1 – Domain:
One of the first things you will need is a domain or URL, such as www.greendragonflywd.com. If you don’t already have one, getting one is pretty simple. Some people use companies like GoDaddy or BlueHost, etc. These places can usually help you get a domain and hosting at the same time. However, keep in mind that they are two separate entities, and will have two separate statements. We have been using Fastcomet.com as our hosting provider. Right now you can get a free domain for life, if you host with them; and, needless to say, they have great customer service.
2 – Hosting:
So, once you get a domain, you will need somewhere to “host” your website. Again, and I am going against a lot of people here, we do NOT recommend GoDaddy. Their servers are too congested, which makes your website way too slow. Fastcomet.com– again — is what we actually recommend. Not only is their customer service great, but their hosting packages are extremely reasonable too.
3 – Logo:
Assuming you already have a logo, it is important to realize that print logos do not always work well with digital online websites. So you may need to have your logo re-vamped for the internet. Having the logo ready to go before setting up the web design process is the best practice. Furthermore, your site should reflect your logo brand one hundred percent. This is why customizing your site and not using a free template company like “Wix” is the best choice for serious businesses.
4 – Content:
Now we are getting into probably the most important part of any website: the content. To create a website design before implementing content is just unacceptable these days. You wouldn’t try to build a house without a blueprint, would you?
By knowing what you want to convey to your customers online, and having it ready before the design process will make your entire website development process go fifty percent faster. Because of its importance, creating and revamping content will take the longest part of the whole process. And content will include all the text, images, social media contacts, SEO creation, and videos on your website. Another type of content needed to be considered is your email address setup, which would be used for contact forms and such.
5 – Sitemap:
Once you have your logo and your content ready, you can now create a sitemap of your website. This will help with where you want your content on your website, as well as your navigation setup. Usually it is just a spreadsheet with all the main pages as headings, and shows which content will go on what page. Your navigation is essential for optimal user experience. If you have pages on your website that are hard for people to find, you will have a very low engagement rate on your website.
6 – Web Design:
Now you are ready to start the design process. This will include the color scheme, look and feel of the website, typography, and layouts of every page. Like I said before, it is extremely difficult to create a layout without knowing exactly what will be on each page. The design process can take many shapes and forms, too. It could be created in a graphic software program such as Photoshop, or on a staging server on WordPress, etc..
7 – Web Development:
The development part is the programming and coding of your website. If developed in WordPress, it is usually done at the same time as the Design process. But this would include setting up backups, security of your website, and moving your site from the staging area to the live hosting. Also, any special functions needed on the website are created in the development process, such as: specialized contact forms that include conditional logic, which defines “if a button is pushed, a form will appear”. The development process also happens during the launch phase.
8 – Maintenance:
So… now that your website is launched, you’re done, right? Wrong!!! Ongoing maintenance of your website is so important these days, especially for WordPress websites. By updating your WordPress framework, plugins, and theme frequently, you are making sure your site is safe and secure. Most WordPress websites which are hacked, are because of poor passwords and from not updating their plugins, WordPress framework, and theme.
Which brings me to having backups created frequently as well. If your site crashes or gets hacked, you are in trouble if you don’t have a backup to put back on your server.
So maintenance, in my opinion, needs to be done weekly for some items, monthly for other items.
In conclusion, creating and owning a website does not stop there. It is important to be updating your content consistently, if you want your website to show up higher in Google searches. There is a lot that goes into running a website that most people are unaware of, and it is the Green Dragonfly Web Design’s passion to help your small business not worry about it, and let us help you.