Creating a website with a client is always a unique experience. People have different ideas of how the site should look, where key content should appear, and so forth. To help guide the process, Seattle SEO Consultant’s web designers follow a general guideline when working with clients. If you’re interested in hiring us to design your website, you may want to look over our methods beforehand. Below you should find a brief outline of how we’ll approach designing your site.

  • Invoice Created / Project Funded

As an industry best practice, we won’t do any work until we’ve secured some early funding. This is to protect both the customer and the designer. There are horror stories on both ends – we hope to avoid all of that by sticking to a no funding, no work policy, and so far, we’ve been successful.

  • Website Questionnaire Filled Out

We’ll provide you with a brief questionnaire to see what your website needs to do before sending the work to one of our designers. This helps us get a general idea what requirements the site will have in terms of creating a unique and accessible user experience.

  • Post Website Design Questionnaire Screen Share

After you’ve submitted the questionnaire, we’ll engage in what’s called a Screen Share. You’ll be able to view my desktop as I travel to different websites. At this point, you’ll be able to point out sites that you like the design of, and likewise, if I suggest a website, you can explain why you dislike that design. The back and forth will help us get a feel for your aesthetic interests as well as how you want the site to flow.

  • Create Profiles for Key Business Individuals in Basecamp

Basecamp is the project management system we use. From there, employees with access will be able to monitor the progress of the site while also making suggestions and notes on various pieces of content as they’re submitted. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but our teams are working on dozens of projects, and it’s absolutely imperative to our organization to funnel all work through there. Basecamp allows us to track our milestones as they arrive, while being transparent to the customer.

  • Photoshop Mockup of Design

Once everyone is on board with the vision for the website, our designers will create a mockup image in Photoshop. This should be understood as the last prototype before work on the site actually begins, meaning that any issues should be stated at the final revision meeting. This won’t be a functional model of the site or how it will work, but an image of the general look and feel of the site.

  • Mockup Review and Tweaking

This review meeting will be the last before the design is built. If there are any concerns, they should be aired now – changing them later on will be significantly more difficult. You may have more than one of these meetings depending your specific design package. The majority of headaches that arise for designers happen because of poor communication in these meetings. Please, help reduce our Tylenol budget and state your concerns as you have them, no matter how small!

  • Building the Approved Website

We will build your website on our testing servers. These aren’t available to the public internet just yet. This allows us to get the site completely functional before anyone is actually able to visit it. How embarrassing is it to have potential customers greeted by error pages and broken links? This is how we keep that from happening.

  • Content Insertion and Final Adjustments

Website designs usually look slightly different once all of the text and images are in place. There may be some minor, superficial adjustments to be made. This is an expected step, and we don’t want to take the site live before it looks exactly how you want it to.

  • Testing and Quality Control

In order to avoid the horrible, embarrassing things we mentioned above, your website will go through a rigorous testing and quality control phase. We’ll be making sure all of the images are placed where they should be, that the site looks the way it’s supposed to in all modern browsers (IE 6+), that any JavaScript works as it’s supposed to, and that the site still functions if someone has JavaScript disabled. This phase is essentially going to be our designers trying their best to break what they’ve built. If they can’t make it do anything other than what it’s supposed to do, it’s a solid design. If it does anything it’s not supposed to do, they’ll fix whatever error is causing the unwanted behavior.

  • Finalization of Payment

Once the website is bug free and entirely functional, we will ask for the rest of the owed payment. This is generally agreed on in advance, but occasionally a client will want special features, or will have a last-minute design change. As we have any number of projects going on at once, and a fairly strict schedule (hence the pre-planning of mockup meetings, design changes, and so forth), unscheduled additions and modifications may increase the cost of your design. We try our best to be generous with our design packages to avoid unexpected expenses, but it does happen from time to time.

  • Bringing the Site Live

This step will make the fully functional website available to the internet at large. We will have registered your domain and transferred all of the data to your host. As a part of this step, any email accounts you’ve chosen to set up will be configured.

  • Final Testing

The single truth about web design and internet production is that there is no such thing as too much testing. We’ll go through your site and make sure that everything his migrated successfully, that all user accounts are functional, and that email accounts are properly configured. Usually this step is fairly low-impact, as we’ve done website migrations countless times. Still, though: no such thing as too much testing.

  • Set Up Live Walkthrough and Site Use Tutorial

Once the site is functional and completely live, our designers will walk your staff through the administration of the site. We often make use of Content Management Systems (CMS) that your employees will need to become acquainted with if you have blog-like services or you decide to change text content of the site.

  • Support

Our Seattle website design packages all include ongoing support as a part of the cost. This includes solving problems with the interface, errors that were overlooked in the initial testing, or minute changes to content. If everything has been done right, you won’t often need our help. The support we offer is limited to 30 minutes per month because it’s so often unnecessary.

And there you have it. A brand new website, the ability to post new content to it, or change the content that’s there. Before you know it, you’ll have customers pouring in.

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