6 Simple Steps to Building Your Website
Flexible process | Flexible Effort | Flexible Cost
Our design is based on over 6 years of experience. Our first website was for a business and lifestyle entrepreneur in L.A. Recently we worked on the user interface for Gaiam TV, a fortune 500 company. Our methodology has evolved over time, to make the process more streamlined and flexible. Here’s our basic solution:
1. Discovery audience | industry | website marketing goals
2. Planning budget | schedule | team | site map
3. Interface Design look + feel | layout | UI UX user experience
4. Integration program/develop | optimize | test
5. Testing deliver | feedback | monitor/reporting
6. Launch / Maintain edit | enhance | update | promote
Our simple 6 step process can be modified to fit a smaller project by reducing the amount of effort spent on various steps. For example the “Discovery” process can involve just one simple phone call with the client to learn about their brand and goals or it can involve several all-day meetings. The “Planning” process can involve a short document that addresses the creative and technical requirements or it can involve days of research into the competition and building matrices of features and functionality. You can see that each step in this process is flexible and can be modified to fit a target project budget and requirements.
Ready, Set, Market
Ready to jump in? Your base objective is to: Understand the role your website will play for your business. When you skim the following list of key pieces that help define its role, keep in mind what you’re getting is a valuable framework from which to ask yourself the right questions and make informed decisions about what is right for you. Because there are steps to the process, wherever you start, you can always add more.
For fun, you’ll be among the elite when you conceptualize that a website is not a ‘thing’, it is a tool that is ever evolving to suit the people it represents (who are always changing). A website is a current display built on the execution of a methodology or process that arrives at a successful integration or result. And that process repeats as it evolves. A good website can function easily as an active ‘portal’, it is the nervous system of your online presence through which people navigate. Now you’re thinking integrally.
Determine what you need using this starting list:
- Online Marketing Strategy: Do you have one? “If we build it they will come” does NOT work. It’s first essential to have an understanding of marketing channels and how your business will use them.
- Identity | Branding: Do you have a style guide for your brand? Do you have your logo?
- Interface Design: Clarity on the look-and-feel you envision for your business means fewer iterations.
- Features and Functionality: This is the meat of the website. What features do you want… eg. Online portfolio, Media downloads, etc? What functions do you need… eg. eCommerce, Interactive forms, etc.? Although many of these are commonplace on the web – that does not mean that this is easy to develop. There are plenty of pre-built (open source) solutions but they invariably have to be customized and that effort can be time-intensive. Just a heads up.
- Hosting: This is usually a small cost but still an important part of the process. Will your hosting company allow us to easily configure the options we need for your website?
- Testing: The more complex your website, the more testing is required. What browsers do you want your site to work on? We test on Chrome. If you want Safari or others you will need to add additional time to test and troubleshoot.
The above list illustrates that there is a wide difference in requirements for websites and many questions that need to be answered by you, designers and developers working together. The deliverable is an amazing tailored site at a tailored price.