We thought it would be a good idea to go over a few things that we undertake when building a website. This is just to give you an idea of how we use WordPress to develop websites, along with an insight into what actually goes into a project from start to finish.
First things first, find out what the client needs. Every client is different. Each have their own individual requirements. It is essential we find out exactly what they require, how they want the site to work, whether they like any others and what they want out of it at the end.
Rarely, we get a client who will contact us and want a site putting together as a matter or urgency that requires just a few pages and a few photos. It is rare that we will create a site without the client telling us exactly what they want.
Proposal & Quote
We will take notes of client requirements and put together a proposal detailing what we envisage the website to be, how it should function and what the key features and ideas are. The proposal generally includes a timeline of the project so everyone can see what will happen and when (pretty often these time-scales will slide a little bit in either direction).
Wire-framing / Design
Some companies do a full blown design, we tend to wire-frame sketch our layouts. This, in our opinion, has 2 benefits. A wire-frame design is quick to put together but also gives the users an idea of layout, what will go where etc. We also include a colour palette based on either clients needs or ideas and our thoughts combined.
Once the client gets this, they are generally happy for us to proceed to development. This is where the site will begin to “take shape”.
WordPress Install & Customisation
Each site will be based around 2 things. Complexity of site and speed required to build. If its a quick site, that needs to be very simple/basic, then a free template from the WordPress directory will likely suffice. This can then be customised to suit client branding/needs and published fairly quickly.
If the site is more complex (think e-commerce/booking systems/holiday sites) then more time is required to ensure that any systems that will be used can be integrated.
There tends to be more work to do in terms of customising the site to get everything tied together correctly too. Most of the time, we spend more hours configuring extensions that are required along with small issues, than we do building the actual site. This is a requirement however and is a very important step to ensure the correct feel and functionality of the site.
We like clients to give us all the information for their websites unless we are sourcing things such as images. This way, we know the content is written how they want it, and it will include everything they want.
We now upload all text and images into the site and make a few tweaks and changes if things don’t fit quite right.
This part always makes us nervous, but we now upload the site from our local office server, to a live test domain to do a bit more site testing. This also allows our client to view their new site as a “work in progress” to see how things are shaping up. Its a nice feature so that they can view from anywhere, any time and on any device they wish.
We then continue to work on the site whilst maintaining client contact about design/issues/their thoughts. This allows us to tweak and change things to suit extremely quickly.
When we are near completion, we will site down with the client and go through what has been done to date and to thrash out any final issues. This tends to be very small issues that can be resolved in a matter of minutes.
Once a client is happy, we will undertake testing across all devices and modern browsers and allow the client a couple of days to go through everything and make sure they are ready to launch.
This part is the exciting part. We make numerous backups of the new and old website, databases and everything associated to avoid any kind of mistakes. We then remove the old site, and upload the new one to either an existing or a brand new domain name.
At this point, we like to give clients a few days to get the thoughts of others and troubleshoot any small issues we may find (it does happen).
Finally…we can proudly talk about the newly completed website.
We make project notes on what went well/not so well to allow ourselves to learn from every project we do. We always like to try and be better, this allows that to happen.
There you have it. A comprehensive guide to how we approach and build our sites from start to finish. Now, my hands hurt and I am in need of a cuppa.
We hope you enjoyed reading the above. If you did, feel free to share it using the buttons below, or comment, or do nothing at all.
If you are interested in us building you a new website and you are based in the UK (you don’t HAVE to be in Cornwall where we are based) – then feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page to submit your enquiry.