This article is all about our web design process. A well-designed website is about much more than just a few pretty pictures put on a webpage. While aesthetics are extremely important ensuring your users can find their desired content quickly, easily, and on any device is crucial.
To achieve the perfect balance of stylish design, engaging content, and technical considerations we use a web design process we have developed over the last 25 years. The work involved in this stage will vary depending on each client’s needs. However, the concept is always the same.
Table of contents
- Discovery: Identifying goals.
- Research & competitor analysis (keywords, user needs, competition, styles & branding, pages required, services on offer, functionality requirements).
- Services required, copywriting, photography, video and images.
- Content creation & SEO strategy
- Web Design & Development
- Feedback session
- Make required amends and optimise code.
- Testing, testing, and more testing.
- Select hosting platform
- Website launch
- Implement agreed SEO strategy (if required)
The discovery phase
The discovery phase of the project is all about us getting to know you. We need to learn as much as we can about your business, brand, and how you operate.
What are your goals & ambitions? What is the purpose of the website? Are you selling a service, product, or distributing information? Identifying timescales.
Once we have a good understanding of what you are looking to achieve we can move on to the research phase.
Research & competitor analysis
In this phase, we look at your target market and competitors.
When researching your target market our web design team will be looking to discover any search terms potential customers are using. In addition to this, we take a close look at your competitors, analysing their traffic, content, and target keywords. As a result we can ensure the content on your pages is targeted to your audience.
Competitor Analysis: Reverse engineering success
Competitor analysis involves analysing your competitors’ websites to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This process helps you understand what your competitors are doing well and where they are falling short. By doing this, you can find opportunities to differentiate yourself from your competitors and stand out in any market, regardless of how crowded. Additionally, you can also learn from your competitors’ mistakes and avoid making the same ones.
Keyword research is a crucial process in any web design project. It involves finding the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for on search engines. By incorporating these keywords into your website’s content, you increase the chances of your website appearing at the top of search engine results pages. This, in turn, will drive more traffic to your website and increase your chances of converting visitors into customers.
User Needs Analysis:
A user needs analysis involves understanding your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. This process helps you tailor your website to meet your audience’s needs, which is critical to keeping them engaged and coming back. Understanding your audience’s preferences and behaviors can also help you design a user interface that is easy to use and navigate.
A good tip is also to consider what questions your users are asking and provide the answers to their questions within your content. this may seem obvious but is so often overlooked.
Bespoke functionality involves creating features unique to your website. These features can help differentiate you from your competitors and provide value to your audience. For example, if you are an e-commerce website, you could create a personalized shopping experience for your customers by recommending products based on their previous purchases.
Style and Branding:
Style and branding are essential elements of any website. Your website’s style should be consistent with your company’s branding and vision. This will help build trust and credibility with your audience, as they will recognize your company’s identity. Additionally, a well-designed website can also increase brand recognition and awareness.
You can read our guide called: Choosing the Right Colour Scheme for Your Website if you require help with this.
Your Services, Products, and Content Creation
It’s essential to highlight the services or products you offer on your website. This will help potential customers understand what you do and how you can help them. Your services page should be easy to navigate and provide a clear description of each service you offer.
Copywriting is the art of writing content that persuades people to take action and is a key part of our web design process. Good copy can increase your website’s conversion rate and improve your search engine rankings. Therefore, it’s essential to invest in high-quality copywriting for your website.
When producing copy for your website Chatsworth Media will look at all the information gathered during the discovery phase to ensure all of your keywords, key phrases and common questions asked by potential clients are all included within your copy.
Photography & Video: Essential to our website design process
High-quality photography and video can enhance your website’s visual appeal and engage your audience. It’s essential to use professional photos and videos that are relevant to your content. This will help create a cohesive and visually appealing website.
Stock images can be used to great success but there is nothing better than personalising your content with your own unique imagery.
SEO Strategy & Content. Crucial in any web design process.
Creating an effective SEO strategy is one of the most important aspects of any web design process. This involves using the information gathered from the processes discussed above. By analysing your keyword research and competitor analysis, you can identify the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your business and incorporate them into your website’s content.
To create an effective SEO strategy, you should first decide on what pages are required on your website. These pages should include a homepage, an about page, a services page, a blog, and a contact page. The homepage should include a brief introduction to your company and the services you offer. The about page should provide more information about your company and its history. The services page should provide a clear description of the services you offer, and the blog should provide regular, high-quality content relevant to your business.
