If you’re a new business or new to a role, the website design process can be confusing. We thought we’d write a short blog explaining our processes and what you can expect from us if we’re working together on your new website.
Step 1: Quoting
Firstly, you’ll have come to us to ask for a quote. Now this might be in person, on the phone, email or social media. Our prices vary a lot depending on what you want from us and how much work will be involved. For example, you might want to build a whole new website from scratch – it could be a simple one page website or perhaps it’s an online shop with 10 categories and over 100 products. You might have a website already and want us to copy the content and structure over, and redesign the look of the site. There are so many elements that affect our prices. As such, we always ask for a good chat – be that over a cuppa in person, or on the phone.
In our conversation we have a few standard questions, such as what the purpose of the website is (to sell, advertise, inform), how many products do you want on there for the launch of the website, do you want it to do anything special (like take bookings perhaps) and more. The point of us asking these questions is to figure out the work involved, and also to be able to advise on what we think will work, or not work, for you and your website.
After our chat, we’ll go away and create a quote for you. This will outline what we understand as your requirements, what we can offer (and some extra suggestions if we have them) and a full breakdown of cost.
Step 2: Quote Accepted
If you’re happy with the quote, we’ll get to work! We’ll start off by asking for your content structure (think of the structure like the family tree of your website pages) and any content/images/branding you might already have. Don’t worry too much if you haven’t got this at the start, but now is a good time to start thinking about it.
Step 3: Design Process & Content
We always work on a couple or more design options for you, and create these on a development website so you can explore them interactively. The design process never ends, because a website looks so different with content included than as a skeleton design. Once we’ve created basic design concepts, we’ll send over the links for you to explore and then arrange a meeting for feedback. It’s always easier to have a meeting face to face to discuss the design concepts – what you like, dislike, elements from one that you think would fit on another. The purpose of this is to gauge what design you’re ideally wanting for your website, and to eventually whittle down to one design that we can tweak and evolve as the structure and content is developed. We’ll be keen to get content at this stage too, even if it’s not finalised (changes can be easily made throughout the process).
Step 4: Development
Once we’ve got down to a firm design option for the website, we’ll start working on what we term the “back end” of the website. This is where we build and develop the website functionality – essentially, it’s nuts and bolts to make it work and achieve what you want it do to. As we work on this, the design process still evolves, it’s not something we close off completely until the website goes live. We encourage feedback at all times, because this is your website at the end of the day, not ours.
Step 5: Finalise Content & Feedback
Once we’re nearing the end of the development phase, we’ll start asking for final content (perhaps there are some pages missing, or tweaks to content now that the development and design and nearly complete). We expect changes to happen at all stages, so if you feel that the wording doesn’t hit the right tone because the design has changed a bit, then tell us and we’ll change it! It happens, so never feel bad. At this stage we’ll also be making sure that you’re happy on a page-by-page basis with the design and functionality.
Step 6: Go Live
Now, depending on what you asked us to do at the start, we have a few options here. In most cases, we’ll purchase your website name (domain name) and set up the hosting. Because we build the website on our own development URLs, we tend to set up the hosting at the last minute – this is because it’s an annual charge, and it would be a pity to set this up a few weeks before your website goes live. So we’ll get the hosting set up, and move the website across. We do our final checks and testing, making sure it all works as expected and then launch!
Step 7: The Launch
Two ways to do the launch – a big song and dance, or a soft launch. It’s entirely up to you how you wish to do it, but we always enjoy more of a song and dance!