Here’s a description of a typical website design project to give you an idea of the steps involved in the creation of a new website. Revamping an old website would go through a similar process.
I meet with you either face-to-face or by phone to discuss your business and your goals from a website. If you already have a website, we clarify what you want from a redesign. The goal of this meeting is to come to a mutual understanding of the scope of the project, and what is required and desired. Hopefully it will be a meeting of minds and an opportunity to start building a good working partnership.
I then put together a written proposal with a price for the design or redesign. Before we go any further, you should know that the price will be in the thousands, not the hundreds, of dollars. There’s no point in you getting sticker shock or in me putting the time into writing the proposal if you’re not ready to invest the money in such a project. There are free and cheap alternatives available, especially if you are comfortable using online applications.
Once you have approved the proposal and we’ve signed a contract, you’ll send me whatever promotional materials – logo, brochures, photographs, etc. We may need to discuss the choice of domain name and hosting, and register them if you haven’t done so already.
Creating the draft website
HolmPage designs the overall look of the site and asks for your feedback. This could be in two stages: wireframe design (layout) and graphic design, or in a blend of the two, depending on the structure of the website. I aim for a design that we are both satisfied with, that looks professional, and that works well and downloads quickly even on modem connections. I ensure that the design works in all browsers commonly in use and that it will work with screen resolutions as low as 1024 x 768 (the lowest common resolution nowadays, including iPad) so that users never have to scroll sideways.
I also design a website architecture and navigation system that makes it easy for users to find their way around.
Once you have approved the overall design, I create the pages, allowing for variations to emerge from our discussions.
I set up a draft site for you to review. You are encouraged to have employees, friends and relatives look at it at this stage and make suggestions.
Search engine optimization
I optimize for search engines as we build the site. This includes identifying keywords and key phrases with you and using other tools, copy editing to incorporate keywords and phrases as much as possible and/or advising you on how to do so, building meta tags, and so on. The goal is for people looking for your services to be able to find you on search engines. We only use acceptable techniques of search engine optimization, not ones that could get your site banned for spamming.
Publishing your website
Search engine submission and site promotion
I make sure your site is being found by the main search engines and directories (nowadays, primarily Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Open Directory etc.). I advise clients to do research online to find business directories specifically related to their business, and submit their sites. It is also very useful to get links from other relevant and reputable sites. Social networking can be a great way to get links coming to your site. Most of this is better done by you than by us, and on an ongoing basis. You know your field best, and a social presence on the internet as a knowledgeable and “real” person works to your advantage.
Linking to your site from my website, and from mine to yours, helps both of us in the search engine game.
As the site is being built. I edit text for grammar, spelling and good “web style,” and check all internal and external links to make sure that they work. I make sure all images are optimized for the web so that they look good and download quickly. I take great care to ensure that your website is professional.
I am pleased to provide a responsive and timely update and addition service. Depending on your needs, we can set up a maintenance contract, or charge you straight time at our current rate in quarter-hour increments. All we need is an e-mail from you and we’ll make the change requested – nothing could be simpler!
Doing it yourself
If you would like to be involved in editing or adding your own content, I can set you up and train you to do so. There are various options we can discuss. Depending on the frequency of updates and your computer literacy, it may be more cost-effective for you to have us do the maintenance tasks.
Ownership and copyright
I assign the copyright of your web site to you. I do not intend to hold your site ransom to your continued business with us. If you want to work with another web designer in the future, I will cooperate in the transfer and only charge you for the time required to do so.