This is a basic outline of the web design process we would use on a mid-sized web design project.
Whilst this example guide will help you better understand the web design process, it's worth expecting that the process for your project may differ in some ways given its unique nature.
The next step is to collect the needed information from you to put together a Project Proposal. This includes determining the goal of your website, defining the scope of the project such as web pages and features the site requires to fulfill the goal and the timeline for building those out.
Once we're clear on these details, we'll be able to provide an indicative web design quote along with a range of implementation strategies, optional inclusion costs and a staged rollout plan.
This is the most important part of any web development process. If these questions aren’t all answered, the whole project can set off in the wrong direction.
If you are at this stage, please start here.
Do we need to have a meeting before quoting on my website?
Having a face to facing briefing about a new website can be useful but it isn't always required.
For small projects, if you've seen a few other sites which we can reference that are similar to what you want to build, we can use this to give you a ballpark cost and time frame.
For complicated projects, we will insist on you meeting with one of our web designers before we quote so that we can be confident we truly understand all the technical requirements that need to be included in your new website.
Here is where you review the Project Proposal.
If you have any questions or issues with the Project Proposal, this is when you would discuss these with us so we can better define the document.
Once happy with it, a signed copy from you will be required.
Once we receive the signed copy, we will require 50% of the project upfront for new clients to lock in this project. An invoice will be emailed to you with the information to complete this step. This also helps us show you are commented to this project allowing us to move fully into the next stage.
Before we start creating your website design, we go to great lengths to first understand your organisation and what it's needs are.
We research into your industry and competitors, flesh out your target personas and do any topic research needed to help define the sitemaps and wireframes (page layouts).
Typically smaller budget web design projects won't include a wireframing stage. Whilst there are some exceptions to this, most small budget projects will have a restricted design phase and can't afford the extra costs associated with UX innovations. But don't worry, we know what works when it comes to standard page layouts that help produce results.
Here is also where we confirm your branding guidelines or create one if needed. Your brand guideline is where your logo, business colours and fonts are put together to create a guide on how to best use them. You would also hand this guideline to other businesses that will work for you in any marketing projects.
Using your branding guidelines, we create a design system that will help us quickly put together your website with the content. A design system is a series of components that can be reused in different combinations throughout the website. Design systems allow us to manage design at scale.
As for the content, the content which goes into your new website can come in three different forms:
A new website will often require new content to be written, new photos to be sourced and new reference material to be obtained.
This is content that might already exist in some form. For example, maybe you already have some professionally written copy from a previous brochure or annual report. Likewise, it could be there is some great content on your old website that can be reused.
External Data Sources
This is content which originates from a source outside of your company. For example, it might be your website pulls in events from a third party system. This is considered an external data source.
As we build out your website, we will create a place holder for every page on your website. The content which goes into each of these pages needs to be handled by someone in some way.
The content handling at this stage is distinctly different from previous stages as it's more of a collaborative effort. Also, when our client's load in content themselves, this reduces our content handing costs and thus can help reduce your overall web design fee.
Writing high-quality content is becoming a critical requirement for new websites. Google's tools now go beyond just scanning for keywords and instead are considered to critique the engagement and interest levels of a piece of content.
As writing engaging content isn't something that comes naturally to everyone, we can help arrange a professional copywriter to assist you with creating all the new content you require for your website.
This said, people are naturally inclined to write in ways which omit opportunities to increase their Google rankings.
This is why when you work with our web design team, we will help you understand how to avoid doing this and some of the "tricks" you need to know about to assist with creating content which will give you that SEO boost you're after.
This is where we go away and built out the site fully, including many behind the scenes functionality, designs and features.
There is not much required from the client during this stage as all information should be collected and ready to go by now.
This stage also will involve testing the website on as many devices as we can lay your hands on. This means tablets, phones, desktop computers, etc.
We also test on the popular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari on all the devices. This is critical, as the websites our web designers build are all responsive web designs.
Now we ask our clients to start the review process so our web designers can finish building your website.
This will involve reviewing the website on as many devices as you can lay your hands on. This means tablets, phones, desktop computers, etc. It's important for our clients to get a feel for how their website will look under a range of different conditions.
We provided a handy feedback tool to help with the review process. This feedback tool is great because allows our clients to click on any part of their website and give us specific feedback relating to this individual element. This process is far easier for our clients and results in us being able to address more changes faster. You have as much time as needed to complete this, however, the faster you complete this, the faster your website can be updated and launched.
Once we receive all the feedback, we jump back into our design and development phases above and complete the requested updates. The round of reviews happens one to two times. If it continues more times, then we go into a complete review of the project that may be out of the scope of the original project proposal.
Each page will need to be approved and locked down, allowing us to reduce the level and frequency of changes on your website so that we can find any sections that have been overlooked and correct any issues that may have popped up.
When we chat to our clients about launching their website, we often refer to it as “flicking the switch” but there’s a little more to this process.
When a website goes live, it is the first time we will see all of your new web design code running on your live production domain. We try to have this run smoothly, however, sometimes very rarely things can go wrong - we do our best to launch the site as clean as possible.
Here is also where we set up your hosting, emails, etc
Whilst the end of the work week feels like a natural deadline to put on the launch of your website, it's generally regarded as the worst day of the week to launch something.
During the working week, we have easy access to everyone who helped build your website. On weekend, however, we have limited support options.
Planning to launch your website right before we lose the majority of your support options doesn't make a lot of sense. For this reason, we encourage companies to consider launching on Mondays. No better way to start the week than with a big website launch.
After we launch a website, we generally provide a 4 to 12-week warranty window (depending on the project size) whereby, any issues which arise will be considered part of the website design project scope.
Many of the companies we work with consider launch day to be the last time they need to think about their website. It looks the way they want it to look, it works the way they want it to work. It's done!
However, a good website is never done. You now have a powerful business tool which is capable of attracting more sales, so don't ignore it. Put it to work.
When we launch your new website, we submit your site to popular search engines. So be aware that your Google Rankings will move around quite a bit. After three to four weeks, we'll be able to see what Google has made of your new website. In some cases, you'll be doing better than expected and in other cases, you may have some keywords which need extra work.
The other performance indicator you'll want to keep an eye on is your website traffic within the Google Analytics dashboard. This dashboard will show you how many visitors have been to your website and more importantly, how they are using the website.
While we are not a social media marketing business, we can help with setting up your social media accounts (or updating them). This includes Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business and other important accounts to help promote your website.
You also need to be aware of software updates and ongoing website security. Everyday around the world, websites will be attacked by automatic bots, and it can be relatively easy for them to get into sites which aren’t actively maintained.
A support plan will allow us to spend a set sometime aside every month reviewing your site's performance and then make improvements to your website to help it perform better. You also may want to have design or content requests made as well. This is where the support plan is of value to you.
Think of it as Tech Support for your website.
We do encourage our clients to do a site service every six months just to help keep their website running reliably.