How I design your website from start to finish

I want to give you a little insight into how I design your website from start to finish. My process has five stages, which are strategy, design, development, launch, and maintenance. I will elaborate on these stages and some of the deliverables you might get when working with me in this post.

I want to give you a little insight into how I design your website from start to finish. My process has five stages, which are strategy, design, development, launch, and maintenance. I will elaborate on these stages and some of the deliverables you might get when working with me in this post.

Strategy

Here I collect all the information for your successful growth. I want you to feel like you’re in good hands from the very first call. If you wish to work together, I’ll set up a discovery session. Here we will talk more in-depth about your business and the goals and needs for your website. After this session, I will estimate the time and price of the project and send you a proposal.

If you agree to the proposal, there are a variety of things we can start with now. Based on your needs from the discovery session. Some of these could be the brand strategy, the goals and objectives of the website, market research, user personas, visual references, content requirements, and a sitemap. So what are all of these? Let me elaborate below!

Brand Strategy

I use the brand strategy to get an idea of the feel of your brand and how we most effectively can communicate with your target audience. Here we talk about your company’s vision and mission, products and services you offer, how you want to position yourself, communication objectives, and company goals. We also talk about or define your target audience. What are the demographics, their motivations, and world views

Goals and objectives of the website

Here we discuss what goals your website should help you achieve. There are many different goals. Examples could be lead generation, sales, awareness, making content publishing easier, etc.

When we have set clear goals, it’s time to make some objectives leading to them being achieved. Here are some best practices we can implement, but it also depends on your target audience and how they behave on your website. So to make sure the website is helping you complete the goals we set, we have to create a way to measure said goals.

We measure this by using key performance indicators, or KPIs. These are the numbers we’re going to be tracking to see if the goals are achieved. I always use SMART goals, which stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. The reason I use this method is to make it more clear if the goals are achieved.

Market Research

From our discovery session, we will have talked about your competitors. I perform market research to see if any patterns are repeating for your industry, what your competitors are doing that’s good, and what they might be doing that’s not so good. I will create a presentation for you with an overview of the research I have collected. This gives you an idea of why I might be making some choices later in the process.

User personas

I will be honest and say that I rarely use user personas. However, they can be a powerful tool. It can be difficult for a business owner to remember, the website we are creating is not for you but your target audience. This means that what you think makes perfect sense doesn’t necessarily make sense to your target audience.

When this is the case, I like to create user personas. A persona is a fictive person from your target audience, and it helps you remember that these are the people who will be using your website. It can work as a great reminder of looking at the website from the users’ perspective.

Visual references

Here we will share visual references. These can be websites that have elements you like, as well as elements I would recommend for your website. This provides us with some good talking points for our discussion about the layout and style of your website. It also helps me understand what types of design and visuals you like.

Content requirements

Here we specify what content should be on your website, as well as any specific features. Some examples could be information about services or products, a blog, links to social media, signup for a newsletter, etc.

Sitemap

The last thing I need in place before I dive into the design is the sitemap. The sitemap is where we talk about what pages you need on your website and the structure of these pages.

Design

Now that we have a strategy for your business, it’s time to work some design magic. I’ll start the process by creating some wireframes for the website. These wireframes will turn into mockups at a later stage. In this part of the process, I might do some user testing as well. Additionally, a prototype of the website can be made, so you get an idea of how it’ll work as well.

I use Figma for this entire process, so you can easily follow along and leave comments. After you have approved the final design of the mockups, it’s time to make your website a reality!

Now let me tell you about the design terms above.

Wireframes

The idea with wireframes is to get the structure of the page right, from layout to content. It’s easier to move stuff around when we’re just working with building blocks.

User testing

I might run some early user tests in the design phase. To see if the structure is logical for what the user is trying to achieve when visiting your website.

Mockups

When we are satisfied with how the layout and content are structured, the next step is to incorporate the brand identity. Here I’ll use the wireframes to create some mockups, so you get an idea of how the outcome of the website will look.

Prototype

I can also make a prototype of the website, so you get an idea of how it’ll work. This is rarely necessary for a website. However, if there are additional features, it might be nice to see how these work beforehand.

Development

With the design in place, it’s time to make it a reality.

When the website is finished, we will look through it together. This is to make sure that everything is as we talked about during the design process. When you’re satisfied and happy with the result, the next step is to launch the website!

In this part of the process, there are also some things you might want to know.

Responsive

I always make sure that the website is responsive, meaning that it works on all devices.

Staging site

You will receive a link for a staging site. This is where I build your website before moving it to live. This makes it easy for you to follow the process while the website is made.

Basic SEO

While building the site, I’ll also add some basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for each page, so you can have organic traffic from search results when the website goes live.

Launch

Now is the part where it gets exciting! Now that I have developed the website and you’re happy with the result, it’s time to move the website from a staging environment to live! When the website is live, there are still some things that I will set up, like an SSL certificate and Google Analytics. If you need domain-specific emails, these will also be created.

Going live

When moving the website from the staging environment to live, I need information about the domain and hosting. Some hosts allow adding an extra user if possible I’ll always recommend that solution, as you won’t have to share any passwords with me.

When I have a user on your domain, I install WordPress and move the website from the staging environment. When the website is live, I have a little list of things I go through to check that everything is working as it should.

SSL certificate

Now that the website is live, I will install an SSL certificate. This ensures secure online transactions and keeps your visitors’ information private and safe. It also means that visitors won’t meet the “Back to safety” screen when visiting your site. So even if you’re not collecting information or making transactions, it’s still proof of security for the visitors.

Google Analytics

Finally, I will set up Google Analytics and key performance indicators based on the goals we talked about for your website. I will also set up some basic statistics for your website’s views and visitors.

Maintenance

Are we done now? Never!

The beautiful thing about the internet is that everything is evolving and changing. For a small monthly fee of 200 DKK, you can get a maintenance plan.

Now, what does a maintenance plan include then? Let me elaborate below.

Updates

Updates to your website, thus making sure everything runs smoothly and there will be no security issues. The updates include both the frontend (the design) and the backend (how it runs). I always take a backup of your website before making any changes. Then I install that backup on a staging environment and make the changes. I do this so that if something should break with an update, it won’t affect the live website. However, this rarely happens, and more often than not, I make the changes and move everything back from the staging environment to the live website.

Backups

I always make a monthly backup of your website, including the database. Then we always have a working version of your website, in case there should be an issue.

Insights

Gain insights with monthly reports, delivered straight to your email, about your website’s performance. The monthly report contains statistics about key performance indicators, as well as page views and visitors.

Want to work together?

Now that you have an idea of my process, maybe you want to work together? If that is the case, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form. Then I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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