My Client Process Part 2: Web Design
If you haven’t seen my client process for brand styling, you should have a read through that one first! Because that, my friend, is the most important part of continuing on with my web design process.
I almost always work with clients on their website after we’ve already gone through the brand styling stuff together.
Working through a brand process is crucial for an effective website. (click here to Tweet that!)
So, once we’ve worked through onboarding, feel amazing about the foundation of the brand, and have visuals + a style guide in place to start to build out the site, we begin!
Step 1 | The Website Foundations Worksheet
This is a worksheet I’ve crafted and refined over the past 3 years with a handful of questions that you’ll answer so that I can get really clear about your website and business purpose.
It asks things like:
- What pages do you need on your website?
- What’s the most important step you want people to take on the website?
- Do you have your content ready to go?
- List a few websites you love and why.
- List a few websites you don’t love and why.
Step 2 | Website Layouts (Wireframes)
Once I have a good idea about everything that’s needed on the website, I’ll start crafting layouts. This means I’m working on sketching out the user experience (how people flow from one part of the site to the next) and page layouts.
This all takes about a week for me to work through and gives me a better idea about what content I’ll need from you. It’s so important to stick to the timelines and deadlines when it comes to having content ready to go. It’s the number one cause of the 8-month-long-when-will-it-be-done web design project. We don’t want that. We want to get your site live as soon as possible so that you can start focusing on what you do best in your business, and well, start making money!
Once I outline the content I’ll need for the site, I’ll usually wait about a week to a week and a half for you to collect imagery and get everything written out. That might seem daunting, but it means you’ll need to be disciplined in sitting down to write your website content intentionally and with dedication. You’ll also need to collect the images that we’ll be using throughout your website.
I do give some context and guidance here, so you’re not totally out on your own. I’ll outline what copy and keywords you might want to focus on, which parts to elaborate on and suggest some photography direction.
Step 3 | Website Setup and Homepage Design
I start by setting up the website accounts and logistics on either Squarespace, Wordpress or Shopify and then apply the brand style.
Next, I’ll design the entire homepage based on my planning and wireframes from step 2.
The homepage is the most important landing page on your website, because it’s what captivates your audience. This is the page most people will land on first and determines whether they want to click through to the next step, or close the tab. Obviously we’re aiming for some click-throughs here :)
Step 4 | Homepage Presented to the Client
We’ll setup some time to go over the homepage together, or I’ll send it over with an explanation via email and you’ll have time to have a look through it all.
You’ll have the opportunity here to provide feedback, show a few people and send over refinements within a week or so, so that I can fine-tune things and move on to the designs for the rest of the pages on your website.
Step 5 | Web Design of the Entire Site
I’ll finish rounding out the rest of the site design and send it on over to you for another look!
I usually give another few days to a week here for review, and to have you collect your feedback and refinements in a neat and tidy list for me.
From there, I’ll go back in and do a final scan of the site and finesse everything for the launch.
Step 6 | Some SEO and Backend Work
Once the site is more or less ready to go, I’ll go into the backend and make sure everything is aligned for search engines to be able to scan your website as easily as possible.
Step 7 | Testing on Browsers and Devices
What is a website these days if it’s not responsive on mobile?!
Making sure your website looks good and functions well on a cell phone and tablets is a no-brainer over here. I go through and test on my Macbook, PC, iPhone and iPad and do other simulations with other devices as well.
Sometimes I'll also bring on a developer at this stage to help with the small details when it comes to mobile to ensure everything works perfectly.
Step 8 | Launch Plan!
At this point in the game, we’re ready to set the website live on the interwebs. How exciting! We’ll have a final clarity call so I can show you the ins and outs of your new site and how you can maintain it moving forward.
It’s very important to me that you have full control over the site once we wrap up. You shouldn’t have to wait on me or pay me to make small edits to text or imagery. I want to make sure you know how to use it in the case you want to take care of your own maintenance.
There are lots of customizations that happen within the backend of your website, so that’s all usually set it and forget it. But in the case you need to update your pricing, change a description, update your bio or swap out an image, those are the types of tasks that I want you to be able to do if you need to change anything on a whim!
At this stage, we’ll also chat a bit about a launch plan and when the time comes, I’ll be sharing lots of shout-outs on my social media channels and make sure you feel equipped to put your website out into the universe!
Step 9 | Ongoing Client Support
I mentioned this step over in the brand styling process as well, but I’ll say it again.
When it comes to those one-off projects like workbooks for an online course, new business cards, opt-in PDFS, slides for a webinar...etc. I offer ongoing brand support for my current and past clients only.
I don’t generally take on any projects like this for just anyone who reaches out, only because of my in-depth branding process. I really believe in a strong, cohesive brand foundation FIRST. So, for my clients who have worked with me on their brand, it’s much easier for me to support these type of requests.
There you have it! My entire web design package outlined from start to finish. A process to get a professional, captivating, easy-to-use website setup for your business so that you can start attracting the right people, stand out in your industry, and take your business from amateur to pro.
This kind of project takes about 4 weeks and is really dependent on client response times and getting the content ready to go. Sticking to deadlines and timelines is crucial for both of us!
And if you need a hand getting ALL of those the bits and pieces (think brand, custom photography, custom copywriting and web design) up to PRO standards, then the Custom Brand + Web Experience Package might be just for you. Then there’s no need to worry about missing deadlines or figuring out how to write your own branded content and find or take your own on-brand images. You’re leaving all of that up to the experts.