TOPIC: WHY A TECHNICAL BLUEPRINT by Phillip Nguyen - Digital Marketing Solutions LLC's Chief Software Engineer & Founder.

There has been NO SILVER BULLET in website development in my 24 years of working in this field as a software engineer. However, there is one called, “The Technical Blueprint.” You can call this the “silver bullet” for the website development process because there is no other method or way to ensure the success of your website being delivered as defined, on-time, and on-budget!

WHY? Would you build a home without a blueprint? The answer is NO! So why would you allow your I.T. team or your subcontractor(s) to build a website without it? Building a website, an especially complex website, has numerous complexities because of the unknowns and intangibilities involved in building a website. Over half of software development and website projects are dead before arrival due to going over-budget and over-time, simply because people failed on their first step...having a well defined Technical Blueprint. You should never allow your website project to begin without a well defined technical blueprint! Doing so is risky unless it’s just a few simple pages and functionalities. So have a technical blueprint before you sign that dotted line. This is the only way to ensure the success of your website because it is the document that you hold your web developer responsible for.

COST. The typical cost of a well defined technical blueprint is roughly about 25% of the project’s overall development cost. Most people who are not familiar with “software development risks” are not comfortable with this cost and this process. They just want a quick estimate and an “EASY TO GET STARTED” roadmap without having to deal with all the details. However, if you choose to use the technical blueprint, this should not be considered as “EXTRA COST” to your project, but instead as part of the project cost. Whoever takes on the project after the technical blueprint is done should deduct this cost that you already paid on the total estimated project cost unless they reason that they don’t need a technical blueprint. If so, then you should run away from this developer as fast as you can.

DELIVERABLES. What should be included in the “Technical Blueprint” of your website project?
  1. A project’s summary of goals and objectives.
  2. A list of use cases (front end and back end).
  3. A design proposal with requirement specifications.
  4. A project timeline An estimation of the project’s minimum and maximum costs.
  5. An action plan with implementation steps.
  6. And last but not least, a service contract.
SUMMARY. With a typical website, especially a large scale project, the development process consists of following several steps. If your project has too many unknown factors and risks that were not sorted because you do not have a technical blueprint, then it’s more likely to fail. However, with a technical blueprint, you and your developer can stay on the same page, have the same understanding of how you envision this website, and have a plan to follow. Without it, it’s like walking through the jungle without a compass because you trusted your developer to hold your hand each step of the way.
  1. Analysis - producing a technical blueprint.
  2. Design - graphical mockups and illustrations of the site.
  3. Coding - converting basic HTML to functional codes.
  4. Testing - lab testing, client testing, and public testing of your website Training - developer trains client on how to operate the site.
  5. Update - sealing the leak(s) after the boat is launched (and there will be leaks!) 
  6. On-going Technical Support & Training
For more information, please visit the premier website design and development company, Digital Marketing Solutions LLC. An A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau since 2003.

How to subcontracting your search engine optimization works?

How to subcontracting your search engine optimization works by Phillip Nguyen, President of Digital Marketing Solutions LLC

INTRODUCTION.  From time to time, our team is so busy with other software development projects and we decided to outsource our SEO work to subcontractors. When our customers heard that we outsourced the work, they often got scared with all kind of suspicions. We completely understand the concerns. We would do the same if you are your shoes for good reasons. However, let us assure you that there is nothing to be scared or concerned about if you know how to find the right subcontractor(s), have the right terms and condition to protect yourself and knowing how to take control of it.

Let's start out with some interviewing questions, see below. If you need help understanding these questions, we can be reached at


  1. How long have your company been in this business? 
  2. How many staff do you have that specialize on SEO? 
  3. Will be able to provide us a list of your happy customers? 
  4. What software are you using to analyze or identify the SEO issues? 
  5. What included in your SEO analysis report? 
  6. What is the typical process or approach you will take to improve our site’s SEO ranking? 
  7. Do you offer content writing for SEO and how much per article for about 500-700 words? 
  8. Do you offer video production (quick video clips) and graphic design to accommodate those articles?
  9. Where do you post these articles and what would happen to them if one day we are no longer doing business with you? What do you do to make sure that our SEO efforts are in compliance with the “best practice” recommended by a search engine such as Google? 
  10. What, when, where and how can we track the ranking performance of our site? 
  11. What is your minimum contract duration or how many months? 
  12. What is the minimum monthly budget that you accept? 
  13. How do you feel if we do not want you to have direct access to our site or server but just help guide us what we have to do? 
  14. Do you make a promise to your clients of certain ranking result? 
  15. If not, why not? Why is or are the key advantage(s) of us using your company over the others? 
  16. Here is the domain name of our site, for an example,… 
  17. Here are the keywords we want to improve our ranking on “online auction software, auction software scripts, auction software company” Our typical client profiles are…” auction companies that want to go online” This product is B2B ( business to business) 


  1. No long term commitment so that you can terminate the service and save your hard earned money if they didn’t deliver what they promised you. I recommended month to month and the option to terminated after 3 months if you see no improvement. 
  2. You own the content. Any search engine article created on the behalf of your website is a “work for hired” and you own the content. Create a Google doc folder under your account and have them post these articles there so that you have control of it just in case you part way. 
  3. Permanent link back. Whatever link back they created for you, make sure that it’s permanent or at least you have control of it somehow. This to prevent that if you ever parted way, they don’t deactivate these links and negatively affected your site’s ranking. 
  4. White hat only. In the search engine optimization world, there is a white hat and black hat as it’s called. Make sure that whatever effort your subcontractor(s) do to improve the ranking of your site organically; they have to do it in an ethical way. Meaning there is no trick because there are plenty of tricks that people can use. Why? Because once Google or other search engines found out, they will penalize you for it and it will be very hard to reverse it. 
  5. Report. In your contract, you should clearly state that need a monthly report or a report of every two weeks to see the ups and downs your site’s ranking. You can also verify these ranking by creating a Google analytic account and confirm it yourself. It’s really a five minutes work. 

That’s all, for now, folks and hope this helps! If you have any question, we can be reached at  You can download this article via this link

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