Website Design Blueprint and the Development Process

December 18, 2018 |
By Sotiris Sotiriadis

A great website design blueprint for those who might not know how to proceed with a potential client. We all know that in order to manage and develop a website from scratch requires a lot of work. You need to utilize resources, set up a lot of meetings both internally with the development-design team and externally with the client. Just as crucial is to be organized. Therefore, in this article, I will mention everything that you need to keep in mind once a client comes looking for your web development services.

What questions should you ask during the first meeting

At the first meeting, it is very important to understand the client’s needs so you need to ask the right questions. Some of the most important questions that you should ask are:

  • What does your business do?
  • What’s the domain that you would like to use for your new website? Do you already own this domain or would you want us to purchase this domain for you?
  • Would you like a redesign of your existing website or do you not have a website at all?
  • What special features would you like to have on your website?
    • Contact Forms / Lead Forms
    • Booking systems
    • E-commerce
    • Integration with 3rd party tools
  • What languages would you like to include on your new website?
  • Who are your major competitors?
  • What’s your timeline for completion?

Create the audit and the quotation for your client

Now that you know your client’s basic needs, it’s time to create an audit that you’ll include with the quotation.  It’s important to explain to your client what you are going to do regarding his website and why your strategy will improve the website’s performance, and in-turn conversions. This is your chance to prove to the client why they should hire you instead of other potential developers that he already has spoken to. Bonus tip: send a free homepage mock-up for FREE in order to prove your design skills and get the trust of your potential client.

A simple audit for web design & development should include:

  • An Explanation of how your Web Design will provide a massive improvement to User Experience and User Interface.
  • Your top Action items briefly outlined in a few sentences.
  • Explain how important fast site speed is and how your company can help the client’s website achieve this.
  • Point out mistakes that the client’s website has (if any) and recommendations regarding how you can fix those issues. Though make sure to avoid giving away all your tricks in great detail.
  • Proposed Web Design Templates – Which pages are you going to keep and what new pages are you planning to develop
  • Set up milestones

Now you are ready to get the client to sign your offer. Be very careful with your quotation in order to avoid any misunderstandings that may lead to legal ramifications down the road.

Wireframes & Web Design Creation

If everything has gone well and you now have the job then it’s time for your design team to start working on the project.

It’s very important to organize your resources at the beginning of the project. Assign the project to your best available Web Designer. Your Web Designer should start working on the wireframes first and then proceed onto the actual Web Design drafts using their preferred tool.

Try to keep up with deadlines in order to proceed with the Web Development at a comfortable and agreed pace. Once you have the drafts done it’s better to set up another meeting with the client. It’s important for us to know if the client approves of the drafts prior to proceeding with the web development. This will make everyone’s life easier.

Web development implementation

Now that the client has approved the designs of the project, your development team can get started. Set up new hosting for the current project and then we are ready to go. My suggestion is to use VPS hosting for all your upcoming projects for enhanced performance.

Make sure to develop the new website on the new hosting that you have already purchased without messing up the client’s existing website (if any). The new development will be considered as your staging site and once your development team completes the project you can push this website live.

TestingTesting Testing

Launching a website isn’t that simple. If you launch the client’s website in a hurry and miss important factors, then you will definitely have a hard time fixing things while the website is live. Don’t worry, I have prepared a list with everything that you need to test before you launch a website.

  • Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console. If the client had already implemented GA & GSC on the old site then make sure to connect the new website with the existing account. This is very important in order to continue to collect data. Also, it’s the best way to check if traffic & goal conversion is increased and this will prove to the client that you have done a good job!
  • Make sure that the client’s emails are working. If the client is using emails from his registrar, for example, [email protected] and you have changed the hosting then you will probably need to transfer the CNAME records from the registrant to your new hosting provider.
  • Check that the contact forms are working properly. Also, check if the client receives the emails in the spam folder. This issue is very common in WordPress sites. To avoid this, you will have to setup SMTP configuration. There is a WordPress plugin for this.
  • Test different mobile devices and different browsers. Your website might not look the same on different mobile devices or varying web browsers. Unfortunately, code elements are not supported universally so you will have to check for any issues and try to fix them accordingly. You can use the BrowserStack application to perform these tests. It will save you time instead of doing this manually.
  • Site speed test. Check the website’s performance by doing a site speed test. Use GtMetrix or Pingdom Tools for this. Check the recommendations and try to optimize the website as much as you can. Site speed is one of the most important things for User Experience and SEO.
  • Schedule backups. Don’t forget to make a backup of your website. You might also schedule backups if your website updates more frequently.

Good luck and happy developing!