Starting your first website can be quiet daunting and it can be hard to understand what’s involved in the web design process. You may be asking yourself “what am I actually paying for when using a Digital Agency”?
We will go into more detail on each phase in upcoming articles, but for now lets simplify it for you. Here are the basic key phases to assist you in understanding the process.
This first phase of creating a website is all about getting your needs down on paper. Your requirements may be as simple as a brochure website or as complex as a full blown e-commerce store.
Some people know instantly what they want in a website, while others need more help to understand what is technically possible or within their budget. Either way the project brief phase is designed to work this out for you.
We will also want to establish an understanding of your target audience. At the end of the day we aren’t making a website to only capture your eye it’s primarily designed to capture the eye of your next customer.
If you already have branding for your business then you have a head start in the design process. We recommend that you send as much of the branding and advertising material that you have and to advise what your favourite and least favourite parts are.
Another great tool to send to a web designer is some examples of a few websites that you like the look of, or don’t like the look of which ever it might be, and don’t forget to let them know why. Providing this information to the designer is essential for them to get a good understanding of the style that you’re after in preparation to putting together some eye catching design concepts.
Take a look through our web design portfolios page which is a great way of finding website designs that you might like.
The web development part of the process is much less interactive from your point of view. The website code is first created; this is what is called hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS).
If in the project brief you requested to have the ability to manage the content on your website yourself, the code will then be built into a content management system (CMS). This is also the phase in the process where more complex functionality is added such as searches, member logins and e-commerce systems.
Testing & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is the final stage of creating your website. Your website is tested to make sure everything is working as expected. Basic SEO is added to your website and the code is validated to make sure that it works nicely with the search engines and across all mainstream web browsers.
This last phase of the web design process is optional and can be added at anytime after the website has been completed. It usually includes projects such as increasing traffic to the website through more complex SEO and digital strategy.
If you have forgotten anything in your project brief or have thought of something else you would like to add to your website, please don’t be afraid to ask. After all that’s what your digital agency is for!