The first steps with starting a website is getting the info together and laying out a plan. We will work hand in hand developing a plan on what pieces are needed for the site to be successful. After a basic plan is conceived, a sitemap is built.
A sitemap shows the pages and links needed in the website and how they are interconnected. During this time we can lay out all the features of the site, whatever they may be. Once all of this is complete and both parties are happy with it, I can start on design.
This is the most straightforward part of the whole process. Your involvement in this stage can be as little or as much as you want. The standard path usually follows initial designs of a homepage, sub-page and any other special pages that are needed. Variations, or different looks of the site can be designed during this time too. After these initial designs, there will be a back and forth refining the designs through revisions. Once everyone is pleased with the design, we move on to development.
Developing and coding the website is the most time consuming part of this whole process. This part can take upwards of a month or more, depending on the size of the website. The site will be initially housed in our development environment, on firestride.com, to make it easy to update and add content.
Speaking of content, the CMS (content management system) is also a crucial part of the development. This will determine how the website is updated. WordPress is a very popular choice because of it’s scalability, plugin support and, obviously, because it’s free.
The whole process goes back and forth several times, depending on the amount of revisions needed. Once the site is close to finished, I start packing it up to move to your side.
When all the previous steps are completed, it’s time to push the site live. I work with you on selecting a hosting plan and domain name that will house your site. Once everything is ready, the site will be picked up and moved to your server.
When it’s live, we’ll tie up all the loose ends. This usually involves setting up analytics (visitor tracking), user logins for the CMS, documentation on how to update the site and anything else that’s needed.
After the site is published, I can discuss any assistance that you may need. This can be something simple like updates or more complex like additional pages or features.