No two web design companies are the same. We all have our own niches and web design experience with our clients. So when it comes to designing your new website, I understand that you may feel a little overwhelmed with what’s involved, especially if this is your first ever website. I hope this latest post explains the process for you.
When you decide that you need a website designed for your business, no matter how big or small it is, you will want to have peace of mind that the whole process from start to end is as simple as possible from your point of view. After all, you probably need to concentrate on your business, especially if you’re in the process of getting ready to launch it.
I break down the whole web design process into a number of steps for you to make the whole process as easy for you as possible.
The Initial Chat
The start to any new design is the first initial contact. This can be either by you emailing me, or phoning me. If you email me to ask me about my services, I will always be happy to give you a response by email, but I will always suggest that we have a chat on the phone. This gives you the chance to chat informally about your needs and expectations. It’s a great way for me to gauge what your requirements are. More importantly, it gives you a chance to ask any questions you might have about how I will design your website. I don’t believe in hard-sell tactics, so by having a chat with me, you are not committing yourself to anything.
The Website Creative Brief
If after the initial chat you are happy to proceed to the next step, then I will ask you to fill in my online Website Creative Brief. This form asks a number of questions for you to think about and answer. I find this is a fantastic way for my potential clients to have a think about what they want from their website in their own time without the pressure of having to make on the spot decisions. Of course, nothing is set in stone, and further down the design process you may decide that you want to change something. However from my experience, I often find that clients say to me “Dave, I had never thought about that” when they have had chance to digest the brief. We can also discuss the brief on the phone should you wish.
The Web Design Proposal
Once you’ve had chance to think about the Website Creative Brief, and have come back to me with your answers and any ideas you’ve had, then I will form this into a design proposal. The proposal will list all the elements that will go into designing your website based on your input up to this point. I will discuss what needs to be done, timescales and any integrations with third-party software you might wish to use (for example, a booking system for your clients). The proposal will also clearly define the costs for the work. I will then send this proposal for you to think about, and of course, answer any questions you have about it. If you’re happy with the proposal and price, I will move on to the next stage, the quote and contract.
The Quote and Contract
Once you have indicated that you are happy to proceed based on the web design proposal, I will generate a quote and contract for you, listing all the elements detailed in the proposal. All you will need to do at this stage is confirm that you are happy with the quote and return a signed copy of the contract to me. I will then invoice you for the deposit which is usually 50% of the total cost of the project.
Once you have returned the contract to me, I will begin the process of designing the requested number of mock-up’s for your website. Once I have done this, I will send you links to these mock-up’s which will demonstrate how they work on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. You will be able to fully interact with the mock-up designs as if they were live websites. I find this gives my clients the best chance to see what is and isn’t working for them. At this point we can discuss what you like, dislike or even a combination of the different mock-up’s that will make it into the final design.
Building Your Website
I will start building your website as laid out in the Web Design Proposal, and any subsequent feedback you have given me up to this point. The build process generally takes between 3-6 weeks, depending on the complexity of your site. During the entire build process, you will have access to a link to see how the build is progressing. We will also be in frequent contact to ensure that as I reach milestones of the build that you are happy with the way things are looking and have the chance to tweak the design.
Launching Your Website
Once you have signed off on the final build, we will be ready to launch your website. This for me is the most rewarding part of my job. I absolutely love it when my client says “I am happy with the website Dave, let’s launch it”. At this point, I will invoice you for the website design, and for the first hosting fee. Once I have confirmed payment has been received, I will carry out the necessary tasks to launch your website for you.
This Isn't The End!
Just because your website is live, this isn’t the end of our relationship. I will be on hand to make any minor tweaks to the website post launch and guide you though maintaining and updating your website (I even offer a content update service for those clients who want to concentrate on the day-to-day running of their business but want me to keep the website updated with their new content). As your business grows and succeeds, I can quote for, and add, any additional pages to the website as and when you need them.
I hope the above steps help you understand how I approach designing and building websites for my clients. Of course, this is only a guide, and should your particular needs mean that between us we need to approach your new website in a different way, I will be only too happy to do what I can to design and build the perfect website for you. I will be totally flexible so as to meet your needs.
If you have any questions about the process, or want to discuss your new website with me, please do get in touch either by email or phone.