Website Design Process
Depending on your requirements, this is the typical website design process I go through to build a small business website. Note that steps 1 – 4 require no payment on your behalf. I prefer clients to see what their website will look like before I start coding.
Website Meeting / Discussion
(Step 1 – Needs Analysis)
We can meet in person, via email or on the phone. No obligation. I don’t even mind if you have no intention of using my services. I genuinely want to help and you can use my 20 years in the industry (including my 10 years teaching web design, development and marketing at university level) for an hour. FREE.
Call Edwin on 0417 0417 43 to arrange a meeting or for a chat. As I now work from home, I’m happy to meet you at your local cafe. All I ask is that you buy the coffee. Long mac topped up with one sugar thanks ;)
It’s best not to do anything. Don’t even buy a domain name until you’ve had a chat with a professional web developer or SEO expert because even the domain name of your web site will play a part when it comes to optimising for search engines.
Most people like to meet the person they are dealing with. I fall into that category myself, but I’m open to working solely via the web and telephone. In many cases, our first meeting is often the last physical one I have with a client. I currently work for clients I met only once five or six years ago.
Your Home Page Mockup (jpg)
(Step 2 – I show you a custom design)
If you want to just get on with it (because you’re tired of shopping and you like what I say) fill in as much information about your potential website on this form and I’ll send you a home page mock-up. No charge.
Based on your brief (and / or our recorded conversation if we meet) I will create a mock-up and send it to you via email. This usually takes a week. You’ll get a main .jpg file (which can be viewed directly in your inbox or printed out) of your potential web site home page.
If requested I can also do a second mockup based on your first impression. In 90% of cases, this is usually enough to win over a new client’s heart, but not always.
If you decide I’m not the designer for you : that’s fine. I can’t please everyone. There are many web design companies – some who may be better suited to your particular industry or requirements. I know many of the guys who work there, so perhaps I can recommend someone else.
Feedback on this original design – particularly your constructive criticism – is what puts client and designer on the same page. So don’t hold back with your critique.
(Step 3 – Send me your content)
The first thing I want from you is as much content you want on the new (or revised) site. This means all the images, movies, sounds, site text and maybe a bullet-point list of your proposed site structure. Once I have this information I can work on a quote and your site mock-up.
It also gives me a clear idea of what functionality, feel and imagery you need.
In a case where I’m importing content from your old web site I may not even need this. You can change all the text and images via the web site back end very easily.
Proposal & Deposit Invoice
(Step 4 – further needs analysis & proposal)
At this point, I send through the paperwork, explaining exactly what it is I will do for you. You will also get a deposit invoice and an itemised list of prices for additional things we may have talked about for the longer term.
- 40% up front deposit
- 30% when I’m happy and it’s working
- 30% when you are happy
To set up your server, email (if necessary) and any associated software, I will need access to your CMS admin.
If I’m hosting your website, then access is not an issue. I need to install WordPress, Joomla or Drupal on your server, so if you already have one, I’ll probably just need a username and password.
I can work with any system you already have in place. Most hosts are set up to run open-source software. If you want me to use a particular server, I can also build xHTML / CSS websites without a back end.
If your site requires custom work with a computer programmer (this will be reflected in the paperwork / quote) I usually contact him / her around now.
This phase usually takes about one week if there are no complications.
Upon receipt of your first invoice, and once I have all relevant passwords, I can start building your web site.
This usually takes around two weeks. I may request additional information or simply contact you for feedback. We’ll be in constant email contact for the rest of the process.
All emails are logged and saved (with attachments) for future reference.
Site coming soon
Once the server is ready, I hide your website behind a password-protected area so that only you can see me working on the design and give feedback (before it goes public).
Building Your Website
I get the whole layout and navigation structure working. I then add logos, images, pages with text and backgrounds, adjust colours and custom-build forms or other interactive elements. At this stage you are invited to work with me on your site.
I actually like that interaction. I sometimes work at the client’s business address, but most often over the phone or via email. I need real quiet to work effectively.
I also coach clients on how to add new pages to their site or update existing ones.
Once I’m happy with the design and how the site is working, I check to see if you are also happy. It’s often the case that a client is happy but I’m still keen to make a button or an image just that much slicker.
I may be working on your behalf, but I also have pride when it comes to design. Throughout this process we are always in contact.
Once you are happy with everything, I send the final invoice for outstanding costs and once that is paid . . .
Your site goes public
We call you up and make the site accessible to the public while you’re on the phone. Or I can launch the site on a pre-arranged date.
Given everything is running smoothly, the entire process should take no longer than 8 weeks (for a large website).