The Website Design Process made simple

The Website Design Process made simple

From the Consultation Phase to the Formal Launch, the website design process is rather a simple one with five basic steps. The information tabs below describe those steps and should will give you a pretty good idea what is involved in creating a quality website.

chat_64px1. Consultation Phase: We’ll discuss the goals you want to achieve for your website and the input that you are willing to provide. I’ll also share my expertise and provide advice as needed. We can set up some phone time and/or conduct email consultations to go over these ideas and goal. You’re welcome to send me any follow-up thoughts or ideas we might not have covered on the phone consultations. At this stage I’ll also provide you with the cost estimate.

tools_64px2. Design Phase: Once the proposal/estimate is accepted and your initial deposit is received, I’ll take your ideas, my ideas, and with your ultimate site needs and goals in mind, apply my skills and talents to deliver a preliminary web design. And while I do pride myself on delivering a great product, one has to assume even Rembrandt had an eraser. So at this stage, revisions are included until the design is as you like it, per the terms outlined in the website proposal. At this time I will place the site being developed in maintenance mode and when the homepage is ready, I’ll open it up only for you with specific username and password. While I am available for phone calls during this phase, it is preferable that most correspondence regarding your project, including assets like images, copy and such, are managed via email.

gears_64px3. Implementation Phase: Once the design is approved and the next part of your deposit is received, the design is whisked off to the Implementation phase, where it will be made into a functioning website. Design and structural changes at this point are often well out of scope and can be costly, so please keep that in mind if you tend to be indecisive. During the website development I will send you frequent update reports about the development progress. At this time I strongly encourage you to get acquainted with the WordPress admin panel.

document_64px4. Final Review Stage: Once the website is fully ready we get to the Final Review stage. At this point we double and triple-check that everything is working properly I will have an opportunity to do last-minute browser testing, fine-tuning and catch any bugs before it goes live in a grand-opening sort of way. This is also when I finalize the SEO functionality for the site. I will collect final payment at this stage as well. Migration to a hosting company will take place if required.

devices_64px5. Formal Launch: Lo and behold, your website/blog is officially online, blogging, marketing, monetizing, and blinding everyone on the internet with its awesomeness. And since I’ve built your site using a content management system platform, WordPress will make it easy n’ breezy for you to manage your website from any computer, anywhere. For most packages, I do provide WordPress instruction over the phone or in person (if you are in my area) on how to manage your website. (You’re always welcome to email with any questions as well!) Also, I highly recommend that you have previously submitted a Press Release to me which I will then submit to various news-wire agencies on the internet.

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Is your site mobile?

Is your site mobile?

A well-designed website can fall short if it doesn’t have the right functionality behind it. Websites are no longer limited to computers and if your website isn’t mobile friendly, folks won’t be finding you. Mobile phone, tablets and other hand-held devices have quickly become some of the most common ways that we browse the internet; it is important to ensure that your website is viewable for the ever-increasing amount of mobile visitors. About 20% of all web traffic originates from mobile devices (phones and tablets). And the number will only grow.

However, because mobile users demand different features, simplicity and ease of use, a mobile site shouldn’t be a exact replicas of the full version. I create a version of my clients website specifically for those devices with added scalability, more portability, and enhanced accessibility.

The site I design is usually fully responsive, meaning that it will adapt to various screen sizes in order to display your content in the most readable manner. When viewed on a mobile phone or tablet, the user will no longer need to zoom and scroll around to read the text on the page, making the mobile visitor’s browsing experience much more intuitive. Whether they visit the website on a mobile phone or tablet, or just re-size the browser window, they will see the design adapt to display the content in the most intuitive manner for that size screen.

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Is your email address hurting you?

indexIt could be, if your e-mail address ends with @gmail.com, @aol.com, @hotmail.com, @cox.net or another consumer/personal type e-mail address domain.

Here are some reasons why:

1) Unprofessional: Your email address is like a handshake; it might be the first impression you make on a client. Simply put, using consumer types of e-mail accounts can blow your credibility as a serious and established business. Worse, they can raise red flags about you and your company. It’s considered more professional and recognizable to use an email address with your business domain name rather than something such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail. (more…)

How I do a website review

reviewjpgI am often asked to perform a review or analysis on an existing website. Sometimes the client hopes to discover the marketing weaknesses and strengths of their site. Sometimes, they are hoping I can identify opportunities to improve website effectiveness. There are numerous reasons, but the process is still pretty much the same.

Basic website review: A basic review provides a overview of the effectiveness of the client website through external observation. I look at their website through search engines and as a visitor to the site. I primarily view the site using the conventional internet access plus a variety of tools and methods. The objective is to see the website the way the world sees it. The following is an example of a report I recently prepared for a client. (more…)

Why I hate Flash

If you want an expensive website that is slow to load, bad for your SEO ranking, costly to maintain, crashes browsers, drains battery life, invisibly to most viewers and annoys those who actually can see it, then sure — go ahead and use Flash.

As a website designer and developer, Flash presents so many issues for my clients that I refuse to work with it anymore. A quick Google search for the term “Flash sucks” and it’s easy to see that it’s not just designers; most users hate it too.

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. It was a successful business for Adobe and it was fun while it lasted, but the mobile era now is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

Why Flash Sucks

Slow loading — It’s simple. Nobody wants to be annoyed by having to wait forever for some fancy doodad to load — if it even works at all. Not only does it load slowly, it doesn’t scale, and it’s cumbersome. It might seem like a great idea to add a 2-minute long introduction video to your site to demonstrate to your audience how credible/clever/current your business is. But don’t do it. 80% of your visitors will close the browser tab before your intro finishes because they don’t care. Seconds count. (more…)

7 ways to make Google happy

google popularity1 WordPress! I can’t stress this enough. If you aren’t using WordPress on your site, you are missing out on the single best way to market your website. And WordPress isn’t just for blogs any more. Today, more and more websites are being designed on a WordPress platform and for good reason. WordPress is super SEO and search engine friendly and saves you money in reduced maintenance costs because you can do most updates yourself. (more…)

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