As a business owner, getting a new website can be very exciting — a revamped online presence can help boost your reputation and credibility tremendously.
However, at the same time, getting a new website is not just a matter of having a couple meetings, carrying out a few clicks, and it’s done.
In order to build a new website that is going to be worthwhile and working for you 24/7, the proper planning and execution must take place — and it doesn’t happen overnight (nor should it).
So what all goes into getting a new website? Let’s begin.
How long will it take?
So how long will your website take? Well, every website has specific needs and goals, and we build your site to cater to just that. Therefore, no website is the same.
I know, it’s like Christmas Eve and you just want your new website live! Don’t worry, we do too — but it has to be done right.
On average, for a small, brochure website of say 5-8 pages and minimal custom functionality, you can expect a turnaround of 6 weeks.
But larger, more complex websites with more functionality (like e-commerce) can take 3-4 months (or sometimes longer).
Besides factoring the actual scope of work, your commitment and response time to stay on-track and keep the project moving forward is one of the biggest factors in how long this can take. Delays in your response and feedback quickly add-up and can delay the launch of your new website.
We follow a process
You are interested in getting a new website because you want an online presence that’s going to do someting for you — not just exist. So in order to this successfully, we follow a 4-step process to ensure every detail is covered and we strategize and execute fully.
Stage 1: Discovery & Research
In this initial stage, we do a 1-hour discovery call to really dive deep into your business. This is where we find out about your brand, your customers, competitors, current struggles, your goals, and more. This step is the most crucial in deciding what would make this website a success for you.
Stage 2: Strategy & Planning
Once we do the deep dive and research, we then do further planning and strategy to build out a website sitemap — this is what will lay out the structure for your website navigation (and pages). Additionally, we finalize the technology and approach for building out the custom needs and requirements your site may need.
Stage 3: Creative & Design
Now to the fun part! In stage 3, we design the mockup of your new website homepage (and sometimes a single interior page as well). Our design process
consists of implementing all our research, your goals, your business, and your brand into a new online experience. We build this mockup design offline so that we can nail down the look and feel before we begin to develop online.
If you do not have a branding style guide, we do necessary color research and font discovery to portray the best possible emotions, look, and feel that matches who your business is. With everything we do, we ensure that your business and your brand is at the forefront.
Stage 4: Build, Test & Launch
In this final stage, the development of your website takes place. We build every page with a custom layout and design that’s catered to your ideal client —no templates used! That means there will be no other website we’ve created like yours —it’s unique and individualized to meet your specific needs.
Nowadays, Google cares quite a bit about the speed of your website. For this reason, we ensure that all images, fonts and assets are optimized and loaded appropriately for the best experience possible.
After website launch, we submit your website to Google to let them know they need to crawl your site and index it in search results. This is not a tactic to get your website ranked for a specific search, it’s just to let Google know your website exist.
Note: As mentioned, every website build is different, but this is the basic 4-step process we follow — depending on complexity and your needs, your website process may alter slightly.
You need hosting and a domain
Well, if you already have a website, then you already have a host and domain — so you’re set.
But if you do not have an existing website, you’ll need to obtain both (we can help with this, too).
Website Hosting is the online server where your website files will exist — this is absolutely required in order to host your files online. Otherwise, there will be nowhere for your website to live.
A Domain is the URL you type in the search bar to visit your website — for example: adamwrightdesign.com. Your domain then points to the website hosting files so that your host knows where to show them.
Think of it like your home — the foundation that your house was built on is like the hosting, and your address is like your domain. Without your foundation, your house would not exist, and without your address nobody would know where to find you.
We help you to set these up for optimal speed and security, and to help choose a domain that fits your business.
You will have homework
After having built dozens of websites, one of the most common areas of getting a new website that business owners underestimate is the effort and time needed on their part.
Yes, we are here to help keep everything on target, designed, built and looking and working great, however we still need you, as the business owner, to play a large role in providing content, feedback, and valuable information about your business that only you know.
When working with AWD, here’s the responsibilities that you’ll have along the way.
Planner & Content
You will receive your very own Project Dashboard, that will be come the hub for your tasks and website development. Here, you’ll have access to your homework which will include a Website Planner, as well as pre-made Content documents based on your website sitemap.
You’ll be responsible for filling in this planner, as well as providing the necessary content for your website pages.
(Don’t want to write the content? Don’t worry — we can help!)
Besides providing content, you are responsible for being available to set aside time for meetings and reviews. For example, when we have your website homepage mockup design ready, you will need to review it and provide feedback within the given deadline.
We always provide flexibility in the schedule, as we don’t expect you to drop everything you’re doing, but we do expect a constant stream of communication and responsiveness.
You will need to keep it updated
Another important factor when getting a new website is to remember that it will need ongoing maintenance and updates — unlike the crockpot, you can’t just “set it and forget it!”
A Website Care Plan is our ongoing maintenance packages we offer to help you secure your investment for the foreseeable future, and allow you to do what you do best running your business.
Just like your brand new car needs ongoing maintenance in oil changes, new tires, and fill up the wiper fluid, your website needs ongoing maintenance too.
Now besides the maintenance, you do not want your website to go stale. Your website content will need regular updates so customers and visitors will see that you are a fully functioning business and are always improving, running sales, etc.
There are many ways you can keep your website content updated, including posting new blog posts, having flash sales, updating imagery, or refreshing your homepage to name a few.
Leaving your website to go stale is one of the worst things you can do after launch if you want it to be successful.
What a new website will NOT get you
There are many things a new, custom website will get you — however, there are a few things that don’t happen with no effort.
Are they all possible? Absolutely, but they require ongoing work and strategy to achieve — let’s read more.
To the top of Google search results
You might think, “Great, I got a new site! Now I’ll be at the top of Google.”
But that’s not true — just because you have a new site, does not mean you will suddenly be at the top of Google.
Achieving higher rankings on search results is part of a larger, ongoing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy that involves many aspects like keywords, blogs, ads and more. If this is one of your goals, then getting a new website is great because we can setup the foundation to help with this success down the road.
Just keep in mind that by only launching a new website will not produce a high ranking on Google.
Guaranteed sales (or leads)
If an agency is guaranteeing you $X in sales or an increase in # of leads with your new website, then they are either giving you a “sales pitch” to get you in the door, or are charging a fortune 😅
With a new website, we build it based on your business goals and needs — helping lead customers to the right pages, with the right information that will (hopefully) achieve new sales or leads.
But much like the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink — you can get someone on your website, but you can’t make them convert.
Building the website is the initial part of trying to achieve more sales and leads, however an ongoing digital marketing plan is required to help nurture your audience into paying customers.
So with a website launch, it’s only the foundational piece for beginning to build the layers of success. You’ll need marketing expertise to bring the right people to your website, at the right times who are specifically looking for your product or service.
Are you ready for your new site?
We’ve covered the overall details in what you should know when getting a new website, and hope you’re now more prepared for what’s to come.
It can seem like a lot, but we’re always there every step of the way to keep you organized, informed and updated.