Account Setup & Getting Started
New customers must complete an online intake form which will allow for the setup of their billing account with Design Formare Inc. A one time contract must also be reviewed and eSigned.
If you have elected to pay in full or put 50% down on your project, an invoice will be sent you via our online billing system (Freshbooks). You will be able to remit payment through the invoice using any major credit card, PayPal or Stripe. If you elect to pay via paper check or a money order please note that your project start date may be delayed until receipt of payment. Payments by check must first clear before your project can begin.
If you will be purchasing a pre-paid retainer, you will be sent an invoice as above. Once you have made your payment, the invoice will be deleted and your payment converted to an account credit. As I work against the retainer I log the date, what was done and how long it took. An invoice will be sent on the 1st of the month with all work itemized on the invoice. Your account credit will be applied towards the balance of the invoice and you will be sent a copy along with a note indicating the remaining available retainer. You may purchase a new retainer at any time or elect to switch to full hourly.
If you have elected to work with me at my full hourly rate you will be invoiced on the 1st of the month with a payment due date of the 15th. If the work I am doing for you is a one-off, I will simply invoice you as soon as the requested work as been completed. Payment is due within 15 days of invoice receipt.
Payment, Fees, & Refunds Policy
50% payment is required before any estimated project begins. Payment in full up front will receive a 10% discount. Invoices are sent by e-mail automatically by our online billing system (Freshbooks). You may access your customer account at any time which includes past invoices, account statement and indication of remaining retainer balance (if any). You may also request a username and password for your customer account although one is not needed to access via any current invoice.
If you have elected to purchase a retainer package, please note that if you decide to cash out any unused retainer funds there is a 10% refund fee on the remaining balance. Retainers never expire and remain on your account indefinitely. If you request a refund, the 10% fee will be deducted and a check for the balance sent to your address on file. When I am working on your requests, if the current retainer is exhausted you will be given the opportunity to purchase a new one. If you do not wish to purchase a new retainer but still want me to fulfill your requests, the rate will switch to my full hourly rate and you will be billed on the 1st of the month.
Monthly invoices go out on the 1st of every month with a payment due date of the 15th. If payment is more than 15 days past due, a $30.00 late charge will apply. Design Formare Inc. reserves the right to remove any services from viewing on the Internet, to include email access, if payments are not made. If any services are suspended, a $100.00 re-activation fee will be applied to any outstanding balance before services are restored. In case collection proves necessary, the Client agrees to pay all fees (including all attorney’s fees and court costs) incurred by that process.
Third party software purchased and/or installed on the clients account is non-refundable and without warranty by Design Formare, Inc. Any work or service that is performed under a retainer or hourly agreement is non-refundable.
If cancellation is done by Design Formare Inc. due to restrictions violation, there will be no refund. Design Formare Inc. will only allow for refunded amounts if cancellation is not the fault of the client, as determined by Design Formare Inc. All monetary transactions are in $US dollars. Design Formare Inc. reserves the right to change prices at any time.
If you are subscribed to the monthly Website Insurance Coverage please note that your credit card on file will be billed on the same day every month, usually the 1st or 15th of the month depending on what you have agreed to initially. If you would like to cancel your insurance coverage you must contact me at least 3 business days prior to your next billing. You may cancel at any time by submitting your request via email or phone.
I take pride in offering high quality services and professional customer service. Upon launch of your website, I provide 3 months of website insurance for free to ensure that your new website is kept up to date and functioning properly.
While I make an effort to ensure every aspect of my service is to the client’s liking, I cannot control every variable. It is up to each client to regularly test the functionality of his/her website, email, and any other product or service to ensure everything works as desired. If any problem is discovered or error has been made, please report the problem to me immediately so I may take appropriate action.
I cannot be responsible for perceived loss of revenue under any circumstances. Content changes resulting from a client’s error and/or problems related to third party vendors or technology, such as hosting servers or browser software may result in additional charges.
Ownership of Domains & Websites
Once the final payment has been received the client is the owner of the commissioned website. The client may continue to use the commissioned website to promote the client’s company or organization regardless of whether he/she chooses to continue further services with Design Formare, Inc. The client does not have the right to resell the design or development to other companies.
Website domain names are leased from domain name registration companies. When Design Formare, Inc. registers a domain name for a client, that registration will be made in the client’s name. Upon payment of any outstanding fees, the client has the right to use that domain name regardless of whether he/she chooses to continue further services with Design Formare, Inc. Domain name renewal and renewal fees are the responsibility of the client. If the client chooses to have Design Formare, Inc. renew the domain name on behalf of the client, hourly or retainer fees will apply. Clients are advised to closely monitor the renewal date of a registered domain name and to verify that the renewal of said domain name has been completed.
