What you Should Expect
Throughout the website design process of your new site, whether you are doing it yourself as a small business or hiring a freelance designer or agency, it’s important to understand what you should expect.
You’ll notice that a lot happens before actual work on the website starts like the consultation, proposal, and contract. However these are very crucial steps to ensure your final product is exactly as you envision it.
This is not the be-all and end-all list of expectations but should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
During the consultation phase you should expect to be asked a few questions so the freelancer or agency can prepare a custom quote for you.
- Organization or Business Name
- Contact Information
- Do you currently have a website
- Website address of site (domain name or URL)
- What your budget is
- Your expected turn-around
Your agency or freelancer should present a proposal to you in a timely fashion. The proposal should include
- Work to be completed
- Time Frame
If you agree to the proposal a contract should be generated. Even if you personally know your designer it is in the best interest of everyone to have a contract. The contract is very similiar to the proposal and the basics of the contract should state
- Work to be Completed
- Time Frame
Once contracts are signed, we begin the discovery phase. This phase is simply a conversation between you and your consultant about what type of website you’d like to have built. A few discussion points are listed below
- What you like/dislike about your current site
- A few website that you like – not necessarily in your vertical
- Discussion about the layout of the site
- How many pages
- Products and/or services offered
- Shopping cart, if needed
- Who your target market is
- Who your online/offline competitors are
- What color schemes you like
- Discussion about artwork
The planning phase requires very little from you as the client. The majority of the work is completed by the designer but you should be kept in the loop during this phase. The designer will be working on things like
- Project charter
- Requirements analysis
- The Site Map
- Gathering of assets such as artwork & logo
This is where the fun starts! At this point in the process you start to have a real visual look at how your website is progressing. You should expect to see things such as
- Mockup of website
- Content written
- Build out of framework of site
- Add special features and approved content
- Behind the scenes functionality testing of the site
The moment we’ve all been waiting for; the launch of your new website! Congratulation! You are now on your way to building an online presence for you small business.
- Final polishing of website
- Ensuring site displays correctly on mulitple devices and browsers
- Transfer to live server – soft launch
- Test, Test, Test
- Hard launch - let the word out that your new site has launched
At the end of the day, should have a fully functional website that you and your customers love. It is important that through every step of each process to communicate with your designer to ensure the goals and objectives for your website are being met.