Building a Custom Website is a Long Process
No matter what products or services your business offers, having a functioning website is crucial to the success of your business. After all, we are in the midst of a digital age. Virtually everyone is on the internet. As of April 2020, there are more than 4.5 billion people actively using the internet worldwide. There are 4.2 billion unique mobile internet users. People are surfing the web across various devices, including their desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Additionally, 55% of consumers report seeking out reviews and recommendations online before making a purchase. 47% of them would rather visit a business website before making a purchase, as opposed to 26% who said they would rather visit a physical store. With so many active users on the internet, it is paramount that you have a functioning website.
The question then becomes choosing between a template website or a custom website. While template sites are often convenient, they do not allow you the chance to incorporate what your brand is or the interests and goals of your company. You can customize template sites to some degree, but they will always have some feeling of inauthenticity. However, when you create a custom website from scratch, you can design it genuinely to convey who you are and what you do.
Designing a custom website is a much more thorough process than a template site. It has various steps to ensure the site nails the essence of your business. Tech Critic has years of experience creating state-of-the-art custom websites that help businesses increase their reach and improve their sales. If you and your business need a new company website, contact Tech Critic today and let’s get started.
Why a Custom Website?
When creating a custom website, you create the entire platform from scratch. Template designs provide you a pre-made framework and implement custom templates and themes. A major issue with template designs is the identity of your business. Throughout the process of designing a custom website, you can easily inject the identity of your brand from the start. With a custom site, you can:
- Grow your site as your business grows.
- Adapt your website as your business shifts priorities and services.
- Manage your website on your own
- Make sure it is compatible with all browsers and devices.
- Ensure that it is easy for users to navigate.
- Update your code to increase its longevity.
- Ensure that your website has reliable security.
- Be more SEO friendly, as most designers create websites with search engine friendliness in mind.
While custom websites are more expensive and take longer to create, their benefits more than make up for these two facts.
As we said, the process of designing a website is no small feat. It’s often a long process that takes careful consideration and planning. After all, your website is a valuable asset to your business. It acts as your digital storefront. As we mentioned earlier, most consumers would rather visit a company website over visiting a physical store, so your website must be methodically designed. Typically, most businesses rely on trusted agencies like Tech Critic to build their site for them.
1.) Discover Phase
The first stage in the process of designing a custom website is the Discover Phase. This step in the process is all about gathering information about a business and brand. The Discover Phase is vital for a web developer to understand more about who you are, what your brand is, and what you do. During this phase, be prepared to answer questions such as:
- What services or products does your business offer?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who is your company?
- What are your company’s goals?
- What are your hopes for your website?
- Who are your competitors?
- What do you want your site to do for potential customers?
- What makes your brand stand out from your competition?
- Are there any sites that you like and feel would reflect your brand well?
- What is your budget?
2.) Planning Phase
Once you’ve provided the necessary information about your business or brand, it’s time to move onto the site planning phase. While businesses may be eager to jump towards the design of the site, taking the time to craft the foundation and the architecture of a website will set you up for success. During the planning phase, a sitemap will be created, which is essentially the outline of of the pages for a website. Main, secondary, and tertiary navigation will all be decided here. By planning a sitemap before design, you can build around the most important pages and plan navigation accordingly.
A wireframe may be created to give you a first look at what the user experience will be. Along with creating a sitemap, an SEO strategy will need to be made based on information provided by your business. During this phase, an account manager will also help a business choose which technologies to implement on their new website.
3.) Design Phase
Now comes the fun part. The Design Phase is where you get to design how a website will look. Again, the information gathered in the Discover Phase will come in handy when designing a custom website. You should take into consideration who your target audience is, what your brand is, who you are, and what you do when designing your site. After all, a website for teenagers will look much different than one for a law firm.
Often, a web designer will create more than one prototype designs in the form of XD, JPEGs, or PDFs. These are examples of how your final website may look. A designer will create mockups and present them to a business for their approval before moving into the development phase. A site builder should also include examples of how a site will look on other platforms like tablets and smartphones.
4.) Development Phase
Once the site design is complete, it’s time to bring your creation to life. At this point, a web developer will take all of the approved design elements, technologies, curated content, and more to build a functional site. Everything that you approved will finally be put into practice. This stage may take some time as a web developer has to translate the agreed design into code. During this phase, designers will:
- Create and test static design elements
- Test navigation
- Implement third-party integrations
- Optimize your site for SEO
- Perform and install custom programming
- And much more
Typically, while a web designer is creating a site, they will do so in a private development environment. Once it is complete, they will then move it to the appropriate server. It will need to go through thorough quality control (QC) to test all features, content, and designs of the site. This involves going through each page, testing each link, every form or script, and piece of code. You want to ensure that the user experience operates smoothly.
Now is the moment everyone has been waiting for. Once the site has been fully designed, developed, and QC’d, it is time to launch. However, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch. You must make sure that your site is on the correct server and hosting platform. You must also retest it to ensure that every feature functions as it should. Once you have done this, you can then reveal your website to the public, officially launching your custom website.
Launching a business website is a massive milestone for virtually any company. However, just because your site is live does not mean the work is complete. One way to continue to bring new customers to a website is to update it with new content regularly. Many web developers offer services that involve making sure your content is up to date. However, with the help of a content management system (CMS), businesses can update the content on their own. However, if you choose to do so, this will need to be decided during the planning stage. Other maintenance items include site backups, updates, and more.
The web design process is an arduous one, especially if you plan on creating a custom website. It can be a challenging process without the help of a trusted team of web builders. If your business is looking to get started on creating a custom website, contact Tech Critic today to learn how we can help.