Phase 1: Project Kickoff

Phase 1: Project Kickoff

Website Build Phases

Each of our website builds undergo three phases. Each phase fills roughly 33% of the project timeline.

Project Kickoff

"Getting Started & Collaboration"
Sign an agreement & make a deposit
Images, content, and branding
Access to various accounts
Page mockup designs
Page mockups approval

Implementation Phase

Prepare the WordPress environment
Build website theme templates
Implement the content & designs
Implement integrations

Revision & Launch

Review the website draft
Minor modifications to content and designs
Quality control checklist
Final testing & review
Optimizations
Launch & handoff
Post-launch monitoring & revisions

Getting Started Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

We cover that briefly here and in a lot more detail here:

Come back to this page when you’re ready to get started!

As you prepare to build a new website and outline your project’s scope, here are some questions you will want to consider:

  • How many pages do you anticipate needing?
  • Would you like to create content to fill in a template website with placeholder content, or have us build a website around the content you will provide?
  • How many sections would you like on the home page?
  • How many forms will you need and how will they be used?
  • Do you have a complete brand color palette and brand fonts?
  • Do you have a current WordPress installation or will you need one set up?
  • Do you need professional stock photos or will you provide photos?
  • Do you anticipate needing us to do any graphic design during this build?
  • Do you need any of these advanced website features?
    • Online courses
    • Online store
    • Blog/articles
    • Custom post types (special types of content; i.e. podcasts, action alerts, etc)
    • Calendar
    • Donation forms
    • Exclusive membership content
    • Forums
    • (Read a long list of optional website features here.)

We have many more questions that will help us determine the scope of the project, but having prepared answers to these questions will make our discovery call much more efficient. Click here to schedule a Discovery Call where we will dig a bit deeper and explore your specific needs.

Complete the Getting Started Checklist above. We’ll do the rest!

No, there is a lot we can do to kick off this project. However, we can’t complete Phase 1 until we have some critical information from you. Delays in communicating this information can prevent us from completing the project on schedule.

Yes. We just ask that you designate a single person as the primary representative for the project. This person should be responsive to questions and requests from ArcFires and remain reasonably available throughout the duration of the project. When we need your team to complete a task, we will initially make assignments to this primary contact, even if a different member of your team is responsible for getting the work done. This primary contact is effectively your team lead for this project.

No. For your protection as much as ours, we need to manage this project as professionally as possible.

The most important part of the agreements is making sure we are on the same page about the scope of the project and any other auxiliary expectations. Your project deserves the attention to detail and due diligence that these agreements require of us.

Agreements

Statement of Work (SOW)

The SOW outlines the scope of the project and the terms of the agreement for the duration of the website build. It is necessary to have a separate SOW for each project.

You will be sent a SOW after the Discovery Call. Please sign the agreement promptly to begin Phase 1 of the website project.

Master Services Agreement (MSA)

The MSA outlines the terms of an ongoing working relationship. Only one MSA is necessary per client.

This is only necessary if you wish to use our services (such as maintenance, website hosting, etc) beyond the initial launch of your website.

Collaboration Checklist

To get started as quickly as possible and avoid any delay, we will need the following:

We need access to your domain registrar/DNS records (usually hosted with Google Domains, Namecheap, Bluehost, GoDaddy, Network Solutions, web.com, HostGator, Domain.com, etc).

We can begin the website without this information, but we shouldn’t push off this task for too long. DNS record updates can take a long time to propagate.

DNS records are usually managed by the domain registrar, but can also be managed on the website hosts nameserver. Granting us access to both the domain registrar and the website hosting (item 2) will almost always guarantee we have access to modify the DNS records.

We can find out where your domain registrar/DNS records are if you aren’t sure. Look up your domain, or try finding a receipt. You are most likely paying $8-$13/year for this service. Try searching in your email for “domain” or “domain registration” to find a bill.

This only applies to existing websites. If you are having us build a brand new website, you can skip this step.

