Our Process for designing a website
In this article, we are going to talk about the steps we take to build a quality web site. We will out line the process from the planning process starting from your website idea, choosing a domain name and web hosting, designing a wireframe with pen and paper, user experience and interface principals, what is the best platform for your business and making sure it is all mobile friendly.
The main questions to list are:
- What do you need the website for?
- What exactly are you trying to achieve?
- What is the main presentation? Product? Blog? Business?
- Does it have a special purpose? eCommerce? Portfolio?
- What is your target audience?
- What ‘pain’ dose the site solve?
Next, it’s time to think about what platform you want to use. We have broken this down into three categories.
- A small website for a small project that doesn’t really plan to necessarily rank on the first page in Google search and doesn’t expect to scale up massively.
- A medium website for a small business that doesn’t want to rule out ranking on the first page in Google, but it is not a top priority and scaling is a possibility.
- A large corporate website that is putting search engine optimization and scalability first.
For small websites in the first category we suggest Siteground hosting , which is excellent and WordPress as the CMS.
For medium websites we also
suggest designing your site using WordPress. WordPress is one the most popular and reliable website platforms online. It is fully professional and is optimized for SEO, there are no limits to what it can do. We can offer a fully customized design, and ongoing support. We can help you integrate email auto-responders with 10 000 free emails a month using Mailchimp, or any autoresponder of your choice.
For large corporate websites we use Drupal because Drupal is the fastest loading and most scalable web platform on the market. This is the best choice if you want to rank number one on Google, because loading speed is an important ranking factor.
We use Siteground for our WordPress web host. Siteground is consistently considered one of the top three most reliable hosting platforms online. We can manage the whole process for our clients, or we can set things up and give you the keys so to speak. This depends on your comfort with the technical side of things.
For our premium Drupal clients for whom SEO and scalability is a top priority, we suggest using a VPN, like https://www.knownhost.com/ to host your website, they use hard drives that are SSD, no moving parts, which are the fastest possible servers.
We always think about search engine optimization ‘SEO’ – when we design your site. That means we are always thinking about search. When choosing a domain name, make it simple. The shorter the better. You want to get .com if you can. These are what are called top-level domains. Other popular domain extensions like .net .org are also good. If you are in Canada .ca is good.
Keep your Keywords in mind when creating content. You want to choose the main keywords for your site. This is very important. What exactly do you think your potential clients type into the search engine when they are looking for your offering? This is so important. You want to think about Keywords all the time, for every page and every blog post. This will help your website rank.
The design phase begins with pen and paper. We want to use pen and paper as long as possible and only switch to the computer when we have to.
Content must come first. Remember, words are the most powerful tool online. Content is the most important part of your website, and you need to have most of it ready beforehand. You need photos and bio’s and copy first. This can be challenging, but it is by far the best way to proceed.
Next, you want to plan the individual pages.
Types of possible pages:
- Product pages
- Category pages
- About page
- Contact page
- Main sales pages
- Newsletter subscription landing page
Once you decide what pages you need, you want to think about how they will be organized. You want to link all the pages together so that search engine crawlers can more easily crawl and index your site.
A Wireframe is a pen and paper drawing of your web page layout and this is necessary. We will work in person or on Skype with our clients to get this right. We then use Adobe Illustrator to graphically lay out the design, then we make a mock up in Photoshop before we move onto designing on your chosen platform.