In order to create a “Great Website” as opposed to simply a “good website”, its important to follow a design process, as well as to ensure that the website is kept up to date and filled with great content.
Before we even start the process, its important to choose a domain name, and buy hosting. We can help with both of these stages.
Step 1 – Choose a Platform
We are able use a variety of Content Management System (CMS) platforms to design your website. Most of our work is done using the popular WordPress platform, but we also use Joomla, Umbraco and Joomla. We can also design websites using HTML, but with the range of CMS products on offer these days we’re not sure why you’d want to!
Step 2 – Design the top-level structure
Before we even start to think what your website will look like, we need to think about the basic layout of the content, or the top level structure. What are the main pages, and how will these be arranged into a menu?
Step 3 – The Graphic Bit – Templates and Themes
What do you want your website to look like? This is where we create a template or theme to work with, and make it work with your company’s brand. This is also the stage where we’ll need your logos and any other images you want to use.
Step 4 – Population
The hard part of the design process now begins – creating pages of good quality, search engine optimised, content. Each page on your website will be hand crafted, checked using a range of SEO tools, and proof-read before we are happy with it. And if you’re not happy with it? We’ll do it again! This is also the stage where any widgets, scripts and plugins are implemented.
Step 5 – Testing
As we near the end of the design process, we thoroughly test and check every aspect of your site, using a range of browsers, as well as testing your site on a tablet and a mobile phone.
Step 6 – Maintenance Strategy
Before we consider the design process to be complete – we will work with you to put together a maintenance strategy. This could be handing management of the site over to yourself as the client, or to a third party. It could be agreeing to one of our own maintenance contracts. The choice is yours.
Why is a design process important?
Would you build a house without planning and designing it? Would you make a major investment without a business plan? The same applies in web design. Would you commit to paying your web designer without knowing what the end result will be?
We like our clients to be as involved as they want in the design process. Some clients like to hand us an outline briefing and leave us to get on with it – others like to be heavily involved in the process… either way we are happy to adapt the process to suit the client’s needs.