How does the process work?
While the information below is still relevant and useful, I have a more up to date description of how my process works here.
Step 1. Deciding What you Want
The first step is for you, as the business owner, to decide what features you would like to see implemented on your site. The best way to do this is to look around at sites you like and make some notes. Jot down their URL and the things you like best about them. It also helps to keep notes on what you don’t like as well.
Step 2. Realizing What you Need
Next we’ll sit down together and work through your wants as they apply to your needs. Bells and whistles are often alluring, but sometimes they can distract your customers from the actual goal, which is promoting your business and increasing your bottom line. Also, having every feature available to a potential webpage today might sound like a good approach, but you’ll want to keep your budget in mind as well. We can work together to figure out the solution that will work best for your particular needs.
Step 3. The Design
After we know what elements your site will require, I’ll present you with a design. This will allow you to have something physical to look at and critique, as well as provide direction for future tweaks. You can review the designs and let me know what needs changed, what you’re not sure of, and what you like in particular, so that we can move forward. After that discussion I’ll go back and tweak as necessary. We’ll keep the communication open and repeat the process until you’re satisfied. Typically, because of our previous discussions and good, open communication, no more than two rounds are necessary. Still, we won’t move forward until you’re satisfied, so we’ll repeat the process again if you still aren’t ready to move forward.
Step 4. In Preparation
After your site’s design has been ironed out, I’ll get to work on building the site. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to start getting the deeper level content of your site together. I typically leave adding the actual content up to you, the client, so that you can understand how the site works and get comfortable with the content management system. We don’t need all of your copy completely finished before I can begin building the site, but you’ll want to have a great start so that you can make the most of the next phase, the Beta.
This is also a good time to secure a domain name (ie, whateveryourwebsiteiscalled.com), and decide who’ll you’ll use for hosting. Of course, while I prefer you add the content yourself (saving you a few bucks and earning you some knowledge along the way), I’m also happy to add and format your content for you at an additional charge.
Step 5. The Beta
As mentioned above, after you’ve signed off on the designs, we’ll proceed with actually building your site. I use HTML5, CSS3 and PHP to ensure that your site is state of the art and will last for years and years to come. The core technology you’ll work with, however, is WordPress: an open-source content management system that will allow you to transform the Beta from a beautiful shell of a site into something packed full of useful information for your own customers. While you’re adding your content to the site and reviewing the front end to make certain everything is as we’ve discussed, you’ll be learning a bit about search engine optimization, a little bit about organization, and most importantly, discovering how to take your business’ online fate into your own hands.
Depending on the size of your site and how many features you’ve requested, the Beta review phase typically takes about two weeks. At that point you have the opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize your site, making sure that everything is just as we planned and let me know when it’s not.
Step 6. Going Live
Once the Beta is approved, we’ll make your site live. At that point the search engines and regular old humans alike will be able to begin finding your site. I can help you with the search engine part as well. In as little as a few days you can expect to see people coming to your site.
Step 7. What Happens Next?
A website is like any other business location, you need to continually assess its worth and how it can be improved. The good news is, that you can implement some simple features into your site that will help you to make money from it even if it’s not an online store. Keeping track of who’s coming to your site, who’s linking to your site, and where you are in the search results are all great ways to keep your website and your business looking happy and healthy. This can all seem a bit daunting, but a great advantage of going with ClickNathan is that I’m here for you, even long after we’ve going live, and I’m always happy to discuss ways that we can improve your website.
Let me know what you think, or if you’re ready to get started.