To incorporate the relevant keywords and services discovered earlier, you should optimise each page’s content for specific keywords. For example, if you are a digital marketing agency, you may want to optimize your homepage for the keyword “digital marketing agency” and include related keywords such as “SEO services” and “social media marketing.” Similarly, your services page should be optimized for specific keywords related to the services you offer.
In addition to optimising your website’s content, you should also consider other SEO strategies such as building high-quality backlinks, optimizing your website’s metadata, and using social media to promote your content.
Web Design & Development
Finally, we get to the part of the project we all love the most. The website design & development stage of the web design process is where everything starts to come together.
Our web design team is now in possession of all the facts needed to start designing all the aspects of the website. By using all of the branding information we gathered earlier we can start implementing the agreed SEO strategy and content into your web pages.
We start out by developing examples of key pages of your website. This might include the home page, services page or product page, and your blog archives.
The design of a website’s navigation is essential to its success because it directly affects user experience. Navigation refers to the system that allows users to move around and access different pages of the website. A well-designed navigation system makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for, which can lead to increased engagement, satisfaction, and conversions.
If a website’s navigation is poorly designed, users may become frustrated and leave the site. For example, if the navigation is confusing or difficult to use, users may not be able to find the information they need, leading them to abandon the site and look for another source.
On the other hand, a well-designed navigation system can improve user experience and make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. For example, a website that uses a clear, intuitive menu with descriptive labels can help users quickly find the information they need.
In addition to improving user experience, a well-designed navigation system can also improve a website’s SEO. Search engines like Google use website navigation as one of the factors to determine a website’s relevance and importance. A well-organized navigation system with clear labels and appropriate links can help search engines understand the structure and content of a website, which can improve its ranking in search results.
Webpage Layout and Incorporating Your Branding
The branding information gathered during the web design process is essential for laying out and designing web pages. Branding includes the visual elements that represent a company, such as its logo, color palette, typography, and overall style. These elements help create a consistent, recognisable brand identity that builds trust and credibility with the audience.
When designing web pages, branding information should be used to guide decisions about layout, color scheme, typography, and other visual elements. For example, the color scheme used on the website should be consistent with any other marketing a company is doing. This helps create a cohesive look and feel that is consistent with the company’s overall image.
Similarly, typography should be chosen based on the company’s brand guidelines. The font used on the website should be legible and easy to read, but also consistent with the company’s overall style. This helps reinforce the company’s branding and creates a professional, polished look. With that said, if your company does not have a brand guidelines document don’t worry. We can help you produce one during this process.
The website layout is another important element of web page design that should also be guided by your branding information. For example, the placement of the logo on the page should be consistent with the company’s branding. Once again, this may seem obvious but over the years we have seen companies with different logos on their websites, business cards, brochures and even written all over their company vehicles.
Additionally, the layout should be consistent across all pages of the website to create a cohesive user experience. Any colours used should match any existing branding where possible.
Feedback during the web design process
Once we have the key pages laid out and our company directors feel the website is meeting its brief we like to sit down with our clients and show the design so far. We ask our clients to test out the website’s navigation, read through the text, and of course comment on the design of the pages. This may be possible to do in a single meeting but sometimes we may need to provide remote access to the website in order for the client to have a good look in their own time.
Make required amends and optimise code.
Once the client has provided us with their feedback we will make all agreed changes to the pages and begin optimising the code. This stage improves web page load speed times and scores on platforms such as GT Metrix and Google Page Insights.
These 2 stages can be repeated as often as necessary until our client is 100% satisfied with the project.
Testing, testing, and more testing.
Once the content has all been approved our web design team will perform a series of tests to ensure your website is working perfectly. Only when our team and the client are 100% positive the website is ready to go live do we launch it.
Selecting your web hosting package
No website is complete without good-quality web hosting. Here at Chatsworth Media, we run our own Litespeed web servers to ensure your websites are both lightning-fast, reliable, and secure. Our hosting is tailored to the needs of each website but is extremely cost-effective with pricing being on par with larger hosting companies but service levels being far better.
So everything is now perfect and it’s time to launch your new website. Our web design team is on hand to help with any DNS changes that may need to be made to your domain name and submit your website to search engines as required.
Maintenance & updates
Websites require regular maintenance to ensure that both the content is up-to-date and it is also secure. We don’t want our clients to be an easy target for hackers so provide maintenance and updates either on an on-demand service or via monthly contracts.
Implementing SEO Strategies
During the planning stages of your project, we may have agreed on an SEO strategy to help your business rank for competitive keywords. While the initial website will already be optimised it is often essential to add regular content to your website via new pages or blog posts to help build authority with search engines such as Google.
If this is the case we will continue producing content, monitor your search engine placements, and report back to you on how things are going.