Building a successful website is both an art and a science. And, like other sorts of design, it needs cooperation and understanding between me, the designer, and you, the client. No matter how sleek and powerful your new website is, it is a failure if you don’t like it or it doesn’t meet your requirements, so here are my seven steps to getting you the website you want.
One: Working out what you want
If you know what you want, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, I can help you work it out.
It’s best if we meet up so we can talk about what problem you want to solve, what image you want to project and how much time (and money!) you have available.
Bring along whatever you want – links to websites you particularly like or dislike, pictures or materials you like, any marketing materials you already have. Or you could bring your best friend. Or even your dog – anything to help me get to know you and your business.
Two: Project Scope
This bit is down to me. After we’ve met, I’ll go away and write down what I think you want me to do, and what I think you don’t want me to do.
And then when that’s agreed…
Three: Let the designing start
I’ll disappear off now and start work on the design, though there’s every possibility I’ll need to keep coming back to you to get your input so that I know I’m on the right track.
Whatever happens at this point, the website will not go live without you agreeing that it’s what you want.
Four: Site Development
With the design approved, it’s time to flesh out the pages, develop new content and refine old content, create videos, slideshows, podcasts and other media that will appear on the site.
Five: Site Testing
Before the site is launched, you’ll get a chance to look at it in detail and make sure it works as it should, and that there are no spelling mistakes or broken links.
The big day. You’ve tested the site, you love it, and you’re ready to launch. But once the site is launched, the project isn’t over just yet.
Included in the costs of the website build is time set aside to address teething problems and feedback from users adapting to the new site, such as fixing broken links, editing copy and making adjustments. The Web is a fluid medium that changes on a daily, if not hourly basis — change is inevitable.
Seven: Site Maintenance
Websites are living, breathing entities and need constant care and maintenance. Updating content, making changes to the backend and fixing broken links are all in a day’s work.
Your first year’s maintenance (not including major content updates) is free. For details on what this includes, and what happens in year two, check out the Support pages.
So what about my photo?
It tells you that I love the freedom and fresh air of the beach, that dogs are a big part of my life, and that I like those muted blue and grey colours, all of which goes a long way to explaining my business name, my logo and the design of this site.