Web Design Process
The process of developing a successful website usually involves a few different stages which are listed below. I work in close consultation with you through each step of the process, getting your approval first before moving on to the next stage, and giving you plenty of opportunity to provide feedback and suggest changes.
First, I need to establish what the desired goals of the site are going to be. Having established the website's goals, planning is required to determine what content will be required to meet these goals, how it should be presented, and whether any particular features will be required, e.g. contact forms for potential customers to get in touch, or mailing lists, or shopping carts. Further planning is then required to create a site map, a structure for the website, so that different pages can be grouped logically into different sections, and that all the key elements are on the page to ensure that browsing the site is easy, and that site functions are user-friendly.
Once all the necessary planning has been completed, then work on designing the website can begin. This will often start with what are known as wireframes which are basic diagrams of how different pages will look showing the elements and content blocks that will be required and how they relate to each other.
Next, an attractive and usable interface, i.e. the actual look and feel, of the website, is designed in what can be referred to as the visual design stage. You can see examples of some of our designs in our portfolio.
Quite often I'll move straight into creating the design as an actual web page that you can preview so designing and coding are done at the same time. If your site requires a Content Management Systems (CMS), the coded design also needs to be integrated into the CMS framework that will be used to create the pages of the site. With the design coded and tested in all modern browsers*, and the CMS framework ready to go, it is time for the next stage.
This is the stage when the website really starts to take shape. Pages are created with the content supplied; images, charts, galleries and video are added; and special features are set up. If using a CMS, you might be given access to its control panel at this point so that you can start to enter content yourself, or I might create all of the initial pages for you, with a view to handing over the reins for future updates after the site goes live.
With all the content entered, it's time to ensure that everything is working as it should, that pages are usable and content accessible in the different web browsers, and that the site stands up to a variety of different conditions, e.g. devices (i.e. mobiles), operating systems, screen sizes, and text sizes. Although consideration of accessibility and usability has already been made during earlier stages of the site's development, it's also at this stage that time is spent on ensuring that these concerns have been addressed correctly.
Site goes live
With everything successfully tested and all the checklist boxes ticked, it's time to release the new site to the rest of the world. Creating a winning design is only the first step towards success though. Next, you'll want to promote it and ensure that search engines can find it and I can help you with both of those.
*The standard testing suite includes the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera, and Internet Explorer 10+. Support for older versions of Internet Explorer is not included by default, but can be specially requested. I no longer support Internet Explorer 6 or 7.