The web design process includes input from both the Client (you) and the designer (us) working on the site. In most cases, the Client provides the majority of the text and pictures that are to be included on the website. Not only does this ensure that the Client's copy is relevant to their business, it helps in reducing the overall cost of the project. Client input is vital to the web design process, because after all, no one knows more about his or her business than the Client.
The web design process consists of five basic steps.
The Client input stage is a very important part of the design process. Solid communication skills, whether it is email, over the phone or live in person are essential in order for the designer to deliver a website to meet the demands of his Client. At this point, the Client submits his ideas to the designer for the project. Certain colors, features, pages, text and images are some of the ideas that the Client may suggest or require. The designer can then use the images to create the appropriate graphics for the website. In certain cases, the designer may decide to obtain or create additional images.
Before constructing the website, the designer will create a graphical representation of what the site will look like. This is what we call a "concept design." The designer will use all of the Client's input to create multiple concept designs, and then submit them to the Client for an approval. The designer usually creates three to five concept designs at various times during this stage. Since concept designs are created using image-editing software, changes such as colors and layout can quickly be made. Implementing this step dramatically reduces the cost and length of the project.
After the Client has approved a concept design, the designer will proceed with building the site. As the site is being built, and usability becomes apparent, changes may need to be made. Even at this stage, input or approval from the Client may be requested for changes that deviate from the concept design.
After the website is built, the Client will be able to navigate the pages and test out the site. The site will not be live, or be able to receive any visitors at this time. Changes may still be requested from the Client and fine tuning will be done. After all requests are met and with the Client's approval, the designer will proceed to the next step.
After the final approval, the designer will install the website on the server. Once the website is tested and working properly, the Client's domain name will be pointed to the home page of the website, and it will then be ready for visitors. At this time, any remaining design fees will be required usually within 2 weeks. Occasionally, small changes may be requested up to a month after the site is live, even after the final payment has been made.