client posts

Samba: Another Freelance Project

Yay! I’ve got another freelance project now, and this one I’ll actually get paid for. It won’t be much pay, I gave them a very low price, but it sounds like I will get paid more from this job in the future: They want me to be their go-to guy for updating the site and new features. They will probably have me do things like update dates and add images, so it may be like an hour a month or something, not a lot, but something.

So finally, the project is for Samba Soccer Club, a small Cleveland youth soccer club. I got the lead from Ronda Leffel, the coordinator of the eBusiness program I was in at Tri-C. I met with them Saturday at Baker’s Square to talk the project over.

They had a site at one point, but let that lapse, and now want a completely new site, from scratch. They still have the URL, so they will just have to get a host and transfer it, or however that works (I’ve never done it yet). I’m going to have to do a bit of research on hosts for them, but I might suggest they just let me manage their site on my hosting account. I’ve not done this before, but it sounds like Dreamhost‘s version of reselling is just letting us create users for our clients and bill them ourselves. They shouldn’t have too much traffic, so this should work fine.

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Canine Lifeline: Meeting and Start

Jason and I have begun work on the Canine Lifeline site I had mentioned as a freelance project.  It will be for free (they are a non-profit) but will be good experience and we will get our names and links in the footer.  As our first project outside of school together and my first real freelance project altogether, the experience should be great and free should make it more relaxed.

We met with the clients on Sunday to discuss the project.  We met at Yours Truly in Valley View and discussed the site over lunch.  They all were very nice and seemed to know a good bit about websites and what they want, which should help a lot.  They gave a good idea of the functionality and content they wanted, as well as some basic thematic ideas.

Their current site is a simple four pager built with a template and hosted for free with adverts.  We will be building a many-page CMS for them, using WordPress after our experiences with the Stearns project, so they can make frequent updates.  They want a dynamic site that entices people to visit frequently for updates.  They, like Stearns, will need some custom data types, so I will be using Magic Fields again as well as trying out Pod CMS, which should allow for more complex uses of data.  We shouldn’t need multi-column pages for this site, so we hopefully won’t run into the TinyMCE editor troubles we had with Stearns.

Stylistically, they want a blend of professional looking with bright and colorful.  Since Jason is the designer of our duo, I will let him handle most of the theme design while I work on the functionality of the site.  I do want to at least give a try at a couple of hand drawn mockups though.

Since this is about all I have going on, I will continue to post about this project, how its going, and anything I discover from it.

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Stearns Design Mockup Chosen

On Monday we met with Debbie to show off our design mockups.  Wednesday Debbie came back, bringing in three board members who would need to be involved in the decision.  They discussed various things about the site, including what it will be including and what they have for it.

They also were ready to make a decision on the mockup they wanted.  They had done some user testing of the mockups.  Rocki’s was chosen.  It has a picture of the front of the farm in the header, which they liked because it would be the first thing you’d see if you went there.  But they did want some changes to it.  They wanted a lighter brown for the wood grain that makes up the other part of the header.  They wanted a more solid navigation menu rather than the hanging signs currently in use.  And they wanted a less cluttered appearance for the home page.

They gave Jason’s second place.  His was very clean, also using a wood grain and a horizontal drop-down menu.  His drop-down seemed to be more along the lines of what they wanted, so something like that may be placed into Rocki’s.  Many of us were thinking that Jason’s would be chosen.  But you can never be sure.

So finally we will get to start building the actual site.  This should be the fun part, certainly the part that I have more experience with.  The site will be built using WordPress, so there won’t be a lot of actual programming most likely.  We may need to figure out how to interface other data with WordPress and add admin pages for it.  We will certainly need to figure out how to use “feeds” to get the information we want where we want it.  We’ll need to figure out how to set everything up so that it is easy for them to update.  Most of this should be doable within WordPress or using plugins, no hardcore programming. We’ll see though.

A lot of time will certainly be spent turning Rocki’s Photoshop theme into a real WordPress theme.  Then of course there is the insertion of the pages and filling them with content.  It will need to be organized in a way that will be easy to update for the Stearns people.  This may be hard.

I’m looking forward to some fun and some learning.

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Stearns Farm Meeting 1

We had our first meeting with our client contact for our Stearns Farm project.  She (Debbie) was very nice and the meeting went quite well.  We got a much better concept of what we will be doing with the site.  We also found that the site will be made completely new on whatever hosting we care to put it on:  It is not tied to being served from the Parma site as the old “site” was.  So the project looks like it will be interesting and fun, and we’ll be able to do a lot with it.  I think it will be a huge improvement for the farm’s web presence as well, and we should hopefully be able to increase both visits and donations to the farm.

We determined for sure that it is a 501(c)3 non-profit.  I’ve worked on a number of non-profit websites (including Red-Cross of Greater Cleveland, Humane Society of Greater Akron, and OROC) well an intern at RPM International.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to use some of my experience from there to help this project.

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Questions to ask the client

In this class, we will be working on updating the site for a historical farm in the area.  We are coming up with questions to ask them about the site we will build for them. We must use these questions to find out their needs effectively. To do se we need to be good communicators.

Questions should uncover:

  • Target Audience
  • Style
    • Examples: Get examples of 3 sites they like or would be what they are going for
    • Branding: logo, colors, etc that the organization uses to identify itself
  • Content
    • Priorities for content, functionality
    • Objectives
    • who will provide writing, images
  • Technology and hosting
    • Cost
    • Database
    • Scripting
    • other features
  • Target audience
  • Dollars
  • Timeline
  • Peers & Competition
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