Website Development Steps

Our top priority is to make the design process as effortless as possible for you, ensuring that the website we create aligns with your vision. As your dedicated designers, we can provide support in gathering and creating content, and we are always available to assist you throughout the day, evening, and even on weekends. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries.

Tip:

Prior to commencing the website design process, we recommend exploring several highly-ranked websites within your industry and taking note of their effective use of content, layout, and other factors. Based on your research, we suggest creating a comprehensive sitemap that outlines the desired pages, the type of content to be included on each page, and the intended page titles. This will serve as a helpful guide as we move forward with designing your website.

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1. Preliminary Website Design Assessment

If you have an existing website, we will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess its strengths and areas that require improvement. This evaluation will cover all key considerations for your website, including:

  • Professional appeal and overall look for your industry
  • Placement of text and images within the layout
  • Consistency in visual presentation across pages
  • Functionality, usage, and type of scripting
  • Navigation type and ease of site access
  • Search engine optimization of pages
  • Compliance with ADA (American Disabilities Act) regulations
  • Integration of social media
  • Responsiveness to mobile devices

Please let us know if there are any specific aspects of your existing website that you would like to retain. For clients without an existing website, we will request an overview of what you are seeking in your website and provide URL samples, where possible, of what you are looking to achieve with your own website.

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2. Choosing the Website Type

Prior to beginning the development process, it is essential that we have a clear understanding of the purpose and content of your website. This will enable us to recommend the most suitable website platform to meet your specific needs, whether it be a traditional HTML5 responsive website, a Content Management System (CMS) responsive website, or a one-page landing page.

CMS responsive websites are ideal for blogs, forums, polls, and other interactive content. These websites display page content dynamically and come with an administrative interface that allows clients or their representatives to make changes to the pages without developer assistance. However, since CMS websites use a template system and database, they may have some limitations on customization and minor security concerns. To address these issues, we provide the best security and firewall options available and offer a discounted maintenance service to monitor the site and keep the platform, theme, and plugins updated.

A landing page website is a single-page responsive site commonly used for new businesses without much existing content or as a promotional page to drive marketing and inbound links to another full website.

Web Wizards adheres to the latest development standards and practices for all our websites, ensuring compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) wherever possible.

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3. Defining Pages and Features for Your Website

To begin the development process, we need to identify the specific pages to be included on your website. For each page, please provide a clear understanding of the content and desired page title. If any sub-menu pages are required, it is helpful to provide a site-map or storyboard format to accurately depict the page relationships within the menu system.

Additionally, please inform us if you require any additional features, such as PDF conversion, video streaming or embedding, a photo gallery, a newsletter sign-up form, an event calendar, resource links, and others. The content will partially determine the layout choices. For example, a left sidebar is often used for pages with additional menu systems, while a right sidebar is frequently used for pages with links, quotes, forms, and contact information.

The purpose of this exercise is to establish all content requirements early on, ensuring the appropriate development platform is selected and providing an accurate estimate of the final development cost without any unexpected delays.

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4. Defining Website Appearance and Social Media Integration

The appearance of your website depends on several key design elements, such as color scheme, layout, navigation, header design, typography, and the use of images and animations. For instance, you might prefer a minimalistic logo at the top and a slideshow using jQuery. You can also choose from different navigation options, such as a drop-down menu with a unique roll-over color and a sidebar menu displaying links to important pages. As for the layout, you might opt for three columns of bullet-pointed text outlining your services, with a full-width welcome paragraph, and a footer scroller displaying your clients’ logos.

To help us understand your design preferences better, we recommend researching your top competitors’ websites and providing us with three to four links to visually appealing sites. Highlight what you like and dislike about each site’s design elements, such as navigation placement and functionality, header design type and style, use of animation, layout (number of columns), side-bar content, content differentiation across pages, and footer usage. This information will help us ensure that the final design meets your vision.

If your business uses social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, it’s important to incorporate them into your website’s design. You can choose to include small icons on the header and/or footer or opt for larger features, such as buttons or banners, Facebook widgets, Twitter feeds, and more. Please indicate your preference for the presentation of your social media accounts.

