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Website build process

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We are often asked the process behind building a website. It’s a big puzzle…a 10,000 piece one. The closest comparison to the actual process is that of building a home. A home has a foundation, an exterior and exterior, and can be configured in many different ways. Same with websites. There’s building code standards that have evolved over time, to ensure a 6 foot tall human can fit into a doorway, etc. The web world evolves faster, and the standards evolve around web browsers and user experience, but code standards apply in the web world as well. However, in the web world, there are no enforcement officers, no permits to sign off on, less standardization overall. How some sites are built can truly be a mystery. We are here to help make the process less mysterious.

1.) Design & Needs Questionnaire
We go through a series of questions with you, either in person or electronically, to determine what you need in a web presence. We know the questions to ask, and can give you an honest opinion of what you do and don’t need.

2.) Style Tiles
If budget allows, we will come up with a style tile, or sometimes known as style guides. This helps determine colors, fonts and patterns without moving into a full design process.

3.) Wireframe concept
Based on what we’d discussed in step #1, we will frame out elemental placements for the homepage. This helps us determine what’s most important to place “above the fold”, and helps conceptualize concepts that had previously only been discussed.

4.) Design mockup
Based on the first 3 steps, we will then create a graphical mockup of your new site. At this phase, we’re just working with graphics and not a functioning product yet. Typically we will mockup the homepage design as well as a generic subpage, but these needs differ client to client. We only create single design mockups, versus lots of options, because we are working towards a single product (website). Once you’re happy with the design (which we know you’ll love) we require a signoff or electronic approval to move forward, because it’s difficult to modify design elements once the actual code work has begun.

5.) Programming/Web development phase
During this phase, we turn the approved mockup from step #4 in to a functioning website. It’s important the design layout does not change after the code work has begun.

6.) Content import
We will import content from your old website into the new.

7.) Content polishing
We will help you style the content from step #6.

8.) Hosting preparations
We will set up final hosting arrangements at this time. If you want us to continue maintaining your website, we can host it for you too. If you want to maintain the website on your own, we’ll set your website up at a 3rd-party host and get you up and running.

9.) Final checklist, then launch!
We will provide you with a technical checklist to ensure the “puzzle” has been completed. This will also give you the piece of mind of knowing your website meets current W3C code standards. We will officially launch the new website, submit the URL to search engines and do final testing.

10.) Ongoing metrics
We will provide metric access for you to view visitor statistics and observe how your website performs over time.

Overall, building websites is a complicated process with many details, just like building a house. A house can look good on the outside, but not function well on the inside, just like a website. If the foundation isn’t built right, neither will last for long term. If the foundation is built right, the exterior can be modified many times over yet the foundation can remain the same, but if it wasn’t built right from the beginning, the whole thing sometimes needs to be torn down, as it’s easier.

What makes us different is that we focus on websites, and that’s all we’ve ever done. We understand the entire process and can build a website from the foundation up. We’ve been in the industry for so long, that we’ve seen the foundation standards change. We strive to stay current of today’s trends and standards, which are now moving towards catering to mobile and tablet devices. Many of our websites have been online for years, which attests to our quality and high standards.

The value in a custom-built website is how long it’ll last. Often, by the time a client finds us, they are on their second or third website design. These clients have been stuck in what we refer to as the “box” model, which is finding a pre-made template, and trying to fit their business in this pre-created box. Sometimes it’s hard to know what you do and don’t need.

Let us built a website for you that actually works for your needs. We can maintain it to ensure it stays modern for years, and you’ll be amazed at the results. Contact us now to discuss.