We have a 100-point (and growing) list of everything that needs to be done on a website prior to it going live. Each step of the project needs to be completed before the next one is started to make sure your new site performs as well as it should.
Although that might sound quite daunting, we don’t believe in building sites that aren’t fit for purpose. Our experience in developing websites means that we deliver sites that do exactly what you need now, and will continue to grow in the future as your needs change.
A website is not a project, it’s an ongoing process of improvement, development and optimisation to win more and more new business from your site.
In a nutshell, our process can be condensed into the following stages.
Planning the site structure and content is crucial. This stage brings together all the assets for the site including copy planning, SEO, images, site maps, wireframing and visitor journeys. Whilst it can be tempting to rush straight into ‘what it’s going to look like’, we encourage planning first as it informs all other stages of the project.
Once we know what we’re working with, we start to look at the design – moodboards, initial design concepts and design development. We typically design layouts for all key pages, including reponsive options. This stage of the product is done using flat visuals that are developed to final approval.
Site build works in two phases. Initially a wireframe site where we can create the structure of the site and develop the on-page SEO; secondly the main build-out of the site to the approved designs. Working like this ensures that site content (text, images and other assets) are given the consideration they deserve and are the initial point of focus.
This stage involves testing all functionality and internal linking, proof-reading and fixing an outstanding design/build snags. We’ll typically work through a few ‘Snag lists’ during this stage.
Moving the site to the live server, hooking up Analytics and our other reporting tools. We also perform a wide range of speed tests and performance optimising on the live site. The site will typically enter a ‘beta’ phase whilst all the tests and fine-tuning is done before releasing the ‘alpha’ site.
We think that good communication makes for a great project outcome. We use Basecamp to manage all project communication and file sharing to keep everything in one place. This tool also ensures everyone on the project is kept in the loop – no more hunting through inboxes to try and find important project messages.
We don’t stop once your site has gone live. We provide two-weeks of post-live technical support as standard, and we’ll also plug your site into our SEO optimisation tools for a six-week free trial. These tools help to monitor the site and can identify any issues or SEO opportunities. We can also benchmark your sites performance against three of your competitors. This all results in meaningful and usable data to help improve your site further.
© 2017 Toast Design, 16 North Bar, Banbury, Nr Oxford, Oxfordshire. OX16 0TF.