If you wanted a step-by-step guide to what building a website looks like… You’ve come to the right place. I will start right off the bat and say that we build websites that might be different to the next web agency or designer/developer. This is an in-depth look at the process that we use to build websites.
Over the years, we’ve chopped and changes pieces that didn’t seem to fit all that well. As with anything, it’s good to allow the process to change over time if need be.
This blog post will focus on the first portion of the process, which is all about getting to know you, your business, and your audiences. If you are in the mood to watch rather than read – you can check out the first ten-minute video that will give you the same insight but with more umming and ahhing!
Well, it looks like you decided to read on. Let’s start at the start.
Reaching out to us: Our first contact with clients comes from a million directions. We do a lot of networking, face to face or virtual. We get emails through firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0754871247 if you wanted the contact details. We also connect with people through social networks. Any messages from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are picked up at least once a day. Whatever your preferred method, we’re available.
Initial Conversation: When we initially speak to a client, we often get a deluge of information about a person and their business. More often than not, we get to the crux of why the client might need the website almost immediately, which is a fantastic place to start. These conversations include a lot of listening and writing notes which makes the next step a lot easier.
We work as a team on all our website projects, from the wireframing through to the QA. Our notes are reviewed as a team after the chat!
Sometimes this initial conversation happens multiple times over a long period as well. It’s not always quite as straightforward as this process layout seems!
Research Time: After your call, we sit down for some research on your business area. This can take up to about two hours, depending on our experience working with an industry. We look at three main factors in this: sector, where your business fits in the industry and who your website would be for. These three can have a significant impact on the flow of the website and the functionality that might be needed to serve your audience. We do competitor research on top of that to gauge how your website might fare against the other local options in your town, area or location.
Proposal & Contract: All of the research above informs the final proposal that we send out. We try to turn this around in a couple of days maximum. We use the data gathered to give us an investment cost for the whole project. Many factors go into investment for a website, but you can read about that in another blog post & video: here.
You’ve signed the proposal and sent the deposit. We’ve agreed on the project and set up your folder on Basecamp. It’s time to get started.
Kick-Off/Mind Map Session: After the signing and paperwork, we go into a kick-off session. This will usually be Kittie, Robyn and myself sitting down with you and walking through any ideas you might have had since we last spoke and answering any questions you have. The whole concept of this second meeting is to understand:
- What you want from the website.
- What the website needs.
- What you would like to avoid.
As well as those, we have to discuss what your audience wants, needs and would like to avoid. Though the website is being built for you by us, it’s more accurately made for your customers/clients. You might be the one in a million business owners who create a business they are the ideal customer for, but that’s highly unlikely!
Client Questionnaire: The kick-off session has happened, the whole idea of the website is coming together for us in the background. By this point, we’ve discussed tactics internally for building the website and are getting ready to draw you up a first tangible look at the site.
We have one last job to do before hitting the next stage, and that’s the client questionnaire. This is all about capturing those last bits of information that might lead us down a different design/development path. Now, don’t be shocked when you get the questionnaire, it is pretty lengthy, but many of our previous clients have found it helpful to have the dedicated time to sit down and write out their thoughts rather than being put on the spot during our kick-off call.
We tend to go through the questionnaire with you if we feel it’s required. If not – it’s onto the next exciting phase. Design!
In the next blog post and video, we’ll be discussing how wireframes work and what the design phase looks like from Robyn’s point of view.
As always, if you’d like to discuss your upcoming website or digital marketing project – we’d love to hear from you.