Design Formare, Inc. cannot be held responsible for expired domain names.
Ownership & Copyrights
All text and photos used as content in a commissioned website must be provided by the client. The client must have ownership or written permission to use all content he/she provides for use. It is up to each client to ensure his/her design and/or content does not infringe on any trademark, service mark, or copyright. Design Formare Inc. cannot be responsible for intellectual property infringements on behalf of clients. Also, Design Formare Inc. cannot be held responsible for submitted content. Clients should not mail irreplaceable photos or documents or send content that must be returned.
Search Engine Guarantee
Every client would like his/her website to rank high in search engine results for selected keywords, yet search engine results are determined by a multitude of constantly changing factors, third party search engines, and the amount and quality of competition on the world wide web.
Design Formare Inc. guarantees certain search-engine friendly techniques will be used in the creating of each custom website, such as keywords in the title bar at the top of the browser, the meta tags in the hidden coding behind the scenes, and alternate text behind some images.
Subsequent or additional SEO changes will be billed at the standard hourly or retainer rate. Additional search engine optimization (SEO) services are available for additional fees. Design Formare Inc. cannot be held responsible for search engine results.
Third Party Vendors
Third party vendors (hosting companies, plugin providers, etc.) may have separate terms of service agreements. Design Formare Inc. cannot be held liable for disputes with third party vendors. Design Formare Inc. cannot be held responsible for lack of functionality or any other aspect of third party services.
Termination of Services
If the client changes his/her mind about doing work with Design Formare Inc. during the course of a project, the client will be responsible for the amount of work already completed. Depending on the amount of work completed at the time of cancellation, this may mean receiving a full refund, a partial refund, no refund, or owing additional fees. In order to protect clients from unintentional service interruption, clients wishing to terminate any services must request the service termination in writing.
Abuse of Services Offered / Right To Refuse Service
Design Formare Inc. will not tolerate abusive customers and expects all customers to respect the Terms and Conditions as set forth on the Design Formare Inc. website and the client’s contract. Customers who verbally abuse or do not follow the guidelines set forth for completing projects and or communicating support requests will have services terminated immediately and without refund. Design Formare Inc. does not tolerate abusive, offensive, dangerous, language or behavior. Abusive communications in any form (email, phone, in person, etc.) are not tolerated.
You may not use the services of Design Formare Inc. to post, publish or transmit any unlawful or objectionable information of any kind, including threats, obscenity or pornography, profanity, or, including without limitation, any activity that would constitute or encourage any criminal offense, civil liability, or violate any local, state, national or international law. You may not post or transmit viruses or any other harmful components or inhibit or restrict anyone else from using the Internet.
You may not transmit, reproduce, or in any way exploit any information, software, or other material obtained through Design Formare Inc. for commercial purposes (other than as expressly permitted by the provider of such information, software or other material). Design Formare Inc. assumes no obligation to monitor the service. However, you agree that Design Formare Inc. has the right to monitor the service and disclose any information necessary to satisfy any law, or legal government request, and to operate properly, or to protect itself or its users. Design Formare Inc. reserves the right to refuse service without notice or to remove any information at its sole discretion.
Legal Matters: If at any time a client or Design Formare Inc. feels necessary to take matters or disputes to the legal system, Design Formare Inc. will immediately freeze all services, communications, and transactions with the client until the case has been decided. Design Formare Inc. is not responsible for any presumed lost profits, work stoppages, or email communications during this time. This also applies if a client threatens or implies that they will take matters or disputes to the legal system. Design Formare Inc. will not work for a client under threat of a lawsuit or other legal action.
Design Formare Inc. reserves the right to change, remove or add to this list of policies at any time and without warning.
Can you design a logo based on my idea or drawing?
Absolutely! If you already have a good idea of what you need that typically reduces the turn around time I can provide and the end-cost.
What is your logo design process? How long does it take?
A normal logo design process generally takes from 2 – 3 weeks. The first phase is concepting, which involves exploring typefaces and symbols. This phase starts out with a brainstorming session via phone so that I can figure out a proper direction. Concepts are provided either as hand drawn thumbnails or using existing typefaces. If you are providing me with a sketch of your idea or just have a pretty good idea of what you want up front, then the entire logo design phase can be as quick as 1 week. Once you have chosen a concept, the revision phase begins. During this phase we explore color palettes (unless you already have one chosen) and I make changes to the design based on your feedback. With the revision phase completed the finalization phase begins. I package your logo up into both Print (ai, eps, psd and CMYK JPG) and Web (RGB png and jpg in various common sizes). I also include a logo information sheet that lists the fonts used, your specific color codes (Pantone, CMYK, RGB and HEX) and how the logo should be presented on light and dark backgrounds. If I am doing a branding package for you, the information sheet will also contain information such as how other print and web design elements should be styled.