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5. Collecting Material

Please send the resources necessary for the website’s design as email attachments or through file-sharing platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or WeTransfer. To ensure organization, please group related content in folders and label the documents and folders consistently with the page names.

In addition to your text and images, we will need the following information:

  • The URL of your business
  • The name of your business as you want it displayed on the website
  • Your business slogan/tagline, if applicable
  • Your current logo, if available
  • Your business contact information
  • Your business license and other credentials, professional associations, and memberships
  • Links to your business’s social media pages and review sites
  • Any print marketing materials used for your business

Once we have this information, we can discuss any additional content that may be required.

Crafting compelling content for your pages can be a challenge, but it is important to remember that search engines use the text (keyword density) for ranking purposes. To improve your ranking, your pages should contain adequate descriptive text. Consider researching your competitors’ websites for inspiration and then writing original content in your own voice that uniquely represents your business and its specific offerings.

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6. Cost Estimate

After we gain a clear understanding of your website requirements, we will provide you with a cost estimate, which will be an approximation and subject to change based on the final design specifics and content we receive.

The estimated cost is based on the number of hours required to complete the website development process, including research, development, optimization, and submission. This will be billed at our hourly rate.

Please ensure that your content is complete, free of spelling and grammar errors, and easy to read. We can assist with content sourcing, writing, and proofreading, but this will not be included in the estimate unless you request it.

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7. Services Agreement, Deposit, and Concept

Prior to commencing development, we will request your consent to our service agreement via email. This agreement stipulates that all content provided by you belongs to you, that you agree to remunerate us according to our outlined fees, and that until full payment is received, you will only have temporary rights to use the website.

Upon receiving a signed services agreement and a 50% deposit, we will initiate the project. We will begin by comprehending your desired business aesthetics, and then present you with a range of optimal layout options.

Next, we will develop the home page and all shared design elements, including the placement of your logo and header design, navigation system, color scheme, layout style, home page text, image application, and so on. We will then provide you with a link to the fully operational home page to assess the proof of concept. After reviewing it, you may provide feedback, and we will make any necessary alterations.

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8. Keywords for SEO

After the approval of the initial home page, the remaining pages will be created following the same layout and style. We will notify you via email when each page is complete, and a link will be provided for you to review it. For text changes, we prefer proofed document formats. You can achieve this by copying the text from a page, making necessary edits, and sending it back to us.

The website will be optimized to meet ADA compliance standards and ensure cross-browser compatibility. Additionally, each page will be evaluated from an SEO perspective. We will incorporate the keywords you wish to target in the page text, page titles, headings, meta tags for keywords and descriptions, Alt tags for images, Title tags for text links, and robots tag.

Please provide us with a list of keywords you want to target, and we will write a unique description of two to three sentences using these keywords. This will help improve your website’s search engine ranking.

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9. Website Completion

Once your website is completed, we will issue an invoice for the remaining 50% balance. We strongly recommend that you thoroughly test the website to ensure everything is functioning properly.

In case you require us to upload your website, we will need access to your hosting server through FTP, including the server path, username, and password. Generally, the server path is the domain name of your website. However, if you do not have a domain yet, we can use an IP address instead. For CMS websites, we will also require administrative access to your hosting account to enable us to set up email forwards, install databases, create backups, and carry out other website management tasks.

10. Final Payment and Site Submission

Once we receive the final payment, we will upload your website to your server and submit it to major search engines. To help you monitor your website’s performance, we offer Google Analytics and Google Search Console for tracking site traffic. If you require assistance with content management, we can provide this at an hourly rate.

It is important to note that while a website’s initial submission is usually sufficient to obtain a decent ranking, the level of online competition within your industry may result in it taking several weeks or months to see significant improvements in search results. In such cases, we offer an advanced local SEO and marketing plan to help our clients maximize their online presence. This plan includes exploring various marketing options, such as niche directories specific to your industry.

For your convenience, we accept payments via debit or credit card or bank transfer through PayPal.

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