My Step by Step Web Design Process

There is more to the website design process than just coding.

I take a look at the steps we take to create a website that is attractive, engaging and effective for your business.

Stage one: Research

The first step is to to get to know your business, your goals, your users / customers and their expectations and behaviour, and how that translates into a successful website. This stage will establish what the goal of the website is and how best to lead customers to that goal, who your competitors and what they are doing well (or not) and what impression and experience you want to give your customers. All this is then used to decide design, layout and functionality will be best suited for your new website.

Stage two: Design

Once the initial research and planning has been completed, we can move on to the design stage of the process. Initially I sketch out basic layouts for the major sections of your website, planing the user flow and what elements need to go where for the best impact. I translate those initial paper sketches into wire frames, which are basic layouts of the sections of a web page, without any of the design elements. This enables me to get the structure and flow in place as a basis for the design to build on. It also gives me a good idea of how your design will work over different devices and pages to avoid problems later on.

If you are having any other design work completed as part of the project (e.g. logo design), this will be completed at this stage so that that design can before used as part of the website design process.

Next I take the wire frames into Photoshop and design high fidelity mock-ups of the home page, showing what the website will look like on desktop and tablet / smart-phone screen sizes. I don’t usually design mock-ups of every single page that will be on a website as this is not only unnecessarily time consuming, but is a little to prescriptive at this stage. I find that the best designs come as you are working on them, so I do most of my designing ‘in the browser’ as I build, using the initial mock-up as the starting point and developing from there. This allows the design to adapt to the needs of the site, rather than the other way around.

Stage three: Development

Once the design is signed off, I’ll set to work making your design a reality by building the site using a variety of different technologies. My websites are built using html5, CSS3, PHP and JavaScript. I design and build custom sites that integrate into the content management system WordPress. This means you will be able to update the content yourself easily once it is finished.

WordPress is the most popular open-source CMS (content management system) in the world, running over 25% of the world’s websites. It has thousands of developers constantly improving it and contributing plugins to extend its functionality.

I hand code all my websites to the latest standards. I never use templates or theme frameworks. I will customise the admin area to suit your exact requirements, making it as easy as possible for you to update and change all the content on your website without any coding knowledge or breaking the layout. This makes a custom website different from a pre-built theme, as your website will be built to your exact requirements, from the ground up, making it both fast and easy to use.

Stage four: Testing

I’ll test the website in a variety of browsers, including the latest versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge.

I’ll also test the responsive design on the latest main browsers for iPhone (safari) and Android devices (Android default, Chrome and Firefox). I’ll test the functionality of the site to ensure there are no errors or broken links and then hand it over to you for review on a test server.

I build the site on my local machine initially, then once it is ready to view I will upload it to a private server where you will be able to view it and give feedback. We will then work together to refine any final details before getting it ready to go live.

Stage Five: Launch

Once signed off I will get the site ready for production, compressing files, adding additional security and performance measure and a final round of checks.

Then I will move your website on to your hosting and make it live. Launch time!

Once you site is live I offer a training session to help you learn how to manage the website yourself, plus my support team can offer on going maintenance and support to help keep your website update to date and running smoothly for you.

If you are interested in having a website built, or would like to discuss a project, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

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