What happens if I do not like any of the logo concepts?
It is always my goal that we arrive at a design you absolutely love within the first two rounds of the concepting phase. If you are not happy with any of the initial concepts, a second brainstorming call will be scheduled so that we can discuss where the designs went wrong. The logo design process is just that – a process. So it sometimes takes a little back and forth to get to the perfect design.
If you find that you also do not like any of the concepts in the second round you have the choice of cancelling the project or paying additional fees to have me produce a third round. This is not a typical occurrence, but sometimes it does happen if the customer has changed their mind on the logo’s direction. If you do decide to cancel the project, you will be refunded 50% of the project cost if it was paid in full up front. If you elected for 2 payments, then the second payment will be canceled. I retain the down payment to cover my time spent.
What file versions do you provide me with?
Upon completion of your logo design, the following formats are provided to you:
- Print – Adobe Illustrator .ai (this is the vector original with outlined text)
- Print – Encapulated Postscript .eps (vector)
- Print – Adobe Photoshop (layered)
- Print – High Resolution JPG in CMYK
- Web – Transparent PNG in sizes from 2000px to 200px
- Web – JPG in sizes from 2000px to 200px
If you need a format other than what is listed above I will gladly provide it for you. You may also contact me at any time in the future for a different file format at no additional cost.
Typeface purchase & licensing
Typefaces purchased for use in your logo are licensed to me and are an expense I incur and do not pass along to you for reimbursement. If you would like to use the typefaces in other designs that you or another designer are creating then you/they will need to purchase a separate license for that purpose.
I include a link/s to the typefaces that were purchased in the logo information sheet provided in your finalized logo package.
If you are supplying typefaces to me for use in your logo, please note that you must have a commercial license. I cannot be held legally responsible if a problem arises from my use of unlicensed typefaces that were supplied to me. I always check first to make sure that customers understand the potential risk of doing so, but by asking me to use them anyway you understand this risk.
Who owns the rights to the logo once it is completed?
The finalized logo design and files that are provided to you are owned 100% by you provided the project balance has been paid in full. I retain the rights to do as I wish with any elements created during the logo concepting phase that were not used in the finalized logo.
As stated in my contract, I also reserve the right to display the logo in my online portfolio and on any social media websites I use for promotion of my services. If you do not wish for me to display your logo anywhere an additional fee will be charged for me to release that right. Most of my clients welcome my sharing of the the work I do for them. After all, it’s free promotion!
What are all the additional costs involved in a website build?
In addition to the website design and coding costs you will also need to consider the following necessary expenses:
- Domain Name Registration ($10 – $15/yr.)
- Private Domain Name Registration ($10/yr.)
- Website Hosting ($125+/mo.)
- SSL Certificate
Choosing the right domain name and getting the .com of that domain is very important. If you need assistance with choosing the right one please ask!
When you register a domain name, it is recommended to pay the extra fee for Private Registration. If you do not add this on, your information is made public on an online list, allowing people from all over the world to bombard you with unwanted calls.
The website hosting you choose needs to be sufficient for the type of website you are having built. If you decide to pre-purchase hosting, please note that you may need to either upgrade or switch providers in order to ensure your site will work properly. Whenever possible, hold off on purchasing hosting and speak with your developer first.
An SSL Certificate makes the connection between your website server and the users computer secure. The benefits include securing online payments, logins, forms and user information. It also helps to boost your search engine rankings as site with https rank higher due to their secure nature. SSL Certificates are generally included for free with most hosting accounts and are sufficient enough for most websites. There are some however who charge a yearly fee for them and who offer more robust options for websites that require the added security. It is always best to allow your developer to determine which one would be the best for your situation.
I designed the layout myself. Can you code it to WordPress?
I am always open to working with pre-designed layouts. I would need to review the design and any functionality noted to see if it is possible to code as-is or not. I always do my best to match the design as closely as possible, but sometimes there are aspects that are either impossible to code or would involve more coding than recommended. It is important that your website be user-friendly and not bogged down by overly heavy graphics, bells and whistles. Form follows function.
How long does it take to build a website?
