Website Design And Development Process
Blog | 8th August 2016
We all know that when you meet new people, the first thing they do is go online to look at your website and find out more about you and your business. If your site is outdated and not mobile-friendly, chances are you’ve lost a potential new client!
Investing in the perfect new website for your business is the best decision you can make but be sure you understand the website design and development process so that you are one step ahead and know what to expect from your agency.
The process is dependent on a lot of factors and can take anywhere between four to 12 weeks to complete, including regular communication regarding feedback and approval stages.
Here’s a step-by-step guide of the process we follow at Known Design Co. to eliminate any room for error and help you prepare for your next website project.
Phase One: Information Gathering
- We meet with you to discuss your business and website requirements in detail. Each clients’ site is unique, so it helps us to have a clear idea of your industry, service, product and target audience. We need to know your exact website page types, featured content and functionality. We take this opportunity to suggest the best solutions for your new Brochure or E-commerce site, to ensure that your new website works hard for you.
- It helps if you have visual references to websites that you like the look & feel of, even if they are unrelated to your industry or product. This helps us to get inside your head in terms of the design direction that you like (NOTE: We do not copy competitor sites).
- We quote according to your bespoke responsive website design and web development requirements and expectations. All our sites are custom designed and mobile-friendly and optimised for best user experience (UX Design). We do not use predefined Templates or Themes to ensure that your site doesn’t look like everyone else’s.
Phase Two: Planning & Design
- Once your quote is approved, we invoice the 50% web design & development deposit (We work according to a tight production schedule and can only include your design portion once the payment confirmation has been received).
- We start the website design process by creating a wireframe for the new site (SEO optimised content placement and Information Architecture). This is simply a guide to the suggested content structure for each page. Once the website wireframe is approved, we move onto the website design portion and start by designing three Homepage options with different fonts, colours, layout, etc.
- We send the Homepage design options to you in PDF format via email and request your feedback regarding your preferred layout option (You might like specific elements from the different layouts and request for an updated layout that includes elements from each). We make the design amendments as requested and send the final Homepage design PDF via email for approval (NOTE: All approval stages are requested in writing).
- Once the Homepage design is approved, we then continue with the design process by fleshing out the rest of the website page types with the approved look & feel. It is important for your website text content to be optimised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), to ensure that the text content includes the perfect keywords and key-phrases that people are searching to find your brand, service or product. (We can use your existing website image & text content if necessary and will be able to suggest the perfect amount of text for each section so that your Copy Editor can cut back the existing text content to fit the suggested spaces). Note: Our SEO guru will be able to implement crucial keyword research and strategy development (This is the largest portion of the SEO Strategy which literally impacts the entire website content Optimisation process moving forward).
- If you do not have a Copywriter or Copy Editor, we are happy to suggest a few of the best from our list of trusted journalist wordsmiths.
- We will send the complete fleshed-out first draft website design PDF to you via email for feedback (Note: The final approved SEO optimised text content can be uploaded once the site is complete, during the ‘Back-end Development’ stage in advance of the website launch). This helps your copywriter to work according to the approved design and allocated text spaces for each page. The updated website text content needs to include your keywords and key-phrases in a natural way that flows nicely and does not sound forced.
- We include one round of design changes and will implement the requested design amendments as soon as possible to expedite the process for you.
Phase Three: Web Development
- Once the website design stage has been approved, we will send through the 30% Front-end Development invoice (Note: We will only be able to continue with the Front-end Development stage when the payment confirmation has been received). This is where we develop the digital version of the approved PDF layout design.
- You will receive your Front-end development test link to view and compare according to the approved design PDF (NOTE: This is not the completed website. The heavier back-end development still has to be completed, so some functionality will not be available yet). We request your feedback and will implement any minor development amendments if necessary.
- A final revised Front-end development test link will be sent through for approval.
- Once the Front-end development test link is approved, we will continue to the back-end stage where we complete the website development process and integrate into WordPress for the user-friendly Content Management System (CMS).
- We include Browser & Display compatibility testing to ensure that the site is functioning and displaying correctly across all browsers and devices, ready for launch (NOTE: Testing is a crucial stage of the website development process and we need a good amount of time to ensure that everything is completed perfectly to eliminate any room for error).
- It is at this stage that the final approved website text content is to be supplied to us for uploading to the back-end CMS.
Phase Four: Testing and Delivery
- You will receive your final test link to view. We encourage you to test across all browsers and devices on your side and get back to us with detailed feedback so that we can fix any issues in advance of the website launch.
- Once we have final approval and you are 100% happy, We will send through the final 20% balance invoice and we can schedule the website content and database upload process to launch your new website successfully.
- We include CMS training in advance of your website launch to ensure that you are able to manage and update your website content with ease.
Phase Five: Website Development Maintenance
- We provide support and ensure proper working and maintenance of features set out in the quotation of your website project for 30 days after the ‘launch’ date. (After 30 days: All website development maintenance, support, consultation and small development work will be charged at our hourly rate).
- We offer domain registration and website hosting on our dedicated server with Hetzner for competitive rates and professional service (24/7).