Phase 1: Info Gathering
The first phase in designing a clients website is to gather information. This is one of if not the most important phase of our process. We need to understand you and your company before we even think about design and development.
Some of what we will need to gather from you will be...
- Website Purpose
Every website has a certain purpose. Is it to inform about your business or topic? Form a community? Sell products online? We need to identify the overall purpose.
- Website Goals
Is your ultimate goal to make money? share information? build a network?
- Website Target Audience
Every website has a target audience. When developing your site we consider your target audiences sex, age, interests, location and more – this helps us determine design, style, layout, fonts and more..
- Website Content
We will need to gather content for your site. You may have all content or you may have some or none. This includes text, images, logo, video and audio. You might have brochures, pdf files and other content items to help us build your site.
Phase 2: Planning
Phase 2 is where we use all of the information that we gathered from you in phase one to plan your new website. This is the point where layout is created as well as a site map.
The site map is exactly what it sounds like, a map of your website. It will give us a guide as to what content will be on the site and where it will be placed. Your navigation system will also be created. This could include top menus, side menus, sub menu items, etc. We always shoot for a very user friendly interface. It is one of the key points in building a successful website.
We will also discuss what technologies will be used with your website. This includes..
- Content Managment Systems (Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, etc)
- Ecommerce (shopping carts)
- Support Systems
Phase 3: Web Design
Phase 3 is where we start the actual work. We take all of the info gathered as well as everything from the planning phase and start designing your website. We should already have the layout and navigation system laid out in a wireframe or on paper. We will now create graphics and banners using Photoshop or Illustrator. We also create background images and web buttons.
We do not start coding until the next phase (development). We create everything in a psd file wich is Photoshop format. We then export it to a jpg and email it to you. If you sign off on it then we move to phase 4. If there needs to be changes we will go back and make the changes. If you are not feeling the design, we will get some feedback and comments from you start over until we get it perfect.7
Phase 4: Development
If we are using a content management system such as Joomla or wordpress, this is where we will install the platform on your web host and configure it. We will then add content and menu structure and develop the template from the design we created in phase 3.
We will also create and add functionality to forms, create galleries, flash,etc. If your website will have a social networking aspect to it, we will also develop user logins, profiles, forums, etc. If we are selling items, a shopping cart platform will be implemented.
The development phase is typically the longest phase. It can last from 1 week to a couple months depending on the size and complexity in your website.
Phase 5: Testing + Launch
At this point in our process, we will be working on the final details of your website and then test functionality. We will test things like form functionality and compatibility issues. We complete tests in all major browsers including Firefox, IE8, IE7, Chrome, Safari and Opera ensuring that your website is optimized in all of them. If browser compatibility is an issue, we will adjust the CSS code accordingly.
TraitDesign is current with the latest web standards. The basic technologies used in web design is XHTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). As part of testing, we check to be sure that all of the code written for your web site validates. When building static XHTML/CSS websites, we offer 100% complience with these standards. If your website is CMS based and uses Joomla, Wordpress, etc, we will do all we can to validate the code but these programs have their own structure that sometimes does not validate 100%. Most of our CMS websites do validate but we do not give 100% guarantee that it will validate 100%.
If you are 100% satisfied with your new website, we will deliver the site.If we developed your site on a test server or sub directory, it will be moved to the root of your domain. We offer web hosting and domain registration but you can use other sources. Once the site is transfered, one last run through will be made as a precautionary, to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional.
This will be the official launch of your new website, and will now be viewable to the public.
Phase 6: Maintenance & SEO
Now that your website is up and running, it is time to think about getting users to come to it. Many people think building a website is all there is to it but that is not true unless you have a huge network of people and businesses waiting the launch of your new website. SEO can be done on your own but it is very time consuming and you must know what you are doing.
TraitDesign offers cheap SEO services. Many SEO companies offer services for $800+ per month. We have flat rate services from $295 to $495. Our SEO services all include one way link building, social bookmarking, blog and forum posting and more. We even write articles for your website in some of our packages. You can view more here.