The Website Development Process
Step 1: Research + Discovery
It’s not the most glamorous phase but it’s a necessary one. And the most important. That’s because during this phase it’s all about determining what goals need to be achieved, who your audience is, researching your competitors, and discovering ways to optimize your website’s sales funnel.
This information is commonly gathered through worksheets, questionnaires, and when necessary strategy sessions.
Step 2: Structure + Design
We’re in a visual world so while form will always follow function, there is importance in making your new site look good. The research and information gathered in step 1 help determine the structure of your website. For example, if your number one goal is to increase sales of your new product the website’s structure should reflect that by making it more prominent throughout the site. Or if a large portion of your audience has vision impairments, the site’s design needs to address that.
And because consistency is king, creating a theme that follows your existing brand style is also crucial. A good way to start this process is by referring to other marketing materials you have.
Step 3: Content
A story is nothing without words. So tell your business’s story through captivating images and text. This is by far the hardest step in the process and frankly, this is where a lot of businesses wave the white flag. But don’t give up, and don’t think people won't read it. Not every visitor will read every word on your website but Google will so don’t shy away from getting long-winded. You can style that 1200 word page so it flows easily and avoids that wall of text feel.
Oh and when writing content, act like you're talking to a friend. Say, “we’ll help you” instead of “we help clients”. Use words they know, even if it’s not grammatically correct. By sprinkling in terms they use shows you pay attention and better establishes trust.
Step 4: Development
It may feel like a long time coming but because we figured out and organized all the pieces upfront all that’s left is putting the puzzle together. This process can still take time depending on the size and complexity of your website but by doing the other steps first can reduce this timeframe up to half.
Step 5: Launch
This can feel like the scariest part of the project as you are revealing all your hard work to the worldwide web. However, if step one was done properly your brand new site should be well received by your audience.
I do have one important tidbit. During the launch, your website will take roughly 24-48 hours to reach all of the known web universe. So I advise you to wait till after that time to make the big announcement, otherwise, folks may still see your old site or no website at all.
Step 6: Post-Launch
For the first 7 days after launch, we perform several checks on the site to assure all integrations and features are functioning properly with real traffic.
We will restrict access to the admin portion of the website for this initial period. However, once all of our checks are completed access will be granted.
If a bug is found we encourage you to submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you will be performing content updates or maintenance tasks on your website, training videos will be provided to you that explain all the elements you will access so you are confident when updating content over time.
Website Maintenance Plans
We regularly maintain websites we develop, which is why we offer our website maintenance plans that help you stay focused on your business. Plus, plans don't require a long-term contract and start at $49 a month.