Web Design Process
Wondering how your web design project will work? To help you understand how your website will develop, the timing and responsibilities, I’ve detailed below the step-by-step process from your enquiry through to the website handover.
Step 1: EnquiryYour initial enquiry is an opportunity to chat through your wants and needs when it comes to your website, whether it’s a new website project or an update to an existing site. After our initial chat (or email exchange, depending on your preferred method of communicating), I’ll ask you to fill out a web design brief. I’ll send you a link to complete the brief online, or you can download a PDF version and fill it out offline.
Step 2: The BriefThe form guides you through a series of questions that helps you identify the objectives for your website, and how it will support your broader business and marketing goals. The more information I have and the more I can understand your business, the more I can tailor a website solution to meet your needs. When filling out the form, if you don’t know the answer to a question, no problems. Just leave it blank and move onto the next question. If it’s all a bit overwhelming, I’m always available to catch up for a coffee or chat over the phone to work through the questions with you. A comprehensive brief lets me understand the picture you have in your head, your preferences and dislikes. I ask you to share websites you like (whether within or outside your own industry) and website experiences you want to avoid. The more information you can give me, the better. How long does this take? It’s really up to you. If we do it together, it shouldn’t take more than 60-90 minutes. If you do it yourself, set aside the time you have available – say 1 hour – and jot down your answers. It doesn’t need to be fancy – bullet points are fine. Just so long as we end up on the same page as we plan out the next steps.
Step 3: ProposalOnce I have received your detailed brief, I prepare a comprehensive proposal breaking down the different aspects of your project with associated costs. (I am also able to split the project into phases to fit within your timeline and budget). The proposal outlines the inclusions in your website fee and outlines any additional costs you may face – both at the time of development and on an ongoing basis. (For example, the theme and certain plugins used may incur an annual license fee. If this is the case, I will detail those ongoing costs). This is to give you the full picture and avoid any unexpected surprises as the project develops. (If for any reason your brief changes or additional features are requested after this proposal phase, the costs will be communicated before the changes are actioned). The proposal is valid for 30 days. Once the proposal is sent to you, I’m available to chat through any questions or provide clarifications on any aspects of the project. How long does the proposal take? From when I receive your completed brief, the proposal will be delivered in 2-3 business days.
Step 4: Engage My ServicesWhen you confirm that you would like to go ahead with the project, I send you an invoice for 50% deposit. (The balance of the fee is due when the website goes live, or 3 months from the start of the project, whichever comes first). On payment of the invoice, we work together to schedule the timing of your project. This will depend on when you can deliver the needed text, images and information needed. Once we schedule the project, if the material is delayed it may extend the timeline needed to complete the project (as it may overflow into another client’s scheduled time).
Step 5: Welcome AboardOne your invoice is paid, I send you a “Welcome Aboard” pack that scopes the information, text and images required, each person’s responsibilities and the next steps of the project. I also share some resources I have available to help with your copywriting and image sourcing. Within this pack I also confirm the timeline of the project and content deadlines.
Step 6: Content CreationNow it’s time to pull together the content for your website. The website design phase starts once all of your content and images have been provided. I aim to be as flexible as possible, and understand that there may be a few pieces that might not be immediately available, however the project process is not as effective when content is drip-fed piece by piece. For this reason it is preferable that the majority of the content be ready before design begins, so we can work with the full picture in mind. If you are having difficulties gathering or crafting the content, I can provide research, interview, image sourcing and copywriting services to pull the information together (at an additional cost). Bear in mind that although this will increase the project cost, it may be a more efficient use of your time so the website can progress without distracting you too much from your core business.
Step 7: Ongoing CommunicationAs the design phase begins, I aim to keep you up-to-date with the project’s progress through regular Work-In-Progress reports (and details of outstanding tasks), as well as more informal updates. The project moves more quickly and smoothly when responses to questions or requests for feedback are provided within 24-48 hours if possible.
Step 8: Draft Design ProvidedOnce design has begun, the website is created in a test environment. The draft design will be provided (based on your brief) and you will be given the opportunity to provide feedback and request changes. Up to 3 sets of changes to the design and structure are possible. Additional changes are possible for an added fee.
Step 9: AmendmentsWithin this phase we make any amendments to the website to get it ready to go live. This is a great opportunity to have the website checked by your team and other stakeholders to make sure they are happy with the result.
Step 10: Website Goes LiveOne the website is finalised and all amendments have been made, the final invoice is issued. Once payment is received the website goes live.
Step 11: HandoverIn this step I provide your administration login details and instructions to update your website. I also give you access to training videos that will enable you (or a member of your team) to make changes to pages and areas of your website.
Step 12: Website MaintenanceAn important part of maintaining your website is ensuring that your software, themes and plugins are all kept current. The software is updated regularly and if you do not update your website it can face security and performance issues. I provide instructions on how to keep your updates current, however if you would prefer I can provide a maintenance service to take this off your to-do list and ensure your website is current and your backups are consistent. The cost of this service is outlined in your proposal.
Ready to get started?
If you’re keen to jump in and get started, you can fill out my brief form by clicking the button below.
If you’d rather have a chat, please call 0417 751 892 or schedule a call below.