Getting a website designed can seem quite intimidating. But it’s actually really easy.
Step 1: Choose a Designer
Look at websites you like, and see who has designed it – you’ll often find this information in the footer. A good website design agency will have details of the websites they have done on their own website, so check out more of their work.
Step 2: Describe What You Want
A website design agency will need to ask you questions about the type of website you need. This will usually be in the form of a Design Brief. Questions will include practical matters, such as what pages you would like included and whether you own a domain name already.
You should also have a chance to describe the style of website you want – whether you have any brand colours or logo already, what the feel of your website should be e.g. contemporary, professional, laid-back, informative. Make a note of websites you like, and include links to these on the design brief. Include some websites you don’t like too – this is the best way of making sure that the designer understands what you are looking for.
The more information you can provide at this stage, the better. You might not know exactly what you you want your website to look like, but you are the one with the expert knowledge about you or your product. It’s the designer’s job to interpret your information, and design a website that meets your needs.
Step 3: Get a Quote
The designer will give you a quote for your website, based on the Design Brief. Some designers will quote an hourly rate, and indicate how many hours they will take to build your site. Others will give a fixed rate.
Make sure you know any extra costs that might be added on – how many changes to the design are included, for example, or how much an extra page will cost.
If a timescale isn’t included with your quote, ask for one – it is a really good indication of how much time and resources are being allocated to your project.
Step 4: Provide Content
This is Really Important. For search engine visibility, Content is King/Queen. Website content includes written content and images. Many design agencies provide a copywriting service, if you aren’t confident about describing your goods or services.
Photographs are also part of the all-important content. Again, your designer might offer an extra option to provide images too.
Step 5: Website Design
At the same time as you are getting the content together – with or without help – your designer will be coming up with the initial design. This will include colour scheme, typography and, depending on the scale of your website, page layouts, additional templates and site map.
If you are having a site designed specifically for you rather than using a template, the process of coding each page and template will take longer, but can be crafted to your particular needs.
Step 6: Preview
You can see what your website will look like! You might be shown mock-ups of your website, but it is great if you have a chance to see your website working before it goes live. We use a temporary server to show our clients their website.
If you haven’t had a chance to provide all your content yet, dummy content can be used to give a complete picture of how each page will look, what the colour scheme is and how you can navigate between pages. You should also be able to see how your website will look on a phone, tablet and desktop – or even watch!
Step 7: Preparing the Website to go Live
Let’s assume you are happy with the beautiful design of your beautiful website. It’s now time for the website designer to check and double-check that the website functions – links and navigation work, images are the right size, no dummy content left.
It’s also the time for some behind-the-scenes work – things that aren’t visible on your website, but will make your website load faster. This includes minifying the code and compressing images.
Step 8: Hosting
Once your website is ready, it needs to be hosted. If your website is being hosted by another company and not your website designer, you will be given a set of files. These then need to be pointed at your website host. If your website designer is hosting your website, the website has to be re-pointed away from the dummy site to your own domain. This can take up to 48 hours to become live on all servers.
And you’re done – you have your very own website!
It’s a really exciting moment when you type in your very own domain name and see your own website come up.
We are aware that the process of getting a website can seem intimidating, so we have explained exactly How We Work here, which explains the stages in more specific detail.
Ready to start? Fill in our Design Brief and get a quote.
Any questions? Ask below – we’d love to hear from you.