When you are in the market for a website redesign it is important to realize that there is more than meets the eye. A web design company can’t magically drop a website online and call it a day. There are many steps involved in getting a well-rounded website up and running both on the client’s side as well as on the designer’s side. As someone who is looking to get a new site you will be the person fueling what you want the website to look like and it is up to the designer to make these ideas a reality. Here is a general website design process that a typical person can expect to go through when getting a new website built.
Website Design Process
The first, and most important step in the website design process is the initial gathering of information. This is important because this serves as a jumping off point about what exactly it is you are looking for in your new website. We are going to be asking a lot of questions. Don’t worry, there is no wrong answer. As experienced web designers we may recommend things but ultimately it is what you want for your website that will end up on the finished product. Some typical information we would be looking for include
- Purpose of the website – Are you trying to sell a product? Do you just want to provide information? Or are you trying to provide a service? It’s important to know what the main purpose of your website will be.
- Goals of the website – Are you trying to earn profits from the site or is it just there to provide information to a group of people?
- Audience type – What is your target audience? If we know the demographic you are trying to reach it will make things easier for both parties involved.
- Content type – What type of content do you want on your site? Will you have information manuals, product videos, services, or images? Maybe a combination of several different content types. This all helps when gathering information for your site.
Planning the Website
Once we have the basic goals, and purpose of your website we can start to plan out what the site will look like. We would start to build a site map for you which are the main topic areas of concern, as well as sub-categories for each topic. This is important to know the main topics so we can make them the focus of the site and easily accessible by your target audience. We can also start to plan what other elements we may need for the website. Things such as forms, blogs, and content management systems.
Designing the Website
Now we get to the look of the website. In the website design process this is where things will start to come together and you’ll start to see a more finished project. For this step we will use all of the previous information gathered to begin designing the look and feel of the website. Your target audience plays a crucial role in the look of the site. If you are a construction company your users may be expecting to see something more geared in that direction as opposed to an entertainment venue that may have more ‘fun’ elements to it. Using your logo and company colors we can begin to create an initial design style across the entire site.
As soon as we have a working mock-up completed we will send over the initial design to you. This is where client notes play a big role. You are able to follow along as we design the website and send your comments and concerns about what you like and what you don’t like so we are able to fit them to your needs. As designers we aren’t always going to nail what you are looking for right off the bat. There is no need to be discouraged. We are able to work with you to fine tune anything that you may not like. Again, during this time in the website design process it is important for you as the client to relay information so we can get a final design you love set in stone.
Developing the Website
Once we have the layout, style, and topic areas all set at what they need to be we can start to develop the actual website itself. We can start to take all of the elements we applied individually and begin crafting a working, functional website. This includes adding all of the content we received from you into the corresponding locations on the website.
Once we feel that we have everything on the website that needs to be there we can begin testing every detail of it. It’s crucial the elements are working when the website is launched so that users aren’t left frustrated by a broken site. This may include testing forms, compatibility between different browsers, as well as any other key elements. After we’ve tested on our end and you have run through to test everything on your end we can start the process of making the website live on the internet. This may also be the stage in which we install essential plugins (if you are doing a WordPress website). Once everything is squared away we can launch the website for public viewing.
Updates and Maintenance
It is important to note that after your website is live the website design process isn’t over. To be able to keep gaining new visitors you need to keep adding content to your website on a regular basis. This is where the ball is in your court. A static website that sits unchanged for years will not make search engines happy. We’ve made updating your website easier than ever by offering our “Complete” package which gets you unlimited website updates and maintenance. The same goes for broken elements. We are working with technology after all and updates and enhancements are required to keep your website humming along as efficiently as possible.
As you can see, the website design process is not a set it and forget model. There are important things both a customer and web designer must achieve before moving on the next phase of building a website. If you are looking to get a new website, first check how the company you are using goes through building it. If there is no interaction between you and the designer you may want to consider finding an alternate designer so you can ensure you get the exact website you want without wasting your money. This is process we follow when designing websites and has been for the over 18 years we’ve been in business. If you would like more information on a new website please visit our website and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.