Website Design - behind the scenes!

It’s been a while since I posted - August was super busy but now with kids being back at school, I’ve got more free time to update my social media and blog.

I’ve been thinking about writing a “behind the scenes” post for a while now. I keep seeing more and more interest in my website design services which is really great and I’m truly flattered by the demand. I’ve been designing websites since around 2010 and although A LOT changed since then, the basic process stayed the same. But why am I even sharing this? Well, I’ve realised (hey, it only took me 9 years!) while web design is my bread and butter, my clients often look for some extra information on what exactly the process involves. After all, they’re expert in running their business 24/7 and don’t need to know anything about web design. I totally get it - I live and breathe design but if you asked me anything about baking cakes or how to coach people, I would be like…ugh!

Ok soo here we go - the process explained.


QUESTION TIME

  1. I start by sending you a couple questions, the most important one being - your website or hosting login details. Make sure you have them ready and if you don’t know what a hosting or a domain is, simply get in touch and I’ll explain everything in detail.

  2. You will also have to submit any copy and photos you would like on the site (unless we are refreshing an existing site with your content already in). If you’d rather hire a professional to write a copy for you, I offer design packages which include copywriting fees. If your budget is tight, you can check out some tips on how to write your own website copy here: https://thrivehive.com/tips-for-writing-your-own-website-copy/

  3. I also encourage you to submit any references for the new site look (can be pinterest or someone else’s website - don’t worry we will not make an exact copy).


SORTING THINGS OUT

here is an example of one of my boards showing how I organise client’s information - in this case a menu.

here is an example of one of my boards showing how I organise client’s information - in this case a menu.

At this point we already have exchanged a dozen emails. My next job is to gather all the information in one place and categorise in sections, so I can make the design process easy and access any details needed in a few seconds (as opposed to going through hundreds of emails). I have a special software in place and depending on how scattered the information you submitted are, sorting things out takes anywhere between one and three hours. For this reason it’s always best if you submit all your information in one go or divide it into sections when sending emails. If you’re not sure what to include, give yourself one or two days and definitely don’t rush with this. I will help you with the sitemap, but we need to start somewhere. Of course we can always change some things as we go, but having a clear picture for a start helps avoid unnecessary delays.



THE CREATIVE PROCESS

I usually give myself a few days to go through the information and look at the references in detail. I then go through a decision process of selecting the best theme, plugins and sourcing any graphics, to make the site look and perform as it should. If you have any specific requirements such as an online booking or personalised product options, it’s best to discuss them before this step - and ideally - in your brief - as some features require extra work and specific layout setups. Each stage of the design process involves a lot of work, but there’s no point listing all the technicalities, so let me make this as short and as simple for you as possible.


THE SET UP

I start by setting up your theme, any plugins and add-ons, necessary to support smooth performance of the site. You will likely see a coming soon page up at this point.



THE HOME PAGE

I spend a couple days designing your home page. The design involves custom graphics, uploading your photos and content, formatting, adjusting colours and fonts, building the layout and coding. After that I provide you with a preview of the design so we can make any adjustments.



THE OTHER PAGES

After we have the home page signed off, I move on to designing all other pages. This usually takes around a week, depending on the amount of pages and content. Again, I submit the live preview for you to check out on your computer and after any amendments it’s time for the…



MOBILE VERSION

The mobile version is done after all pages are signed-off (simply to speed things up). At this point I also do a speed test and do any speed performance improvements where applicable.



SEO

After the responsive version is done, I write your on-site SEO, making sure search engines and social media channels can “read” the site properly.



SECURITY

I also configure security options including firewalls and anti-spam, where applicable.



SIGN-OFF

Your website is now ready to use and you can start editing anything you like, add more products, write blog posts, and photos to galleries or take online orders where applicable. Yay!



So there you have it, easy peasy, isn’t it? Well, it’s still a ton of work, but as long as I can make this process enjoyable for myself and most importantly, for my clients, I’m super happy.

As you may already know, I don’t take rush orders and all my projects are booked in ahead of schedule. This is to make sure there are no delays to your project and every tiny detail, every pixel and every small line of code is being taken care of properly.

An average website takes anywhere between two and three weeks to complete. If you have a particular deadline to meet, please let me know when making your enquiry.

Thank you!



Claudia