Follow our stage-by-stage guide to gain an insight into our working method, find-out what to expect when you work with us and how to avoid any pitfalls along the way.
Stage one – finding out about you
It all starts with where you are with your business.
Are you a start-up without a website?
If this is you, we’ll begin by talking about what you want to achieve with your website. Every site needs a purpose – to generate sales leads, list event information, or sell a product.
The next step is to decide how to engage with your audience, and once you have them on board, how to encourage them to take action. We’ll need to determine what information they will need and a hierarchy in which to provide it.
Speaking of audiences, we also need to know who they are. This will allow us to engage with them in an appropriate tone of voice, using copy and visuals that they’ll find relevant. Understanding the audience makes it possible to create a website that is customer focused and user centric.
Do you already have a website, but it isn’t working for you?
If your business already has a website but it isn’t working, we will need to find out why. It might be that your business has changed, and the site no longer represents what you do. Perhaps the audience has altered and you’re no longer relevant to them. Whatever the reason, we will reassess your goals and focus on what needs to be changed to improve your business success.
Stage two – site plan
This is where we work out every element of your website to form a structured site plan with a hierarchy of information. This can be done using a simple bulleted list, or graphically with a flow chart. The site plan will show the page sections of the site and how they link together with a basic outline of content.
Stage three – wireframe
Once the site plan has been agreed, we create a wireframe prototype. It will allow you to test the navigation and flow of information. At this stage we won’t be looking at the visual design – that’s coming up next.
Stage four – visual design
The visual design starts to take shape once the wireframe is approved.
It’s here that the brand assets also come into use – logo, fonts, colour and imagery.
We start by working on the main website pages, such as the home page, other landing and service pages, and share these with you for feedback. It’s important you feel comfortable with the progress and make comments before the whole site is complete.
Visual design development
Following your comments, we will revise and refine the design and work on pages that have not been shown in the initial design stage.
In parallel with the visual design, the website content can be developed. As well as text, this will include photography, video, illustration and infographics as well.
Stage five – front-end web development
Development of key page templates
While the content is being pulled together the website page templates will be created. It will allow you to test the pages using any device: desktop, mobile or tablet, and provide feedback.
Development of remaining page templates
Any refinements to the template design will be done at this stage, as well as work on the remaining pages.
Danger area: ‘scope creep’
One thing to avoid at this stage is ‘scope creep’. It’s easy to add extra features or more content that hasn’t already been planned for. The big danger is that this can delay the development process and, in some cases, incur extra costs.
Stage six – back-end web development
With the templates approved they can now be integrated with an installation of WordPress. This will be set-up on a development server that you will be able to access. We will input some, or all of the content, depending on what we have agreed to do. You will be able to login to WordPress server and add or edit content.
Prior to making your website live you can give the website a final review and test all of the functions.
Stage seven – transfer installation to live/production server
The very last stage is to make the website live. This involves moving the entire website installation over to the hosting platform used for your domain.
It’s a long and slightly complicated process, but we hope this guide will make it clearer. No two website projects are ever the same and I treat every client on an individual basis.