The first step in designing a successful web site is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when the look and feel of your site is created. This first step is actually the most important one, as it involves a solid understanding of the company it is created for. It involves a good understanding of you – what your business goals and dreams are, and how the web and good website design can be utilized to help you achieve those goals.
This is also the stage where we ascertain who your competition is, what they are doing and what relevent keyword phrases will provide the most targetted traffic for your site.
This is the point where a site map is developed. A site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as any sub-topics. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. A good user interface creates an easy to navigate web site, and is the basis for this.
During the planning phase, we will help you decide what website design technologies should be implemented. Elements such as a CMS (content management system), visual components such as jQuery, Flash, contact forms, or video are discussed when planning your website design goal.
It’s time to determine the look and feel of your site. Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration. A site aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different than one meant for a financial institution. As part of the website designing phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as the company logo or colors to help strengthen the identity of your company on the web site.
We will create one or two prototype designs for your web site. These prototypes are then sent to you for approval. This gives you the opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the site design so that revisions can be made.
The developmental stage is the point where the web site itself is created. At this time, we take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype chosen and use them to create the actual site.
This is done by first developing the home page, followed by a “skeleton” of all interior pages. The skeleton serves as the template for the content pages, as it contains the main navigational structure for the site. We then take your content and distribute it throughout the site, in the appropriate areas. Elements such as the CMS, interactive contact forms, or ecommerce shopping carts are implemented during this phase, as well.
We now attend to the final details and test your web site. We test things such as the functionality of forms or other scripts, as well as testing for compatibility issues between all major browsers, phones and tablets, ensuring that your web site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
A good web designer is one who is well versed in current standards for web site design and development. As part of debugging, we check to be sure that all of the code written for your web site validates best with those website design standards. This is helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as mentioned above.
SEO is the optimization of your website design elements that assist your pages in scoring well for certain keyword phrases when tested against the search engine algorithms. This means when a search engine spider visits it is pleased by your content and you achieve higher rankings in the search engines.
There are a lot of details involved in optimizing your web site for the search engines. Far too many to properly explain here, but SEO is probably the most important element for your business. You’re investing in your future and without proper SEO, you will seldom see an ROI because you need to make sure that people can find it!
Once you give us your final approval, it is time to publish your new website design.