1. Scoping the Project
It all starts with a meeting. Or two. Or three. Face-to-face is great, but the phone also works. Especially if there is a follow-up mail-storm where ideas are shared. During this phase we take lots of notes.
We talk about your business. We talk about your goals. We talk about your clients, or your investors, or you fans, or all of the above. We attempt to get into the minds of your target audience or audiences. We talk about what they might like to see, and how they might like to see it. Are these people likely to be analytical? Will they want lists and numbers and bottom-lines? Are they creative, visual, visionary? Or verbal? Some of each? We talk about how we can entice and rivet any and all who might wander your way.
Then we talk about you. What’s your sweet spot? What do you love to do for people? What goods or services are best for your bottom line? We talk about how we can put these goods or services front and center.
Then we talk about what you’re passionate about, which colors and ideas you love, and which you hate. If you have a logo or a layout or a heap of graphics from your designer we talk about how those things fit with your vision. We ask you to send us a list of the websites you most admire. Those that inspire deadly envy. Those are the websites we will plan to surpass.
By the end of this phase we know how many pages you want, and whether you need visual or functional bonuses such as animations, videos, galleries, contact forms or mailing lists. We will know whether you need you need e-commerce, social networking integration, or specialized business solutions. If this is a brand new website we can even set you up with a domain name and hosting.
We also provide photography services – we can take beautiful photographs of your product, your venue, or you. We can add the best of these to your website, and you will be free to use any you choose in all your marketing material.
At this point, Wicked Clever Designs provides a final proposal and a schedule of deliverables. And then we get to work.
2. Nailing Down the Look and Feel
This is where we bring the scribbles home and work them over obsessively. Metaphors are pondered. Photographs are cropped and cleaned up. Images are analyzed. Color values are tweaked. There is much cutting and pasting. We send you a link to what we’re working on, and you love it, or hate it. Or we sense your indifference and score that lower than hatred. We keep adjusting until we feel your enthusiasm.
We work with you to organize your content so that your visitors can easily find what they are looking for. We create a menu structure that reflects this system of organization.
The goal for this phase is a front page, layout, and menu system that knocks your socks off. We code up the framework of your dream site, and we fine-tune the color, logo, layout, and font until you are very happy with where we’re headed.
3. Adding Content, Building Functionality
This is when we set up the details that make it easy for your site visitors to interact with you. If you are selling products or services online, we set that up for you. Or we make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for, with sortable tables, galleries of your work, or pop-up videos. If you manage to surprise us with something new, we will be thrilled, and will take great pleasure in working out the best possible solution for you.
4. Preparing for Launch
We are now in the final stages before launch Now that all the components and content are in place we have a look at the site on a great many different browsers and screens, to make sure all is as it should be.
Once the site looks and performs exactly as it should, we still have a little ways to go. This is when we get behind the scenes and optimize the site so it can be found using the most likely search terms. We help you bring traffic to it by integrating it with your Facebook page or Twitter feed, or a YouTube or Yelp account, as appropriate. We make a sitemap and submit it to the major search engines.
And then we make your new website live.
5. Smooth Sailing
After your new website is up, we teach you how to keep it running smooth and secure. We show you how to make changes to your content, add and change out images, and how to post to your blog, if you would like. We give you tips on marketing too – helping you get posted on Google Places, and giving you tips for keeping your social media streams up to date and actively bringing you traffic.
We are always available if you need a little help with blogging, uploading new content, or maintaining the site.