My Process from Start to Finish {Part 4: The Website!}



The next stage in my process is creating the website!

Actually, I must confess – I usually start playing around with website ideas as I'm still working on copy. I'm a "big picture" kind of gal, so I like to get a sense of how it will all work together. 

Here's how I do it . . . . 


WEBSITE (APPROX. 2-3 weeks)
depends on number of pages

The first thing I do when I start creating a website is to choose a template to begin with. I take a close look at what my client needs from her website – for example, does she need a sidebar? Is she planning to have a blog? Does she need an online payment system? What other kinds of functionality will she need? The answers to these questions determine which templates would be appropriate for her website. 

Once I've decided on a template, I usually gut it so I'm starting from scratch, which allows me to customize the site exactly as I want it. I start with the homepage, or more specifically, with the banner, which is the first thing a person visiting the site would see. This section needs to be attention-grabbing and also must clearly convey exactly what my client does. 

From there, I start fleshing out the site. I'll finish the homepage, move on to the About Me, Services, Contact Me pages, and then any additional pages my client requested. If my client wanted a blog, I'll get that set up and designed, and I'll add any other additional features included in the project (popups, newsletter submission forms, photo/video galleries, etc.). 

When I am finished with the site, I go back through the entire thing – every single part of every single page – and check for typos, test each link to make sure they work, refine the design, and make any other necessary changes before presenting it to my client.

The very last thing I do is optimize the site for mobile devices. I want to make sure the full version of the site is in tip-top shape before I start monkeying around with the mobile version, because if I'm trying to mess with the mobile view as I'm still editing the main site, I'll end up wasting a ton of time. Every change I make in the full site affects the mobile view, so if I optimize the site for mobile and then move something around in the full site, I'd have to go back in to the mobile site and adjust it again. Big time-waster. I'd much rather get the site finalized and then make sure it looks great on phones and tablets.

All right, now we've got a website! Next up: the one-on-one training session. So what exactly do I teach my clients to do? Find out in the next blog post!

And if you've missed the previous parts of this series on my process, check out the links below to catch up. :-)