We’ve been designing websites for well over 15 years. In that time, the digital landscape has changed beyond all recognition (if there’s one constant in the web design business, it’s change!). However, throughout this change, one thing has remained: our methodical, business-focussed, no-jargon approach to delivering exceptional websites for our clients – i.e. via our process.

Our process is something that we have honed and adapted over many, many years. And, like all good processes, it keeps changing: we are always learning and refining it, incorporating the ever-changing web industry best practices so that your website is always ahead of the pack.

Our process is robust enough to handle the situation where we don’t meet our clients face to face; indeed, over 60% of our clients are in the US. With tools like Zoom, Skype, UberConference etc, distance is not a problem.

Let’s take a look at our ideal* process below:

(*not all projects contain sufficient scope to allow for the full process).

How it begins…

At the outset of the project, we’ll have a meeting with you so that we can get an idea of the scope & breadth of your project. We can then give you an estimate as to the anticipated level of investment you’ll be required to make. This estimate is based on what we know at that point in time, and is without the benefit of a deeper, more thorough exploration of your needs – which leads us neatly into the first step:

  1. Discovery Phase

    Once you’re happy with the estimate (and the deposit has been paid), we’ll kick off with our full process. We now have time to fully delve into your needs,  allowing us to better understand the underlying reasons behind your requirements, and to obtain key details about your business; e.g. your target audience(s), products/services, your brand guidelines, market conditions, business direction etc. This phase may last a few hours or, for more complex projects, may span multiple days or weeks.

    This Discovery Phase may well uncover new opportunities which were previously unknown. E.g. perhaps there are issues with your brand identity which need addressing, or perhaps we additionally need to plan for new website functionality etc. Whatever these new opportunities are, we’ll present them to you as optional extras;  you can decide to include them as additional extras in the current phase of the project, or add them to your long term roadmap.

    As with all key milestones in the project, we will ask you to ‘sign off‘ this stage. This means that we are all in agreement with where the project is at. Sign off allows us to progress to the next stage in the process.

  2. Site Planning

    We may well need to create documentation to help communicate the overall website structure, the general layout of certain pages, or anything else that will help capture the scope of the project in a clear language that we can all understand. Such documents may well go through various revisions.

  3. Design

    Next, we create design mockups for key pages of your website. We’ll jointly review these initial website designs & respond to your feedback. Typically this review throws up minor changes and amends which can be fed back into the next round of designs.

    The scope and scale of the project will dictate how many design mockups we need to create: e.g. simpler sites can be captured with a homepage mockup plus a generic interior page design mockup; more complex sites will require more expansive design work.

    We may use online tools like InVision to help store such mockups; allowing you to easily add comments etc.

  4. Building

    Once we’ve agreed on the overall design, we can press ahead and begin the heavy lifting involved with turning your static design into an actual working WordPress website. By default, we’ll ensure that your website will work on smartphones, tablets etc (called “Responsive Design“), and that it is tuned to SEO*, and has been tuned in terms of website performance.

    The vast majority of our projects are based on us creating a bespoke design theme unique to the client – for more budget-sensitive clients, we can use off-the-shelf WordPress themes.

    (*Whilst we are not an SEO specific agency, we handle many technical aspects of SEO such as, and not limited to, ensuring your website code is as clean & semantic as possible, ensuring your website is performant & speed tested, that you are aware of Google Rich Snippets etc, that Google Search Console is satisfied with your website etc. As we do not create content for clients, we do not get involved in keyword density etc, though we will install Yoast etc if required. For deeper SEO requirements – such as off-site SEO, link building, or keyword research etc, we can recommend third party specialists).

  5. Training and Content

    The website content (i.e. the words & images) is crucial to the success of the website. We will have already agreed who is responsible for creating any required content previously (whether that is the client’s team or a third party copywriter). You may also have to commission photographers or videographers.

    If you need any training on how to use your new WordPress website, we can provide that. To help your website admin team, we typically provide in-website video screencast documentation of any non-standard / non-obvious WordPress admin tasks.

    Depending on what has been agreed, either your team or we will load any required content on your website.

  6. Review

    Before launch, you’ll typically have access to your website in a private, password-protected manner. This provides us with a safe environment to perform final testing before launching your website.

  7. Go Live

    Once you’re happy, we’ll make everything live and phase 1 of your website project is complete. We say phase 1 because we may have identified opportunities earlier (e.g. an email newsletter, CRM integration etc) but decided to delay such works until the initial phase has been completed.

    Post-launch, where possible, we typically offer 30 days, free of charge bug fixes on the website. After that period has lapsed, time is billable and clients can choose a support package which best fits their needs.

The End

Hopefully, this gives you a flavour of how our website projects typically play out. However, this process is not set in stone – we do adapt our approach depending on the particular needs for your project. Please feel free to get in touch to ask us any questions.