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Throughout my career, I’ve developed a number of websites and e-commerce stores. From this experience, I’ve procedurized and templatized the repeatable elements of an e-commerce website development project. I have broken the process down into five phases. This breakdown allows for fluid communication and understanding of what needs to be done and when and serves to streamline the transition from customer requirements to finished product. Each phase is easy to understand for the less tech-savvy user while still allowing for the complexity of a large-scale e-commerce store.

 

The Process

 

Phase 1: E-COMMERCE STORE QUESTIONNAIRE

One of the most important parts of every website project is the planning phase. Lack of proper planning and consideration at the outset almost always causes unnecessary scope creep, additional fees, and budget overruns due to rework, backtracking, configuration changes, the need to create workarounds, etc. It cannot be stressed enough how imperative it is to execute the planning phase completely and accurately with attention to detail and the appropriate level of foresight.

It is vital that each of the questions in the E-Commerce Store Questionnaire is answered completely and accurately. Though some questions may appear irrelevant or unrelated to the project, each question is posed for a specific reason. Each question is an attempt to see ahead to the future in order to avoid potential pitfalls, unnecessary rework, etc. Thoughtful responses at the outset of the project will allow for more accurate scoping of the project, more accurate time and cost estimates, and will enable us to more accurately predict and plan for potential issues.

 

Phase 2: STORYBOARDING/LAYOUT

Layout is a crucial aspect of website design that is often overlooked in the planning process. A great layout helps users move naturally through a page; it ensures that the most important information is the most visible. One of the main benefits of a storyboard is that it forces you to consider what content will be on each page and how it will be organized. By completing your storyboard with wireframe diagrams, which show the location and allotment of space for the objects on each page, you can head off design problems down the road.  (For complex websites, it can be helpful to print out the storyboard and arrange each page on a bulletin board in a flow-chart style diagram.)  The site storyboard will facilitate the planning process and help us to develop an effective site plan.

 

Phase 3: STYLE/DESIGN

During this phase, the following items are discussed:

  • Navigation/menus/sidebars
  • Heading tags
  • Text incl. fonts/italics/bold/underlining
  • Bulleted/numbered lists
  • Hyperlinks (active/hover/visited states)
  • Image dimensions
  • Background images
  • and more

 

Phase 4: SEO/SMO

It is important to develop solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) strategies before building your store. We will discuss customer demographics, keywords, geographic location, and more in order to establish a high search engine ranking for your site.

 

Phase 5: SITE REVIEW

During the project, you will receive frequent updates from me.  In addition, you’ll be able to check the current state of the development site and will able to make annotations directly on the site for my review.  Once you’re happy with the site, it is made LIVE for you to start selling your products/services to the world!

 

Pricing
Fees will range based on the work desired.  The smallest projects may even be free of charge.  For more involved projects, we will work something out that benefits us both. Following are typical costs for three different store sizes.
store pricing

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Click HERE to start the E-Commerce Store Questionnaire

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