We’ve Got the Answers
If you can’t find the answer to the question you’re looking for below, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help.
Can I still work with your studio during the COVID-19 pandemic?
What are the most popular Pixel Parlor services for small businesses and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Websites and digital communications are as important as ever in this changing times. We are assisting our clients with a migration of in-person events and physical collateral over to digital. We’re helping existing companies and organizations take the time out to rethink their voice, position, and visual branding. For some of our clients, the forced isolation is providing a new opportunity to plan and prepare for launching of new offerings to their customers. Let us know if we can assist with your company/organization’s vision and/or goals.
Can we meet before we decide to possibly work together?
Absolutely. Just let us know what you’re thinking, and we can certainly discuss over coffee/tea, or on the phone, etc.
How long have you been in business?
We’ve been officially registered as a business (Pixel Parlor, LLC) since early 2012, but Andrew (one of the partners) has been designing under the Pixel Parlor name since 2004. The partners at Pixel Parlor (Andrew and Jenn) each have 15+ years of experience in the graphic design field.
What is needed to start a project?
We require a signed agreement, a 50% deposit, and any initial content you may have already.
Where are you located?
We’re in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. More specifically, we’re in the 2424 Studios building at 2424 E York Street. We frequently work with companies and individuals throughout North America. For more information, check out our Contact Page.
Do you take on rush projects?
Certainly. We generally have enough bandwidth to make most rushes work, and in the rare case where we sense the timing may be impossible, we’ll let you know up front. Occasionally, rush projects will require additional charges, but this is on as case by case basis.
How long does a project take?
The amount of time needed can vary pretty drastically depending on the project type (a small icon set, an identity system, a large website overhaul, etc). When it comes to websites, the factors are primarily the scale & complexity of content as well as the inclusion of any required functionality (ie: e-commerce, twitter feeds, etc). Most straight-forward sites can go live in 3-4 weeks, though often times a timeline of 8 weeks or so allows for sufficient client review time and revisions. We certainly can expedite parts of the process if/when appropriate.
Will you keep me updated while a project is in process?
Absolutely. We use time tracking software to project manage which allows us to be able to provide budget updates throughout a project, as well as keep you up to date with regards to scope. We are all for open communication with clients, and we don’t disappear for weeks at a time without checking in along the way. We send many emails, and also are available for phone conversations.
What is my role/responsibility as a client working with Pixel Parlor?
The client knows their products and goals best, which requires that they take an active role in the design process to ensure a successful outcome. We aren’t suggesting that the client should become a designer—but in order to make steady progress—the client needs to provide timely feedback when reviewing drafts, should take the lead in proofreading (or appoint/provide a proofreader), and provide professionally written and edited content from an internal source or professional writer.
We will set the stage at the onset of the project by inquiring about goals, audience, budget, and time constraints and plan accordingly. Pixel Parlor will provide an environment that maintains an open dialogue throughout the process, and enough flexibility to make your life easier.
Why do you use WordPress?
WordPress is open source content management software and currently powers around 28% of all websites on the Internet. The project is contributed to by tens of thousands of developers all over the world and is constantly growing and improving. WordPress allows us to develop flexible and customizable websites to modern standards and observes web development best practices. Furthermore the community of web developers that use WordPress reaches far and wide and allows us to tap into this collective intelligence and bring that wealth of experience to your project.
What is information architecture?
Information architecture is the relationship of how all the different pages of a website are related to each other. This is communicated visually through a sitemap.
We complete the information architecture set by developing a “blueprint” of the site using wireframes. Wireframes are similar to an outline, they are devoid of design (color, typography, design elements) but document the placement of content (photography, text) and interactivity.
Where is the website hosted?
While nearly any web hosting can support WordPress installs, we have our favorites that we like to suggest for our clients, which bring the power and speed of cloud hosting to an accessible control panel. If you prefer to use a different host, we’d recommend that they offer complementary SSL, and have WordPress oriented tiers.
What happens after the website is launched?
Once your website is live, we will provide 30 days of support to make sure any bugs have been ironed out and that you are confident using your new website.
After 30 days, you will need to subscribe to one of our ongoing website care plans to make sure your website is looked after and maintained. These website care plans include updating your software, regular backups, security checks and making sure your website is online. More information on our website care plans is available upon request.
Who do I call if something goes wrong with the website?
The first step in identifying an issue with your site is to call the hosting service to see if they are experiencing down time or if there are any security issues that need to be addressed. We recommend that our client take this first step before engaging our team since in general, the hosting service can alleviate most general errors.
If, upon calling the hosting service, it is determined that there is an issue that needs a designer or developer to resolve, our team will be happy to assist with fixing the issue on an hourly, as-needed basis.
I can’t figure out how to do something on my site.
As part of every website project, we provide our clients with a user manual and a training session to help our clients make almost every essential site update.
At times our clients want to do something more complex or something goes wrong. Our team is always happy to help on an hourly, as-needed basis to make your life easier and to put out any fires.
I updated my site and things got weird. What do I do?
At times our clients want to do something more complex than what we’ve covered in the user manual and training session or something goes wrong when they are making an update. Our team is always happy to help on an hourly, as-needed basis to make your life easier and to put out any fires.
