Process of a Website Build
This is a high-level description of the process of developing your brand-new website.
You bring the ideas.
Aside from your website, what else might you need? Emails? Ability to schedule events? Customer management? Ecommerce? Make a list and we’ll get started! These are the requirements you have. They can change over time and it’s always better to throw up more ideas than less. All these items make up what we call the backlog.
We discuss them.
In software development this phase is called backlog grooming. We’ll prioritize your requirements and I’ll make sure I understand the details about them. We will also go through the process of refining the website design.
I do the development.
Now comes the geeky part. The technical foundation for your site is laid and the the backlog is brought to life. There is functional testing, testing of presentation across laptops, tablets and mobile phones, and more. If you want to manage the site yourself then we’ll do training and you’ll have documentation available.
You have a website!
There’s a little more to it than just flipping a switch. I want to make sure you have enough time to review everything to make sure we’ve captured everything that was prioritized on the backlog. Sometimes there’s a misspelling we missed or you want to swap out an image but overall we do this final check before takeoff and then we’re live!
Timeline of a Website Build
I do not create the same website for every client so the time it takes from when you contact me to when your site is live can vary quite a bit. We will share a to-do list and there will be things on that list that you need to complete so that I can move forward with my next to-do. When we first get started you’ll have access to a Google Drive where you can add content documents, images, etc. I use Google Drive so your information does not get lost in emails, and so that you have a complete record of what we did.
If you have your content ready – text and images – when I start the development phase things will move along a lot faster. Not having content is the most common blocker to get a website launched.
Roles and Responsibilities During Website Development
As I mentioned above, we’ll have a to-do list. I cannot write about your business – that’s definitely your responsibility. I usually do copy editing to make sure that your information is presented clearly. If you don’t have images I will find stock images to use that compliment the copy and your “brand”.
If there is a point of integration (online payments is a common one) you will need to follow my directions to get me needed information such as API keys. I cannot log into your financial accounts to get that information or to create accounts for you.
I will test the heck out of everything but you will also need to test and sign off on certain things. These items come along towards the end of development so your availability will be key to getting us over the finish line in a timely manner.
While I am not responsible for the content of the site I am responsible for making sure that when someone hits submit on a contact form that the message gets to you. I am responsible for making sure that your visitors experience a well-organized site that looks good on their laptop, tablet AND phone. There are other pieces of the website – SEO, analytics, et al – that I am responsible for. There will be a checklist of all the items that need to be done and who needs to do them.
My ultimate responsibility is to make sure that you have a great experience getting your website up and running. Your responsibility is to keep communicating through the process.