Developing and designing a website is a process involving several distinct steps. A well-thought-out site plan that considers all the necessary components is less costly and more quickly built than a site that is not clearly spelled out before starting development. Our process is:
What is the Purpose of your Website? What are your website goals? To offer information, sell products or services, bring visitors to your business location….? The more specific the better!
Who is your Target Audience? Age, demographics and interests will help to develop a site that appeals to them. Soft pastels are not likely to appeal to hard-core rockers and harsh black may not be a hit with senior women!
What Contents Will You Have? What information and capabilities will your target audience expect to find on your site? What functions are needed? We look at what will be required to make your site work the way you want it to. The functions on you site may include an image gallery, a shopping cart, a database, a blog, a newsletter subscription form, social media links and other ways to interact with your audience;
What Should the Website Look Like? How does it fit with your current advertising and promotion? How will it help complete the package? We consider existing logos, corporate colours and any other identification in order to continue and strengthen that identity or, if nothing is in place, we develop for both the website and other advertising and promotional materials;
What do you like? It helps to know your likes and dislikes, so we ask for a list of some websites that appeal to you and some you hate and the reasons. Text too small, the layout too busy, the colours too dull, the images too cramped….we’ll create what you like if you tell us! You tell us your personal preferences.
What are the Targets for Site Development?
We outline the responsibilities, timeline, budget & payment schedule so we all know what is expected of each other, and when.
What is the Domain Name?
Your domain name is your Internet “address”. This website’s domain name is BillboardWebServices.com. If you do not have a domain name we help you choose it and choose alternatives if the first choice is not available. We complete the registration process for you.
Creating the Design
What Website Size and Organization are Needed?
We create an outline of the pages that will be required, their focus and connection to each other and how they will be grouped or organized to make navigation logical and intuitive for your visitors. This is commonly called a Site Map or Site Architecture.
We create at least one proposed layout complete with navigation design, color scheme, font style – everything but the actual contents – for the home page and secondary pages such as articles or galleries. We show where all the site components will sit on the pages and how they will look. The mock-up may be either a working web page or a picture of a web page using the photos, graphics, logo, and colors of your web site. With your input we fine tune until you are happy with the design. While we are doing this, you are gathering all the information and images that will be used in the site contents.
Hosting requirements are defined and hosting is set up in order to build the actual site in a hidden server area. We establish the site style guide, create the page templates, get all the functions installed and working correctly, optimize your images, and edit and format all the information you have given us. Search Engine Optimization is applied to all the text and image components as they are added and to each page as it is created. This is a fairly time-consuming but most valuable part of the work. You will get regular progress updates throughout this process and have access to the server to see the progress and give feedback.
Testing and Delivery
All of the site design is tested for:
- Function: The links, forms, shopping cart, rollover effects and other working parts are verified.
- Appearance: Testing is done on all major browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera to ensure consistency in how the browsers present the pages.
- Standards: The site is checked by a validation service to be sure the code is up to current standards.
Review, Sign-off and Warranty Period
We completely review the entire site with you and identify any final issues to be resolved. We provide a one-month no charge warranty period in which to take care of these last items. Upon completion the final payment is made and the site goes live on your hosting server.
As soon as the site is live we submit it to the major search engines and help you identify local and industry-related directories that should be notified or have a listing for you. We also set up any domain-based email addresses required and help you configure your system for those email accounts.
At this point a maintenance and upgrade plan is made, which can include ongoing directory listings and other promotions online.