I cannot tell you how many times my clients have commented on how much work is involved in creating a website. I think that when anyone sees a finished product, no matter what it is, the tendency is to think about how simple things look, but the fact is that any intelligently developed product or project requires time, thought and effort (and experience and education don’t hurt either).

The fact is that a website cannot be created in a vacuum. And as much as I hate having to say this before I get a job from someone,  I have to have SOME input from my client about what they do, who they want to target, what TYPE or style of website they like and want, etc.

If the client opts to write their own website text, I have to get that text from them and that can take a while.  The website development project will usually go faster if you hire us to write your text for you, but that still takes research time and multiple drafts before things are ready to go.  The text is essential to any project because it tells me how many pages are needed and the “structure” of the website. In a time crunch, I might be able to get the development team started on the site with JUST the outline but it’s always better to have the full text before proceeding.

For example, if you sell widgets and you have three different categories of widgets…let’s say Widgets for kids, Widgets for Adults and Widgets for Dogs, then the site would need to reflect that.  You may want to have three basic areas of the site, one each for each category of product you sell, and so the site structure and site design have to consider that.

All this has to be considered BEFORE any design work is done or it will take twice as long to do the project when things have to be redone.  Many times a client is just figuring things out as they go alone and as a result the job specs change in mid-stream.  This can be very frustrating for the web development team….not because we care if you change your mind but because we’re losing time and money if the job takes longer than what we have originally estimated.  i can tell you that I try to do many of these mid-stream changes without charging extra but what happens is we reach a point where we’re losing money.  If i haven’t mentioned the negative impact of these changes before that point then the client just gets mad because they’re not considering all the other changes that have come before that point.  Just keep in mind….that if you don’t mind paying for changes…..I don’t mind making them for you.

Once the client gives us the text they want on their website (preferably 100% ready to go and in a digital format with little or no formatting like bold words or bulleted text, etc.) I can start assigning all the different aspects of creating a website, which includes:

  1. Outlining the text
  2. Formatting (or unformatting) the text
  3. Determining the page names
  4. Creating the site structure
  5. Considering the functionality of the site
  6. Hiring the appropriate programmers for each aspect of the job.
  7. Designing the site or searching for and selecting a site design template (depending on if you’ve paid for a custom designed website or a template designed website).
  8. Searching for and buying the images from a stock photo house.
  9. Acquiring the site images and logo artwork from the client.
  10. Editing the site images.
  11. Selecting the site fonts.
  12. Programming the basic site – which can include many different types of programming and multiple different programmers who work in HTML, WordPress, PHP (the native language that WordPress uses),  FLASH, Javascript and on and on.
  13. Programming any ancillary functionality to the site (such as E commerce/pay pal, membership only access, databases, etc.)
  14. Proofing the site
  15. Making the customer’s changes
  16. Writing and programming the site Metadata (title, description and keywords)
  17. Marketing the website (I could make a whole new list for this item).

I recognize that once you see this list, that developing a website can seem like an insurmountable pain in the neck.  It may be somewhat of  a pain in the neck (as everything worth doing is) but it’s not insurmountable because we know what we’re doing.  If you’ll let us, we’ll guide you through the project to completion and satisfaction and you’ll end up with a top-notch website that will make your company look great to the public and make your target market WANT to visit your site.  For more information please don’t hesitate for one minute to contact me at emily@mdept.com.  I am more than happy to offer up advice and answer any of your questions, weather you do business with my company or not!!!