Building your website

We were recently asked what does building a website involve?  It got us thinking about the steps we take when we embark on the exciting task of creating a brand new website.

1. Understand the Customer

This is absolutely the most important step (and happens to be the one we enjoy the most).  We build your website for your business – not anyone else’s.  It needs to reflect you and your business – not anyone else’s.  So we spend some time with you over a cup of coffee (or whatever you drink), getting a feel for your style, personality and what you do.  We are all different!

We want to understand which other websites you like – not to copy, but these help us to understand your style.

We then seek to understand your customers (with your help!).  Afterall, most websites are created to ultimately sell to your customers.  What do you want them to do after visiting your website?  Let’s make it easy for them to do whatever that may be.  There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find contact details, or book an appointment or buy a product.  What information do they need before they will take that step – again let’s make it easy for them to find, or better still, lead them through the process.

1. Understand the Customer

This is absolutely the most important step (and happens to be the one we enjoy the most).  We build your website for your business – not anyone else’s.  It needs to reflect you and your business – not anyone else’s.  So we spend some time with you over a cup of coffee (or whatever you drink), getting a feel for your style, personality and what you do.  We are all different!

We want to understand which other websites you like – not to copy, but these help us to understand your style.

We then seek to understand your customers (with your help!).  Afterall, most websites are created to ultimately sell to your customers.  What do you want them to do after visiting your website?  Let’s make it easy for them to do whatever that may be.  There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find contact details, or book an appointment or buy a product.  What information do they need before they will take that step – again let’s make it easy for them to find, or better still, lead them through the process.

2. The Contract

We always agree a contract with you before we start work.  The contract sets out what we will do, what we charge, when you pay and copyright issues.  Basically, we want to ensure that we can use whatever you send us and we give you full rights over whatever we create for you.  At the end of the build, we will send you a copy of the website files.  This means that you have complete ownership of what we have built – you are not beholden to us as your website creators (although we will always be there for you if needed).

3. Your Turn

Next we need content from you.  We need your visual branding – logo, colours (whilst dark grey works best for text, links and buttons pop out of the page more if they are in a highlight colour) and fonts (ideally 2 – one for headers and one for body text).  You can do these on your own or we can help if you prefer.

We also need to know which pages you want and content for those pages (text, images, video).  Images should all be right sized for the website (we have a helpful video to show you how).  You can write the content yourself, have us take a professional look/edit or we can write it for you – whatever works for you.

What additional functionality do you want to include?  As standard, we will include contact links and social media buttons – as we believe all websites should have these.  We can also include a map, the ability to accept payments (or full e-commerce functionality – that’s where you can buy products/services directly), a booking form, Google Analytics (so you can work out which pages customers are viewing and where those customers are coming from), a tool to help with SEO (ie to rank more highly on Google), membership pages and many more functions.  We can talk to you about what is appropriate for your needs.  We can always add additional functionality later.

3. Your Turn

Next we need content from you.  We need your visual branding – logo, colours (whilst dark grey works best for text, links and buttons pop out of the page more if they are in a highlight colour) and fonts (ideally 2 – one for headers and one for body text).  You can do these on your own or we can help if you prefer.

We also need to know which pages you want and content for those pages (text, images, video).  Images should all be right sized for the website (we have a helpful video to show you how).  You can write the content yourself, have us take a professional look/edit or we can write it for you – whatever works for you.

What additional functionality do you want to include?  As standard, we will include contact links and social media buttons – as we believe all websites should have these.  We can also include a map, the ability to accept payments (or full e-commerce functionality – that’s where you can buy products/services directly), a booking form, Google Analytics (so you can work out which pages customers are viewing and where those customers are coming from), a tool to help with SEO (ie to rank more highly on Google), membership pages and many more functions.  We can talk to you about what is appropriate for your needs.  We can always add additional functionality later.

4. The Techy Bit

With all that information we will start to build your website.  We usually start with the homepage, as this is the one most visitors will see and it needs to represent your business in its entirety.  It is your shop front if you like – showcasing all you have to offer.  You have seconds to convince visitors to your website that it is worth staying and looking further – first impressions count.

We believe websites should be clean and uncluttered.  We also believe homepages should be very visual.  We give a lot of thought to the layout of the homepage (indeed of every page) and will often try a few different ways before we get to the one that we think works.  It may not always be the obvious way.  We will build in suitable animation so the page comes alive when viewed.

After the homepage, we will usually draft one of the other pages.  Whilst a homepage is usually a bit different to the others, we usually maintain a consistent “look” between the others.  We say “usually”, because, of course, each website is different…

5. The Feedback

With two pages complete, we like to know whether we are heading in the right direction, so we will share these with you.  We’ll talk you through what we have done and why.  Then we want to know what you like, what you don’t and whether anything is missing.  It is your website after all!

6. Finalising the Website

This bit always takes the longest.  After the homepage and one other page are to your liking, we will build out the other pages.  We’ll also ensure that all the pages look “right” on desktop, tablet and mobiles.  This inevitably leads to some “left a bit, right a bit” jigging of images.  Sometimes we will build separate modules for desktop, tablet and/or mobiles.  It is this attention to detail which matters.

We’ll clean up the backend of the website, deleting old pages and images, labelling items (so you can find what you are looking for) and making sure it is good to go.

7. Handover & Training

Once you are happy with the website (and have paid us), we’ll send you the website files and train you how to use it.  You are welcome to continue to use us to update/edit your website but we think you should have some idea what is underneath the bonnet.

8. Over to You

That’s it!  Website done.  You now need to launch it and let everyone know about it….

If you would like to know more about the website packages we offer details can be found here, or contact us for further information and to start the process with that cup of coffee (or whatever takes your fancy!)

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