The Forms

When a potential client contacts you, use one or both of these:

  • Short Questionnaire | For client | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. This form is for the potential client to fill out. You can email it to him as an editable Word doc, requesting that he type his answers into it, save it and email it back to you. Or you may want to turn this list of questions into an online form.
  • Long Questionnaire | For developer | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. This form is for the web developer to fill out while he has a live interview conversation (or several) with the potential client. It is designed to collect as complete information as possible on every aspect of the desired new website.

When you have all the information you need and are ready to write up a description of the planned website:

  • Website Specification | For client | MS Word docs | PREVIEW. This form is designed be used as the basis for composing an in-depth specification document for a planned website, basically an outline of the major areas which should be addressed.

When it’s time to figure an estimate:

  • Estimate Worksheet | For developer | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. This form is designed to be printed and written on by the web developer. I find it easier to use paper than digital for this, since I usually spend some time scribbling, crossing out, and doing mathematics before I come up with the estimate – and it isn’t intended for anybody else’s eyes.

When you’re ready to make a formal proposal to the potential client:

  • Proposal Letter | For client | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. To send to the potential client once you have a good sense of the details of the desired website, written them out as a Specification, and figured an estimate. It consists primarily of the written Specification along with a cost estimate, presented as a letter to the potential client.When it’s ready to send to the potential client, I suggest saving it as a PDF and attaching it to an email. I usually ask them to agree to it by saying so in an email.

When you’re ready to present the client with a contract:

  • Website Development Contract | For client | MS Word docs | PREVIEW. Once you’ve customized this contract for your own use, it should have a Website Specification attached, be saved as a PDF, and emailed to the client. Our Website Development Contract has taken ten years and many revisions to reach this level of detail and thoroughness. Many valuable sources were consulted, and real-life mistakes and problems with clients have been turned into contract provisions so that they aren’t repeated. WordPress-specific clauses have been written carefully and included to protect both parties.

Or if it’s an hourly job:

  • Contract for Hourly Web Development Work | For client | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. I recently completely re-worked this contract to cover a type of  work which is more and more in-demand: hourly work repairing and improving existing WordPress sites built by someone else. This type of work can be risky for the developer, so we wrote special clauses to cover specific aspects. Customized for your own use, this can be saved as a PDF and emailed to the client to be signed, digitally or by whatever other method you prefer.

When you sit down to begin a new WordPress website project:

  • Website Setup Checklist  | For developer | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. Edited to reflect your own specific steps, this is used to help you remember everything you need to do to get WordPress installed on your development server. Print it out and check off the steps, or just refer to it on screen.

For staying organized every day as you work on client websites:

  • Website Info Sheet | For developer | HTML doc | PREVIEW. Every website should have one, and (for it to be any use) it should be filled with all of the important details about the site, including a journal of work performed and problems encountered and solved. Maintaining these Website Info Sheets has literally transformed the way I work. They’re very simple, but when used religiously, become a crucial central point for all technical information about a website.
  • My Websites Sheet | For developer | HTML doc | PREVIEW. It’s just an HTML chart and definitely doesn’t involve rocket science, but it’s the first thing I open when I start work. Each website I’m responsible for gets a line in the chart with a link to its front-end, back-end, and its own personal Website Info Sheet (included in the forms package too). You might think of it as a “client website link hub”.

For tracking your time the simplest way possible:

  • Work Log | For developer | MS Word doc for printing | PREVIEW. Each project gets one, and they all stay on a clipboard on my desk. For each project I work on, I note the date, the work done, and the hours. Of course you may want to use software for this instead; I just honestly prefer paper.

Mid-project, the client wants to add features or functions to the work you’ve contracted to do:

  • Change Order Form | For client | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. This is to be given your branding, typed out by you, saved as a PDF and sent to the client to be signed digitally or in whatever way is easiest. A simple memo stating that the client and I are making an addition to the Specification for the website in progress. I use it to describe the additional feature or function and provide a cost estimate. Essential in preventing the dreaded “scope creep”.

When a client wants to pay you by credit card:

  • Credit Card Authorization | For client | MS Word doc for printing | PREVIEW. Just a simple authorization form, to be customized with your branding, saved as a PDF and emailed to the client. This is one form which should probably be printed on paper, filled out, and faxed, scanned & emailed, or snail-mailed back.

When it’s Going Live day:

  • Going Live Checklist | For developer | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. Edited to reflect your own specific steps, this is used to help you remember everything you need to do to go live with a WordPress site. Print it out and check off the steps, or just refer to it on screen.

When it’s time for a client to renew a Maintenance Agreement:

  • Renew Yearly Maintenance Letter | For client | MS Word doc | PREVIEW. If you provide maintenance contracts, customize this letter and use it as text for an email. It lets the client know that it is time to renew their agreement, and that an invoice will be forthcoming.