Chances are we have not. But since the way we approach web design focuses on understanding your industry from day one, and since we've had experience in a wide variety of industries from manufacturing heavy industrial equipment to tourist promotions and city image campaigns, we have found commonalities important for all websites. This knowledge is captured in our own consulting processes and helps us ask the right questions up front.
One thing we need to be careful about here is who owns the website once it goes live. That owner is, of course, you. This then brings up the question of “warranty”. Just as with a vehicle or home, certain warranties are expected. Warranties always have context in the form of limitations to applicable situations. The same is true of your website. Our continuous QA process throughout the construction of your website, and then post go-live QA (which also requires you to use the site and verify certain things are working correctly) is how we warrant the correct operation of the website. The ongoing health of the website is your responsibility. We don’t perform free maintenance work or patch software at no cost, but you may contract with MJ Penner Consulting to perform such functions as needed. Once final payment is made and the site is released to you, MJ Penner Consulting has no further responsibility for the site’s maintenance, performance, or modification unless explicitly agreed to as per other agreements; such as paying for WordPress version upgrades or Content Updates. This is not to say we will abandon you. Obviously we want to continue to work with you and help you in any way feasible. You can certainly call and ask about things and we can provide you with some ideas and options. We will be here for you.
Probably the one that is, up front, the most interesting is the Memorandum of Understanding. This document sets down some rather unambiguous boundaries so that we both steer clear of misunderstandings as much as possible. We send this as a PDF file as well during our initial meeting and ask for a confirmation of acceptance before we can engage. Aside from the MOU, the Project Plan and each timeline we generate will need to be approved as we move through your project.
As a WordPress Integration company we leverage off the shelf plug-ins (modules of ready-made code that snap into the WordPress framework to instantly provide an entire suite of new capabilities) that we have tested as compatible with our Deep CMS Integration approach to website builds. This approach can saves tens of thousands of dollars over having everything built from scratch. When plug-in functionality needs to be modified, or an entirely new functionality is required that cannot be obtained using plug-ins, a web application programmer is needed. In that case, we will introduce you to a Trust Partner who can help. Trust Partners are members of our Trust Network. We work closely with Trust Partners to provide web application programming and other services when our Integration approach cannot satisfy a given project requirement.
Our Trust Partner Network is comprised of professionals that work according to a shared and established Quality Assurance approach, participate in our real-time, online help desk problem management system, and have access to all the relevant online shared resources, including project management systems, code repositories, and whatever else is needed to assure continuity of care as we either team up with the programmer or transition the remainder of the project over to them. These are people we know and trust. They have proven they are accountable and professional with a seasoned track record. Usually the Trust Partner is brought in while we continue our work with you in other areas, depending on the nature of the request.
Trust Partners have been vetted for the quality of their work, their ability to provide direct service and support, and their demonstrated ability to provide effective solutions that conform to industry best-practices. The responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and bug-fixing of such code remains with the Trust Partner, not MJ Penner Consulting. Because we rely on each other for contract fulfillment, we are accountable to each other and to you, the client. Our Trust Partners participate in all the same online collaborative systems that we use, including the Help Desk system through which technical support is offered by MJ Penner Consulting.
When a Trust Partner is required they will be working directly with you, invoicing you directly on a schedule that is consistent with how we've been doing it so as to avoid any "shift shock".
We do not to take websites live on a Friday, over the weekend, the day before a holiday, or within 3 days of such. Essentially, websites are therefor taken live Mon-Wed only and we do require your participation at various points in that process. Our offices are closed on weekends and holidays.