Our Website Design Process
Unless you’re a marketing professional, designing and developing a website is no easy task. That’s why small and large businesses hire agencies like ours – so that a team of web design experts can do all the heavy lifting. And while the final result looks effortlessly refined, there are dozens of decisions that go into every button, image, and use of whitespace you see. Those decisions are made strategically throughout the web design process and can mean the difference between an unprofessional, templated website, and a powerful, responsive, beautifully-designed one. And if you’re working with Social Fire Media, here’s how we do it:
1. Define Goals
The first thing we do when we talk web design with a client is determine their goals. It helps to be as specific as possible. What constitutes a conversion, or successful event, in their business? Is their goal to gain user registrations, phone calls, online purchases, or form submittals? This usually requires some research on our part, too – learning more in depth about the client’s industry can help us to make educated recommendations and guide the overall strategy when it comes to achieving those goals. Then, we design every element of the website – from imagery, to copy, to calls to action, and messaging – to be aligned with those goals.
2. Brainstorm & Mockup
Once we have a firm grasp on the client’s goals and positioning, we’ll start brainstorming design ideas. We’ll ask the client to provide us with any digital assets they have, including high resolution logo files, preferred imagery, brand fonts, colors, and any other resources they have. Then, our design team will get started on an initial mockup and present it to them for feedback. Mockups are a great way to communicate design concepts and website functionality to a client. They can help clients to visualize how all of those elements come together. We like to work closely with the client through this process to be sure it’s exactly what they’ve envisioned.
3. Develop & Refine
Once we have the client’s approval to move forward with the design, we can begin developing. Our lead web developer and WordPress guru, Nick, will take the design mockup and bring it to life. We use and trust the WordPress platform and WP Engine hosting with every website. It ensures that our clients get faster website performance, unmatched security, and their support is top-tier – powerful capabilities that other website platforms lack. Custom graphics and other tools can be used to make the website stand out even more against competitors. During this phase, we build the website on a staging site and allow the client to access and preview the site as it progresses. This ensures the client is involved in the process as much, or as little, as they want to be.
4. Make Responsive & Optimize
Aside from translating the design seamlessly from sketch to screen, making sure the website is fully responsive is crucial. Simply put, a website is responsive when its design and functionality adapts to any size screen – across desktop, tablet, and mobile displays. Although we design all of our websites from the start with responsiveness in mind, manual tweaking is needed to make sure every custom element is considered. With every website, we also include basic SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Optimizing a website for search engines is how sites like Google index and rank a website. It helps boost visibility and generate relevant, high quality traffic to a site.