Each day, billions of people venture onto the internet to search for goods and services on Google. You can’t afford to miss out on this customer base. Your business needs a website.
If you have some background in coding, you might be able to go through the web design process all on your own. Most small business owners go the route of hiring a freelancer, however.
No matter what you choose to do, it’s helpful to know what goes into the design process. If you hire someone, you want to be able to follow along with them so you can meet them on their level. Keep reading to learn more.
You can’t jump into anything without having a good plan together. It acts as a roadmap that will guide you through your entire project.
You’ll start this part of the website design process by doing a self-diagnosis. This is where you think of what your goals are. Are you trying to sell people something?
Do you want to tell people about your goods and services? Once you have your goals down, you can begin to figure out who you’re making your website for. Some people go the extra mile by coming up with a model of their ideal customer during this step.
We’re not going to begin designing web pages yet, but while you’re in the planning stage, it doesn’t hurt to get some ideas for page organization. At least figure out what kind of information you want your site to provide.
Now that you have an idea of what you want to do, you can hire someone to take care of it for you and come up with a payment contract. If you’re taking care of the job yourself, you’ll need to figure out what software you’ll need.
Bring the Design Elements Together
Now that you have the best web design plan of attack in order, you can begin bringing it together. Keep in mind that your site will start to take a somewhat tangible shape during this phase, but you won’t be finishing it by any means.
Before you begin tackling code, you’ll begin a rough sketch of the design elements using old fashion pencil and paper. This will give you something concrete to work with.
When you have a design that you enjoy, you can begin making mock web pages in photoshop. You can use the different layers to make multiple designs. If it turns out you don’t like something, the program will allow you to make changes with the click of a mouse.
After you’ve created your mockups or you’ve been presented mockups by the Web Design company you hired, it’s time to begin the actual coding. We’re only working with the design elements of the pages for now. The functionality will come during the programming stage.
The programming stage is perhaps the longest part of the website design process. Coding doesn’t come easy for a lot of people. There’s a good chance that you’ll run into issues.
You most likely know by now that web pages are made up of a bunch of other little pages. It’s a good idea to break these pages up into different templates. Tackling the coding one page at a time makes it a little less overwhelming.
A website without content is no website at all. Add some meat to the site by putting in all the bells and whistles. Of course, this involves a lot of work.
If you’re not familiar with coding, things can get pretty messy. Until you get used to how it works, you’re going to want to run tests every time you add something. It doesn’t matter how small that something is.
Doing so will help you save a lot of time in the long scheme of things. You also want to make sure that you’re optimizing for SEO as you go along.
You see, not many people go past the first page of Google when they do a search. If your site isn’t there, you’re not going to get many hits. By choosing the right keywords and cross-promoting your site with your social media pages, you’ll ensure that you end up getting a lot more clicks.
Launch the Webpage
All your hard work has paid off, and it’s time to launch your site. Before you hit that publish button, do yourself a favor and do one last sweep of your site. Unless you’re under some tight deadline, take the time to do some last-minute polishing.
Run tests to be sure that your website functions the way that it should. All the links need to work, and all the visual elements should be there.
Not everyone uses Chrome or Safari. Some people use Firefox, Opera, and other lesser-known browsers. You need to make sure that your site works on all of them.
Perform Postlaunch Maintenance
The work doesn’t end just because you published your site. You’re going to be making changes as you get feedback from customers and clients.
If you don’t add new content and make changes, people will get the wrong impression that nobody is monitoring the site at all. This may cause them to turn away from you and head to a competitor.
If you hired the best web page design company in your area to build your site, stay in contact with them. Getting regular advice and help from them will keep things running like a well-oiled machine.
Following the Web Design Process
As a small business owner, your website is everything. It’s where people will go when they want to check out your goods and services. If you don’t have one, it doesn’t exactly instill feelings of trust.
You can either tackle the coding on your own or leave it up to another company. Either way, you’re going to want to follow the web design process to the letter, and check out our blog for more advice on how to keep your website up and going.