My Web Design Process
Setting up a website doesn't need to be difficult. Any task can be broken down into simple steps, and a structured development process helps to achieve that. Here's how I approach a typical website project:
- Getting To Know You: For any large web design project, I like to arrange an initial, no-obligations meeting to discuss your needs. I then provide an initial estimate on the understanding that this may be revised once the work has been analysed more fully.
- Analysis: On receipt of an initial deposit (normally 25% of the estimate), I analyse your requirements in more detail. This lets me produce a detailed proposal outlining the scope of the work and providing a more accurate quote for the remaining work.
- Commissioning: If you are happy with the proposal, I continue work on receipt of a deposit of 50% of the quotation. To reduce your risk and yet retain flexibility, I invoice for the remaining work at the end of the month in which it was done, or when the project is ready to go live. This lets you amend the project during development. Please note, though, that amendments inevitably cost more the later they are introduced and too many (aka "Scope Creep") can easily derail a project. It is usually better to launch a "Minimum Viable Product" ASAP and save amendments for a further phase of development.
- Content-Gathering: Content is best provided before design begins & if only in draft form. Editable sites can be built around dummy content that you can update before go-live, but this is not ideal. If you have content, we'll need to review it. If not, I can help you plan and create it.
- Design: Whilst cost-effective design often starts with by selecting suitable software and templates to customise, more complex/unique projects will still require bespoke design. Design also decides less-visual details like site structure, the behaviour of interactive elements and how to model any processes that visitors are required to complete.
- Implementation & Quality Control: Site implementation and testing is generally done on a development server. Browsers and device display sizes aren't consistent, so I test your site on a range of popular browsers and mobile emulators. I follow best practices to produce code and designs that are valid, accessible, search-engine friendly and responsive (mobile-friendly).
- Training: I can provide training in the use of advanced features of your site, if required.
- Launch: On payment of any remaining balance, your site is launched and submitted to a range of search engines. At this point, I also generally add social media sharing features.
5. Revise & Refine
- Support: I continue to provide support after launch, with free troubleshooting for the first month. I also provide direct access to site stats, and can help you to analyse traffic trends to further optimise your site.
- Promotion: I don't just build websites. SEO and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are now vital to online success, and email marketing is still as important as ever, so I offer tools and assistance with these, too.
Ready to get started?