This is the first post in a four-part series, which will also include beginners guide articles on Web Hosting, SEO, and Ecommerce. I know what you’re thinking, what on earth is SEO and whose web am I hosting? The web design terms might seem complicated and confusing at first, but by the time you’ve finished reading our four-part series – you’ll have more web design knowledge than most!
In this article we discussed the following subjects:
1) What’s The Point Of Having A Website?
So, we’re starting off with web design because it’s very important that you get your website exactly right. After all, it is the place you ultimately want your visitors to end up. Your social media, your advertising, your business card, your participation in online and in-person communities; all these efforts should be about getting visitors to your website – the crown jewel in your arsenal.
This is why it is so incredibly important that you get your website up and running the best way it should; I’m talking beautifully designed with a brilliant user journey, to give off a positive message and first impression to your visitors.
But it’s not just a matter of whipping up some content, grabbing images, choosing a font, and coding some HTML. Far from it as it happens. A good, professional web designer will have lots of questions for you. These questions will be designed to get you to think about your goals and will help you make decisions on every aspect of your website. It will be useful to prepare a list of requirements before you speak with a prospective web designer including things such as what the website needs to do, how you envisage it looking and your end goals. This will ensure a better understanding of exactly the sort of thing you’re looking for.
2) Step By Step Process
It’s important to understand the process you need to take from having no website to lunching your own website, which should be a finally tuned sales platform that showcases your business. Below is our 7 step guide.
We know. This bit can be dull – we know you want your shiny new website ASAP, it can feel like you’re a child waiting for Christmas Day. But, like any complex project, it’s best to have a clear idea of what you envisage from the get-go. You don’t need to know technical terms or any fancy tech speak – your web developer will know what you’re talking about – we all were beginners once! Doing this keep things from getting confused and misunderstood down the line. Speak to friends if you’re having trouble getting started and kick around ideas.
What would you like your website to achieve? For example: Are you selling a product or service? Do you want people to donate to your charity? Would you like visitors to pay for a subscription to reach your content? Who are your customers? What information will your visitors and customers be looking for on your website?
Are you selling a product or service? Who are your customers? Who are your competitors? What are your unique selling points?
It’s time to talk about the actual structure of your site. Your web designer might still be using pen and paper at this stage of the project, most prefer to do so if I’m honest. If it’s a bigger website, my favourite technique involves using lots of yellow post it notes arranged on a huge piece of paper. This is when the sitemap gets organised, and the overall structure of the site starts to take shape.
It’s also when the designer will determine how the site will be built and what technology will be used. It might be as simple as customising a WordPress site or involve more complex coding by a web developer, which is often far more time consuming and costly.
3. Design And Content
Okay, we’ve finished with the boring part, now it’s time to start getting creative and inject some fun into your project! This is when the designer will work with you to create all things visual, such as the branding of the website, look and feel, colour schemes (you’d be surprised at what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to designing websites), fonts, and overall graphic design. It’s also time to consider your content – text, images, videos and any other content you may wish to use.
With the rise in popularity of UX (user experience due to its noticeable effectiveness, we feel it’s best to consider all design and content elements at the same time. This way, your content and design will flow much better as they have been created together uninterrupted. Great UX will pay out in the long run – the longer you keep visitors on your site, the more likely they are to become a customer.
Well done, things are all starting to come together. All that hard work and planning is starting to pay off you’ll be pleased to know. Your web designer will now start creating the actual website. They might have a few more questions as they go along, but otherwise, they’ll be busy completing the agreed-upon brief.
Don’t worry, you won’t be left in the dark… Once your web designer has an update for you they will be in touch, they will ask for your feedback at various stages throughout the project too.
It’s time to enter the testing phase of the web design project, now that the website is complete. The developers will test your website in a staging environment, running through quality assurance checklists. For example, they will make sure the site is compatible with all browsers and confirm that it’s functional.
They’re find out if all links go where they are supposed to, and are any of the links broken? Is the navigation smooth? Are there any orphan pages?
Is the navigation smooth? Are there any orphan pages? Is it easy to use?
Woohoo, the big day has arrived! Your website is perfectly finished and has finally launched – live on to the world wide web. Congratulations! Celebrate and share it with your friends, family, work colleagues, social media, your dog, Aunty Sue and even the old man down the road if you feel like it. Most of the work is now complete. Now all you need to do is monitor it, make minor fixes, and maintain it. Now you can sit back and watch the visitors come rolling in!
7. Don’t Stop Improving
Don’t think that’s the end of the process, oh no. It’s not time to rest on your laurels just yet. You should now start analysing your website statistics… Is your website fulfilling its purpose and accomplishing your objectives? Are you receiving positive feedback from visitors and customers? If not, why not?
Do you see any visitor patterns – popular pages, or pages with a high bounce rate. Find out why. Are visitors and customers behaving as you’d hoped? Website design is never truly finished, whether it’s maintaining a blog with informative, relevant content, or keeping your pages fresh and current, there’s always something to be worked on.
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to make sure that your all of your businesses branding and visual identity are consistent across all of its social media platforms, marketing materials, advertising campaigns and anywhere else necessary. This will send a subtle signal to your customer that you are detail-oriented and organised.
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Who Are Web Design Review?
Our team at Web Design Review research and evaluate web design companies from across the UK. This saves you the time, effort and money doing the research yourself. We have also developed a handy tool so that you can fill in one enquiry form which is then forwarded to the 10 companies we’ve ranked as the best in the country.
Looking For A Web Design Company?
Own a business? Looking to get your website updated? Do you need help with SEO?
Then check out our awesome comparison resource and find your perfect web design team today! Worried it may be out of your budget? Don’t! We have reviewed many web design agencies that all vary in size and cost. By giving them your budget you can see how they can help today. We promise you won’t be disappointed…
Web Design Review would like to wish you all the best with your search for your ideal web design team and wish you every success with your website.