Web Design Process
A website is an important part of your marketing strategy. I will ensure your web site is attractive, professional and provides your audience the key information they are looking for.
The fastest way to kick-start your website design process and is to fill out my contact form. I will be happy to assist you every step of the way.
Domain Name Registration
First you will want to register a domain name (www.yourdomain.com) if you haven’t already done so. Your domain can be your company name, but doesn’t necessarily have to. Something short and memorable with a .com extension is preferred. You may register multiple domain names and they can all be directed to the same web site. You could also create multiple web sites that link to a central hub. In general you will want to select a single primary domain name to be used throughout your marketing material. I am always available to help you register your domain and select a web site hosting plan to get you started.
Once you have a domain name, you will need web hosting. A web host is essentially a computer with the only purpose of making web pages available to your visitors 24/7. While some companies with specialized needs and equipment do host their own web sites, the vast majority and recommended practice is to outsource your web hosting. Reliable web hosting starter packages are relatively inexpensive. There are a variety of options available from web hosting providers. Most business web sites can start out on a basic web hosting package. If you are planning an e-commerce, social networking or other application that may have specialized needs, please contact me and we can discuss web hosting options available through a variety of providers that are tailored to your specific needs.
A Professional Web Site Appearance
Studies show you have 12 seconds to make an impression on a web site visitor. Your web site can make the difference between converting an online lead to a sale or losing it to a competitor. The first step to professional appearance is branding. If you already have a logo, sign or other marketing collateral that has been professionally designed you have already established your brand image. I have a lot of experience with branding and will ensure your brand image is reflected and enhanced through your web site design. If this is a new business you may not have a professionally designed logo or image. I will help you develop a professional logo and brand image to go with your web site and other collateral you may want to develop. If you are already working with a graphic designer or agency I am happy to coordinate your marketing and branding efforts with them.
Web Site Structure & Naviagtion
I will help you develop an outline of the structure and navigation for your web site.
- About Us
- Products and Services
- Product 1
- Product 2
- Service A
This will serve as a basis to define the scope of your web site content. The structure and navigation outline may be very simple (like the one above) or very complex depending on the amount of content and features your site offers. I will work with you to make sure your web site is structured to accommodate all of your current and future needs.
Web Site Content Development
This area is often overlooked by web designers as it is usually up to the client to develop their own content, after all they should know what they would like to say better than their web site designer. I will actively participate in the development of content for your web site so that it is optimized for search engines, provides the information your visitors are looking for and moves them to become your customer.
Web Site Functionality
You may already have an idea of how you want your web site to function from a users perspective. Your web site may include menus, sub-menus, a contact form, a client log-in, shopping cart, content management system, etc.. Today there are many different tools, platforms and APIs available to add powerful functionality, flexibility and speed up the development process. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Using universal, non-proprietary code on larger-scale projects will also make it easier for other developers to extend the application in the future. Together we can identify the functionality best suited for your web site and most efficient, flexible and powerful tools and technologies to implement it.
Web Site Content Management System
A professionally designed web site should include tools for you to update the content of your web site. A good web site designer will be able to identify and customize the most efficient tool (WYSIWYG editor, photo gallery, shopping cart, video player, event calender, blog, etc.) for the job. A good content management system will be easy to use and include multiple tools for you to keep your page content and meta-tags updated. The content management system could even push information to other social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter as part of a web site marketing strategy. We will identify and customize the best tools currently available for your needs.
Web Site Production Workflow
- Initial client meeting and interview
- Define web site purpose and goals
- Discuss content requirements and scope
- Discuss branding requirements and scope
- Discuss basic navigation requirements and scope
- Discuss general functionality requirements and scope
- Discuss domain name and hosting requirements
- Formal web site design document including project scope, functionality and quotation
- Branding collateral development and gathering
- Content development and gathering
- Design composition, revision and approval
- Composition ‘cutup’ and conversion to flexible CSS based HTML template
- Web site functionality programming, staging and implementation
- Web site customization
- Functionality testing and client review
- Address any outstanding client issues and present to client for further review
- Client is 100% satified with web site and web site is launched
- User feedback gathering and ongoing tweaking as needed
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