Our Step by Step Web Design Process

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

Take a look at the steps we take when developing websites.

Stage one: Research

The first step is 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 we sketch out basic layouts for the major sections of your website, planning the user flow and what elements need to go where for the best impact. We 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 us to get the structure and flow in place as a basis for the design to build on. It also gives us a good idea of how your design will work over different devices 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 we 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.  We 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. We find that the best designs come as you are working on them, so we do most of our designing ‘in the browser’ as we 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, we’ll set to work making your design a reality by building the site using a variety of different technologies. Our websites are built using html5, CSS3, PHP and JavaScript. We 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.

We hand code all our websites to the latest standards, and we never use templates or theme frameworks. We 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 bespoke website different from a pre-built theme, as your website will be custom built for you from the ground up, making it both fast and easy to use.

Stage four: Testing

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

We’ll also test the responsive design on the latest main browsers for iPhone (safari) and Android devices (Android default, Chrome and Firefox). We’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.

The site will be built on our own server initially, then once it is ready to view we will upload it to a private site where you will be able to view it and give feedback. Then we will work together to refine any final details before getting it ready to go live.

Stage Five: Launch

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

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

Once your site is live we offer a training session to help you learn how to manage the website yourself, plus our support team can offer ongoing 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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