So, you’re interested in having a website designed, but you’re a bit confused by the web design process. Don’t worry! That’s a common concern that new clients have. In other industries, the process is rather straight forward. With web design, you might not know exactly what you need or why, or you may not know how the website will be designed, or what the process is in general. The answer is rather simply and complicated all at once: it depends.
What does it depend on? Well, it depends on what you need. If you already have a website that needs a redesign the process may be simpler. Converting a website to another, more modern format is a straight forward process where the designer takes the content that you already have and then converts it to WordPress, HMTL or whatever format is desired. I prefer to work with WordPress because there are many plugins available and it’s very user-friendly so the client can often learn to make small changes to their website and become self-sufficient.
The web design process changes from website to website and client to client.
Typically, when clients contact me about building a website, I like to ask about their business. What do you do? What special services do you offer? What’s the tone of your business? Does it have a theme? Then, we can look at similar sites in the industry, and the client can pick and choose elements that they might really like. Sometimes there are no great websites in your industry, then we can look at other website ideas and come up with something that is a powerful way to encompass your vision and showcase your business’s needs. This can be done through email, whenever you have free time, or we could have a phone call and get to know each other. This really depends on the client’s needs.
Once a general scope has been decided on, I’ll set up a test website. This website will be on my private server, and the link won’t be released to the public. You and I will have access, and you can share it with business partners to see what they think of the process. The site will be changed numerous times until it’s ready – then, once you’re in love with it we can transfer it over to your own hosting.
You will need a domain name and hosting service, see why here. If you don’t have a hosting service, that’s okay. You can get one for roughly $70 CAD a year. The first year also comes with 1 year of a free domain name (.com only, .ca is $15 from another provider). I suggest Bluehost* because they are affordable and have great customer service. You do not need to purchase hosting until after we are done the test site, as I will be hosting that on my own server.
Web hosting is where your website lives on the web. Like a house built on your ‘address’, or domain name.
If required, we can discuss payment plans and hosting where I would host and manage your website. This includes 1 year of support, management of updates and security, and changes when you require them. Otherwise, you will have to make these changes yourself, or you can pay a 1 time fee for changes. Bluehost has a great support system, so if you go with their host you are likely to have most problems resolved quickly (except making changes onsite, they do not do this).
Once you have a hosting option for your website, your site will be installed via the host. You will be given a WordPress login and will have access to the “dashboard” where you can add blog posts, change pages, and add new pages. I will send you information on how to do this. There are also numerous free tutorials on the web designed to help beginner users with WordPress, as well as free support forums.
Once your site is live – you should be ready! If you require social media pages, Google My Business listings (this controls your open/close time, map location, and photos shown when people search your business) you might want to consider a premium package.
You can view web packages and see what suits your needs. If you’re not sure what sort of package you need, please do contact and we can discuss your options. I want your website to succeed, and I’m here to help!
*I receive a commission on Bluehost sales, but I promote their service because I use it myself, and have found them to be reliable. This site is hosted through Bluehost.