Your website is a window to the world. In most cases, this is the first time someone has ever seen your business and brand. It's important to make an incredible first impression to keep that customer interested in your service.
People often mistake the purpose of a website. Most businesses use websites only for pitching their products and services. There's a lot more than meets the eye. A website is a way for you to communicate with your customers. Not only is it about your product or service, it's what people think about you and your brand. It's about the stories you share, the ways people interact with you, and the value you bring to your community. Building an effective website is about making your company human. We have the ability to take your company and make a website that is engaging, inspiring, and interesting for your customers.
There's a lot of thought that goes into a website. It involves registering a domain name, setting up hosting, designing the look and feel, and programming the website. With how much is involved with the process, it's no wonder that people tend to use a service that allows them to drag and drop things and call it good. The problem with drag and drop is that these services typically box you in and take away your creative freedom. What this means is a website that is okay... but could be a lot better.
Our websites are completely customized. This means that we build our websites from the ground up. When something goes wrong, we know where to look. When something is off a little bit, we can quickly go in and make adjustments. We understand that you have a business to run. This is why we will take on the responsibility to create an amazing website for your company. We've laid out the complete process for you to check out so you can see how we take your ideas and bring them to life. It's similar to the branding and design process we do but with a couple differences.
It's recommended to follow the whole process from start to finish. However, we understand that different businesses are at different parts of the process. We will work together to determine what's been done already and what is left to complete.
Behind good design is a solid set of business objectives. This can range anywhere from increasing sales by a certain percentage, raising brand awareness about your product or business, signing customers up for free trials, and more. This is a necessary step in the design cycle to ensure that we are designing with a purpose. It isn't good enough to design something aimlessly without understanding the value it needs to bring.
The best objectives are ones that are measurable. For example, it's possible to capture how many people visit your website, how many of them convert into a sale, etc. It's important to understand that qualitative goals such as brand perception may be difficult to capture. This may involve more research, asking more questions to your customers, and more. Regardless, we will work together to come up with a set of objectives if none have been thought of before starting our business relationship.
Now that business objectives have been set, it's time to conduct additional research. This involves multiple items including setting our target audience, how they engage with your competitors, how competitor websites look and feel, and more. This part of the process also involves interviewing you along with key stakeholders to get an understanding of what your leadership and employees think about the company and brand.
It's important to understand the situation your company is dealing with and how we can reinforce, or change, behaviors and attitudes. Effective design can't happen until we have a good idea of the situation we're dealing with. Once we have a good understanding of the situation, we can move on to designing the look and feel of your website.
Note: It's highly recommended to start looking at domain names that have been registered. There's nothing worse than starting a project and realizing your ideal domain name has been taken. Before any design and development occurs, we should conduct a search on domain names that have been taken and what domain names can be secured. Extensions such as .com, .co, and .org are the most common names that may or may not be taken. This might also be the time to explore creative solutions for domain names such as .io to host your website.
This is where the real fun begins. Now that we know our audience and our situation, we can start putting together the look of your website. This part of the process only involves creating the look of the website. We won't start programming the website until you've approved the final look and feel.
We'll start putting together samples of different pages you want on the website. This includes the home page, about page, contact page, and an E-Commerce page for companies looking at including a store. This process can take a while depending on the neccesary pages we need to make, the types of sections we need to include, and more.
It's important to know that the mock ups will typically be made up with stock content. This is content that we source from places such as Getty Images and the Creative Market. It can also include stock content we put together to create the overall look of the website. The final website will have stock content until you provide us with the content to fill it in or we work with our partners that specialize in content creation to fill it in. We strongly recommend putting together content for the website before the website goes live. If you don't have content, we will work together to put a plan together on how we can gather content.
Have you ever experienced a website that you expect things to work in a certain way and they don't? It really sucks, and we don't plan on launching your website without taking the effort to test every aspect of it. This process includes us testing the website, you testing the website, and possibly bringing customers in to test the website as well.
This can be an enlightening experience. We can learn a lot about how your customers interact with your website through the testing phase. We might learn that they look for your products or services in a different way than we thought. We might also learn that people don't use the features we thought they would love using. This part of the process allows us to gain insight about how people are engaging with your website and if we need to go back and design things a little differently.
The design is flawless, your test customers loved the experience, now it's time to launch the website. This is the perfect time to let your employees and stakeholders know that the website is live. It's also important to start sharing the website on every outlet you can think of. However, just because the website is launched doesn't mean the job is done.
The actual website is done, but it's time to start tracking what customers are doing on the website, start promoting your product or service in search engines and social media, and continue creating engaging content for your audience to enjoy. Once the website is launched, it's your responsibility and ours to continue providing the fuel to keep it going. If either of us fail to provide fuel, the website can become boring and people will stop coming to it.
Great websites start with great hosting. It’s essential that we use a hosting company that is fast, safe, and reliable. Without this basic foundation your website can’t reach its full potential. We understand that different companies require different solutions for their business. Some companies may need a dedicated server for an online store while others only need an affordable solution for hosting a blog. That’s why we use DreamHost for our website hosting.
DreamHost is the industry leader in reliable web hosting. With nearly 20 years of hosting experience, DreamHost provides numerous solutions for companies of all sizes and stages. We trust DreamHost with the hosting of our website and our clients’ websites because of their: