The Stages of a Website Design Project
Designing a website can be a long process so before you start it’s good to understand what the process involves. Design studios may do things slightly differently depending on the complexity and requirements for you site but here are the typical stages.
Before we start any website process, we will meet with you to get an understanding of your requirements, particularly what you want to achieve with your site. We will explain our process and if we think we’re a good fit for each other, we can provide a detailed proposal and price estimate.
The proposal stage provides us with preliminary information about your requirements. It is doesn’t provide an in-depth understanding. This is done in Stage 1, once you approve our proposal and pay a first installment based on our estimate.
Discovery & Understanding
This is where we get into the detail of the requirements for your site. The work in this stage includes research, a workshop session, analysis and clarifying things with you. We cover a wide range of things such as:
- What functionality is required?
- What content needs to be included? Who will create this? How will it be created?
- Who are the main audiences? What do you want them to know? What do you want them to do? How do they use your site?
- What do you want to achieve with your site? How will know if it’s working?
- What is the navigation? The main pages? The sub-pages?
- What is the look and feel of the site? What graphics/branding will be applied?
- What sites do you like? What do you dislike?
- Do you have plans for the future for the site? Eg: would you like to add ecommerce at some stage?
- How will you manage the project? How will you manage updates and changes to the website once it goes live?
- Do you have a preferred software or platform for your site to be built on?
- Is SEO (search engine optimisation) important? If so, what needs to be done for this? Do you have keywords that need to be included?
- Where will your site be hosted?
- What is your timeline?
This process enables us to create a detailed specification and a sitemap and to confirm the costs of designing and building your site.
Wireframe & Site Structure
It’s really important at this stage to work out the detail of the functionality of the site and to figure out how pages will work singularly and together. Wireframes help you to understand the content that will be on each page, the structure of the whole site and the user flow, without any of the glossy finishes of a design. Doing this will help to ensure the site achieves the goals identified in your specification.
During this stage we will confirm the content requirements with you. You will need to start drafting/compiling content and providing images so it can be used in the next stage.
This is where we start to apply your branding, graphics, colours and imagery to the key and unique pages from the wireframe. We will show you how your site will look with your photos and text in place. There aren’t any strict rules as to how a website should look and feel, but ensuring a great user experience and a design that is true to your brand guidelines are two important starting points.
We will design the mobile and desktop versions of your site during this stage.
Once you are happy with the design of the site, we will compile all of the files and specifications for our developer. Then the developer gets to work building the site, creating the content management system (CMS) and inserting your graphics, images and written content.
Once the site is built, we will test it to make sure everything works as expected. When we are happy that it meets all the specifications and design requirements, we will provide access so you can review it and provide feedback. From there the developer can make any further changes until the site is ready to go live.
The final stage is providing training on CMS so you can manage content updates and then your site can be launched. We will set-up all the initial on-site SEO and Google Analytics so your site has the best chance of being found on the web.
Ongoing Maintenance and Management
Once you have a new website, you need to dedicate time and resources into updating content and making sure the software is up-to-date. There is nothing worse than going to a site and finding the latest news is 2 years old or the site looks old and tired.
By Tangelo Creative on March 2, 2018