I am often asked by potential clients “What’s the process of getting a website? How does this work?”. Let me explain the process we use at Onward! Studios.
Initial Discovery Meeting
This meeting is all about you. The goal at this meeting is to gather enough information to know the why and the what behind your website. This meeting will give us a good idea how your site will be organized and what will be used to develop your site. The questions and discussion may include:
- Why do you want a website?
- What do you want on your website?
- Tell me about your business.
- Tell me how your business started.
- Why do you do what you do?
- Show me some websites you like.
- Show some websites you don’t like.
- Who is your target market?
- Do you have a logo?
- What colors do you want?
- Do you want to be able to update your website? (instead of us updating it)
We will put together a proposal based on the initial meeting. The proposal includes 3 main sections:
- Who is Onward! Studios
- Your Website Project
- The Project Fees
Within the section called ‘The Project Fees’ , we include up to 3 options. This gives the client opportunity to pick and choose what works best for them and what works best with their budget.
Select Domain Name
Onward! Studios will check and reserve your desired domain name, if need be. Some clients have already purchased their domain name.
Define look and feel of website
Once the client selects an option from the proposal, Onward! Studios will design a 2-3 different layouts for the site. The goal is to establish what you want the page layout to look like: the colors, the placement of the logo, the menu, the footer, etc. At the conclusion of this step we will also know the main sections of the site. The diagram at the top of the page is an example of a site diagram, showing the main section of the site and the information that will go within each section. What we need from you for this step is: your logo and any pictures you may want in the header area.
This is where a website makes it or not. It hasn’t happened often, but once in a great while the project stalls in this stage. We make it very clear up front, that we will guide you and offer suggestions about content for the site, but the content needs to come from the client. You know the industry and you may have a lot of the content already in some fashion – brochures, articles, press releases, etc. By this point in the project, many ideas have been shared on what to include on the site. The client needs to gather or write this information. A copywriter can also be hired to help with this step, if needed.
The Tweaking Phase
We add the content to the site as we receive it. Over time, the website contains more and more content. During this phase, we (the client and us) are also editing and tweaking the content and the design of the site as needed.
Approval of Site
Once the site is ‘completed’, the client approves the site to go ‘live’.
Publish the Site
Your site goes live and is now accessible around the world! Onward! Studios provides free support for the first 30 days to iron out any details with the site.
It’s best to have a plan to update the site regularly. It might be events, highlighting clients, promoting specials, writing a blog, or a combination of any of these. The possibilities are many. Websites that are updated consistently perform much better in search engine results.
Search Engine Optimization
If interested in SEO, Onward! Studios works with other vendors that focus on SEO. SEO has become it’s own art and science. We do all the necessary steps to make your website search engine friendly. But, if you want optimal search engine results—keyword analysis, traffic analytics, and linkbacks are all needed. A firm focused on SEO can best help with this process.