This time let's broach the subject which we often explain to our customers -- what is an appropriate order in which you build your internet page. We would like to mention here that we do not reserve the right to teach others how to build a website, any road to reach the destination is good if you fulfil two basic conditions:
- Final website has to meet client's requirements
- Creating a website should be as pleasant as possible for both parties
We always recommend to our clients the work plan described below. It guarantees the fulfillment of the above mentioned conditions. It also helps the customer to understand what their website will be for them, and allows us to carry out the process as efficiently as possible in relaxed atmosphere.
Think about what you want to communicate through your website?
This is an important stage. You should take your time here. Determination of the website purpose allows, from the very beginning, to properly select and set goals, which will be followed in further works.
It is also good to display this goal in a prominent place, and communicate it to the company implementing our website.
Any person involved in the project should be familiar with the pursued target.
Think how you want to present yourself?
That is not yet time to come up with an idea of how the website will look like. At this stage it should not be yet considered at all what the final website appearance will be. Customers very often tend to forget about the fact that the website is mostly about its content. Pictures, the overall look of the website, are very important. However, they will not keep attention of potential website's visitors if they do not get interested in content presented there..
At this phase, we usually agree with the customer what the menu will look like and what will be described on each subpage.
Write the content.
Having specified goal you want to achieve and a map of the website, now it is time to start creating its content. As you can see, we still, even for a moment, haven't thought yet of how the website will look like. As I have already mentioned, webpage is all about its content. Google search engine indexes in their databases according to what we write, not according to the website appearance.
The true value of a website is the presented content. That is the factor that attracts attention and makes a visitor remember it. Benefits of such an approach are as follows
Main challenge that our customers face at this stage, is a desire to see, as soon as possible, how the webpage will look like, even before writing texts that will be included there. We fully understand that, we also cannot look forward to seeing it :). Nevertheless, determining the content before moving on to the process of creating the website layout, gives us numerous measurable benefits, which were confirmed empirically during the implementation of many projects for our customers.:
- It is easier for us to understand the essentials of the business sector for which website is prepared
- We are able to prepare a website grid quickly and send it to the graphic designer
- We have the opportunity to review -- yet at this stage - what functionality might be needed to be programed for our customer's website. Very often the technical functionality results directly from the content included on the website.
Tips on how to write a good content will soon be prepared and available on our website. If you want to know more in this subject, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter or revisit our webpage in some time.
The choice of whether to write texts by yourself, or outsource it to us, is always left to customers without any pressure from our side. Always, before putting content on the website, we practice the following:
- If the customer provides us with the content, we verify it in terms of its attractiveness for future website visitors and also quality for Google search engine.
- In case we work on a content, it is always approved by the customer.
As you can see, a large part of this article is devoted the content of websites. Why? Because it is the most important part of the Internet page. Even if we talk about websites where products or services are sold (the so-called landing pages), where although the content is minimal, it must be relevant and attention-grabbing.
With ready content we can move on to the next stage.
There is no clear boundaries between steps. Briefing with the client is performed mainly after creating the ready content of a webpage or only its concept. Because it is the most important part of our website, presented content needs to reflect what is significant for us and our customers.
PAt this stage while meeting the customer, we determine details that later will be communicated to our graphic designer so that he can work on the appearance of the webpage. What colors will be used, which page elements to emphasize, what elements will be designed ... it all depends on what will be agreed with the customer at the briefing stage.
An important element for us as a company implementing the project, is to prepare, before a meeting with the customer, market and competition analysis verifying their strengths and weaknesses. Different business sectors have different requirements. As IT company, we know what the general principles of web design are, but it is worth, before starting the project, to learn more about specific market in order to understand it better.
Armed with the knowledge of:
- other websites from particular industry
- main page content
we meet with the client (or in case of longer distances organize teleconference) and fill in client's brief document. This document includes guidelines that we keep in mind during the implementation of further project stages.
We explain what the website grid is here: What is a webpage grid?.
Having content that will be presented on the Internet page ready, we can prepare its proper layout
Note! This step can be skipped if you choose to build a website using a ready website template. You can find lots of such templates on the Internet (also free of charge)' Although in Santri we prefer to design webpages from scratch, taking into consideration the client's individual needs, we do not in any way condemn such approach.
Using a template reduces costs of a website implementation, but you must remember that such choice imposes certain limitations that may be problematic when presenting previously prepared content.
Creating a website grid resembles sketching a plan of furniture setup in a new house. Theoretically, you can do without it and place delivered furniture wherever it seems to be the best, but in practice with such an approach, we lose the opportunity to find better layout and solutions.
Drawing a grid, we can see how prepared beforehand content is spread on it, where corrections are needed, and what elements may be in the future troublesome and inflexible. Trying out different solutions enables us to find the ideal one that meets customers' needs when visiting our website.
As you can see, only at this point a graphic designer starts his work. We believe that only at this stage it is possible to create a website that actually meets the requirements of our clients and the needs of people who will visit that webpage.
Any other approach - in particular the approach when the customer sees the layout based on the information what menu that webpage will have - we consider being risky. With this method, when a graphic designer begins to work immediately and briefing is limited to questions about the customer's favorite color, you have to reckon with the fact that the final result, although it may be pretty and attractive, may not work properly.
Building website is similar to building a house. Without appropriate preparation all our Internet pages would be "the same". What is more, they would not support well sales, marketing or its informative aspect.
A graphic designer, after preparing layout, implements changes if they are necessary. Than the customer decides whether the proposed design of the webpage corresponds with their needs and if they perceive that website as pretty with the likelihood that what they like today will please them tomorrow and in the future.
From a customer's point of view, that is the most difficult stage of the project. Whereas for us, it means hard work. First of all, we define mechanisms of presenting the content which will be needed to implement on the website. Here our knowledge and experience come in handy as well as continuous online research of technological innovations.
The most important moment comes after completion of the work... tests. Given the current multitude of different operating systems, browsers, and responsive pages (more about responsiveness, you will find in the entry RWD - Responsive Web Design) performing tests on a website look and functionality is a necessity that cannot be ignored.
Only after completing all these steps, you can enjoy your own website. You can enjoy it because you know that it is the page that:
- You like.
- Your customers can find there the all information they are looking for.
- Regardless of the device, our website displays properly.