We need access to the website host server (web portal login or FTP credentials, such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, private server, etc).

This is something you are usually paying a monthly or annual fee, so you should have billing statements. Your hosting is often hosted in the same place as the DNS records.

We should be able to find out where your website is being hosted if you aren’t sure.

This only applies to existing WordPress websites. If you are having us build a brand new website, you can skip this step.

We need administrator access to the current WordPress dashboard. You can add us as a new administrator or provide us with a current admin’s login credentials.

Not sure where to find your login credentials? This is accessed via https://[yourdomain.com]/wp-admin

We should be able to help you find these information if you can’t find it.

Consider providing login access to an organization email (such as info@[yourdomain.com] or jacob@[yourdomain.com]).

This is not required but will enable me to quickly receive verification codes and verify domain ownership if necessary.

Please tell us which phone number to use for receiving account verification codes .(Which phone number should receive verification codes via text? We are willing to use our number if you prefer to not deal with “techy stuff”.)

This phone number should be owned by someone who:

  1. will be with the organization long-term,
  2. is fairly tech-savvy, and
  3. can be reasonably responsive to requests for verification codes.

Do you send out newsletters or promotional emails? We need to be able to integrate this into the website. Please provide access to your CRM/newsletter mailing platform (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Keap/Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, etc).

If you want to embed videos into your website, please provide us with access to your video server/platform (YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc).

We can upload small videos onto your website if needed, but it’s generally best to put large videos on a platform designed for serving videos (to keep your website faster).

If you need to process payments on your websites (t.e. product sales, donations, event tickets, etc) then we need access to any existing payment gateway accounts (Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, Anedot, Crypto.com etc). 

We need to be able to integrate your organization’s payment system with the website.

If you use a third-party platform to collect donations, we can also embed the form(s) without needing access to the system—so long as we are provided the HTML code for the form(s).

Does your business/organization brand colors and fonts? Are you using any premium fonts (Adobe fonts, etc)? Please provide the font files or let us know if they will need to be purchased.

If you already have a logo, we can pull a lot of branding information from the design. Your logo designer could also help you provide us with the style information.

    Please send us any media assets we will need for the website (videos, important images, team member pictures, podcasts, audio files, etc).

    We can make many of our own  design decisions, but please provide us with any images or icons that you have already decided must be used on the website.

    What is your organizations primary email and phone number?

    Where should form notification emails be sent (contact, donation, volunteer, etc)?

    Should the organization’s physical address or PO Box be displayed on the website?

    1.  

    What are your social media links/handles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc)?

      Please provide us with your website content, such as paragraphs, headings, important images, product information, team member biographies, etc.

      Team member information often includes names, biographies, contact info, high-resolution headshots, position titles, etc.

      NOTE: It’s ok to not have your content ready. Simply provide us with placeholder content that mirrors approximately the same amount of content you will use on your actual website. Since we create our designs around your content, significant changes to the amount or type of content may require a Change Order to the Statement of Work and can affect the project budget—so try to make the placeholder content as similar as possible to the final content.

      Managing passwords and other important login information well is critical to running a secure website. We strongly recommend setting up an account with a reputable password manager (we no longer consider LastPass reliable).

      As we build and manage your website, we will share passwords and other information with you that will need to be kept secure. You can expect that the passwords will be long strings of random characters. Decide now how you will store these passwords so you aren’t stressed later.

      As a general rule of thumb, if you can remember your password, it’s probably not a good password. Using a password manager will help you save complex passwords and other security information. Avoid using the same email+password combinations on multiple sites.

      If you do not already have a current website and website host, we will need to know the card information for the hosting subscription. This isn’t urgent—we just need the information before the website is launched at the end of Phase 3.

      We use a program called ClickUp to collaborate with our clients on website projects. You are not required to use it, but it will help speed up the project if you are willing to use it.

      Please let us know which email we should use to add you to the project board in ClickUp.

      How to use ClickUp (Coming Soon!)

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      “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” — Samuel Adams