How long will it take to appear at the top of Google?
Google’s algorithm favors two primary things: determining which site is the most appropriate expert on the search topic, and 2: coding best practices (semantic markup, page load speeds, etc.)
The time it takes for your website to appear on page 1 of Google depends on a number of factors. It depends on the search phrase people are using to find your website and the number of other websites that are also available for those search phrases. No one can truly say how long it will take for your website to appear at the top of search engine results pages (including people who actually work for Google), however there are a number of factors that can improve your chances.
Building your website on WordPress is a good start as WordPress has some great Search Engine Optimization best practices baked in. Creating unique and interesting content on a regular basis for your website is also critical to increase your visibility amongst search engines. Launching your website and then forgetting about may allow your site to get lost amongst the noise.
We are happy to talk more about your search engine strategy if we haven’t already.
How will I know if anyone is visiting my website?
We will install Google Analytics software on your new website and can show you how to log into your Google Analytics account where you can see a wide range of statistics about your website including number of visits, pageviews than the amount of time people are spending on your website.
What happens if I want to add some features to the website while you’re building it?
While we like to be flexible and responsive to your needs, we also like to deliver what we promise within the timeframe and budget we have agreed upon. If you ask us to add new features to your website while we are building it, we will most likely ask “why?”.
If we all agree that your new request will help us achieve our objectives then we will be more than happy to oblige if the ask is within the existing project scope. If this new feature is something you would like to add to your website but is not part of the original objectives and scope, we will likely suggest to launch that feature in a second project phase after launch. We will provide you with an estimate for the additional scope and a schedule for the new feature after launch.
What is a content document?
Upon completion of the project roadmap that includes the final approved sitemap and wireframes, we can begin to compile the content collection process. This begins with our team creating a content template based on the structure of the sitemap and wireframes that allows the client to drop in existing, reusable content, base content, images, illustrations, and information graphics that they intend to reuse on the site as well as provide the client with a consolidated and organized space for editing. We will provide the client with a high-level overview of the content status as each section of content reaches completion.
How will we do this?
Content generation must begin early in the process in order for the design and development team to be able to create a design that responds to the content and to provide the client with an appropriate amount of time to create new original written, photographic, and illustrative content to help tell the story of their business in an engaging manner.
Who is responsible for the content?
Each project manages the content differently, but in this case, the client will be providing all written and photographic content and edits.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is the process by which the client reviews all of their existing marketing materials and language and maps them to the structure of the site. Initially, this will be rough blocks of content dropped into their general location on the website, but will be refined and edited to best suit the site structure.
What is a bug?
Our team guarantees our work for 30-days post launch and will fix any bugs that may pop up within those 30-days. Any new requests to design or interactivity with a launched website will be assessed and provided as a new estimate and scope.
A bug is a coding or display error that was due to our team missing a certain scenario in testing. For example: on a mobile device, the logo is getting cut off, or the header is displaying the incorrect time-zone.
We aim to fix all bugs during the pre-launch and 30-days following the site’s live date. Any bugs that arise after 30-days will require engaging with our team on an hourly basis to fix the issue.
What is considered new scope?
- Revisiting already complete and approved project phases (i.e. returning to wireframes once visual design has started).
- Adding to the approved sitemap (adding new pages) after development has been initiated.
- Adding new functionality after the discovery phase.
- Changing the layout of pages while the site is in development.
- Providing content after the project has moved into development creates a scenario where the developer needs to work with dummy content and then re-enter the final approved content again after the site is developed. Essentially, content that comes in too late in the process creates a scenario where the content is double-entered.
All of these requests set the project schedule back, increase workload, and create double-entry all of which impact the project budget.
If during the site design and development process any of these requests occur, the client will be alerted to it’s impact on the budget and the request will be either estimated on as an additional scope of services or will be converted over to an hourly engagement through completion.
What is considered site maintenance?
This can range from updates for security, plug-ins, core WordPress versions, to updating content across pages. We are happy to assist on all of these items on an hourly, as-needed basis.
We provide the tools to empower our clients to update their own sites, but there are times where a practicing design profession can make the task quicker, easier and more confidently executed.
In general, the internet changes on a daily basis, and we recommend quarterly updates to assure that your site is secure and functioning up to its potential.
Does site maintenance prevent my site from getting hacked?
Unfortunately no, but it sure helps reduce your chances! The goal with site maintenance is to keep the site’s plugins, themes, & WP core up to date, run regular security scans to help reduce the risk of well-known vulnerabilities, avoid down time & lapses with connected third party services (i.e. licenses, hosting, etc.), and establish a site backup strategy for quicker action if an issue were to arise.
What is project recalibration?
A project recalibration is a meeting that compares the project estimate to the project roadmap to assure that all elements are in scope and the implications of the team’s decisions are discussed and considered before moving further along in the process.
This allows our team to check on the project budget, project requirements, and technological details and how they impact the overall goals of the project.
Let’s Work Together
We enjoy taking on smaller projects that then become larger initiatives. There’s no project too big or too small for us. We’d love to hear what you have cooking.