What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a Website)

  •   Michelle Lui

By Michelle Lui

So you've decided to create a new website or redesign your existing one. Now what?

A website project is no small undertaking. We know it can be a daunting and sometimes confusing process, even for those who hire agencies like us to do much of the heavy lifting. So, to try to put your mind at ease about the process of creating or redesigning a website, we’d like to share some insights about what to expect.

Time Investment

Our processes are iterative, which allows us to collaborate with our clients throughout the entire duration of the project. We’ll check in with you regularly to keep you in the loop and to get your feedback on work we’ve done. Expect to spend some time with us each week through phone calls, web meetings, or discussions on Basecamp.

You’ll also need to spend a couple hours preparing or following up from these conversations, depending upon the size and pace of your project. To ensure that your project stays on schedule, we’ll need timely feedback from you.

Presenting Creative

We’ll meet with you several times throughout the course of the project to review visual design progress.

  • Initial meetings: When we present something for the first time, it’s generally a rough concept that we want broad-strokes feedback on. Let us know what you love or hate and we’ll ask questions to get the specific details we need.
  • Revisions: We’ll take the feedback we received during the initial meeting and adjust what we’re working on as appropriate. Some things may change and some things will stay the same—we’ll explain the thought behind each evolution.
  • Finalizing: In the last round of revisions, we’ll collect your last bits of feedback to finalize designs. If there’s something you want, this is the last chance to speak up so don’t be shy.

Since the use of tablets and smartphones has been increasing, we take a mobile-first design strategy to ensure that your website visitors will have an optimal user experience, no matter what device they’re using.

Approvals

We offer rounds of revisions to visual design and copywriting. The number of rounds will vary by client and by project complexity.

A round of revisions might include: copy revisions, color changes, layout adjustments, photography swaps, etc. Your feedback will come to us:

  • Verbally, during the meeting when we present initially
  • Written, within the 2 days after for final comments

If we haven’t heard back official approval on something within a week of presenting it, we’ll consider it approved and continue to move forward so the project doesn’t fall behind.

If revisions are necessary after the approval stage, it’s likely we’ll need to adjust our timeline and possibly budget to accommodate this rework. We do our best to avoid this situation, but we need your investment in the process to make it work.

Build Out

The process of moving from a series of parts (copy, design files, and interactive elements) to a fully functionally site is what we call build out. During this time:

  • Our front-end developers will perform markup using CSS, HTML, and Javascript to bring the website to life.
  • Our backend developers will work to ensure that software applications interact correctly through an application program interface (API) and that the website is integrated with a content management system (CMS) so that you are able to edit the website easily after the site is launched.

Our approach to development is forward thinking and well documented. We aim to write code that may be seamlessly updated by any capable developer in the future.

Testing and Launch

Once we’ve pulled everything together, we’ll do thorough testing on multiple devices and browsers. Then, we’ll fix any bugs that we find. When all of these processes are complete, we’ll let you know that it’s time to launch your site!

The author would like to recognize Tricia Rosetty for her contribution to this post.


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