One of the most asked questions we receive for web design is, “How do I start the web design process?” The following article will outline the steps we take in beginning any new website. First and foremost we assessing the client’s needs, the proposal and official engagement of the website, content creation and gathering, the concept development, design, implementation, review, testing and launch of a typical website from start to finish.
Assessing client’s needs
Every website design project starts with a phone call. The most important step is to ask the client what the goal or purpose of their website will be and get an understanding of the overall vision the client has for his new or redesigned website. During that call we ask a prospective client if they have a development requirements list or outline of the pages they think they would like to be included in their new website. If they do, great, but more often than not, they don’t. At this point we make suggestions through a series of questions to define the scope of the project including the desired results and create a basic sitemap of the project which will later become the global navigation for the website.
It is extremely important to come to a meeting of the minds on everything discussed in the initial assessment and build a formal scope of work from the call with the client to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion about what work is agreed too. At this point we begin writing the proposal that includes everything we discussed on the initial call and establish a proposed cost for the project and send it off to the client for signature.
Content Creation & Content Gathering
We always ask the client if they have the content developed for the website. This makes the job easier, quicker and less expensive. Content includes, but is not limited to, graphics, photos, videos and website copy. Content creation and content gathering is usually the most difficult part of the process for the client. To keep costs down we make suggestions on what we can use and tweak into content for a project, but love creating new content for a client’s website.
Minimum Content Requirements to begin work
- Photos or graphics
- These can be selected from any stock photo website
- Copy/Text that will make up the pages of the website
- Contact information
- Domain Name
- Hosting Account