About the Process

We receive a lot of questions from prospective clients on what to expect from working with us. If you are new to working with a professional development firm, here are some tips on what to expect from the process.

The process will look different depending on what service we’re providing for you, thus these are broken down situation by situation. The information below will help you prepare to work with us, saving you both time and money.


Working with Authentic: What to Expect

Part 1: Website Services

Website Development A: new project or rebuild

If we are developing a new website for you, or rebuilding your existing website, including creating a mobile friendly website, we will make our way through the following steps:

  1. We provide a Non-Disclosure Agreement that protects anything we discuss.
  2. We will want to know more about your company: what you do, what you care about, who you want to reach and what it is that you do best. The more you can tell us about your brand and what you’re doing in the world, the better we’ll be able to serve you.
  3. We will require detailed specifications for what you are attempting to build, including intended functionality, target markets, and a desired timeline.
    Depending on our agreement, we will either present you with an estimate for your deliverables; or, you will present us with a budget and we will let you know what is possible within your targeted budget range.
  4. If it is required by your project’s needs, we will make a plan for SEO or UX services to support your project.
  5. We will agree to a price and timeline either by a contract or email. The Deliverables will be agreed upon with clear guidelines.
  6. We will require a deposit of 50% of the project price.
  7. We then start the project; throughout the process we will stay in contact with you to ensure quality and satisfaction.
  8. Upon project completion we will enter a Beta Testing phase. We may open the site to a limited number of people at this time for specific testing. A remaining 25% of the project budget will be due at this stage.
  9. Once we are satisfied with the tests, the site will be ready for launch.
  10. Upon project completion,our staff will meet with you to review the project. We will request a review of our work and be open any feedback you may have. The remaining 25% of the budget will be payable at this time.
  11. We will schedule a maintenance plan with you that fits with the scope of your website. It is important to keep up with monthly site maintenance to protect against security threats. Please review our available website maintenance plans.

Website Development B: project handoff from another firm

The steps here are the same as Web Development A projects except:

  1. Along with your project specifications, we will require a change log or set of notes on what your previous development team was doing.
  2. We will require full access to the site build or pre-launch platform, including SFTP, SSH, Databases & Admin-level CMS login.
  3. We will assess your project to determine what it will cost to complete according to your specifications. Please be aware that depending on the situation, it may be more cost effective for us to implement our own solutions or rebuild your site than it would be for us to pick up where your former development team left off.

CMS Website Maintenance

Website Maintenance is very important for CMS sites; when CMS's are not updated, they are left open to hacking by humans and bots. The cost of repairing a hacked site can be very expensive, plus the cost of business down time. To avoid these risks, it is best to do monthly backups and updates for all CMS based websites such as Wordpress and Drupal.

  1. We provide an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)
  2. We collaborate with you to determine the best fit for the needs of your project, considering the size of your website and how important website security is.
  3. We agree to either a website maintenance plan, or AAA Website Security plan. If paid up front, the price is discounted by 2 months, otherwise it is charged in a full rate, owed monthly.
  4. We will keep backups of your files and databases each month, and add the necessary security updates to your CMS. The time that we allot to your project depends on the plan you select.
  5. Depending on your plan size, we can add content updates such as events or blog posts.
  6. In the occurrence of a website attack or hack, we will work to resolve it within your chosen hours per month. If the fix falls within your monthly plan, there will be no additional charge. If the fix is more expensive, we will bill our regular hourly rate. Some of our plans, such as the AAA Website Security plans, include complete website fixes in the event of a hack at no additional charge. We can also add high level security features to any website for a small fee.

Part 2: Search Engine Services

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If we are working for your firm to increase your search rank, whether we are engaging in a long term or a short term campaign, the following will apply:

  1. We will provide a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  2. At a cost, we undertake a thorough SEO Analysis to assess the current state of your site’s SEO. This tells us what is missing, what is working, and if there is anything blocking you in the search engines. This is an essential SEO service we provide for all SEO projects. ** The exception is in our 6 month plans; for these the SEO Analysis is built into the schedule and will not cost extra.
  3. The SEO Analysis will give us data on the gaps in your current SEO strategy. We will present a report complete with actionable items, organized by priority. ** In the case of 6 month plans, we will work to complete the items rather than presenting a report.
  4. We will discuss our SEO plans and service offerings with you to determine how we can best create a value for your company, whether we agree to a 6 month relationship, or agree to undertake the prioritized items in order as your budget allows.
  5. We sign a contract specific to SEO services; it includes deliverables and a disclaimer with instructions on how to avoid counteracting our SEO actions.
    We charge 50% of the project price up front, unless it is for a 6 month relationship, which is paid in equal monthly installments.
  6. At the time of project completion, we assess whether the Deliverables were met to satisfaction.
  7. We discuss follow-up services that will support your business in continuing to grow traffic in the search engines. Clients in good standing are eligible for Ongoing SEO and Inbound Marketing campaigns on a monthly basis. The best SEO results are seen in the sites that continually add high quality content, with proper metadata, and are continually refining their SEO strategy.

**Please note: in special circumstances we may create custom SEO offerings to fit smaller budgets, including offering consultation services to support your team.

Content Writing & Inbound Marketing

A website is only as good as its content, and the content we write is engaging, suave, and specifically matched to selected target audiences. We know how to write to improve trust in a brand, and how to write for the search engines. With our content writing service, you can sit back and do what you do best, while we make you look like the superstar you are.

  1. We provide a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  2. We work with you to understand your intended target market, such that we can create content that will engage them.
  3. At a cost, we work to create a Content Plan that will guide all of our Content Writing activities for your firm. We will discuss your intended tone, mood, intellect, and what actions you want your site visitors to take.
  4. We determine how much content is to be written, at what depth, and how often. We agree on either a per-month or per-page price.
  5. Depending on your project goals, we can discuss complementary services such as SEO and Keyword Research that can guide our Content Writing for your firm.
  6. Once our parameters are clear, we work to create high quality, engaging content that speaks directly to your target audience.

** Content writing can be a part of any 6 month plan that has an appropriate number of allotted hours per month.

Part 3: UX Services

User Experience (UX)

User Experience is an essential aspect of modern websites: it is known for its capacity to increase conversions (sales, leads, signups, etc), and to increase customer satisfaction and engagement.

  1. We provide an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)
  2. We will discuss your company and your projects, to determine how we can best support you with our services.
  3. At a cost, we undertake a Basic UX Review or a Deep UX Review, depending on the specific needs of your project. Payment is charged 50% up front, and 50% at completion. Our UX Review gives us a lot of useful data on what it is that may be stopping your website users from taking your desired actions; or, why website traffic isn’t converting to sales, leads, or signups.
  4. We present our report to you; it can either be used to advise your existing Web Development team, or you can create a contract with Authentic, and we will take care of the recommended changes.
  5. If you enter into contract with us for the changes, we will estimate a price for the project. If agreed upon, we will charge a 50% deposit at the beginning, 25% part way, and 25% at project completion.
  6. At the time of project completion, we will assess the work with you to ensure that the intended deliverables have been fulfilled.
  7. We will follow up with you for feedback, and to determine if there is any other ways we may be of service to your company.

** UX can be a part of any 6 month plan that has an appropriate number of allotted hours per month.

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