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Sometimes it can be intimidating when it’s time for a new website, but it doesn’t have to be! All websites are not the same, but there are some general steps that can be applied to building almost all websites or applications. These are the basic steps in. our process when we develop a new website, theme, application, or other digital product for a client.
It’s important for us to get to know our clients. The first step to a successful build is to understand who you are and what you do. What is your typical customer like? What sets your company apart? Is there any interesting history that we should be aware of? Having a good understanding of you and your brand will help us as we design the details of your website. We want to incorporate the DNA of your brand into the design. We want to design the site with your customers in mind. We want to anticipate their needs and expectations when they come to your website so that they will have the best experience possible.
Before we ever write a line of code, we will use design software to mockup what the site will look like. There are lots of things to account for – what does the navigation look like? What font and what sizes will we use for the typography? How will we layout the homepage? Are there colors that we could use to compliment your brand’s color palette? All of these questions and more will be decided as we go through the design process. It may take a few rounds of mocking up a design, getting feedback and making changes, but we will end up with a final website mockup that is representative of how the site should look.
After we have a mockup to work from, we’ll start writing code. This will all take place on a development server so that I can build the website in a private environment where it can be previewed without it being available to the world via your usual domain. As we make progress on the build, we’ll touch base and get feedback. Because websites are interactive and mockups are not, it takes some testing along the way to make sure all of our bases are covered. Once the site meets expectations, all links are tested, all forms are submitting properly, all pages are loading, etc… it’s time to move everything to it’s permanent home.
There are a few moving parts that will come into play here. We’ll be dealing with your web host, your web files, and your database. Your web host is where your site will live. Most individuals and small companies (and even some large companies) will use a third-party hosting provider, such as Ionos or GoDaddy. Your web files are the files that will go on the servers at your hosting provider. These are the actual HTML, CSS, PHP and other types of files that make your website work. These will need to be uploaded to the server where your site will live. Your database, as you may have guessed, is your data. It’s a collection of content and settings, and most application platforms that we use for development require a database of some kind. When we start talking about hosts and databases this is where most people’s eyes start to glass over, but we’re experts at dealing with these types of technologies! We can handle this for you so there aren’t unnecessary headaches.
If nothing is changing with the domain or the host, then we can skip this. However, if you never had a domain, or if you are changing to a different hosting provider, we will need to set up or redirect the domain. This involves pointing the DNS (Domain Name Servers) at your host. One time, I heard someone refer to DNS servers as “magic boxes”. I assure you, they are not “magic boxes”, and we know exactly how to make them direct your domain where it needs to go.
One thing that most everyone understands is how important it is to rank well on Google, and how important it is to use tools like social media to get the word out about your brand and your website. We’ve got you covered! We can help you write content that is tailored to specific search terms. We can help you with your social media presence, and help you develop a strategy for posting updates. We can make sure that you have tools available to you such as Yoast and Google Analytics. Our job isn’t over until your site is not only built, but set up for success!
Getting a site redesigned, built and installed on a server is one thing, but that site also needs to be maintained going forward. Versions of underlying software change, and as they increment, the site may need to be updated to continue to work properly. Sometimes, as content gets added to the site, unforeseen issues arise that require the skill of a developer to address. We won’t just leave you hanging. We offer ongoing maintenance for the sites that we build for a reasonable price, so that you won’t have to worry about it.
When is the best time to reach out about building a new website? Now! We’d love to schedule a time to get to know you and your business and discuss your goals. We promise to make this process as hassle and worry free as possible. Give us a call or visit our contact page to get started today!