If you’ve ever built a website or worked with a designer to build one for you, you know how much work the endeavor requires. From preparing all of the content to choosing a layout, there are many boxes to check off before you even start building.
Many of our website design clients come to us with DIY websites and don’t know what to expect when partnering with an agency. Others have experience working with a designer or agency but had a less-than-stellar, hands-off experience.
At Smarter Searches, our goal is to provide a transparent and timely web design process for our clients. Nine years, dozens of websites, and a lot of trial and error later, we’ve carefully developed a process that works for us and our clients.
Today, we’re giving you a glimpse of what to expect when you partner with us on a website design project.
Step One: Discovery Call and Proposal
The first thing we do is hop on a call with you to discuss your website goals and wishes. We’ll talk about your business, how many pages you need, and what you’d like your website to do. After that, we’ll send you a customized website proposal and pricing guide based on your goals.
Step Two: Content Preparation and Timeline
Once you’re ready to move forward with your project, we’ll need to collect some information from you. You’ll fill out a questionnaire to make sure we’re on the same page with your website strategy, goals, and design preferences. Next, we’ll begin gathering website copy, images, and videos for each page on your website.
Finally, we’ll send you a custom website timeline with a week-by-week breakdown of deliverables and a tentative launch date. Depending on the number of pages and functionality your website needs, you can expect the process to take about 8 to 12 weeks from start to finish.
Step Three: Mood Board and Mockup
After we’ve gathered up all of the content for your site, the fun part begins! We’ll take a look at your design questionnaire and current branding to create a mood board. A mood board is a one-page document with colors, fonts, and imagery to help us nail down the look and feel of your new website.
Next is the mockup! This is essentially a PDF version of what your homepage will look like. This way, I can get your feedback on the design and layout of your site offline before I start developing it – it’s much, much easier to make changes on a PDF than on the web!
Step Four: The Build
Once you’ve signed off on your homepage mockup, I take it to the web and begin developing your site. I’ll start with the homepage first and then roll the same design aesthetic to the other pages. After that, I’ll send you a live link to your site so you can take a look and provide feedback.
In the meantime, I’ll work more on the functionality pieces of your website: setting up contact forms, embedding third-party integrations, setting up eCommerce (if applicable), and making sure everything is responsive and mobile-friendly. Our SEO manager will also complete your SEO Foundation Package in this phase, so you can rest assured that your site can be found on the web.
I’ll work through your feedback and make any changes necessary until you’re happy with the site!
Step Five: Launch
When you’re ready, we’ll start the launch process. If you’ll be migrating to our hosting server, we’ll take care of that for you. Then, we’ll connect your domain and your site will officially be LIVE!
We hope this helps provide some transparency on our website design process. Building a new website can be an investment, so we want to make sure you’re entirely comfortable and in the loop throughout the full process. If you’re ready to partner with an agency on your website build or redesign, schedule a discovery call with us to chat about your goals!