The Web Design Process Explained
So you're about to get a website designed and built for you, but how does the process work, what is involved and what do you need to do?
The journey from start to finish is quite simple, but there are a few key steps a long the way that you should know about.
Decide what type of website is required
Before any work can begin on your web design, you need to decide what kind of website you need - see this simple breakdown on website types and functionality.
Find reference websites - good & bad
It is incredibly useful for both you and your web designer to have a selection of websites that can be used as reference which exhibit elements that you like and sometimes dislike - the references should be relevant to your business field, profession or subject.
This can also be used as an opportunity to research your competitors and how well their websites are designed and built. What do their websites say about them, how easy are they to navigate & find important information?
Provide the website content
By this stage, it should have been decided how many pages there will be on the website & what they will contain. Now it is time for you to write the content for your website.
Before you actually type word on screen, have a think about the search terms and search phrases that your potential visitors would type into google to find your website and include these in your text. Your web designer should be able to help suggest search keywords and phrases to include within your text - this greatly helps the placement of your website within the search engine results.
For some projects, it is also worth considering the use of a professional copywriter - if you are not confident in your writing abilities, or would prefer a professional to write the content, then this is a worthwhile and sometimes cost effective option. Copywriters are experienced in writing search engine optimised text which can make a difference to the performance of your website as a whole.
Images are very important in web design and help bring dynamics and colour to the page. It is important that this is not overlooked as poor images can ultimately lose clients. While you can provide the images yourself, it is also worth considering having professional photographs taken for your website.
The web design
With all the ground work done, your website can now be designed. Depending on the type website and its size, this may be just be a single home page design, or it could be multiple page designs to cover different sections of the website. Typically, the web design will be drawn up in a graphics program such as photoshop, then once completed you will be given the opportunity to comment on the design before any further steps occur.
CSS conversion of the web design
Once you have approved your web design, it will be turned into a blank web page or template. The styling for the page will be constructed with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allowing for site wide style changes at a keystroke. This method of web design helps keep your website flexible for changes, additions and alterations in the future.
Once the CSS template has been made, the structure of your website can be assembled. This includes the main menu navigation, any elements that are common throughout the website & all the individual pages so that there is a bare website ready to receive the content.
The text and images that you provided are now entered into the relevant positions. Additional design work, styling and tweaking now takes place with each further update taking the website nearer completion.
You will be given a preview before the website is completely finished and put online - this will generally be at a point that the web designer is happy with the level of work so far (although it may not be classed as completed). Care should be taken when previewing a website under construction early on in the project cycle, as you can start to focus on elements that haven't yet been properly worked on.
Once finished, the website will be uploaded and you will now be able to sit back and admire your new website!
To re-cap and in short:
- Get in touch, have a quick chat and we can work out the best solution for your business
- You Provide the text and images for the website
- Sit back, let me do the complicated bit & then admire your new website!