A valuable client just give you some data and asked to design a website, but where do you begin? You should follow certain steps to ensure the dealing goes smoothly. When it comes to design new website it should have standard graphic design.
As a graphic designer, you may choose to take on the entire design yourself, including the coding. However, you might also want to gather a team to help you with the details. A web developer and SEO expert may be valuable additions to your project.
First Step towards Success
As with most design projects, the first step when creating a website is to perform research. You will need to understand clients needs and requirement and also need to learn more about their industry and competitors.
When meeting with your client, you need to discover as much as possible to help you develop an outline for the site and eventually design it. This includes asking about their target audience, goals, creative direction and other variables that may affect what you can offer the client, such as budget and deadline.
Simultaneously you should start your market and industry research to follow the deadlines. So that you can have more clear ideas to put on table in front of your client. After finding out their needs, you will then want to look a little deeper.
The level of research performed will depend on the client’s budget and your existing knowledge of the industry. It can be as simple as looking to see what other websites in the field look like.
Once you know what the project is all about, it’s time to gather ideas, rather than looking for the perfect idea to be your first, throw out any and all ideas or concepts for the website. You can always narrow it down later.
Some websites might call for a standard web interface, with navigation (a button bar) and content areas where users are most likely to expect them. Others may require a unique concept to present the content. In the end, the content will drive the design.
Platform of Website
Early in the process of developing a website, decisions need to be made regarding the technical requirements of the project. Such decisions will affect the budget, time frame and, in some cases, the overall feel of the site.
Decide the structure and software used for design the website, some of the options are:
- Use a Content Management System: Using a CMS generally allows a client to perform regular content updates, while the designer controls the overall look and feel of the site. Some systems may be developed from scratch and others purchased and tailored to the client’s needs. Online systems such as Blogger and WordPress are free and include a basic CMS as well.
Write an Outline
An outline of a website should include a list of each section to be included on the site, with a description of what type of content will be shown on each page. It should also describe in as much detail as possible what features would be on the site, such as user accounts, commenting, social networking functions, video, or a newsletter sign-up.
Outline of a website should be presented in front of client for approval before the project continues. This will allow them to add, remove, or adjust any sections or features.
All of this will ultimately help you develop a budget and time frame and build the site. Agreeing on a price for a website project based on an approved outline will help to avoid additional fees or differences of opinion late in the project.
Website wireframes are simple line drawings that show the placement of elements on a web page. You can edit the layout of a simple wireframe at the start of the design process instead of a complex design later.
This is extremely helpful as it determines which content deserves the most focus and the percentage of space used on the page for those elements. Without being distracted by other visual elements, approved wireframes provide a framework for your designs. You might consider having a collection of wireframes available to use for different types of content. The contact, about, and other pages with a lot of text may have a different layout than a gallery or shopping page. It will maintain the uniform look of your website
Design the Website
Once you and your client are successfully done with the wireframes, it’s time to start designing the site.
There are many tools to design the first look of your website. The most popular is Adobe Photoshop. It will give you more clear ideas of colurs, text position to create the actual web pages.
Build Web Pages
When your design is approved, the pages need to be turned from mockups into actual web pages written in HTML and CSS.
Experienced designer/developers may choose to take on all the coding, while someone focused on the design side of the web may work closely with a developer to bring the site to life. If that is the case, the developer should be involved from the start.
Developers will help make sure the design is a realistic and an effective web layout. They should also be consulted about any features you promise the client as some may not be possible to execute or beneficial to the site.
Software such as Adobe Dreamweaver can help a designer turn a mockup into a working web page, with drag-and-drop features, pre-built functions, and buttons to add links and images.
There are many software choices available for website building. Choose one that you enjoy working with, just be sure they allow you to really get into the details and coding of the pages
Once your layout is completed in HTML and CSS, it needs to be integrated with the system you have chosen. This is the point where it becomes a functioning website.
This may mean developing templates to be read by a content management system, altering a WordPress template, or using Dreamweaver to create links between pages and more advanced web features. This is again a step that may be left to another member or members of the team.
You will also need to buy a proper domain name for a website and have a hosting services from local hosting provider or online site like godaddy.
Traffic to Website
Now your website is online, but not listing or not on the first page in SERP( Search engine result page) it’s time to promote it. Your efforts are in vain if people do not visit it.
Follow the steps to drive traffic to your website:
- Do SEO(Search engine optimization) of your site. You can hire experts because the strategies continually changing.
- Sending newsletters to highlight new content..
- Advertising with PPC (search ads) on Google or display ads on other sites.
- You can also opt the traditional marketing methods such as printing advertise.
One of the best ways to keep people coming back to your site is to keep the content fresh. With all of the work put into a site, you don’t want it to remain the same for months after the launch.
Continue to post new content, photos, videos, or music… whatever the site was built to present. A blog is the best way to keep a site updated, with posts of any length on any topic related to your site,
If your client will be handling the updates for a CMS website, you may need to train them to use it. Making updates to a website you’ve designed is a nice way to get regular income.