1. We talk, usually via voice calls and Skype.
Before we start working together, we’ll book some time to have a chat about your project. We’ll usually do this on a live video call and discuss what you want to achieve with your new website.
We’ll take a look at your existing site (if you have one) and we’ll go through your ideas for the new site. We can use this time to talk about your goals and objectives so that we have a better understanding of how we can help.
Essentially, this call is to work out whether we are the right fit for each other. We work only with clients whom we can truly help, which is why this call is important. We’ll also discuss your budget, and we can give you an indication of what we charge.
Following on from our initial call, we will send you a website questionnaire to fill out. This will allow us to gather additional information so we know as much as possible about your business before we start designing and building it. The more information we have, the better the finished product will be.
3. We'll send you a quote
Once we have all your requirements, we will send you a full proposal for our services, including all the website features you requested. We may also include additional elements that we think would work well for your website. More often than not, the fee for our services is similar to the price we discussed on the call.
Using the information you provided on the initial call and the questionnaire, we will begin our own research. We will do a deep dive into your world, learning as much as possible about your industry and your competitors. We’ll perform some keyword research to find out what your customers are searching for online.
5. Initial ideas
How we build your website from start to finish Once we have enough information from the research, we then move onto the planning stage. This begins the initial framework of your new site.
We’ll also discuss the main colours we’ll be using, taking into account what you already have and what we would recommend. We’ll decide on the best use of fonts and where to place your headlines and content for the most impact. We’ll also decide where your calls to action will go and how to ensure they are clearly displayed for your users.
6. Domain name
When we are happy with the designs, we then move onto the technical aspects of the process. We will register your domain if you haven’t already done so. If you have already done this, then we will use a temporary domain, which we’ll work on while we’re building your site.
Along with your domain name, we’ll also purchase hosting. This will allow us to install a coming soon page and set up your email accounts so you can use them while we’re building your website.
8. Setup of emails
It’s time to register your email accounts. This is where you get to decide which emails you’d like to use. You can have as many as you like. Yourname@yourdomain.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com are some popular options.
9. Install WordPress
The very first thing we need to do before we build your website is to install WordPress. WordPress is the content management system we’ll be using for your site. It will allow you to make changes easily, so you don’t have to pay us every time you want to add something.
10. Add coming soon page
Once we’ve installed WordPress, we will add a “coming soon” page. This means we can start working on your website and we don’t have to worry about your customer stumbling across a half-built website. Instead, they’ll be greeted with a nice, warm welcome in anticipation of your brand new site.
We then install any relevant plugins to your website. Plugins are like website add-ons, and we’ll use them for most of the advanced features on your site. There are over 45,000 plugins to choose from, another great reason to use WordPress. Things like image galleries, contact forms, and social media sharing buttons can all be added by using these pre-made applications.
We may also adapt the plugins to make them look more in keeping with the style of your website.
12. You see the design
This is the fun part for you. This is the first time you get to see the design since we’ve started working together.
Some of the items in the mockup will act as placeholders. This means if we are waiting for images and text from you, we may use stock images temporarily until we have all the correct information. Currently, your mockup is still a static document; the extra content can be added later on in the process.
13. Add pages and assign templates
We will then create all of the pages for your website within WordPress. Usually, we’ll just add blank pages with the titles, to begin with.
If this is a redesign of an existing site, we’ll also need to make sure that the URLs for these pages are the same as the old site. This isn’t always possible, so we’ll need to be extremely careful setting up redirects as we don’t want any broken links when you launch your new website.
14. Choose page style
Once we have added your blank pages, we then need to choose how each page will look by selecting the relevant template. Generally speaking, the homepage and the blog page will be unique, but most of the inner pages will follow a very similar style.
15. Add menu items
We then add your menu items to their assigned position. This is where we choose which pages will appear within the main navigation area of your website and order them appropriately.
You may have more than one menu on your website (e.g., sidebar, header, footer, etc.), so we’ll need to be careful not to duplicate pages. We also need to keep in mind the end user and how they can navigate through the site easily.
16. Add content
Once we have added all the menu items to your website, we can then add the content. We take the text and images for each section of your site and place them on the correct page.
We will arrange your content in a way that makes it easy to consume. There’s nothing worse than blocks of text with nothing to break it up. We’ll use images and headings to make it as readable as possible.
Once you’ve watched the video and had chance to reflect on what you’ve seen you can tell us what you think. You can also ask us any questions, and we can discuss what you want to change, if anything. This is your opportunity to let us know if we’ve missed out any key information so we can add it before moving forward with the build.
18. API integrations
Aside from using plugins, we may also need to integrate additional applications from third-party websites. Services like MailChimp and PayPal use APIs so they can communicate directly with your website. Think of them as plugins on steroids. They will make your life easier, and most major companies make their software WordPress friendly.
19. Test contact forms
We’ll go through your website, testing all of the contact forms, ensuring that they work properly and that emails go to the right place.
We can edit the form so you can gain any relevant details you’ll need from your prospect. We can also add more email recipients, meaning multiple people can receive your enquiries.
20. Mobile-friendly test
We will then test your website on different sized screens to see how it looks. We assigned a different layout depending on the size of the device, e.g., iPhones, iPads, laptops, and desktops. However, we’ll still need to check it to make sure it looks OK now that we’ve added plugins.
21. Page load speed
We need to check one last thing before we feel comfortable releasing your website to the world. We want to test your page load speed to make sure the site is running as quickly as possible. Google advises that all websites should load within 5 seconds to avoid any kind of penalty.
We use a number of tools to confirm your new website is as quick as it can be, and we might even install some additional features to improve it if it needs it. The quicker your website loads, the better the experience for your users.
22. Cross browser test
There are many different web browsers, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer, to name a few. Each browser will display your website slightly differently. There’s no real way to avoid this, but we do make sure to avoid any major differences and glitches.
23. Yoast or Other SEO plugin
We will then install the Yoast or other SEO plugin on your website. This is the tool that will allow you to optimize your website so that search engines can find you more easily. We will set it up for you and use it to verify your website with Google in the next step.
24. Submit sitemap to Google Search Console
Using Yoast or another, we can connect your website directly to Google. This means they can provide you with extra data about your website, and send you an email if you have any errors going forward.
We then provide Google with a list of web pages from your site so they can start listing them in search results. This is known as your "sitemap". Chances are they will find your site over time anyway, but this way they will keep their records up to date every time you make a change to your site.
25. Google Analytics
Once we have given your site to Google, we can then create your visitor tracking account. Instead of using fancy plugins for this, we use Google Analytics. This is a free tool that Google provides to show you everything you need to know about your website visitors. This will show you everything from monthly visitor numbers to the most popular pages. It’s a very valuable tool, which you want to keep an eye on.
26. Website Launch
We run a series of final checks and make sure the client has the skills needed to start working with their new site.
Final SEO checklists – our SEO team runs a final audit.
Install tracking tools – such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster. This will help us analyse website performance. We also use our own Audience Tracker, a website tracking tool specifically for business-to-business clients that enables clients to gather valuable analytics. If the visitor to your site has registered their IP address to a business, then we can pull this data into our Audience Tracker.
Client training – we provide training and an easy CMS ‘how to’ manual so that clients can quickly and easily add new content, images and video and create landing pages to keep the website fresh.
Bug tracking – we offer two weeks free bug tracking to fix any issues that crop up post-launch.