This is one of the most common questions I hear. It’s also one of the key factors in the success of your project. The short answer is: it depends on what size and how complicated your website is. And it usually takes longer than you think.
I wanted to give you an idea/expectation of what to expect during this journey and outline our process and procedure for your reference.
I typically start with a discovery process which requires about three to four weeks. Our Discovery meeting is our chance to take a deep dive into you and your business. We take this time to clarify your business goals and objectives, target audience and brand so that we’re able to develop your website an adequate representation of these. We have worked hard to make this process concise and effective. By the end of this process, we would identify our responsibilities and tasks which we both can execute before moving forward.
The sitemap is a tree diagram showing the hierarchy of all the pages on your site. Generally, we’re able to understand a preliminary sitemap in the Discovery Meeting. A digital version will be shared in a pdf file. We will iterate up to three round of revisions.
Once we have an approved sitemap and detailed requirement specification, the designer will create the visual design for the Home Page along with wireframes for all other pages, adhering to the brand standard and the vision discussed in the Discovery Meeting. Once the visual design begins, the first iteration takes approximately one or tew weeks based on the complexity of the UI. Each design we present goes throughout the iterative internal approval process before you see it.
Initial design presentation:
The first design presentation is a relatively short meeting, which takes 15 – 30 minutes. We like to conduct these in person or via online video meeting. The goal of the meeting is to get thumbs-up in design direction. We are looking for about a 7 out of 10 in terms of look and feel. We will be sharing the mock-ups on our DropBox shared folder in pdf documents for the visual designs.
Second design presentation
Although rare, there are some instances where we miss on the first design presentation. Not to worry, we will begin again after the initial meeting and present a new design. After receiving your feedback on the first design wireframes, the second design presentation is scheduled about one to two weeks later, depending on complexity. The second presentation meeting generally takes about 30 minutes and can be done via a video meeting and screen share. We will present the update we made and discuss any questions you have. You will then be given another couple of days to gather your final and complete feedback on the design.
Final design presentation:
Once we have your full feedback on both the Home page and subpage visual design as well as wireframes, the designer will work on these final edits. The final design will be posted as pdf documents in our DropBox folder.
Once we have an approved Sitemap and Wireframes, gathering content is the next step. This will happen simultaneously with our design iterations. In other words, you should be working on writing content while we are working on the design. You need to share the content for every section of all the pages in our DropBox with proper versioning so that we can track it. Or, we are happy to get on board the content gathering tool you use.
Once you submit your content, the developer will look through it, and we will schedule a content review meeting to make sure we are on the same page in terms of what content goes where. Don’t worry, you’ve already completed the hard part (writing the copy and approving the wireframes), and this meeting is our last meeting before the site goes in the development. Please keep in mind that after the content review meeting, your content is frozen. The developer adds content one time. Once the site is completed and goes through testing and alpha edits are finished, we can push the website to our staging server and teach you how to update copy yourself.
Once your sitemap, information architecture and wireframe, and any designs are approved, and the content review meeting has been conducted, your site will move into the development phase. The development phase is where very little feedback is needed from you. If there are missing assets or anything the developer needs, you will be sending you a to-do list. You are obligated to respond to us within 48 hours.
Once your site has gone through our internal testing process, we will schedule a meeting to present your website to you. We prefer to do this meeting in person, so we’re able to walk you through your new site and point out special features and functionality. Once the meeting is completed, I will post a link to our test server with some guidance on how to gather your feedback.
Compiling bata list
Your Bata list will include mainly preference changes – see outline below: Here are the types of changes we’re looking for from you.
• Image preferences
• Small wording changes
• Alignment, etc.
• Any bug fixed to that existing functionality.
Although it is rare, occasionally, our testing may discover small bugs. Please include those on your Bata list. Please note that any change in functionality or changes to an approved sitemap, wireframe or design will be considered a change request and billed at our hourly rate. Once you deliver your finalized Bata list, the developer will complete a review of it.
Executing bata list
The developer will complete all edits in the list and receive your approval before working on change requests. Since change requests add new features or functionality to the site, we will need to put them through our internal testing to ensure they integrate properly into the original site. Once the Bata edits and change requests have been approved, the site can be scheduled to launch as quickly as 48 hours, depending on the server status.
WordPress Training is a half-day meeting where the training walks you through your site’s backend and shows you how to make edits. Bringing a few content and image updates with you is an excellent idea, so you’re able to make the update with our help and commit it to memory. WordPress Training can be done after the site is launched or instead after the Beta edits have been approved and the site is pushed to the stage for you to make content edits.