You’ll have seen ‘quick fix’ web design companies and maybe even presented with the wrong digital solutions in the past. That’s because using a cut-price, as opposed to cost-effective, web agency means two major issues:
Built around YOUR needs?
Every business is different, so you’ll need a full range of website types available and the solution – taking in your SEO, social media needs and more – built around you. A big picture view of your goals, strategies and company culture means a website custom-built to perform for you alone.
Just as you can’t buy an ‘off the shelf’ website from a web design company for your unique needs, you can’t treat a website as a ‘fix and forget’ purchase. The right support for your questions, with making the website integrate with your business (online AND offline) plus a helping hand with changes in the digital world are all needed.
We’ll ask if your site how often – and to what degree – you’ll need to change the content on your site, if online selling is part of your business and if any special functions are needed. Our advice? Think about the goals your website should be achieving now AND in the future. More leads? Better engagement with your customers? An online resource for sales colleagues?
Something you don’t need now, such as an easily editable blog section, may be needed for a sales campaign before long. Or an attractive, well-performing landing page could be the boost for social media conversions before you know it.
By looking at your digital needs as a whole, both in the present and from a strategic view, every element can be integrated and future-proofed properly to produce lasting results. We love building lasting relationships with our returning clients because we know we can help keep the elements of their online world performing in harmony to keep their sales team busy!
We all know Belfast is becoming a better and better place (we hope!) to do business. But as the competition goes increasingly global for all of us, we can double-down on our home-grown expertise to make local knowledge a strength.
We have returning customers from across Belfast who comes to us for web design, and more, that truly changes with their business. That’s because making web design work hard for YOU means deciding to engage with a local company who’ll:
Understand your business:
We’re – like you – a straight-talking, company with a clear approach to how we do business and what we want to achieve.
Understand your customers:
We’re based in Belfast, with web design customers all across Northern Ireland. We know an industrial business in Greater Belfast and a retailer in Belfast city centre are two different customers, we know every industry in Northern Ireland has its own challenges and we know the ups and downs of your business world.
Understand your area:
Imagine explaining to a web bureau overseas about doing business on our changing high street, about the modern tourism boom or about responding to cross-border trade. We know your areas because we already live and work among your customers.
Our Web Development Methodology
Planning & Research
The first step is we need to thoroughly understand your business, your business goals, your customers and their expectations and behaviour, and how your website factors into all of it.
We will begin our process with an analysis of the current site ensuring the site performance and metrics are of a suitable standard to match current expectations set by Google for Search Engine Optimisation. Included in this stage will be a technical review which will include a test on the key elements required for the modern website inspecting the mobile optimisation on the current site and seeing how we can improve and produce on the results.
We’ll also look at the competitive landscape to establish context and benchmarks for how your site should function and then improve on that. This stage will give us the foundation for moving forward with just the right recommendations for the design and development of your new responsive website.
Once we’re armed with this information, we’ll set to work sketching out interface layouts for 3-5 different views, including the home page, subpage, the blog template, and any additional templates needed. Wireframes look like simple skeletons of your website without the visual polish of the finished design, allowing us to experiment and iterate on solutions quickly so that we have a good sense of how content should be laid out across different screen sizes.
We recommend having all of your content ready by this stage which will inform the design and make it faster to load the initial content on the development server so content doesn’t hold back the launch. If you won’t be able to provide professionally written content by this stage we recommend having our in-house copywriter create the content for you.
Next, we’ll design high-fidelity comps that show what the final designs will look like on desktop, tablet, and smartphone screen sizes, providing up to two rounds of revisions on the design.
Next, we’ll set to work making your design a reality by building the site using standards-based technology. We’ll build the front-end templates in HTML5, CSS, and use JQuery for simple behaviour and effects like animations and form validation.
We recommend WordPress as your content management system (CMS) so you can update the content yourself. WordPress is the most popular open-source CMS in the world and has thousands of developers constantly improving it and contributing plugins to extend its functionality. We’ll install WordPress on your server, set up the admin panel for you and then create a custom WordPress theme that will mirror the design we created for you.
Your website will initially contain between 5-10 static pages (ie: pages that don’t change often) including the home page, about us, our services, our team, and contact us. You will be able to add new top-level and secondary pages to the site navigation yourself in WordPress. We’ll also set up a blog for you to publish posts that will be displayed in reverse chronological order with pagination, search, tagging and category filters.
The website will include a social media widget on the home page to display your Twitter feed, social share buttons on your blog posts, a simple email form on your contact page, and an email newsletter sign up form which we’ll look into your MailChimp account.
Plugins are a way to extend the functionality of WordPress and make the admin panel easier to manage. We’ll install a limited number of plugins for launch, which will include a simplified way to manage the navigation, automatically backup the database, SEO tools so you can manage the title and meta description tags, and an XML sitemap generator which will help Google index your pages automatically.
We’ll test the website in a variety of browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 9. We’ll also test the responsive design on iPhone and Android devices. We’ll test the functionality of the site to ensure there are no errors or broken links and then hand it over to you for review on a test server.
Once you’ve tested the website and are happy with its functionality, we’ll make the WordPress theme live on your website and point your domain over to the new site. Launch time!