The web design process
7 steps to getting your site designed
So, you’re really clear on your branding and you’re ready show the world what you’ve got with a gorgeous, sparkly new website. But, you’re not a web designer and don’t have the time or funds to go back to school to learn an entirely new career, so you decide to pay someone to do it for you.
Before you start your website, you should know that all web designers do it differently. Some will design the whole site and then show it to you. When I work with my clients, I involve them in every step of the way, so I can ensure they are happy with the direction the site is taking and that it really feels like them. I don’t want to surpise my clients at the end.
Below is what a typical outline of the process would look like, so you know what you can expect.
Step 1: Your homework
Wait what??? Homework for you? Yes!
Any web designer worth working with will ask you a bunch of questions to get to know you and your brand. If you don’t have a clear idea of what your branding is, and you work with a designer who doesn’t ask you questions about it, you’ll probably end up with a beautiful site that won’t pack a punch and draw the right clients to you. If you’re anything like I was at the start of my business, money is PRECIOUS!
You’ll need to know/have an idea about your brand’s voice, message, values, intentions, what makes it unique and who it is you’re trying to attract to your site. If you work with me, I will give you a questionnaire for you to fill out before we speak. I don’t expect my clients to be able to answer everything, but I do expect that they come to me understanding their brand if they are ready to start on their site. If you haven’t developed your branding, fear not, you can talk to me about it over a free 15 minute call to see how I can help. Just click HERE.
You will also need to have your verbal content (what you would like to say on your site) ready. Most sites have the following pages: home, services, about me, portfolio and/or blog, testimonials, contact. All sites are different, but you should have your verbal content ready for each page that you want on your site. Designers (myself included) need to know what you want to say, as they will design the site around it.
Step 2: We meet (either in person, via Skype/Messenger, or we have a call) + discuss
It’s important for you and I to meet to discuss your business further. I’ll review your questionnaire with you to get a better understanding of who you are, your brand and how I can best serve you in the process. It’s also a great opportunity to see if we’re the right fit for your VIP project.
Step 3: All the details
At this point, I will send you a quote and my Welcome Pack. This pack will include details about your website hosting, a contract to sign, and payment information. My quote will detail everything that we discussed as I like to be very upfront and transparent about my costs. I will also have you pin some inspiration for your site to a secret board on Pinterest (I’ll explain if you’re not familiar with Pinterest), so we’re both certain of what you like and the direction we should take.
Step 4: Book your start date
We will book your start date, and I will invoice you for the first 1/2 of the site. You will send me a copy of the signed contract along with the verbal content (and any images you want to use) for your site. If you have a style sheet for your brand, I will need this at this point, so I can be sure to design a site that is consistent with your current branding.
Step 5: Site creation– when the magic happens!
Here’s where I create the most authentic and powerful website for your business. I will keep you posted along the way, so you always know what’s going on. At this time I will need you to partner with me if I have questions or need you to approve design.
Step 6: Testing + sign-off + final payment
Now the site is nearly finished, I will ask you to sign-off of the design. Once you have approved of the design, I will test the site and make sure it looks great no matter how your audience views it (on phones, tablets, PCs, laptops, etc…). At this time I will submit my final invoice to you for the second 1/2 of the fees.
Step 7: go “live” + handover
YAY! Your site is ready to go live and to show the world what your brand is made of! I will take down your “Under Construction” page and turn your site on. I will give you a small handover guide that will include FAQs, passwords + log-in details, and some tips on how to increase your SEO offline. I will also be there over the next 3 months if you find you need support with my design work.
Not all designers handle the web design process in exactly the same way. But, you should have a designer who asks you all the right questions about your brand before beginning. Your designer should also be VERY clear upfront about how they work, what they need from you and what you can expect from them. It’s always in your interest to have a contract to sign and to detail the payment information upfront so that there are no surprises.
If you have any questions about the web design process, just shout! If you’re ready to get your site up, book a free 15 minute chat here.
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