What It’s Like to Work with Me
I use a Customer Partnership Approach where client participation is not just beneficial, but an integral part of the content creation and overall success of the project. You know your business and services. I know how to build effective websites. Together we’ll create a beautiful website that will serve your customer’s needs and have your business show up in search results.
How Much Does a Website Cost?
That’s the question everyone wants answered, and the answer is—it depends. For such a simple question, it’s a VERY unsatisfying answer! The reason it depends is that there are a lot of variables. Without knowing the size, functionality needed, and complexity of a website, it’s impossible to come up with a realistic cost. This is one of the reasons I offer a free consultation, which gives me the opportunity to assess your project needs and discuss the possibilities with you.
The 14 Phases of My Web Design Process
My web design process involves a well-thought-out online strategy focused on reaching project goals. This process is a series of steps that build upon one another, reducing risk and arriving at a final website through a structured approach.
1) Free Consultation
When you submit a free consultation form, I take the time to do a little research and then send you a scheduling link where you can schedule a time that works for you. We’ll meet online using Google Meet. We’ll discuss your project goals and needs, and I’ll let you know what I can do for you. If you’re interested in proceeding, I write up a proposal.
2) Website Proposal
I’ll write a proposal that includes one or more website design options based on our consultation. I’ll also outline the recurring annual website costs, including a maintenance package. Once we’ve concluded what website options you would like to proceed with, I use HelloSign to send you a final copy of the proposal, one that includes a contract at the end for you to review and sign.
3) Project Definition
We’ll meet online, and I’ll do a detailed interview with you regarding your business. This interview enables me to create a Website Design Brief. The objective of this interview is to identify the strategic goals of the site, understand key audience needs, identify key competitors, and determine your brand’s tone of voice. A design brief ensures that we’re on the same page regarding what you’re looking for, who you are, how you want to be perceived, and who you are trying to attract as customers/clients/patients.
4) Project Scope
I’ll provide an outline and communicate specific activities and deliverables, along with specific timelines, so expectations are met.
5) Information Architecture and Wireframe
I’ll create a sitemap showing pages and their relationship to each other. This is basically an outline of what your website will be.
6) Content and Keyword Research
I create a project folder within my Google Drive for us to collaborate out of. Within that, I’ll set up a folder with a Google Doc for each of your website pages. From the information I get from you and keyword research, I’ll set up each page with an information flow and content hierarchy. This basically means that I’ll provide structure and headings for you to write content for. I include comments regarding what keywords or phrases would be beneficial for you to incorporate into your writing.
After you’ve written answers or descriptions for each heading on a page, I’ll review what you’ve written to make sure it comports with “web copy” best practices, as well as give you other feedback. This process is one of the more time-consuming segments of creating your website. Depending on the scope of your website, it can be a lot of work. The benefit is that you get unique, well-written content with keywords and phrases people are using when searching the web—in your business’s brand tone of voice.
Google is looking for compelling, unique content that matches the words and intent of searches. By going through this collaborative process, we increase the probability of your website showing up in search results and ranking better than your competitors.
7) Visual Design
The design phase involves the creation and collection of all the design elements and displaying a sample of them on a mood board for you to review and sign off on. These elements will include your logo, a color palette, fonts, photography, illustration style, and iconography.
Some businesses already have a color palette, fonts, logo, graphics, and brand guidelines they’re happy with. If you’re satisfied with your brand’s look and feel, I’ll create a mood board and web style guide that comports with the brand guidelines you already have in place.
If your business needs help with a color palette, fonts, logo, or other graphics, we’ll have worked this out during the proposal process. Per the proposal and contract, I’ll bring together a specific set of elements to help communicate how the website’s content, style, and overall user interface will present.
8) Website Development
Once I have all the puzzle pieces—content and visual design elements—I then begin the process of building out your website. I use a feedback tool similar to comments on Google Docs to communicate and collaborate as I build each page. Normally, I complete a page and then invite you to review and give me your feedback and revision requests. You will be required to sign off on each page as they are completed.
Thorough testing is an integral part of website development and one of the final phases. I’ll test your website for presentation on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices, as well as browser compatibility. Each of these different test areas ensures that the website is bug-free, meets your expectations, and fulfills end-users functional and aesthetic needs.
I have a very detailed launch process that minimizes the chances of a website experiencing any downtime when the site transfers from the old version to the new website.
11) Post Launch
After the site goes live, there are a number of post-launch testing and tasks I’ll need to work on and complete. If not already created, I will set up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools.
I’ll work with you to ensure you understand how to use the WordPress content management system to manage and update your new website. Optionally, I am happy to do updates for you at my hourly rate.
13) Website Maintenance
A big part of website security is keeping your software (WordPress, theme, and plugins) up to date. These updates are necessary and recommended, but at times can cause issues with your layout or website functionality. Continually adding and updating content is part of an SEO strategy and helps maintain or improve your website’s ranking in search results. During the proposal process, we’ll work out what type of maintenance plan you would like to include, and it will be a part of your annual website fees.
14) Local SEO – Listing Management
Getting listed and keeping listings consistent in online local business directories is an important aspect of local SEO. Google uses multiple directories to cross-check and validate your NAP (name, address, phone number) and other business data. When details match up, it’s confirming to Google that you are who you say you are. To get local traffic, you need to have strong local search engine visibility. We’ll discuss the costs of including listing management and optimizing your business profiles on local directories and social media accounts during the proposal process.
Give Google Reasons to Rank Your Site
Google wants to show websites that are well designed, contain well-written quality content, are fast, mobile-friendly, and pleasing to use. Google is continually juggling listings and evaluating what people click on and how fast they hit the back button. If you’re looking for a new website, website redesign, increasing conversions, or improving your website’s rankings, I can help. Contact me for a free consultation, and we’ll discuss your business’s needs and goals.