The GANZ Creative Website Design Process
A truly great website design instantly catches the attention of potential clients in the exact same way that an exceptional customer service agent, or a beautiful and attractive storefront does, and, even more importantly, it helps you to hold onto them long into the future! From the very first moment that people arrive, the difference between an unforgettable first impression and an unfortunately poor experience, is whether or not you have an impressive website design that can connect directly with their expectations. An extraordinary website helps you to broaden your circle of influence, expand your network of potential clients, offer prompt customer service options, clearly display your products and services, and stand out against your competitors.
In addition, with a professional website design to represent your business, you open the door to an entirely new world of advertising opportunities which are available to you, allowing you to continuously connect with new potential customers. If that’s not enough, with the never-ending opportunities that website development and modification provide, you can use your website as a creative outlet for your business, constantly updating your image to stay at the forefront of fresh innovation. The absolute and infinite flexibility of a website enables you to tap into unchartered client markets, and constantly grow and expand your reach.
However, before we get to our final destination with a fully functional and completed website, there are many steps in the process which we must take first. At GANZ Creative, our goal is to maximise the success of the project and to produce a website that is 100% in-line with the expectations and requirements of the customer, and as such, these goals can only be achieved through a diligent planning and construction process, which will proceed as follows;
STAGE ONE: INFORMATION GATHERING QUESTIONNAIRE
In order to design an impressive and functional website for your business, we first need to begin by collecting as much information from you as possible. There are countless elements that need to be considered when creating a new website, from the appearance and the interface design, to the overall functionality of each webpage, and naturally, the user experience aspects of the project. Stage one is the most important step to creating a solid foundation for the ongoing development, and it is important that we start with a clear understanding of your business and what it is that you are trying to achieve.
Most importantly, this discovery stage is about clearly getting to know you, your professional aspirations, and of course, your long-term business goals. It is incredibly helpful to know how the website you are trying to create, will help you turn these long-term goals into short-term realities, and at GANZ Creative, we do this with the aid of our detailed and comprehensive questionnaire. The questionnaire will be emailed to you at the commencement of the project, and will include questions regarding to the following subject matter;
The Purpose – What will be the ultimate function of your website? Are you advertising a service that you provide, publishing information to the public, or selling a product online?
Your Business Goals – What do you expect to achieve through this website? Two of the most common business goals we hear include generating or increasing your income, or distributing information to the public.
Target Audience – Do you have a particular target demographic which will assist you in achieving your objectives? Visualise your “perfect” customer – what is their age, their gender, and what influences them?
Content – What information will your customer be searching for on your website? Is it information about a specific subject, a product they are interested in buying, or is it a service that you are offering?
STAGE TWO: DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION & HOSTING SETUP
The next step in the process is to get you setup with the most basic elements of a website, the Domain Name, and a suitable Website Hosting Plan which will accommodate all of your future requirements.
Think of the Domain Name as the street address for your website, and the Hosting Plan as the city in which your website is located. The Domain Name is the online location in which users will find your website, and the Hosting Plan is the physical computer where your website and files are stored.
Both of these elements are required to build and house a new website, so we must get these up and running immediately! Please note that Premium Website Hosting is included in all of our website design packages, and you are not required to purchase this in addition to the package you have already purchased. In regard to your Domain Name, we will be happy to assist you in setting this up, and once this has been completed, we will also begin the task of setting up your company email addresses!
STAGE THREE: TEAM PLANNING MEETING
In stage three, our team will come together to discuss your project requirements and begin the initial planning and design process. Using the information gathered from your questionnaire, it is time to put together our initial design ideas and a structured sitemap for your website.
Collaboration is an essential element when it comes to designing and developing a website. In this part of the process, our UX-Designers develop the website’s layout and closely study the navigational paths between pages. This stage of the project also allows our business analysts to investigate how each individual page will achieve its objectives, it allows our website developers to evaluate the completed wireframes for practical precision, and once complete, the project manager will step in to ensure that all of your requirements have been successfully adhered to.
This preparation phase also gives the team the opportunity to pick the technologies they would like to implement – in addition to the other features necessary to complete the project – including contact forms, website plugins, and design modules. In other words, this is where we plan the development from every possible angle!
STAGE FOUR: DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT & CONTENT POPULATION
Once we have reached the website design stage of the project, we will begin to draft the website layout – as well its user interface – using all of the information we have collected thus far. One of the most important aspects that we consider in this stage is that of the target audience. Think of how a website targeting teenage girls might differ in appearance when compared to that of a publicly traded financial organisation. It is during this stage that your website’s fundamental design concept will be presented to you for approval, and, upon receiving your authorisation, we will begin the next step: the development process!
The website development stage is where things really start to become a little more technical. The developmental stage is the point in which the website itself starts to come together; it is the time in which your developer will start programming the website, and implementing all of the technical functionalities that you require. After the development process has started, you will receive a password protected link, which enables you to track your project live, and monitor the progress of the team as they work. You’ll have the opportunity to see your website unfold before your eyes and you’ll be free to offer your opinions and suggestions at all times along the way.
Once the initial development process has been completed, we will then begin work on populating your website with content. When our web design team first sets up your new website, they will initially create place holder content for every page and element included in the project, which is essentially “fake content” where real content will eventually be added.
The content which eventually replaces the place holder text, will then need to be created by yourself, and supplied to our team to populate the website. Once you have finished creating your content, we will take this text and distribute it throughout the website, placing it into the appropriate areas.
STAGE FIVE: TESTING, FEEDBACK & MINOR ADJUSTMENTS
As your website approaches its final stages, we will then request that you begin the review process, while our developers add some final touches to the website. You will need to review and test your website on as many devices as possible – the more the better – so you can let us know of any minor tweaks or modifications which need to be made. This is in accordance with the number of revision rounds that are included in your website package. At this point, our team has already thoroughly tested every aspect of your website, and errors will usually be few and far between, but it’s always better to be sure that you have a perfectly functional website before you launch it to the public, so we strongly advise that you take a close look too.
STAGE SIX: WEBSITE DELIVERY & HANDOVER
After you’ve given your final authorisation and signed off on the project, we will begin the process of delivering your website to your final Domain Name. This stage comprises of transferring all website files from our development hosting server to your live hosting server, and it will usually require the installation of the software needed to operate your back-end content management system. In addition to this, we will also install all the website plugins and design modules that are necessary to make your website function properly.
Once we have uploaded the website to your live hosting server, our team will complete one final check to ensure the files have been correctly installed, and that your website is in good working order. This final stage marks the formal unveiling of your fresh, new website that is now live to the public. It is at this point that we consider the handover process, and the project as a whole, as completed.
STAGE SEVEN: ON-GOING WEBSITE MAINTENANCE & SUPPORT
Once your website has been completed, of course, it should not require any additional short-term – or even long-term – maintenance. At GANZ Creative, the websites we build should never need to be altered, and if you choose, you could theoretically leave it unchanged for many years to come. However, we often find that with most businesses, this just isn’t the case, and updates and changes are usually requested.
As businesses grow and industries evolve, there can be countless reasons one might require an update or maintenance to their website. And if the time comes that you’re in need of this, please rest assured that we will be more than happy to continue our work together, to ensure your business always continues to run smoothly, and continues to grow long into the future.
Please note that all of our website design packages come with basic website management services included in the price, for the lifetime of your subscription. Please see our website design package descriptions for a full list of the maintenance services which are included.
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