Phases of the Website Design Process
Phase 1: The Consultation
During the initial phase we’ll meet up in person or via teleconference. We do not offer telephone consultations unless necessary as it is beneficial to actually see the person with whom you’ll be working! Although we can certainly provide an estimate at the initial meeting, you can also save some time by also using our Get a Quote contact page beforehand.
The initial meeting will take about an hour and is the time to discuss your ideas for the project. We kindly ask that you prepare the following for the consultation:
- What do you want your new website to accomplish?
- What does your company and/or website offer?
- Would you like a new website or a redesign?
- What are your goals for the website?
- Who is your target client?
- What are some extra features your web site may need? (see our list here at the bottom)
- What about your current site do you like? Dislike?
- Find 2-3 sites that you like either the layout, color scheme, or general feel to it.
- Find 1-2 sites that you DO NOT LIKE so we know what to avoid in the initial development stage.
- What is your desired completion date?
- What is your budget?
- Examine your competition: Who are rival companies that provide similar offerings? Include a few of these companie’s website. Look at sites for visual branding, navigation, calls to action and other aspects that make them stand out
We will also review the main points of the contract at this time. Kindly understand that no work on your website will commence until the contract is signed and a 50% down payment is made for the project. Payments are accepted via Paypal, cash and check. We encourage the contract to be signed at the initial meeting (if done in person) to prevent any delays in the website development process.
Phase 2: Prepare the Digital Documents
After the contract is signed we ask that you prepare any text and images that you would like us to use in the site. This phase works best if you are able to send a breakdown of each desired website page in a word document with an image. If you are requesting a website redesign and prefer us to use the existing information on the current site we can certainly do so too!
We suggest using Pixabay if you do not have many high quality images. Pixabay offers thousands of FREE high quality images that are available for commercial use; you simply need to register for an account.
Phase 3: Visual Design
Once the architecture for the site has been established we will start on creating the general visual style. You will determine the overall visual style, but we are happy to offer our expertise and make recommendations based on trends in web design. Always remember that one of your company’s goals should be to connect with your clients with an attractive and engaging website.
Phase 4: Checkpoint #1
After we create a few pages and have a basic idea for the visual design we take a designated timeout. This is time to let us know if you would like us to change the colors, fonts, layouts, theme, etc. Checkpoint #1 is the most important of all the phases of the website design process as it ensures that we are heading in the right direction and meeting your expectations for the website.
Phase 5: Site Testing and Checkpoint #2
Your website will be on a staging server while it is being developed. You can share the domain with anyone you’d like to view the site. Site testing is critical as there will inevitably be a few issues that need to be addressed prior to the site going live. At this stage the site will need to be viewed on multiple browsers (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge) and multiple devices (laptops, tablets, and cell phones) to ensure everything looks and functions as planned.
Phase 6: Launch
You’ve braved the various phases of the website design process and the big day has finally come! The site has been tested, reviewed and approved by the stakeholders in your company. Be prepared to address any concerns from your users adapting to the new site. Even with careful review prior to launch, additional issues will undoubtedly occur. Expect to make some immediate changes to the site as necessary. All of our website development contracts include 30 days of support for these issues (such as fixing broken links, editing copy and making adjustments) after the launch date. It is vital to understand that your website is a fluid medium that may change on a daily or weekly basis. Frankly, change is inevitable which is why we recommend our website support and content management plans.
Phase 7: Site Maintenance
Websites are entities that require constant care and maintenance. Updating your themes, plugins, content, and making changes to the back-end are crucial to the security of your website. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND adding on our “Standard” Support Plan at minimum. This will give you the piece of mind that your website is in good hands and being cared for. We also offer premium and professional support plans to help engage your customers through social media and elevate your SEO.