Planning is the most important part of the entire website design process. The more information we have about your project up front, the more successful we will be in achieving the desired result.
The Project Questionnaire
Our Project Questionnaire (like a Creative Brief) is basically a series of questions we will ask you so that we can understand the scope and goals of your project; your target audience, which is important because it will affect where and how the site gets viewed; and it will help us to understand your company’s culture and personality.
We can ask these questions during a face-to-face meeting or a phone call — or you can simply fill out our online Project Questionnaire. We’ll then schedule a phone call for a discussion.
What we don’t learn from the Project Questionnaire, we’ll learn by doing our own research. We’ll check out the competition in your target market and see how we can be different.
If you have a complex site with many pages, we may wireframe the structure of the site before beginning the design process. Wireframing helps clarify exactly what needs to be on the different page templates of your website. This helps us determine what elements are on the page and how the page will function. This gives our site a solid foundation.
Once the planning stage is complete, we will start our design phase.
We will design the home page plus all the unique templates for your site. If you are providing the content and it is not yet ready, we will fill in the content areas with dummy text until you give us the actual copy. If our copywriter is writing your site, we will be developing the design and copy in tandem. It’s always more preferable to work with real content, so if you have a good idea about your content at the beginning of a project, you’re off to a great start.
During our design process, we will post comprehensive layouts (comps) on our staging server for you to view. It’s important to start receiving feedback from you so we can course correct, if needed. It’s necessary to get final sign-off from you on our design before continuing on to the coding phase.
Now we will see our pages come to life by adding the working code. We will begin with creating all the HTML and CSS, adding our content and imagery, building our forms, etc.
While the HTML is being completed, we will ask you to secure your domain and make sure the DNS Nameservers are pointing to your web host. If you already have the domain, but don’t yet have a web host, we will help you find an appropriate host and if necessary, we will take care of re-directing the DNS Nameservers for you.
Then we can prepare the WordPress installation on your server.
While we are developing the site on your server, it will be invisible to anyone who does not have a special password to view the progress of the site. We will also prevent the search crawlers from searching your site until it’s completed.
It’s important that your website is usable across all major browsers, platforms and mobile devices. We will test it’s performance in a multitude of browsers to assure compatibility.
When we’ve finally perfected the site, it’s time to release it to the public. We will remove the password to the site and open it up to the search crawlers.
During the planning phase, you should have determined who will be in charge of site maintenance. If you are unable to maintain the site, you may want to hire us on a regular or as-needed basis to manage and perform maintenance tasks.
We will also help to provide some guidelines and basic training to make sure you understand how to properly maintain the site. We can even create a screencast movie to show you how to take care of certain tasks on your site.
How We Work
We think it’s important for you as our client to understand the steps involved in building a website, so you know how and where you can help us achieve your goals. It also helps you understand what kind of time is involved, so you know how your budget is being utilized.