Planning and building a website takes your business on a journey that we have been happy to travel with many clients. Like any good tour guide, we want to make your journey pleasurable, memorable and cost effective.
As you build a web site, you and your guide enter a design office and then a construction zone. Many of the steps you go through to commission, design and construct a building are mirrored in the development of a web site and strategy.
Web Site Design
The look and the feel: color palette, fonts and layout. width and height, placement of menus, headers and sidebars. Hopefully you will LOVE the design of your site, and feel that it is a strong visual representation of your brand and message.
If you were building a house, the design would be the cohesion of the external appearance – the style of the building and the choice of finishes, interior and exterior, the flooring, cabinetry, drapes etc
Site Architecture – Site Map
The list of pages that you plan to put into the site, and how they fit under the menu tabs.
In a building, this would be the list of rooms and their position within the overall plan.
The text and pictures that you intend to put into each page. Hopefully, your content will be planned to blend in well with your design.
The content is like furniture and personal possessions.
The tools or coding language used to build your site. This is a part of the tour you may want to skip – just be sure to ask your web developer whether you can edit the site yourself. Ask too many questions here and they will start answering you in their own language: HTML, WordPress, Joomla, Hosted etc…
Choosing a platform is like choosing one building method over another – there is no universal right or wrong, but there is a right choice for your needs: wood frame, steel frame, high rise, bungalow, office building, below ground, above ground…
The server that your site is going to be placed on. All websites live on a server, most of them hosted at companies like BlueHost.com, GoDaddy, Network Solutions. Their job is tom make sure that the server is up and running and your website is available 24/7.
Hosting servers are like the plot of land your building sits on, along with its gas, water and electric lines, where your building sits.
Search Engine Optimization. Work done to and about your site to push it towards the holy grail of a Page One Google Ranking. Onsite SEO: work done on your site to make sure that the words people search on are well represented on your site. Offsite SEO: Links from other sites to your site.
For a building, this is similar to links in directories and maps to help you get there.
Social Media Strategy
How you plan to promote your site through Blogging, Facebook, Twitter et al.
For a company in a building – getting your company promoted through business networks, chamber of commerce, conferences, print articles, radio and TV coverage.
Once you and your web developer have decided on the Design, Site Map, Platform, Content, Hosting and SEO strategy, they can go off into their own tech world and build your site, already.
In building construction, this is the time that the contractors move in with their team.