Are you really listening? Usually a question which I ask myself after finding out my perfect client is typically a not-so-perfect client. My design process comes from years of creating websites, each step serves as a means to an end. It consist of six steps…
Planning (no design)…just make a road map of what the site is going to look like. Navigational Menu. Site map. Key functions and features. No demo site is provided to the client. Questionnaire only. Competitors. Reason for the design. Content is requested from client. What is my client trying to accomplish?
Design (early sketches)…only begins after site map and navigational menu is finalized. Time deadlines are establish for content. Back end review on functionality. Early stages of coding. Design elements are reviewed. Site is conceptualized.
Build (site is developed)…only begins after content is completed. Demo site is set up and work on the site begins. Process usually takes less than a week. Site is present to client for final revisions (not approval). Any changes is viewed as change of scope and design process begins over with potential additional cost.
Test (not ready to launch)…links are verified. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords are secured. Do not design for keywords, let your content be the driver (firm believer of this statement). 404 page (redirected) created.
Launch (any balance is due prior to launching)…site is launched. It is moved from demo to your actual url.
Marketing and Support (optional…but considering making it required)… site is launched on secured hosting. Monthly performance number are forwarded to the client. Site speed. Site SEO numbers are reviewed monthly. Any content updates are completed. Back up on cloud. Google Analytics are established. Plugins and Themes are updated. Security features are installed and reviewed monthly.
In the past, I have had a client to want to place a five figure project on a shared web hosting account. This client had just had their site hacked. I could not convinced them to move to a secured site. They felt the cost was too much. Six months later the client site was down and they were out of business. Planning stages should have been the key to me. While it was a huge project, really was not worth it.
I have allowed clients to change scopes several times with no additional cost. Projects which should have been 45 – 60 days, took four months. In some case, my client was still not happy. Re-design was done, for unhappy client.
If you are looking for a WordPress web designer and/or brand developer, then I am available. I can be reached at 678-718-5489 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Image Courtesy of Climate KIC.