Since opening my website design business in 2016, I’ve learned that the process and client experience can be just as important as the end result. Since then I’ve refined, streamlined, and polished my website design process to what it is today and am so excited to walk you through each step.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at my entire brand and website design process from start to finish.
While every website is completely custom to my client, each project includes a few staples, including:
- Website Strategy Session
- 5-Part Brand Assignment + Prep Work Guide
- One-on-One Design Time
- Custom Brand & Logo Design
- Curated Color Palette and Font Pairings
- Custom Website Design
- WordPress Development
- Simple-to-use Page Builder
- Efficient 30-Day Process
- Basic SEO Setup + Google Analytics Integration
- Personal Website Training
- Launch Packet PDF
Additional add-on services are available as needed.
Now let’s walk through each phase of my typical website design process from onboarding to launch and beyond!
After a prospective client reaches out via my inquiry form, we set up a 30-minute introductory call to go over their business, answer any questions they might have, and make sure we’d be a good fit for one another.
If we both feel it’s a good fit, after this call I’ll send out a detailed proposal outlining their project scope including their reserved start and launch dates.
Once they submit the proposal, sign the agreement and submit their deposit, I begin the onboarding process.
As soon as the client submits their paperwork, I block their spot on my design schedule. I strategically book my projects ensuring each project gets individual design time and creative space.
Next, I activate their Client Portal in Dubsado and then add my 5-Part Brand Assignment forms so they can begin working on their prep work right away. I send a quick email inviting them to their Client Portal with their next steps.
Next, I get their project set up in Asana, my project management system. Using Asana ensures everyone stays organized, on the same page, and always on schedule. I outline the project schedule and timeline in Asana from their start date to launch.
Then I invite my client to their project inside of Asana where we’ll communicate from then on.
Website Strategy Session & Client Prep Work
Soon after getting them onboarded, the client will schedule their website strategy session. During this call, we’ll get clear on the goals of their website, map out the pages on the website and discuss any questions they might have on their Brand Assignment work.
Their prep work is due one week prior to their start date. This includes submitting their finalized website copy and images. This is also when they’ll gather their brand inspiration and share details on the overall vibe they’re seeking for their new website.
Once submitted, I thoroughly review their responses and ask clarifying questions as needed to ensure their dream design is nailed from the first go-round.
30-Day Design Process Begins
On their assigned start date I send a quick note letting them know I’m diving in and a reminder of what to expect next. This is all laid out in Asana but I like to add extra checkpoints throughout so they always know what’s happening when.
Homepage Design and Logo Design
Prior to diving into the homepage design, I sketch out logo ideas and brainstorm colors and fonts. Then once I’m clear on the direction of the brand design I’ll begin working on the homepage design.
Rather than building the entire website at once, I start with the homepage to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.
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 seems to effortlessly fall in place.
After I design the homepage, I build (develop) it out within a staging site on WordPress and prepare to share it with the client.
This is followed by two rounds of refinements allowing us to really perfect the homepage and brand design before moving on to the rest of the pages on their website.
Using the established homepage design as a starting point, I begin designing the rest of the pages on their website around their provided copy, always keeping their website and business goals in mind.
Next up is two more rounds of refinements granting the client ample space to provide their feedback on the overall design.
After the client approves the design (usually on a Friday), I prepare for their launch day (usually on a Monday).
On their launch day, they’re my top priority. I have a series of checklists I walk through on their staging site and then once again after the site goes live.
Next, I’ll link their website up to Google Analytics, Google Search Console and optimize with any keywords provided to enhance their SEO.
Afterwhich, I pull together all of their Brand and Website Files. This includes a Launch Packet PDF with a personal website training video walking them through how to complete simple tasks such as swapping in new photos or tweaking their website copy.
It’s always been super important to me that my clients feel comfortable and confident using and updating their new website even though many of them choose to sign up for a website care plan to cover these tasks.
Support Beyond Launch Day
Each client receives a full 14-days of support for any last-minute questions that might pop up as they dive into their new website. Then they’re invited to sign up for a Website Care Plan.
My Website Care Plans allow them to freedom to never have to worry about their website again. This service covers all of the necessary maintenance to keep their website running smoothly and securely.
A new brand design and website are usually just the beginning of the relationship. I work with many clients on an ongoing basis whether that be via a Website Care Plan or one-off Design Days for smaller one-time projects.
No project would be complete without asking my clients for feedback on their experience working together. While they always love the end-product, their positive notes about my process are icing on the cake. Here’s what a few have mentioned about their experience:
“Katie’s process is flawless and perfectly executed. She made the entire process of such a huge project simple and streamlined. As a busy business owner, this was like a dream come true.” —Jessica
“This process made a very detailed project enjoyable.” —Amy
“I really liked how organized Katie was. She listened to my needs, kept me on track in a timely way, and guided me through the process. I felt supported.” —Ingrid
“Katie clearly knows how to walk her clients through this process in a way that you always feel confident she knows what she’s doing.” —Sally
“Her process was well thought-through and foolproof to deliver the exact website I was dreaming of.” —Evelyn
If you’d like to chat about a new website for your business, click here to get in touch.