Many people assume a web design firm can churn out a new site in just a few hours. The truth of the matter is it’s much more complicated than that.
The creative web design process is done in stages. From conception to execution, there are hundreds of little steps in between, and each one is done with thought, care and expertise to ensure our clients are happy.
If you’re going to be working with a design team on your new website (or redesign), it’s important to be familiar with the web design process first. This can help you gauge your expectations, prepare for what’s needed on your end, and ensure a successful, stunning project on the whole.
Let’s take a look at what goes into the creative web design process now:
Step 1: Initial Brainstorming Meeting
The first step is to meet with the client (face-to-face ideally) and to get a feel for their needs and goals for the website. We’ll talk about what they want the site to accomplish, what it should convey to their customers, and we’ll go over possible color schemes, layouts, navigation, and more. This gives us a good, solid foundation to work from.
Step 2: Layout & Design
Once we know what the client is looking for, our designers get to work on crafting a unique, brand-centric design that speaks to those needs. This will include initial designs for home pages, secondary pages and, often, blog pages, if the client has opted to include those. Sometimes, we will create two or three different designs in order to give the client plenty of creative options. These designs will note overall layout, where navigation menus will live, and the general structure of the site.
Step 3: Client Feedback
Once we have an initial design, we’ll solicit client feedback. We’ll find out which designs they like, which they don’t like and which they’d like to change. We’ll also get their ideas for adding or removing items, or for subtle changes in the layout or structure of the proposed site. Once we have these, our designers will make the changes, and they’ll move the site into the next step of the creative web design process.
Step 4: Development & Coding
Next, the approved design will be used as the basis for developing and coding the actual site. This will be done on a staging server – not a live one – so potential customers will not be able to see it. Our developers will code all the functionality, install all graphics and imagery, and build out the back-end of the site so that it can be managed and updated easily later on.
Step 5: Copywriting
If the client has opted for custom copywriting, this is when our copywriting team will come in. They’ll craft unique copy for each and every page on the site, and they’ll place that copy directly onto the website, once the client has approved it. If the client has not opted for professional copywriting, our team will take their pre-written copy, clean it up and place into the site directly.
Step 6: Quality Assurance
Now, it’s time for quality assurance – a testing phase that ensures the site functions properly and displays correctly across all screens and devices. This is typically done by a combination of our team members, as well as a developer, to make sure no error is missed. Once potential issues are found, they are fixed, and the site is sent onto the client for final approval.
Step 7: Hosting & Launch
Once the client has approved the new site, a hosting account (and domain name, if there’s not one already) must be secured. Then, our developers can move the finalized site from our staging servers over to the live server, and the transfer can begin. Typically, new sites will be live for the public to see in just a few hours.
Well, there you have it! The creative web design process in its entirety. As you can see, depending on the size of the site, it could take quite a while to complete. And much of it depends on the speed of client response, too. As we want to ensure complete satisfaction every time, we solicit client feedback often. The faster we receive it, the faster we can get back to work to complete that site!
As you looking to launch a new site or redesign your old one? Consider a creative web agency like Steadfast Creative. Contact us today for a free consultation.