my approach

My projects begin with a simple idea:

You don’t want a website.

What you do want is better marketing, more students, more sales, easier communication, or better information management. Your website is just a means to an end.

The key to making a great website that’s also great value for money is to understand what the site’s purpose is. Once we've worked that out, I can begin to design and create your website.

Here's an outline of the process I follow when making websites.

the evolution of your website

specifi­cation

I always begin by writing a specification that captures, in as much detail as possible, what exactly your website needs to do and how it should be structured. If the spec isn’t right, the final website won’t be either. So it’s important to take this time to make sure I understand all your requirements.

Once we’ve agreed a spec, I give a full fixed-price quote for the project.

what you get:

  • Detailed, plain English specification of the work
  • Fixed-price quote for the project
  • Project schedule

design

Before starting work on your ‘proper’ website, I create some design mockups for you to choose between and comment on. Normally you get three designs, each quite different, so you have a real choice.

Once you’ve picked a favourite (or asked for a mixture of the best bits of all three!), I revise that mockup based on your comments to create the final design of the website.

what you get:

  • Draft designs for your comments
  • Redrafted designs based on your feedback

develop­ment

Now it’s time for me to actually make your website. This is also when I write any new text that is needed for the site.

Your website is constructed on a ‘development server’—in other words, it’s built on a different computer to your old website. That means your old site is not affected by my work, and it will only be taken down when the new site is ready to launch.

what you get:

  • First draft of the website

testing

Websites look and work differently on different web browsers and devices. So before launching your website, I test it on every commonly-used web browser and a range of mobile phones and tablets, to make sure it works well and looks good everywhere.

This is also when you get to test your website and feed back to me with any changes you’d like me to make.

what you get:

  • Improved drafts of the website

launch

The big day! Once you’ve approved the website, we can make it visible to the public (and search engines like Google). This is also when we start counting visitors to your website.

If you have an old website that should be replaced by your new one, I can book in your launch for an evening or weekend to minimize disruption to your users.

what you get:

  • The final website!
  • An analytics tool for reporting ‘hits’ and other website user data

handover

At the end of the project, I give you everything you need to keep your website up-to-date and useful. You get clear, detailed user guides that show you how to edit your website. Also, I’m happy to arrange training sessions if you’d like extra support.

Lastly, you receive copies of all the files I used when working on your website, as well as a master list of every password you would need if you wanted a different web developer to work on the site.

what you get:

  • Step-by-step guides to using and editing your website
  • All design files, e.g. Photoshop images
  • Logins and passwords ‘cheatsheet’ to pass on to other developers
  • Face-to-face training sessions (optional)

support

When I quote for projects, I always include one year’s technical support. This means I’m there to fix any bugs and help you if you get stuck with using your website.

Many of my clients choose to extend the support contract once the year runs out. If you’d like to do that, I’m happy to keep supporting your website for as long as it’s in use.

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