THE DESIGN PROCESS
The first step in designing a successful web site is to gather information. We need to take many things into consideration when creating the look and feel of your site.
Number one is to understand you, what your business goals are and explain how we can utilize the web to help you reach those goals.
The Information gathering phase
What is the purpose of your website? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell products ?
What do you hope to accomplish by building this web site? A couple of common goals are either to make money or share information.
- Target Audience
Is there a specific group of people that will help you achieve your goals? Consider the ideal person you’d like to visit the site, their age, sex or interests – this will later help determine the best design style for us to use.
What kind of information arethe target audience looking for on your site? Are they chasing specific information, a particular product or service, online ordering?
Once we have answers to the questions above we can move on to developing a site map.
This is basically a plan of the website hierarchy. How many pages, the various resources we need and how they will interrelate to each other.
During this phase, we will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented. Elements such as what CMS (content management system) such as WordPress to incorporate, will any contact forms be needed, etc. are discussed when planning your web site.
The Design Phase
During this phase, communication is important to ensure that the final web site matches your needs and taste. At this point we will work closely together, exchanging ideas, until you arrive at the final design for your web site.
This is the point where the site itself is created. It is here that we take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the actual, functional web site.
Elements such as the CMS (content management system) like WordPress, interactive contact forms, or ecommerce shopping carts are implemented during this time as well.
The Testing & Delivery Phase
Here will attend to the final details and test your web site. We’ll be testing such things as functionality of forms or other scripts, as well last testing for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), to ensure that your web site is optimized and can be viewed properly in the most recent versions of various browsers.
We are well versed in current standards for web site design and development. The basic technologies currently used are HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). We will test that the code written for your web site validates. Valid code means that your site meets current web development standards.
Other final details include plugin installation (for WordPress or other CMS driven web sites and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO involves the optimization of your web site with elements such as title, description and keyword tags which help your web site achieve higher organic rankings with search engines. Code validation, mentioned previously is something that plays a vital role in SEO as well.
Finally the Maintenance Phase
If your web site driven by a CMS it gives you the ability to edit the content areas of the site yourself. You are given access to a back-end administrative area, where you can use an online text editor (similar to a mini version of Microsoft Word). You’ll be able to edit existing content this way, or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can even add new pages and content yourself.
Or we can help you along the way as we still do with a lot of our clients. Updating and manipulating files, images and text can be time consuming. We find a lot of clients request that we make major changes for them while they are happy to input smaller updates.
We will also make sure your CMS files and plug ins are the latest versions which also helps with web security.