Like anything creative, designing a great website takes time. It can take from a few weeks to a few months (or more) to completely design and launch the new website, depending on the project. The following variables factor in to how long your project may take:
- How many pages you need
- The complexity of your design
- Advanced features required
- When your content is ready
- My current availability
- Your timely feedback
I don't have any content yet. Can you still build my website?
While design is only one part of the web design process, the MOST IMPORTANT aspect is your content. Your content is what the search engines look at and it is what will ultimately bring traffic to your website. It is very difficult to structure a website without knowing the content flow ahead of time. It also is the #1 cause of website project delays in launch.
Because of this I do not accept website projects without copy up front. It does not need to be finalized copy, but it should be complete enough that I can properly design your page layouts.
I have a Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc type website. Do you work with those?
I only offer support for WordPress CMS.
I have found that the online website builders (listed below) are very limited in what you can do with them. They are suited more for the hobbyist vs the serious business start-up. While these services do allow you to put up a website presence quickly, they generally do not have your business growth in mind.
I have seen a huge uptick in requests from new clients asking to be switched from one of these services to WordPress.
- GoDaddy Website Builder
If you are still shopping around and trying to decide what might be the best solution for your needs, look no further than WordPress (.org NOT .com)
What is Website Insurance?
WordPress websites require routine maintenance to ensure that WordPress is kept up to date for security reasons. I include 3 months of coverage for free upon successful launch of your website. Upon the 3-month expiration, although completely optional, you are encouraged to subscribe to the coverage ongoing to protect your investment. The coverage may be canceled at any time. Please note that this monthly fee does not cover routine updates that you require for your website such as content updates.
This package includes:
- Daily monitoring of your WordPress Website for available updates for WordPress, installed plugins and theme security patches.
- Should any installed plugin become obsolete, cease function and/or cause conflict with other plugins and/or the site a suitable replacement will be located, installed and configured. Please note that if you have purchased plugins that require license updates this plan does not cover those fees.
- Backups: Daily database backups and weekly complete backups are maintained. A local copy is kept as well as a remote copy sent to our secure cloud. You may also request backup files at any time.
- Routine and real-time security scanning of your site. Suspicious activity, changes and errors are reported to us so that we can address in a timely manner.
- Restoration of your site to most recent backup in the event of a hacking. Includes cleanup and restoration with the search engines, removal from blacklist, etc.
- Restoration of your site to most recent backup in the event that you or someone on your staff accidentally causes the site to malfunction.
If you decide to discontinue the coverage I will remove the associated plugins and my licenses from your website as I pay a fee for those and need to release the licenses up for use with other paying customers.
What does your website launch process entail?
Prior to launching the website it is reviewed via the current versions of Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari web browsers on PC and Mac desktops, smart phone and tablet for functionality. Any forms on the website are tested to ensure functionality and that the submission are received by the appropriate recipients.
Basic SEO is set up on your website prior to launch and a sitemap is generated. Your website is then connected to Google Analytics for ongoing tracking purposes and to Console for indexing of the website, it’s sitemap and to track any potential indexing errors.
What happens after my website has launched?
Once your website has launched I will monitor it for 3 months to make sure that everything is functioning properly. Any issues that may arise are handled at no cost to you. Wordpress, the site’s theme and any installed plugins are kept updated on a daily basis along with database backups. Once the 3 months have passed, you will then have the option of signing up for my Website Insurance Plan.
The Website Insurance Plan includes the following:
- Daily monitoring of your website for updates
- Plugin replacement
- Website & Database backups & restoration
- Support for technical issues (ie. you or your staff break the site)
- Robust spam control
- Monthly reports (if wanted)
Following the launch of your website, if you require any updates to the page/post content or if you need to add any additional structural features or enhancements an ongoing retainer package can be purchased for those needs. I also offer an hourly as-needed option.
I already have a WordPress website. Can you help me with it?
Absolutely! I have adopted many WordPress websites over the years for various reasons. Either the original support person is no longer in the picture or they have simply up and disappeared.
If you already have a WordPress website and you love it but it needs some upgrades I can help with that as well. In some cases the currently installed theme may be capable of more than you knew!
Do you do ongoing maintenance on websites?
Yes, I do! I offer pre-paid retainer packages at a discount for those who have needs consistently and a regular hourly rate for those who only need assistance once-in-a-while. Some of the typical ongoing maintenance needs I perform include:
- Adding new sections to existing pages
- Creating new page layouts / templates
- Changing the styling of a theme
- Installing and configuring premium plugins
- Connecting the site to a third-party provider
- and much, much more!