Blogsite Redeaux, Part Three: Negotiate a Contract

The third part of this series is about how to negotiate a contract with a web designer.

Hopefully you’ve chatted extensively with several designers and have a good idea of what they do and don’t do. Based on all you’ve heard and seen, informally ask if he/she can design you a site to include that list of “must-haves” you’ve been accruing. Be detailed! If he/she can’t promise you they will deliver everything on your list, keep shopping for the right one.

Most importantly, as stated before, make sure your designer is one who is easily accessible and will answer all your questions in a timely manner. Because believe me, you will have A LOT of questions.

 1)  OUTLINE THE BASICS

Your contract should contain:

*Both parties’ names and contact information (How will you correspond with each other? Written communication is always best, for several reasons!)

*What responsibilities your designer will perform (Will they be responsible to contract to a website host for you for a fee or will this be something you do yourself? Which website host do they prefer to work with? Will they buy your domain name for you and exactly what is your domain?)

*How much a basic design without extras will cost and when payment(s) are due

*Time frame expected for project to be completed and expectations about delayed project times

*How many rounds of revisions will you be allowed (Three rounds of changes is standard. This forces you to think UP FRONT what you want and not waste the designer’s time.)

*What you get for your money in terms of HTML and CSS layouts

*If the designer will design logos or import photos for you to use on your site and at what cost (Think about your header and your favicon and firm up your creative visions of these items. My husband Al snapped a photo session of me at in scenic setting, then photoshopped it, so Heather could use it at no cost to me.)

*Copyright details or who owns what (What surprised me, a bit, was that I received a copy of the graphics/visual elements created for me to archive. My designer outlined that she was in no way responsible to keep this for me, should there be problems with the site and this need to be re-installed at some time in the future. GOOD TO HAVE AND KNOW!)

 

2)  HOW WILL YOU PAY?

I strongly suggest doing this through PayPal, although I’ve heard grumbling about this site lately. I would still recommend PayPal, however, because you at least have some recourse with the seller when a contract is not fulfilled.

My story: Six months ago when I went through this process the first time, there were glaring holes in my website that I could not fix. The first designer skidded into some personal issues that left her unable to fulfill her part of the bargain. Within the time frame established by PayPal, I was forced to file a dispute to PayPal for reimbursement of my money. This escalated to a full-fledged claim and I was awarded half of the original price I’d paid for my first design (the down-payment was made outside the time frame allowed by PayPal).

Once you’ve signed a contract and have started the actual process, I would suggest keeping ALL correspondence in a separate email folder and hanging onto it. That way, if you ever should have to petition for reimbursement of your money or you simply have a question about something related to your blog, you have your information organized in one place.

I hope my take on blogsite design has been helpful. If it has been beneficial to you, would you comment below or email me?

Lookin up,

 

 

Foot-Stomping, Romping Good Time!

Ridgecrest Baptist Church’s adult choir sang “A Night of Southern Gospel” to a packed house last night, and a foot-stomping, romping good time was had by everyone!

Although we often do Southern Gospel pieces in our traditional worship services and have guest groups in who sing it, it’s a perennial favorite for many, especially our older saints. As one expressed to me last night, “I can’t get enough of it!”

I heard a common theme:  Most seniors grew up in church with this music. It reminds them of the little church houses where they came to know the Lord and trusted Him as Savior. They fondly remember these songs ministering to and cheering them on during low points in their lives. No wonder Southern Gospel is also known as “happy music!”

 

Here are some of the songs we sang: (If you were raised in church AND the South, I hope these hold warm memories for you too–)

“Farther Along”

“Redemption Draweth Nigh”

“Sheltered in the Arms of God”

“Where Could I Go”

“Midnight Cry”

 

Lyrics of songs were projected to screens, so everyone could sing along. Interspersed in the music were several people’s personal testimonies of God’s faithfulness and grace. We sang, we clapped, we rejoiced, we cried together. (I can hardly wait for the next time. . . !)

May all glory go to Him Who supplies us with voices to sing/speak and opportunities to lift up HIS name! May Jesus be praised!

 

Lookin’ up,

 

Vacation Bible School: Why We Do It

Just the words “Vacation Bible School” conjure up happy childhood memories for me. Of popsicle stick napkin-holders and purple Kool-Aid. Of pledges to the flags and “Red Rover, Red Rover, send ——- right over.”

My husband Al and daughter Audra have been braving mornings of Vacation Bible School at our church, Ridgecrest Baptist Church, all week. The theme for the week has been “Amazing Wonders Aviation”. Attendance for VBS has hovered at 300 persons for children and helpers alike. Lots of fun, food, and fellowship. All centered around Bible stories, music, crafts and recreation.

Having done an informal survey of other churches in our area, I’ve found very few hold daytime Vacation Bible Schools any more. Most churches, if they still do one, offer it in the evenings when they can more easily secure helpers.

Some might say Vacation Bible School has outlived its usefulness. Like other old Baptist ways of Training Union or Sunday night worship, it’s often scoffed as a ministry idea that is outdated, ineffective, unappreciated.

Those naysayers couldn’t be more wrong.

Our revamped VBS is a new animal. At least at Ridgecrest where God has blessed us with the staff to pull it off, the children shuffle through the building in a block schedule. They are moved from place to place as a hall bell rings, signaling them to go onto their next activity. Thus, fewer specialized teachers are actually needed, and many of the helpers function simply as “crowd control/kid movers.”

 

Meet Max Elkins, a 24-year-old young man who showed up to help out.

He recognized my husband Al.  “I remember you,” he said to Al. “I used to come to Vacation Bible School when I was a kid and you were here THEN, doing the music.” It’s true, we’ve been serving at Ridgecrest 24 years, and have seen a lot, a LOT of kids come and go through the doors.

Max went on to say, “I’ve been attending Ridgecrest as a visitor, heard we were having Vacation Bible School this week, and wondered if I could pitch in. Where can you use me?”

After Al’s initial shock, he directed Max to the snack area, where Denise Simmons got him and everyone else on track, churning out neat treats for the kids in assembly-line fashion.

 

Vacation Bible School made a lasting impression on this young man and he wanted to give back.

We cannot predict the results this week of light-hearted exploration about God will have on tender hearts and minds.  Some children will definitely become believers.

Others will grow into adults, who will perhaps remember VBS with fondness and will entrust their children to us someday. Whatever the outcome, we get to plant lots of SEEDS and watch God produce a harvest.

Vacation Bible School. That’s why we still do it.

Lookin’ up,