developer abandoned me?

That just sounds awful! Unfortunately, I don’t like to muck around in other people’s code. It gives me heartburn. Also, you are probably really angry right now, and like heartbroken people on OKCupid, it’s a bad idea to start dating after a big breakup. Consider that often it’s less expensive to start over than to operate on a poorly constructed foundation, then get back to me.

Do you offer maintenance agreements or retainers?

I sure do, but it’s unlikely you’ll need one, unless you’re looking to add new functionality to the website on a periodic basis. I build your website in such a way that you won’t need me after it’s been deployed. Nevertheless, I still work with some of my very first clients (from way back in 2008). You should chat them up and ask about my track record for maintaining long-term relationships.

If I hire you, who will I be working with?

For 90% of my projects, I team up with a local visual designer (someone whose primary responsibility is the look and feel and user experience of the website), who works with me in tandem as we go through the development process. We work together as a two-person team, and you end up communicating with both of us. In the other 10% of projects, I either handle the entire process myself, or in the case that your project is big enough, I bring in other local digital experts, like a developer with specialist knowledge and a project manager. I do not employ overseas subcontractors, and all of the work is done here in New England.

I’m a visual designer, can we work together?

Being a freelancer is tough enough alone. Why not team up and share the profit? We work together as a team throughout the entire process, and you’ll be right there at the table with me and our client. If you’re interested in working with me, drop me a line and send me a link to your portfolio. I prefer if you live in the New England area, and are 100% a freelance designer.

I represent an agency, can I hire you?

Yes. A lot of my engagements are through advertising agencies, where I provide digital assistance when the agency is out of its element, or needs a hand with overflow work. I’ve worked with a wide variety of agencies in the city of Boston: Argus Communications, Allen & Gerritsen, Small Army, Genuine Interactive, Sociality Squared, and OHO Interactive, to name a few. I can work under your umbrella transparently, or interface directly with your client, depending on your need. I offer both flat fee and retainer arrangements, and will even help you spec out your client’s project to better gauge the fee. Drop me a line to find out how we can make a winning team.

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DQuinn.net is a one-man web development studio based on Boston.