What does FAQ stand for? What about TCP/IP?
FAQ stands "Frequently Asked Questions" and TCP/IP stands for "Transmission Control Protocal/Internet Protocal". We try to define acronyms in context but if we throw out a term you don't know you can always check out AcronymFinder.com.
Do you charge for initial consultations?
No. In fact, we give clients up to three hours free for requirements gathering on every project, even if we don't end up working with you. That said, feel free to have us out and bounce your ideas off of us. If we're not the right firm for the job, we'll let you know.
How much does a website cost?
That's a good question. It truly depends on what you need. How many users do you need to support? How will they be accessing your site (PDA? Cell Phone? Netscape 2.0?)? What level of design do you require on a per page basis? There are a lot of variables that go into estimating the cost of a website; we've done small business and micro-sites for as low as $2,500 and large internet applications for $500,000. Meet with us for a free consultation and we'll see what we can do for you.
What are your rates?
Ignia typically works on a fixed bid basis and as such our rates are not specifically relevent. For hourly work we bill between $80 and $200 depending on the service request. We also provide discounts between 5% and 50% for non-profits, retainer contracts or ongoing maintenance work. We'll be happy to review our rates with you during the initial consultation.
Do you provide print design?
No. We have evaluated this in the past as some clients would prefer a one-stop-shop. It is important to us, however, that we keep focused on our core competencies; areas where we can assure the level of quality that we demand of our products. We do, however, have strategic relationships with key partners that are capable of meeting additional needs. Ignia has established set working processes and standards with our partners which provides our clients with assurance that they will receive the same level of service that they've come to expect from Ignia.
Do you provide advertising and marketing services?
No, however we recognize that marketing is a critical basis for a website. While many of our consultants have a marketing background and may be able to provide their opinion on marketing matters we have chosen to keep the company focused on our core competency. In many cases our clients are fulfilling marketing roles; for clients requiring additional marketing or advertising assistance, however, we will defer to one of our qualified partners to ensure that the business needs are being met while still allowing Ignia to focus on what we do best.
My site runs on UN*X; can you help me?
Maybe; let's talk. Ignia traditionally works with Microsoft technologies (ASP.NET, SQL Server, etc). Depending on your requirements, however, we may be able to bring in specialists in UNIX technologies (such as PHP). If we are not confident in our ability to meet your requirements, however, we will notify you up-front and refer you to a vendor that can better support your needs.
What are your payment terms?
For project work, Ignia requests 25% up front and the remainder upon project completion. For long-term projects we occassionally require mid-project payments. For maintenance or hourly projects, we also offer a service retainer which guarantees a set service level agreement (SLA), discount and fixes our rates. Invoices are expected to be paid within 30 days (Net 30). While we try to maintain these terms we are not inflexible; if you have special requirements talk to us and we'll see if we can work something out.
Do you offer financing? Do you accept credit cards?
No, we don't. We haven't had a large demand for this, especially given that many credit card companies allow borrowing against credit. We may consider delayed payment options under special circumstances, although typically we ask that client's respect our payment terms.
How do you estimate a project?
For most projects, we create an estimate for each feature (represented by a line item) based on an hourly range for every applicable service (development, design, project management, etc). Once this is completed, we multiply the estimates out against our hourly rates and take the average between our low and high estimate and offer that as a fixed bid. This model keeps Ignia accountable for our estimating and allows us the flexibility to assign resources as we see appropriate to meet client requirements. Ignia will not work under a fixed bid if there is significant risk to the project; risk is assessed based either on a cost range greater than fifty percent or based on a lack of a fixed scope. For each project, Ignia will provide a risk assessment which outlines concerns to the project's timeline, budget and feature set.
What are your guarantees? What if my site breaks?
For fixed bid projects, Ignia will guarantee the functionality of the site within documented business requirements for three months; this guarantee means that any bugs will be fixed at no charge to the client. Ignia cannot, however, take responsibility for code that has been modified or that was originally developed by other resources. Likewise, we cannot guarantee external dependencies and will need to bill for fixes resulting from environmental factors such as service pack upgrades or changes in underlying assumptions.
Can I hire one of your staff members as an onsite contractor?
Maybe. Generally speaking we prefer to work with clients on a per project basis which enables us to implement our project process and guarantee our work. Some clients require onsite assistance either due to ongoing service needs or for projects relying on close integration with internal resources. We are willing to evaluate these circumstances, but we will typically recommend against this approach.
How do I get a hold of you via Instant Messenger?
As a company we have standardized on MSN Messenger for internal communication. Despite this, however, we leave the decision as to preferred means of communication up to our resources. For some team members Instant Messaging enables better communication between Ignia and our clients; for other staff, however, this level of access prevents their ability to maintain focus on projects and decreases their productivity.
I have an in-house developer; can I just hire you for design?
Yes, absolutely. One of the many reasons why Ignia employs a project management process is to make it easy for us to seamlessly integrate with other resources.

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