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5 Steps to a Successful website

At WebSight Architects we split our website development into 5 stages:

  1. Brief & Strategy
  2. Planning & Information
  3. Design & Content
  4. Production Process
  5. Measure, Report & Maintain

Click on the tabs below to see an in depth look at each stage.

Brief & Strategy

Web Design Brief

The single-most important step of the web design process is creating a design brief. This is where we find out what you want and need to create a website that works for you. We will ask about your company, it's size and structure, your products and/ or services, existing branding, your target audiences and competition. This helps us define our goals for creating a website that will suit your particular needs and is the base from which visual concepts and other site decisions are made.

Website Look and Feel

People are often unaware of the degree to which the 'look' of a website affects our perception of the company, product or service. WebSight Architects are trained to be aware of the visual cues creating these perceptions and how to strategize for the right 'personality' to present. We discuss various approaches with you, based on your design brief, to come up with a direction for the site design. We then apply this design to the different navigation levels and different types of content in the site, in order to ensure a consistency of the approach.

Ease of Use and Navigation

Integral to websites is the experience of navigating and using the site. We remember what we received from our visit. Was it frustrating, or useful and rewarding in some way?

Good structural design builds trust, and thoughtful user interaction design for site navegation will earn repeat visitors and customers, as well as word-of-mouth recommendations. Depending on the complexity of the site, various methods can be used to ensure a good experience for the visitor. These range from the basic site map diagram to our white site methodology and wireframe screen layout demonstrations, to full working prototypes with user-testing sessions. The navigational design required for a site is decided with the client.

Web Standards Compliant CSS

In order to go from approved concept to a final product, the web design goes into the talented hands of our web development team. They build CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) based templates for the page layout, colours themes and type styles in the site. Creating the site using CSS based layout requires skill, but helps us to achieve the following goals: pages are smaller and quicker to load; pages are accessible to people using mobile devices or speech readers; pages conform to W3C web standards, (required by most government websites) and pages are optimised for search engines.

Planning & Information

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail...

A well-designed structure makes it easy for your website users to get what they need. Information Architecture is the organisation of website content. As all of the design and production which follows will be based on this structure we make a big effort to get this right at the beginning.

Planning your website starts with defining the goals of the project and identifying groups of people who will view or use it.
We make decisions about the structure based on your goals and by identifying how and why users will interact with the website. A list of the information, content, and functionality required is the next step. This list is organised into an outline, which is then translated into a site plan.

The site plan is an easy way to visualise the paths users will take through your website and to easily judge accessibility of content. It’s a good tool for discussion with other people in your organisation.
Once the site plan has been approved, the design process can begin.

Site Plan

The site plan example over the page demonstrates the basic layout of a typical website featuring products and services along with useful information to assist the user in making an informed decision on which product or service to use.

Conversion Pathway

Utilising the site plan, we analyse what our goal, or final outcome for the user is to be, and set a pathway for them to achieve this; ‘the path of least resistance’.

The design and layout of the content and navigation buttons needs to be a simple easy to use process for the user to locate all the necessary content in order to direct them to the goal. This may be to sell a product or enquire about a service, or request a quote.

Design & Content

The Look and Feel...

Simple navigation and the customer experience dominates our thinking when designing an interface. The design interface and the look and feel of a website needs to serve several purposes and audiences. Once the structural design is tested and approved the navigation and interaction can be defined.

Initial concepts are then produced by our team of specialist Web Designers for discussion. In developing these concepts, particular care is given to branding and integration with existing systems. When a clear design direction is agreed on, one or more concepts are refined for your approval.

The Web Designers

WebSight Architects are specialists at getting messages across in a visual way - and that means the websites we develop are fast to navigate, informative and enjoyable to use.

What’s more, our team has the expertise to build in dynamic information and entertainment elements that tempt visitors back to your site again and again.

Talk to us about competitions, product specifications, e-books, image sliders, music and other features that help you stand out.

