At the heart of every successful website design is a streamlined and efficient process, coupled with an exceptional client experience. That’s why, since opening my website design business in 2016, I’ve been dedicated to perfecting every aspect of this journey – from the initial consultation to the final product launch. Over the years, I’ve learned that the process and client experience is just as important as the result.
By focusing on delivering an outstanding experience from start to finish, I can ensure that every client I work with feels heard, valued, and supported throughout the entire process. From setting clear expectations and timelines to providing regular updates and opportunities for feedback, my process is designed to ensure that every aspect of the design journey is smooth and stress-free.
A website design process that aims to deliver a beautiful, functional, and effective website that exceeds client expectations and achieves their goals.
From start to finish, my website design projects are carefully structured to be completed within just 30 days. I have found that this is the ideal timeline for delivering a beautiful, functional, and effective website that exceeds my clients’ expectations.
On one hand, it’s long enough to ensure that every aspect of the project is given the necessary time and attention to detail. On the other hand, it’s short enough to maintain momentum, stay focused, and avoid unnecessary delays.
This timeline allows me to stay fully immersed in the project, providing my clients with my undivided attention and creative energy. It also allows my clients to maintain their own focus on the project, knowing that they’ll have a fully realized website in just a matter of weeks.
Let’s take a closer look at the typical website design project timeline and the process that I follow.
Keep in mind that each project may vary slightly depending on its scope and complexity, as well as the specific needs of the website itself.
The Initial Inquiry
After expressing interest in my services via my contact form, potential clients are redirected to my scheduling page where they can immediately book a no-obligation Discovery Call. During this call, we discuss their project goals, answer any questions they may have, and determine if the fit is right.
Following the Discovery Call, I send a detailed proposal outlining the project scope, including the next available start and launch dates. If they decide to move forward, they’ll submit the proposal, review and sign the agreement, and pay a 30% deposit to hold their project dates. Once received, I’ll dive into my onboarding process.
Once a project is booked, I send a welcome email that outlines what my clients can expect from my website design process. Then, I set up their project in Asana, my preferred project management system. Asana helps ensure that everyone involved in the project stays organized, aligned, and on schedule. Using Asana, I create a timeline that includes all the important milestones from start to launch.
Once everything is set up, I invite my clients to our shared project inside Asana. We then schedule a project kick-off call to review the assigned prep work and project timeline, ensuring we are all on the same page and moving in the right direction.
Guided Prep Work
During the prep phase, the client will receive a comprehensive guide to help them provide all the necessary information for me to create their ideal design. The guide includes a brand questionnaire that covers essential details about their business, services, positioning, ideal client, and more.
Additionally, they’ll have the opportunity to share their style preferences and create an inspiration board on Pinterest. To facilitate the design process, the client will also need to submit a tech and account access form to provide me with necessary access to their accounts for the website launch.
If the client has opted to use our in-house copywriter, they’ll have a meeting during this phase to begin (and complete) their website copy. Otherwise, they’ll upload their finalized copy to our shared folder, along with their website photos.
Website Strategy Session
As the project start date approaches, we hold a Website Strategy Session to review the client’s prep work, including their inspiration board, website photos, and copy. This is also the time to clarify their primary website goals, map out their website pages, and finalize their SEO strategy. All prep work is due one week before the start date. Once everything is submitted, I review the materials carefully to ensure that I have everything needed to begin the project on time.
Once the prep is complete, we’ll dive into the website design process.
Here’s a preview of what to expect each week:
Week 1: Homepage Design & Visual Branding
Rather than designing the entire website at once, I start with just the homepage. An effective homepage with a great design is paramount to the success of a website. When the design is nailed for this page, the rest of the site effortlessly falls into place.
If visual branding and logo design is a part of their project scope, I’ll begin sketching ideas for their new logo design. Once I have a concept I’m ready to run with, I begin designing it in Adobe Illustrator. Then, I’ll create logo variations and brand marks. During this time, I also browse hundreds (if not thousands) of fonts to ensure we have the perfect fit. Lastly, I create a custom color palette with their desired style and vibe in mind.
Once the brand identity is established, I’ll begin sketching the wireframe of the website homepage. This page sets the tone and captures the essence of the brand, making it crucial for the overall design.
Just one week after their start date the client receives the first deliverable. I’ll record a video review walking through the design and a link for them to submit their feedback right on the homepage mockup.
Week 2: Design Refinements
Week 2 begins our first round of refinements. At this phase, the client will receive two rounds of refinements to submit their feedback and change requests. They’ll be able to submit their feedback right on the design itself, inside of the project management system, or live during a Zoom check-in call.
At the end of this week, the client approves the design direction and I’ll move onto the staging site.
Week 3: Website Design & WordPress Development
During Week 3, I will move forward with the interior pages of the website. Here I’ll create cohesive designs that align with the overall project scope. I’ll start by sketching and reviewing the designs before proceeding with the development phase.
The development will take place on a WordPress staging site. This is where I’ll ensure that each brand element is carefully infused and the site is fully responsive. SEO is also implemented according to the agreed-upon strategy.
As the week progresses, I will continue to fine-tune the website design and development. Here I’ll make sure that it aligns with the client’s brand and desired aesthetic. By the end of the week, I will share a link to the staging site with the client. Then, they’ll begin reviewing the website and submitting their feedback.
Week 4: Website Refinements
During Week 4, I continue to collaborate with the client and make refinements based on their feedback. The typical project scope includes two rounds of refinements. At this phase, clients can easily click and submit feedback and change requests directly on the staging site. Then, at the end of the week, once the website is approved, I begin prepping for launch day.
Week 5: Launch Day!
Just thirty days after their start day, their new website is ready for the world. On their launch day, they are my top priority. This whole day is dedicated to them. Following a series of quality checks, I walk through a thorough testing process. Then we move the approved staging site over to its live domain. I follow this by linking their Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts. I’ll also add all relevant keyword phrases and meta descriptions.
Support & Training
To ensure they’re comfortable with their new website, I’ll provide them with a Website Owner’s Manual. This includes their login credentials, video tutorials, and additional frequently asked questions.
Each project includes 2 weeks of follow-up support and a final Zoom strategy call. This grants space for any last-minute questions that might pop up as they dive into their new website.
Moving forward, they’re welcome to roll into a Website Care Plan for worry-free, expert support every day of the week. Or for a one-time update or refresh, they can book a VIP Day. A new website is usually just the beginning of the relationship. I love working with clients on an ongoing basis through my Website Care Plans or VIP Days.
Dedicated to providing a website design process that is carefully crafted. A process to ensure clients receive a website that not only looks beautiful but also meets their business needs.
I firmly believe that a well-designed website can make a significant impact on a business. This is why I take the time to understand each client’s goals and work with them to bring their vision to life. With a focus on collaboration and communication, my process allows my clients to provide feedback and make changes throughout the project.
Whether it’s a brand new website or an overhaul of an existing website, every aspect of my process is designed to help my clients succeed online. And with ongoing support and training, I ensure that my clients are confident and comfortable with their new website.
If you’re looking for a website designer who will work with you every step of the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to discuss how I can help you achieve your business goals through the power of great design. Click here to book a Discovery Call.