Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at some of the questions that pop up during almost every website project. We start off our Web Design FAQ series with ‘what is the web design process’? This piece will give you an insight in what is involved within a Flintriver website project and what you should expect.
At the very beginning of any project is the initial client meeting. This is the most important phase of any project. We use it to get to know each other and gain an insight into your business and your aspirations. This helps us in finding a solution that best reflects you and your goals.
At this stage, we also determine exactly the message you are looking to send and the level of functionality the website requires.
Do your own homework as well! It’s always helpful if you come to the initial meeting equipped with references to sites you like (specific elements, colours, typography etc.) and what you like and dislike about your main competitors existing websites.
Loaded with all of the information gleaned from that initial meeting, we then begin the design process. However, before we put pencil to paper, we first put together a site plan, detailing what’s required.
Once that’s completed and agreed we begin sketching layout ideas with the aim of compiling a set of wireframe designs. This is the structure which details the layout of the home page and other key pages. No graphics are applied at this stage but it will illustrate how the website will flow.
From here, we can then apply visuals to the wireframe and get creative!
During this phase, we start putting the website together based on the agreed visual from the design process. We install and customise the content management system, set up all of the required pages outlined in the site plan, populate the website with your content and set up any advanced functionality your website requires.
Regular progress updates are provided throughout this stage by accessing our development website. This gives you a real feel for how the website will look and operate online.
It’s important to have a website that is visually attractive but equally important is how it works!! During the post-production phase, we fully test the website to ensure that it performs across various devices such as mobiles, tablets, desktops and across all of the major browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer.
We also carry out key SEO (search engine optimisation) tasks; ensuring appropriate page titles are in place, all URL’s (uniform resource locators, also known as web addresses!) are search engine friendly and that each page on the website has meta-data (information about an item’s content) input in the form of page descriptions.
And that’s it! You should now have a website that you are proud of and more importantly, gives you an edge over your competitors.
Next week we will be addressing the question that is asked at the end of every single initial client meeting – ‘how long will this take?’