Website Design Process
This is how I approach a website design project. First, I have a Pre-design Form to assist you – the client – in gathering your thoughts and information about your organization and your goals for the website. The more you can contribute to development of the website in the form of preferences, graphics and content, the easier it will be create a coherent and effective site.
The website design process can be broken down into 6 basic stages:
- Organization and Content
The key to designing an effective website is to begin by analyzing two factors: the goals of the website and the target audience. Once you define the reasons for publishing the site, the users who will visit the site and what they will do once they get there, we have the foundation upon which the site is developed.
Organization & Content
The next phase of website development is to outline the organization of the site. This will involve creating a site map that shows the pages and how they link to each other and to other locations on the web. This is also the stage at which we will gather and create content for the website.
This stage is where the character or “look” of the website is developed. Page layout, images, colors, fonts, etc are all chosen to give the website a coherent visual identity. The overall design of the website is based on previously determined objectives and includes optimizing the website for search engines.
This stage is where the final touches are put on the website layout and content. Particular emphasis is put on testing and revising the site as necessary to allow the site to work well in different browsers and on different devices.
Search engine optimization is a top priority throughout the website development process. It’s important to search engines that your website be “responsive” or “mobile-friendly”. Once the website is ready for publishing, it should be a priority to establish links to your website from other websites, list the site with search engines and directories and promote the site through the marketing efforts of your business or organization. Tracking visitors to your site is key in that it helps you to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Ongoing maintenance is of prime importance in keeping your website current and interesting and encouraging users to return to your site. This is especially true if you have dated material on your site. I can provide services for maintaining and updating your site content or I can provide instruction for you or your staff to perform routine maintenance. It is especially easy for those using a WordPress platform to perform their own website maintenance.