Understanding Roles in Website Design

One of the scariest things about moving forward with a website design project is uncertainty over the process. You may have had a bad experience in the past, or may have no experience at all in ordering these types of services, which can leave you with questions about what to expect.

Here at Discount Web Designer, we want to make sure that it is clear what we will be doing for you, and what your role is in the process. Remember, this is YOUR website, and that means that completion requires your input and cooperation. While we are performing tasks such as creating a draft design, coding, planning, and research, there are things that you will be responsible for providing as well, such as content, visual elements, and feedback. We want to make sure that you are getting what you need and expect, so your input is crucial!

Our Process

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Step 1: Initial Consultationinitial-consultation

It all begins with a consultation. During this conversation, we will discuss what you want to accomplish and what it will take to get you there. This may include functionality, layout, colors, style, and more. We want to get as much information about what you like, the image you want to portray, and the actions that you want your website visitors to perform so that we can get the draft design as close to your needs as possible. We will want to know what you currently have that we may use such as images, content, logo, and a link to your current website if applicable.

We will also be setting expectations during this meeting so that you know what kind of timeframe to expect. On average, the entire process only takes 3-4 weeks to complete, but can vary based on multiple factors such as the complexity of your needs and your responsiveness to our requests.

Step 2: Draft Design Developmentreview-draft-design

After the initial consultation, we will send a link to the project brief that you will need to complete before we can begin your draft design. This will give us all of the vital information that will be needed for your website, as well as input regarding your aesthetic preferences, and functionality needs. This is what we use as reference, along with our notes from the consultation, throughout the design process, so the more complete the project brief is, the more quickly the process will go, as there will most likely be fewer changes needed to your draft design. While you are working on the project brief, we will begin doing our initial research and planning which may include things like scheduling resources, reviewing websites of your competitors, and reviewing your current website, if applicable, for components that may be repurposed in your new design.

After you have completed the project brief, we will begin working on the draft design. While we work, we will need you to gather or complete the content required for your website. This includes your homepage information, about us page, and any product or service descriptions that may be needed. You will most likely find that you have already created many of these things for other purposes, and in most cases, it is fine to repurpose that content. The exception to this is using content that is already available online. This is called Duplicate Content, and can literally be the death of your website to Google and other search engines. We can use content from existing websites ONLY if that content will no longer be available once your new website goes live, such as content on an existing website that your new site will be replacing.

Once we have completed your draft design, we will schedule a time to review it together online. During this review, we will be looking at items like:

  • General Layout
  • Site Structure
  • Functionality
  • Colors & Fonts
  • Content & Visual Needs
  • Other Design Elements

We will be looking for your opinion and feedback on all of these components, as well as reviewing anything we may still need from you. You will notice that the draft design includes dummy text called Lorem Ipsum. This is just to give you a feel of how the content will look on the page, and will be replaced with your content for the final review.

Be as thorough as possible when reviewing your draft design, as once it has been approved, we will be moving forward with the final design and any design changes from this point could set your project back considerably and could even incur additional charges, depending on the changes you require. If we have completely missed the mark, now is the time to let us know so we can go back to the drawing board to create a design that you are happy with.

Step 3: Final Design Developmentreview-final-design

Once the draft design review is completed and we have gathered all of your notes and feedback, we will begin working on the final design. During this time, we need you to thoroughly review the content you have created for your website, and select visual elements to accompany your content. We have an agreement with DepositPhotos, so this is a great place to start looking for images that reflect your brand and your products/services. If you need professionally done headshots for your slider or other content needs, now would be the time to get that done as well. You will also want to start considering your hosting options. We offer managed hosting at a very reasonable rate, and would be happy to provide you with a quote for your project.

Once we have made all of the tweaks and adjustments to the draft design, we will begin placing your content and images to create your final design. Once that design is complete, we will again review it together online. This gives us a chance to show off everything we have done, and get your feedback on any tweaks that may need to be made. Any major changes should have been requested prior to approval of the draft design, and if you realize that significant changes need to be made, then we will provide you with a quote for the additional time required to make those changes.

Step 4: Trainingtraining

In order to ensure that you are able to update and maintain your website, we will provide you with complete, live training that will be recorded and sent to you for your future reference. We will teach you how to:

  • Update Content
  • Update Products
  • Replace Images
  • Create New Posts/Pages
  • Utilize any Website Functionality

We want to set you up for success! Training typically takes about an hour, depending on the complexity of your website. Ecommerce websites can take two training sessions in order to cover all of the components. Once your website has been handed over to you, you may find that you still have questions. No problem! Just ask, we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have at any time.

Step 5: Website Launch!website-live

Here is when things start to get really exciting! Once your training is complete, we will turn the website over to you and provide you an access login for the backend of the website where you will make any changes, add content, and manage your website. We will place the website on the hosting of your choice, and your website will now be visible by navigating to your domain. You can now share your website with the world, and we encourage you to post it to your social media accounts.

What’s Next?

After this point, while we will no longer be actively involved in your website, you can still contact us anytime you require assistance or want to make changes. We will be happy to work with you again on any other design needs you may have, from business card and print material design to providing you with resources for assistance with online marketing. Our sister company, Mark My Words Media, Inc. provides complete online marketing services, and would be more than happy to consult with you and give you a quote for any marketing needs you may have.

Best Practices

Install Skype. It is a great service that makes it easy for us to communicate and share ideas and designs with you. This is typically how we conduct our meetings, as it allows us to not only speak with you, but to share our computer screen with you so you can see exactly what we are seeing, and vice versa.

Be Responsive. We will do everything we can to help you succeed, and don’t mind sending you reminder after reminder if that is what it takes to get a response from you. However, things will move much more quickly, and it will be a more pleasant experience for both of us, if you respond to our requests in a timely manner. We will treat you with the same respect, and we respond to all client inquiries within 24 business hours, typically much sooner.

Be Open to Suggestions. Our team is extremely experienced and has your best interests at heart. We will always provide you with our honest feedback, even when it may not be what you want to hear.  For example, if we feel that your logo does not do your business justice, we will tell you. This is not so we can sell you more services. This is so you have the best possible presentation for you business online. We will also provide you with a ton of great ideas and thoughts on how to maximize your business. You are under no obligation to take our advice, but know that we will always do our best to steer you in the right direction.

Ready to get started? Contact us now at (800)243-2077 to discuss your needs.

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