Whether you’re starting a new business or rebranding an existing one, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of launching a new website. It’s an exciting process but without the proper guidance and expectations, I know it can be a bit overwhelming too. I completely understand.
I hired a web designer when I started my first business in 2011 so I empathize with what it feels like to be on your end of the relationship. There were many things I wish both of us had done differently and it’s because of this experience that I’m able to create the kind of experience I wish I’d had for you.
Below you’ll find a detailed outline of my process. Each step I’ve designed with you in mind to ensure you have the guidance, feedback and direction you need so that we can build a website you truly love and achieves your goals!
The design process is broken into 6 phases:
Initial Questionnaire: The initial questionnaire is designed to provide me with a general overview of your organization, the project you’re approaching me for and what you hope to achieve as a result of working with me. It’s the first step in our conversation and key to moving deeper into the discovery process.
Assessing the Project: I take each questionnaire into careful consideration. I love what I do and when I accept a project I am 100% dedicated to its success. In order to ensure it remains that way, I need to be selective about who I work with.
There are several key factors I look at when determining whether or not this is a project I’d like to take on:
Response: If the project and organization looks like a great fit, I’ll reach out to you so we can schedule a discovery call.
Discovery Call: The Discovery Call allows us to talk in more detail about your organization, industry and target audience so I can begin strategizing the best plan of action to achieve your goals. During this call we’ll map out your general page structure, the type of functionality you need and any additional assets you may require (eg: logo, custom graphics etc…), and provides you the opportunity to ask me any questions you may have as well.
Project Proposal: Once I have all of the necessary information and we both feel good about moving forward, I’ll create your Project Proposal. The Project Proposal includes your project details, timeline and investment.
Design Agreement: Upon acceptance of the Proposal, I’ll write up our Design Agreement.
Client Onboarding: Once we’ve both signed the Agreement I’ll set up your Client Account and send you your login info + first invoice.
Once the first invoice has been paid, I’ll create our private Google Drive Folder (where you’ll upload all of your website content, eg: text, images, media etc…), and email you the link + PDF bonus guides.
Research: The first week I dedicate to researching your industry & target audience. This gives you time to read over the PDF bonuses and explore your Client Account + Google Drive Folder as well. If you have any questions at this point, you’re are welcome to reach out!
Strategy Call: Once I’ve completed my research, I’ll reach out to schedule our Strategy Call with you. During this call we’ll discuss what I’ve discovered and refine your online strategy as necessary.
Now that your strategy is clearly defined it’s time to start creating (or refining) your website content. You have 2 choices, you can either supply all of your own content or work with my rockstar copywriter & graphic designers.
Supplying your own content: If you prefer to supply your own content, the PDF bonus guide “Strategize Your Website” will walk you through the main pages of your site and what specific elements I recommend including on each one. This PDF combined with our Strategy Call should give you a solid foundation of the type of content to include on each page.
Working with Chelsea (copywriter): If you’d like professional help writing the text for your website (which I highly recommend), Chelsea will work with you 1:1 over a series of video/phone calls. One of the things that makes working with Chelsea so wonderful is her unique process. Instead of asking you to fill out a questionnaire and then writing the text for you (which is how most copywriters approach it), Chelsea guides you through the buyer’s journey with a series of questions and then helps you refine your answers to use as the text on your website. This way your website sounds like you and not a stranger. It’s a very intuitive process and Chelsea’s relaxed yet savvy personality makes it a lot of fun!
Graphic Design: if your project requires additional assets such as a logo, custom graphics, icons etc… we’ll begin designing those now.
Video Editing: If you have videos that need editing, we’ll begin that now as well.
Uploading your content: Once your content is in final, website ready format, you can start uploading it to your Google Drive Folder. In your Google Drive Folder you’ll find a blank document for each page of your website where you can copy & paste your final text on to. You’ll also find instructions on how to properly label your images & media files and what the recommended image sizes are for each page of your website.
note: If your images & media files are already saved in a folder of your own, you can just share the link with me instead of uploading them to Google Drive.
Designing your pages: Once all of your content has been uploaded to the Google Drive Folder, it’s time to start laying it out on your website.
note: it’s important to understand that I cannot start designing your website until I receive your content. There is a common misconception that you design the website first and then create the content to fit the design. This is wrong. There is no website without content so it’s not the website you design, it’s the content. Anyone who tries to design the website first and insert content second will either:
The effectiveness of your website is dependent upon the quality of content used to design it. This is why we always map out your page structure + the specific elements to include on each page before we start designing.
Presenting the design: Once the initial design is complete, we’ll set up a call to go through each page together. I’ll share my thought process behind my decisions and welcome any feedback you may have. If there are any revisions that need to be made, I will take note during our call and follow up with you as soon as they are complete.
Integrations: If there are any additional plugins or software that need to be integrated, I’ll do this now.
Testing: Once the design and functionality is in place, I’ll go through each page and test to make sure everything is working properly and loading correctly on different browsers and mobile devices.
Foundational Marketing & SEO: The last step in the design process is setting up your foundational marketing & SEO so your website is Google friendly and ready to start collecting valuable data.
We’re in the home stretch! Once your website is ready to launch and the final invoice has been paid, I will:
I include 7 days of support should you run into any issues post-launch. If you would like longer or on-going support, just let me know we can tailor a service for you.
That’s it! As you can see, the entire process is quite streamlined but at any point should you feel stuck or confused, I’m always here to help!