Having a strategic website design and development process is essential to ensuring our clients receive a quality website, on time, and on budget. This process can be used to plan out the timeline, and deal with any potential road blocks along the way. Websites, now more than ever, are becoming the first source of interaction between a business and their target customer. Ensuring that this first point of contact with the customer is a helpful and appealing experience is crucial to creating a lasting relationship with that customer. While there are many moving parts to designing and developing a new website for a client, your process from the start can determine whether the project is a success, or a failure. Here are some milestones within web development projects that you should consider tracking throughout your process.
The initial client meeting is used to set the stage for how the project will develop and set realistic timelines and goals. Understanding everything about the specific client and their business will help our team to understand how to approach the project. Important pieces of information to make sure we understand are the client’s strategy, goals, target market, and brand identity. This will help with every step from the web design to the content creation, and will help to avoid communication errors down the road.
Once we understand how the client wants us to approach their website project and share their ideas, the next step is to set realistic goals, objectives, and dates in which tasks should be completed by. This step is normally handled within the initial client meeting, as that way the client understands the timeline in which the full project will be finished, and can have their input on when certain tasks should be finished by. The most important part of this step is creating an initial sitemap, so that the size and organization of the website is agreed upon from the beginning.
Every page on a website will require content, and is what will bring customers to the site and keep them there. Because the sitemap has been determined, each page that requires content will be known by our team. Each piece of content that is created should be customer focused; meaning that it benefits them in some way. Maybe it is informative about the particular services the client offers, or is interesting and increases customers engagement with the brand. No matter the focus on the particular piece of content, it needs to be relevant and useful for the customer.
The visual design process determines the look and feel of the site, and each mockup that is created should reflect the brand identity discussed in the initial client meeting. This particular step will require many conversations with the client, as they will want certain parts of the design fine tuned. The content should be included within the designs to give the client a full picture of how it will look live on their site. Depending on the project we will then provide the client with wireframes or mockups to share our vision and overall layout, look, and feel of their new website.
Once the designs have been approved, the technical work can begin on creating the actual website. This involves a lot of coding, testing, and troubleshooting. A demo site should be implemented so the client can get a feel for how the live site will feel, be able to make recommendations based off of what they do and don’t like, and can also help to catch any potential errors our team may have missed. We also perform various cross browser and device compatibility tests to ensure the new site will perform seamlessly on all devices and latest browsers.
After the technical aspects of the website have been completed, it’s time to launch the website and go live. Final testing phases should be completed as a last line of defense against any small errors, but the site should be ready to be made public. We also implement our comprehensive SEO checklist on all websites that go live to ensure we are adhering to the latest best practices set forth by search engines and that our site is ready to get crawled and optimized.
Once the site goes live it will then enter maintenance stage. We offer full website maintenance services for all websites that we design and develop. The website maintenance plan includes top of the line hosting, performing minor updates and edits, technical troubleshooting, ongoing backups, security, updating CMS and plugins, and more.
We have designed & developed hundreds of websites over the past decade and would love to get the opportunity to discuss your future website projects with you. We offer quality service at competitive prices and free instant quotes on most web projects. For more information or to schedule a no-obligation consultation call us at (703) 855-9641.
You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by contacting NOVA. We’d love to chat with you and get a little bit of info about your business. Complete our online consultation request form and tell us what you have in mind. We’ll be in touch with you shortly to discuss ways we can possibly work with you and assist you in growing your business in Northern Virginia.