Getting the Right Words...

Ideally content development and copywriting is well under way by the time work starts on the interface. When it comes to content planning and copywriting, many businesses prefer to take care of this in-house. WebSight Architects work with copywriters, specialising in Website literature.

Most ‘rules for writing on the web’ are based on Jacob Neilson’s 1997 study of how people read on the web, which showed that people don’t read - they scan. To scan the text, the reader needs to quickly see what’s on a page without reading it all. Some guidelines for writing scannable text:

  • introduce the most important ideas at the top of the page in a headline
  • break up the text with meaningful subheadings
  • one idea per paragraph
  • used bulleted lists instead of long sentences
  • highlight key points with bold text, or make them links
  • use active rather than passive verbs
  • talk to the reader directly: use ‘we’ and ‘you’
  • write simply and honestly: avoid ‘marketese’ and long complicated sentences
  • keep pages short

Production Process

The Next Stage...

Production starts when structure, design interface and copy are signed off. The first part of production involves producing artwork in the correct format for test pages or a prototype interface.

Text styles and layout are set up and then adjusted by the designer to work with the actual copy and images. These pages are available online for your testing and approval.

Once the content design has been approved, production continues with adding in copy and formatting pages, graphics and programming. The developing website is available to you on our test server so you can check progress at any time.

Along with graphics and programming, video, flash, and audio elements are produced during this stage.

Testing, 1, 2, 3...

Before we ‘go live’, a series of tests are performed.

  • Copy is spell-checked using an automated spell checker
  • Meta tags and all Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) details are checked
  • All forms are tested and signed off by you
  • The site is checked for any broken links
  • A general visual and navigational test is done in all popular web browsers
  • Analytics is checked to make sure web logging statistcs is working

Once the site is complete one last check by us and yourself will be conducted. Once approved we ‘go live’!

Go ‘Live’!

This part of the process happens after any last copy adjustments or image adjustments are made and everything is approved by you.
We upload your website to your live hosting account and point any domain names you own to this account.
We also set up any email accounts that you require.
It can take anywhere from 1 to 2 days for your domain name to point to your website.

Measure, Report & Maintain

Is Your Website Really Working For You?

A website is your online sales person, don’t just put it up and forget about it...

On average you should look to spend the same amount each year on maintenance and SEO as you did developing the website.

  • Do you have to wait till a customer tells you your website is down?
  • Does your website have dead or broken links?
  • Can you tell who is looking at your site and how they are finding you?
  • Do you know what keywords people are seaching for to find you?
  • Do you know what page your website ranking is on Google, Bing or Yahoo?...

Well now you can! WebSight Architects provide Maintenance Plans to suit everyones budget and make your website work for you!

WebSight Architects can add monitoring software to your site that alerts us when your site is down. So we can promptly rectify the issue and have your site back up and running.

We check and fix broken or dead links and supply you with monthly analytic reports so you know who, when and where users are looking at your site.

Well now you can! WebSight Architects provide Maintenance Plans to suit everyones budget and make your website work for you!

WebSight Architects can add monitoring software to your site that alerts us when your site is down. So we can promptly rectify the issue and have your site back up and running.

We check and fix broken or dead links and supply you with monthly analytic reports so you know who, when and where users are looking at your site.

We can provide you with keyword searches and recommendations for more accurate search engine optimisation and let you know exactly where your site is ranked on each search engine for specific keywords.

We can also create google Adword campaigns, facebook campaigns and do specialised search engine optimisation projects.

WebSight Architects have developed maintenance packages to ensure you receive information on the performance of your website, so you can be sure you are making informed decisions.

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Resources

5 Steps To A Successful Website

Breif and Strategy, Planning and Information, Design and Content, Production Process, Measure, Report and Maintain

Is your website working for you?

A website is your online sales person, don't just put it up and forget about it.

Maintenance packages for all budgets

Design and Developemnt, Maintenance, Hosting, Custom Packages

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