The Design Process
So you're ready to start your website! Great! There are a number of steps to this process.
Step 1 Goal Assessment: First we need to work together to find out what the goals of your website are. Do you want to attract new clients? Sell online? Promote a book? We need to know what your goals are so we can figure out what kind of website best fits your needs.
Step 2 Domain Name & Web Hosting: Every website needs this, no matter who designs the site. The domain is the website address (i.e. www.mysite.com) that people will use to find you. You can register your domain at any number of registrars or we are happy to register your domain for you if that service is needed.
Web hosting is the space on the web where your website files are located, making them available to the public. There are a variety of web hosting companies across the world, ranging in price from $4 per month to $200 a month depending on your needs. We recommend web hosting that uses Linux and includes PHP and MySQL. Shared hosting is usually suitable for most sites, however if you'll be collecting a lot of information via your website or taking secure information like social security numbers or credit card numbers, you'll want to make sure you have a good SSL certificate. We can recommend a number of good web hosting services, and we also offer managed web hosting on a shared server at a rate of $7 per month.
Step 3 Layout & Graphic Design: - Once you have your domain and hosting squared away, we'll start on designing your site. What we need from you during this stage:
- A logo, if you have one.
- Any graphics/pictures you want us to use.
- A list of websites you like the look and feel of (doesn't have to be your field).
- An example website of a competitor in your field.
Once we have all your input, we will start working up a concept. This concept will be a nonworking, visual representation of your website. We will send this to you via email, and you will then provide us with feedback. You tell us what you like, what you don't like, what you want changed, and we'll revise and send you another concept.
Wash, rinse, repeat. We will continue to revise and rework until you are thrilled with your design.
Step 4 Development: Yay! We got your design just right, and we're ready to move forward. There are two options for this, we can build the site live on your domain, or we can do it on a temporary domain and transfer it when ready to go live. Whichever way you prefer is fine with us. We will create any databases needed, and install the template.
Step 5 Content: Hopefully while we've been working hard on designing your site, you've been working hard on getting your content ready. Once we get the site designed, then it's time to add your content. We'll add all or most of the original content to start. If you choose a content management system or blog, we can show you how to update the content yourself. We are of course happy to maintain your site for you at our affordable rates.
Step 6 Final Questions: The last step is for you to go through your site, making notes about changes or other concerns. We will work with you to answer any questions, make any last minute changes, and make sure your site is ready.
That's it, we're all done! Hopefully you love your website and are ready to present it to the world!