North Texas Web Design – Our Web Design Process
There are 6 major steps in the website design process followed by North Texas Web Design – from gathering the initial information, to the creation of your website, and finally to maintenance to keep your web site up to date and current.
Phase One: Information Gathering
The first step in designing a successful website is to gather as much information from the client as possible. Many things need to be taken into consideration, so we ask a lot of questions initially in order that we fully understand your business and website expectations. Things to consider include:
- Purpose, e.g., what is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a product, what?
- Goals, e.g., what do you hope to accomplish by building this website? Two of the more common goals are either to make money or share information.
- Target Audience, e.g., is there a specific group of people that will help you reach your goals? It is helpful to picture the “ideal” person you want to visit your web site. Consider their age, sex or interests – this will help us determine the best design style for your site.
- Content, e.g., what kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site? Are they looking for specific information, a particular product or service…?
Phase Two: Planning & Firm Quote
Using the information gathered from Phase one, we develop a proposal for your website. Effectively, we develop a “site map”, e.g., a list of all the required pages, the main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics (as appropriate). This guides us as to what content will be on the site, and is essential in developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. This is also the point where we decide what technologies should be implemented – interactive forms, CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, etc.
Phase Three: Initial Design
Based upon the information gathered up to this point, we determine the look and feel of the site. Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration here. Once we’ve designed a prototype, we give each client access to a temp URL, where they can view the Home page design. This gives the client the opportunity tell us what they like and dislike. We then make changes as appropriate.
Phase Four: Website Development
This is where the website itself really takes on its own identity. We take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create a functional web site. We also take your content and distribute it throughout the site, in all the appropriate areas. This entire time, you will continue to be able to view your site via the temp URL, often providing additional changes or corrections as you see fit.
Phase Five: Testing & Delivery
At this point, we attend to the final details and test your web site. We test things such as the complete functionality of forms and any special scripts. We test for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers) as well as ensuring that the site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions. If the site involves WordPress, this is accomplished using the Yoast SEO plugin.
Once we receive your final approval, it is time to deliver the site. We upload the files to your server – in most cases, this also involves installing and configuring WordPress, along with a core set of essential plugins to help enhance the site. Here we quickly test again to make sure that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional. This marks the official launch of your site, as it is now viewable to the public.
Phase Six: Post Launch & Maintenance
Even though the website may now be “live”, the development of your web site is not necessarily over. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. This is critical and is often overlooked by too many website owners. If this interests you, North Texas Web Design will be more than happy to continue working together with you to update the information on your web site. We offer maintenance packages at reduced rates – especially if we host your website – based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your site.