After all the formalities are out of the way, such as the initial face-to-face meetings, quote and deposit invoice, the fun begins. We follow a process which we have implemented to streamline our website projects. This process may differ from company to company but the basics are the same. There are 6 phases and each phase require client interaction and approval or sign off.
1. Information Gathering
Gathering as much information at the beginning helps us and the client understand what is wanted and needed from the website. Information such as:
- What is the purpose of the website? Promote a service? Sell a product? Provide information?
- What are the goals of the website? Make money? Share information?
- Who is the target audience?
- How does the content look that must go into the website pages?
2. Site map
Using the information above we will then provide a site map which will show how many pages there are and how the target audience can click through the website. The site map will also show if there will be a second level navigation or a even a third level of navigation. The site map will be shown in a PDF document.
Once the site map is signed off, we then move onto the wireframe phase. Wireframes is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. We layout the web elements (such as logo, text blocks, images, call to actions, etc.) based on UX and UI principals. We also work out the content hierarchy which entails top level, bottom level, full screen and mobile view content. Basically the layout of the website should be easy for the target audience to navigate and interact on the website and the call to actions should be prominent and relative to the content of the website. Wireframes are also show in a PDF document with 3 revisions allocated.
At this point we move onto the design of your website. The target audience play a big role in the design. Example, a website aimed at corporates will look different to that aimed at women looking for fashion items. The design is also determined wether there is an existing visual identity of the company or if we need to create a new visual identity, which will then require a separate project at a separate cost. The site will be designed to scale to show you how it will look inside a web browser. At this point we also remind our client that the design is aimed at the target audience and not the client. A PDF document will be presented.
The development phase is where we actually start coding the signed off design. Elements such as contact forms, e-commerce shopping carts or gallery sliders are implemented and made functional.
6. Testing and Delivery
In most cases we test the website on a live server, which will not be accessible to the public. Only the client will have access to the website in the testing phase. We can then pick up any bugs and issues that need to be fixed before the website goes live. On final approval we then make the website visible to the public. At this stage we also register the website at Google Analytics so that we can gather user information and reports, which will help us in the future once the client is ready to do upgrades.
Based on the initial agreement in place, maintenance plans can span over any period required by the client. Basically we make sure the website run at optimal speed without any issues. We also make sure your website is secured and safe from attacks. Maintenance can also include content updates provided by client.