Step 1: Information Gathering
The first step you take is probably the most important one in the process, you’ll need to start thinking about:
- Purpose: What is your website’s purpose? Informational, Promotional, Sales, etc.
- Goals: What do you hope to accomplish with your website? Share Information, Make Money, Help People, etc.
- Audience: Who are you hoping to reach with your website?
- Content: What kind of information will you put on your website?
Step 2: Planning…Always Keeping Your Visitor In Mind!
Now that you have Step 1 done, use it to help you plan your site.
Start by taking all the content you’ve gathered for your site and grouping it together in related categories and make sub-categories to help define your site even more. This is called your Site Map and will help you not only determine what you put on your site but how it will flow for your visitors.
We can also help you purchase your Domain Name and your Hosting account so you’ll be ready to go live in step 5.
Step 3: Design
Now it’s time to look at the look and feel of your website. Using your audience demographics you can start to think about colors and layout. There’s nothing wrong with asking your web designer to make 2-3 prototype pages so you can see what you think.
We also can give you a way to look at the designs through each step of the process so that you’re always kept up-to-date on where your site’s at and you can let us know if there are any problems or concerns, we call this your ‘Beta’ site.
This is where communication between the customer and designer is most crucial so that your end website is exactly what you want and need!
Step 4: Development
Finally you get to see some progress made! This is the point where you’ll see your website start to take shape right before your eyes moving from a prototype to a functional site.
First is your Home Page, once that’s completed a layout template is created for the rest of the site. This allows us to make sure that each page is consistent and will speed up the rest of the process.
When we make progress on a section of the beta site we’ll email you to let you know, giving you time to look it over and make any changes necessary.
Step 5: Testing And Activation
Now as the final touches are being made to your beta site we begin testing. No only do we test but we ask that you or someone on your team tests the site as well, this can help alleviate any problems when it’s time to take the site live.
Not only does testing cover the basic functionality of your site but also compatibility with browsers, helping you purchase your domain name and hosting if you haven’t already done so in step 2.
Step 6: Maintenance
No, you’re not done yet! Once the site has gone live you’ll need to make sure that it’s kept up-to-date, this includes your hours of operation, phone number, email addresses as well as any product information you have on your site…nothing drives visitors away like bad information!
Part of the maintenance of your site should include tracking how it’s doing, where your visitors come from and what they do while they’re on your site. But don’t just glance at these reports, take time each week or month to really look into them and evaluate where you may need to make some changes.