JOURNAL

JOURNAL

Our Website Design Process - A Step By Step Guide

Here at Manage My Website we aim to make the website design and build process as straightforward as possible for our clients, from the initial enquiry stage through to going live, and we also offer post-launch services.

Here’s everything you need to know.

1. The Initial Enquiry Stage

We receive the majority of our enquiries via word of mouth or through the online form on our website. One of the team will reply to your initial message and we’ll ask you various questions in order to get a full understanding of what you require.

It’s helpful for us to know:

Do you have an existing website or is this a brand new project?

If you have an existing website:

  • What is your website URL?
  • Which platform and template are you using?
  • What are your website log-in details?

If this is a brand new website:

  • What is your business called, and what is it about?
  • Do you have a logo, or would you like us to assist with logo design?
  • Do you have a Facebook page or any social media accounts for your business?
  • How many pages do you want the website to have? (e.g. Home, About, Shop, Gallery, Blog, Contact, Shipping info, Terms & Conditions, Privacy)
  • Do you want to sell any products? If yes can you give us an indication of the number of products you want to sell?
  • Do you have all the text and images ready for the entire site?
  • Are there any competitor sites we can look at to get an idea of what you like?
  • Is there any special functionality you need? (e.g. e-commerce, videos etc)
  • Do you have a deadline for the launch?
  • Do you have a budget for this project?

2. The MMW Web Design Proposal

Once we have the above information back from you we can quote accordingly. We’ll come back to you with a full proposal and we’ll also send you a copy of our Terms & Conditions.

At this stage we’ll advise you on which platform we feel is the most suitable based on your requirements. Squarespace is our preferred platform, however there are times when Shopify or WordPress may be a more suitable option. All of the platforms we work with offer a wide range of templates/themes, so if you accept our proposal, we’d be happy to help you select the most suitable one for your needs.

If you choose to go ahead we would require a 50% non-refundable deposit before work commences, and the final 50% must be paid just before your website launches or 60 calendar days after the project start date (whichever comes first).

Once we have received your deposit we’ll send you a Dropbox link and we’ll ask you to share all your content (text, images, notes and logo). If you’re unfamiliar with using Dropbox read this post, which explains how to use it.

Content:

We’ll need lots of clear, crisp, high-resolution images to use across the site. If you don’t have good quality images, it might be worth paying a professional photographer. Alternatively we can source stock images for you. Remember though that having a few of your own photos would add a more personal feel to your website.  

If you don’t have any text for your website, we’d be happy to help. One of our copywriters can call you to get a thorough understanding of your business and what you want to communicate, and then they can sort out the content for you.

A high impact logo always helps to create a strong website. We work with a number of Graphic Designers and Illustrators who can create a perfect one for your business, to use across your online marketing channels as well as for print and signage.

Contact us for more details on purchasing stock images, copywriting or brand development.

3. The Website Design & Build Process

Once we have your content we’ll start creating your website. Our team of Web Designers and Developers have years of experience building websites and we’ll hand your project over to whoever we feel is most suitable for your brief.

We’ll liaise with you about templates/themes, colours, fonts etc. If you have a logo this would influence the style of the website as we’d want to ensure that your branding works well with it.

If you’d like a simple 5-6 page website then we’ll probably send you the first draft within 5 days. We’d send you a URL and you’d be able to log in and see the site so far. For more complex sites with specific functionality it may be 10-14 days before we can send you visuals or your first live link.

Once you’ve seen our ideas, you can give us your feedback. Hopefully you’ll be delighted with the way the site is coming together and we can carry on and get it finished for you. If there is anything that you'd like amended, this is the time to tell us.

4. Final Approval & Website Launch

Once we’ve completed the design and build, there are various procedures, which we’ll check before launching the site.

  • Checking Headings, Page Titles and Descriptions, and Alt Tags (image names) on your content for the search engines to make sure you’re optimised as far as possible.
  • Connecting your social media accounts to your website
  • Checking a 404 Error / Page Not Found Custom Page
  • Checking your enquiry or booking forms are working correctly
  • Checking your Footer text
  • Conducting cross-browser checks to make sure your new website displays correctly across all browsers and devices
  • Proofread your content one more time
  • Checking all links – do they work? Do all links to external sites open in a new window?
  • Testing your functionality to make sure nothing is broken or not working as it should
  • Integrating Google Analytics if you’d like to keep track of your statistics
  • Making sure that all your images optimised for the web and load quickly
  • Registering your website with the search engines if you require this service
  • Skype Training

Shortly before the launch of your site we’ll arrange a convenient time for you to have a Skype training session. We’ll show you the admin area, and we’ll make sure that you know how to add new content (blogs, updates, new photos etc.) yourself. The training is either 1 or 2 hours (depending on which website design package you’ve gone with), however additional hours can be booked if required.  

6. Post-Launch Support

After the launch of your website MMW can help you with the following services:

Web Maintenance:

We can update content, add new images, add blogs etc. Many of our clients like to use this service as it means that they can focus on running their business rather than spending time updating their site.

Social Media:

Managing social media accounts effectively can be very time consuming, which is why we offer professional social media management consultancy packages, and training. The aim of this service is to create a solid social media presence for your business which will increase awareness of your brand, drive more traffic to your website and ultimately generate more business for you.

We develop strong working relationships with our clients during the website design and build process, and we’re proud of the testimonials we’ve received over the years. If you’re looking for an experienced and friendly team to create a high impact, search engine friendly website for your business we’d be very happy to work with you.

Drop us a line and we’ll get in touch to discuss your requirements.