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Basic website design process

I have a number of people email me or call me each week looking for a webdesigner in Birmingham. Some of them will know what they want, but the majority of them are business owners who don’t fully understand the webdesign process. Many of these people are just looking for a webdesigner and that’s the most they know.

To help, I’ve written up a brief outline of the website design process from start to finish. It should give you an idea of what is expected from both parties, how I work, and help you prepare in advance if you are looking for a website designer in Birmingham.

Step one: First contact

The first step is for you to get in touch with me. Our initial chat will mostly involve me asking you a few questions about your business, what you do, how long you’ve been operating, and why you want a website.

Step two: Website specs

Next, I need to find out what you want from your website – who it’s for (customers/businesses), what it’s aim is (sell more of a product/tell people about your business), what you want it look like, why you want it, as much as I can learn. I make a point to do my best to understand your requirements and motivations for wanting a website.

At this stage I also make sure to ask you what your budget is and what timescales you are working to. These are very important questions and so it would help if you have an idea of this. It makes sure that when I quote you, it’s in the range you’re after. It also helps me prioritise my work better.

Step three: Quote and sample designs

If you’re happy to work with StudioRav the next thing I’ll do is send you sample designs. This will be based on the feedback I’ve got from you as to what sort of site you want and the look and feel you’re going for. If required I will also send you a formal webdesign client which will outline client and StudioRav responsibilities.

Invoicing

If you are happy with the quote and have chosen from one of the sample designs I send you then I will invoice as per our agreed terms. This will have been discussed earlier on and I am very flexible with my payments – basically whatever suits you. (I usually take a deposit, click here to find out why).

Step four: Basic design

I sometimes use a theme template to begin the designing of a new website as it massively speeds up development. I then proceed by allocating important keywords against the pages which have been requested as per the specification. Then each page is designed, paying particular attention to the layout. At this stage the idea is to get something set up which can at least be reviewed by you.

I tend to use placeholder images, and sample text at this point. If you have specifically requested me to help with copywriting I will add some of my text on your webpages. Overall I will try to follow the original design spec as closely as possible where I can.

Step five: Your review

The common method of submitting the site for initial review is by sending a link to your email address. This can then be checked in your own time and on whatever computer you wish. I want you to check the site and get feedback from your colleagues and partners. I encourage my clients to take as long as they need for the review, and to come with up with as many points for discussion as they wish.

Step six: Rinse and repeat

I receive feedback in whatever way suits you: whether you need me to visit your home or office, or over the phone, or even an email. A list of points is usually the best way to get through what you want to discuss. Websites are rarely perfect on the first design, and so your feedback is always important. I don’t expect to have the website completed in one go, and I want my clients to understand this too.

Communication

Good communication is vital in doing webdesign work and that’s why you are allowed to get in touch whenever you need – morning, noon or night. StudioRav doesn’t have fixed working hours (no 9 to 5 office hours), so whenever you come across an issue or problem it’s perfectly fine to call or email for a quick response.

Step seven: Final sign-off

If you are happy with the site then the final sign-off is when I load it up for you, set up your email addresses and so on.

Step eight: Website completion

When you are happy with the work all copyright passes over to you and this is when I usually expect to receive final payment.

Step nine: Lifetime after sales support

Customer satisfaction is the most important thing for StudioRav and once you become one of my valued customers I make sure you stay that way. Expect to get emails from me from time to time asking how you are, and if you have any questions or need any help then I’ll be happy to help out.

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