Maria and John hosted our website webinar and talked about how to get your new website or website redesign done right the first time. If you are pressed for time or are just not a big fan of webinars this blog is for you. In the webinar, John and Maria broke up a website project into five simple steps. Here are five steps that will help your next website project go as smoothly as possible.
Step 1: Research, Planning, Strategy
Step one, get your research done. If you think research and websites do not mix together then you may want to reconsider. You have your website for a reason, to best serve your customers and your company. How can you best serve your customers, if you don’t know who they are? This is just one example of why audience research is important. Research helps you to be informed by data. In fact, the design, color choice, and functionality of your website can all be aided with the data from research.
Once, you have the information you need you can start planning out what your new website or website redesign needs. During the planning phase you want to create a sitemap. A sitemap is a graphic outline which will tell your design team the structure of the content you want hosted on your website.
Step 2: Creative & Design
Creative and design is the step that our team thinks is the fun part and you should too. This is where you get to visually reimagine your website. A lot of what happens in the creative and design stage could be considered branding. What is the messaging, voice and tone of the visuals as well as the copy?
Here is where you can ask about wireframes, which act as template structures. These will provide an understanding of the layout and functionality of the pages. It is important to remember that wireframes do not have design elements to them yet. Their main function is to outline how the page should be structured and where elements are on each page.
During this stage some important questions to ask to your internal team or hired agency are:
- What content is the client providing?
- What content will be developed by the web team?
- Whose responsibility does copywriting belong to?
- Does your company have an existing or new style guide to follow?
- Is this project a complete redesign or is it a design update?
Step 3: Production & Development
This is the stage where the coding starts to happen. For the most part this is where your internal team or agency gets to work. However, there are some decisions you should be a part of like deciding what programming language your website uses. Here are some important topics to cover before anyone starts to create your website.
- Will your website be responsive?
- Do you need mobile/device optimization and compatibility?
- What browser compatibility does your site need?
- Who will need access to the website for future updates?
Step 4: Testing, QA, Website Launch
Although this stage may not be as exciting as the creative and design step this phase of a website redesign is incredibly important. This is your chance to provide feedback of what you think of the site, changes that need to be made or if you notice there is something that needs to be added. This is also an important time for the team working on the website to check the overall site performance before launching it. Testing your website will help ensure that once you launch it that everything performs up to your standards.
Step 5: Performance Monitoring
Once the website has launched it is time to monitor the performance. This step ensures that your website is consistently performing how it should, is compatible with the browser you agreed on, is working on different devices, etc. All of this is important to watch closely when you have recently launched your website.
Whether you are building a new website or redesigning an existing website it takes a lot of planning and effort. We hope with Maria and John’s expertise and them breaking down the project into five steps we have helped simplify the process for you. If you ever need a hand, our creative team lives for creating websites. If you’re still interested in more in-depth information about managing a website redesign you may want to check out the 30-minute webinar