We begin work on the website as soon as the first 50% deposit is received. This is just to ensure that we get paid for our time if a client ghosts on us after work is put into the website.
We like to work quick and keep our clients informed of our timeline, so we'd like to say 2-4 weeks from beginning to end. The only way we can keep to that kind of schedule, however, is if our clients communicate with us regularly and give us everything we need in a timely manner and within the timeframes we give them.
If we don't get what we need within our timeframes, a website can take more than 2+ months.
The way we prefer to receive payment is with a first deposit of 50% of the total payment before any work starts, and then we charge the second 50% deposit when the work is complete. We do our best to work with our clients, though, so feel free to send us a message to ask about working a different payment plan out if necessary.
We do all web design work under contracts to protect both the client and ourselves from anything unexpected, and we primarily restrict communication to e-mail for record keeping and to keep everyone honest.
Currently, we send PayPal invoices.