The Typical Website Design and Development Process
There’s a lot more to designing and developing a custom website than meets the eye. Good, professional web design takes time and skill.
I believe that web design is a collaborative process. It’s important that I understand your objectives and you understand my requirements and together we collaborate to create a successful website for you and your business.
These notes are to help you understand the process involved in designing and building your website. Depending on the size, type and budget of a project, these are the steps I usually go through.Part One - The Basics:
Discovery / Getting to know you
Based around the Client Information Sheet, this is where I get to know you, your business, and goals for your website. You can either download and email me the completed form or we can go through it together when we talk on the phone or in person. Once I have all this information, I will write you a proposal and provide you with an initial quote for the project.
Once you have accepted my proposal, I require a 50% deposit before I start work. The remaining 50% will be invoiced after the final revision and before the website is due to go “live”.
This is where I discover your vision for your website. We’ll need to talk about your business brand, your competitors, websites you like and dislike, favourite colours and any other design preferences. This will form the basis of the design and layout of the site.
The sooner you own your website address or domain name the better. Choose a name that’s easy to remember and related to your business. I can advise you how to buy a domain name.
Content collection and production
Content is the most important part of your website. The content will tell people about you and your business. It’s what people come to your website for and what will bring them back. Content is also what Google and other search engines are continuously looking for. It’s far easier for me to design a website that works if I have the content to work with so the sooner I have it the better. This includes text and images. If you need help creating content I can write it for you.
The Design Phase:
Part One: Wireframing
I’ll create a very basic layout of the key pages of the site to test different layout options before beginning the design mock-ups. This may be pencil and paper sketches or done using wireframing software.
Part Two: Design Mock-ups
Based on the approved wireframes, I’ll then create two design mock-ups of the website in Photoshop adding colour and images and any available copy.
The Development Phase - Coding
I will organise the set up of your web hosting for you.
Testing, Testing, Testing
I’ll do cross-browser testing to make sure that your website displays well and functions in all the major browsers and on PCs and Mac computers. As part of the collaborative process there will also be a chance for you to give me feedback on the design and functionality of the website. Once everything has been tweaked and polished we will be ready to go live.Part Two - Optional Extras:
Content Management System or Blog Integration
If you want to update your own content or make frequent changes to the website yourself, I can integrate the website with a content management system (CMS). I can also train you how to use the CMS and/or write you a step-by-step User’s Manual for your particular CMS. If you wanted to add a blog to your website, I could design and add it at any time.
Marketing your Website
I can advise you on ways to publicise your new website. If you want help with social media optimisation I can give you social media training so that you can make the most of Twitter, Facebook or Blogging to promote your website and your business.
Analysis and Reporting
Once your website had been up and working for a month I can then monitor traffic to your site, track page visits, identify traffic sources etc. I can provide you with a monthly report detailing your site’s performance.
Monitoring and Maintenance
Once the site has gone live I will do a thorough link check and monitor the site for one week to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Once the monitoring period is over you may want to set up a maintenance plan. This could cover updating the site, changing design aspects, troubleshooting, adding social media and so on.