What You Need to Know When Developing a Website with Corkboard Concepts
So your business has decided to have Corkboard Concepts design and develop your website, that’s fantastic! We are certainly excited to be a part of helping your business better its online presence.
Designing and developing a website takes time, especially when done with foundational goals and high standards. This article will help you better understand what it means to design and develop a website with Corkboard Concepts, and what you can expect in terms of a timeline.
Stages of Website Design and Development
The stages of website design and development are the following:
- Pre-Design Phase
- Design Phase
- Development Phase
- Post-Development Phase
- Maintenance Phase
Let’s get started!
Website Development: Pre-Design Phase
Like all major projects, designing and developing a website begins with a meeting between representatives from Corkboard Concepts and the client’s team. This is best done with everyone involved from the client’s decision making team. Many times websites are held up due to waiting for decision makers to approve different aspects of the website during the design and development process.
During the initial meeting we will want to obtain as much information as possible for our team to start designing the first mock-up of the website. Some of this crucial information is as follows:
- Website functionality – what you need the website to do
- Websites /brand theme – how we want the overall website theme to appear
- Liked websites – what other websites you like, and what you like about these sites
- Disliked websites- what websites you DON’T like, and what about them you don’t like
- Current pain points – what on your business’ current website don’t you like
- Wishlist – Everything you’d like on your new website
- Content – What content is created, what content needs to be created
- Text for pages
- Ecommerce aspects – will there be any financial transactions on the website, if so what will be the driver of that (shopify, paypal, woocommerce, etc.)
- Inventory – will this website feature inventory, if so are there existing feeds
- Security – what level of security will we need based on what the functionality of the website
- Compliance – does this website need to be compliant in any way (HIPAA, Equal Housing Act, etc.)
- Hosting – where will this website be hosted
- Email – will we be taking care of hosting email through this website
There is more than just this list, but hopefully you have a better understanding of how important the initial meeting can be. Gathering as much information in the very beginning steps of the process will allow us to keep to a planned schedule, and stay avoid any miscommunication during the design and development phases.
The time expectation for this part of design and development is anywhere from 1 to 3 meetings over the course of 1 – 2 weeks.
Website Development: Design Phase
The design phase is a very important part of the design and development process. This is where our team of designers will create a static mock-up design of your website to view. This will not be a functional “clickable” website, but rather an image of what your website will look like. It is much easier to make major changes to a design mock up than a functional website.
When designing your business’ website, we will want to determine how many pages and page layouts we will be developing. Pages can be defined by how many literal pages will be on the website. This can range anywhere from 5 pages to over 100 pages. This likely would have been determined (estimate) during the pricing stage of the website prior to the start of design.
Page layouts on the other hand are how many different page structures that will be included in the website. For instance, if we have a homepage, 2 styles of interior pages, a form page, and 2 miscellaneous pages, we would have 6 page layouts. All pages we include in the website will fall under one of these 6 page layouts (in this case).
Once we have the information from the Pre-Design phase, our team will create the first mock-up of the home page, and an interior page. When this is complete, we will present it to your team and your team will be able to make as many changes necessary to satisfy the wants and needs.
This back and forth usually lasts anywhere from 15-45 days depending on the size and complexity of the website. Sometimes if there are many changes that derive from the original plans, this stage can go past that 45 day upper estimate.
In this stage it is important to get all changes decided before moving into development phase.
Website Development: Development Phase
The Development Phase is exciting! This is where the Corkboard Concepts development team begins the building of a fully functional website. This development takes place on a “dev site” (short for development website) that we provide the link to after the completion of the first draft.
In this dev site, you’ll be able to click on buttons, scroll through and test different features of the website. You’ll also be able to test the responsiveness of the site. Browsing a site on a desktop is a much different experience than on a smartphone or tablet. This phase your team will have the opportunity to test functionality and have our team recreate anything you dislike.
Most of the major changes to the site should have been decided during the Design Phase, but we are certainly still able to make changes during the Design Phase. At the end of the day this is your business’ website and we want to make sure that you get exactly what you want from your site.
The Development Phase takes anywhere from 30-90 days depending on the size and complexity of the website. This phase operates at the highest efficiency when most kinks are worked out in the previous Design Phase.
Many times, we see businesses spend a significant amount of time during this phase trying to get every small detail of their website 100% perfect. We’ve seen it delay website publishing 6+ months (in extreme cases). We encourage our clients to get the site to 95% perfection, then publish the site. We can always make changes after the site is published, but when your new site is better looking and performs at a higher functionality, it is worth going live at that time.
Website Development: Post-Development Phase
Congratulations, your new website is live! At this point your team is excited to have a brand new website up and running.
At this phase, we want to set up everything your team needs to build a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) foundation. What this means is our team is going to take steps to make sure your new website has the best chance possible to appear organically on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
The following are some things our team does during this phase:
- Place a Google Analytics pixel for tracking performance of the website
- Create conversion goals on Google Analytics
- Place a Google Tag Manager for any future pixel placement
- Search Console and Webmaster installment
- Meta Tag Framework for SEO purposes
- Other miscellaneous tasks for SEO performance
Post-Development phase is also a time to make any minor adjustments that were not completed during the Development Phase. We usually will make changes up to 90 days after the website is complete, built into the cost of the site. Any changes after this will likely result in an hourly rate for our website team.
Post-Website Development: Maintenance Phase
The Maintenance Phase is for ongoing website support. We usually set up an hour training to help businesses better understand how to make changes to the content on the website (hours of operation, pictures in the gallery, create blogs, etc.). This can take place any time after the publishing of the website.
Most of our websites are built on WordPress which is a CMS that we find is most user friendly. Making minor changes on WordPress websites can be as easy as working through a Microsoft Word document.
When we reach this phase, it’s smooth sailing. Your business’ website is launched, everything in terms of content is where we want it to be, and your team should be happy it’s complete! Corkboard Concepts will always be available for help with the website whenever needed. Most changes can be made in 24-48 hours of the request.
We love being a part of a business’ website design and development process. It is very rewarding for all parties involved when we can better a business’ web presence. Thank you for choosing Corkboard Concepts, and we hope you enjoy your new site!