The process of creating a website
The process of creating a website begins with us working together to determine your needs and wants from a website or any other graphic you may need. By discussing what results you expect to see, we are able to better serve your needs and meet your goals.
What do you want your website to do?
DigitalOatmeal works with you to make your website. If you don’t know what to expect or where to start, that’s ok. Our professional team works with you to bring your message out.
Our web design professionals work with you to find out exactly what you want and need. This is the information gathering part which helps us plan the direction we need to go. This is the part where we begin to ask lots of questions. In order for us to do our job right, we need to know your business and how your website will help you.
We have found that by discovering the customer’s goals, we are able to create a quality website that attracts readers. In tech-speak, this is called “Conversion”. Conversion is getting your site visitor to do what you want them to do; such as sign up for a newsletter, buy something, register for an event, etc.
This is the time we ask the 5 questions (who, what, when, where, why and how).
- Who is your target audience? What do you want them to do? How do you want them to react? How do you want them to feel?
- What problem are you trying to solve with your business and website?
- When do you want the site to be up?
- Where are your customers located?
- Why are you wanting a website? What are your expectations of your new website?
- Finally, how are you going to use the website? Are you selling products or service or are you blogging and giving away information?
It is during this portion of the project we find out if you have the content written, have the images needed, or if we have to write the content and get the images.
Content is King and Pictures tell the story
You can write your own text or you can have us do it. We have professional writers who know how to makes words come to life that will help your website attract readers.
According to Google Fellow Amit Singhal, the four important factors of content to consider are:
- Provide original content or information, original reporting, research or analysis.
- Content needs quality control
- Content should provide complete and comprehensive coverage of the topic.
- The content should be something you’d want to share, recommend or bookmark
Pictures are a very important part of the design. There is no sense in having a picture of an elephant when you are talking about furniture, for instance. Unless the elephant is buying the furniture.
Content Management System (CMS)
We use WordPress, exclusively. A little about what we call CMS: That is a fancy name which simply means you have control over the content of the site once it is built, but we lock down elements so you can’t accidentally damage the site. We use highly customized WordPress as our back-end for your sites. We have found that the interface is simple for our customers yet powerful enough to do almost anything. Don’t worry, if you don’t feel comfortable making changes or don’t have the time, we can handle that for you.
The Development Phase of your website project
Once we have come to an agreement on what it will take to help you build or grow your business, then we proceed to the Development Phase of your website where we begin work on the actual layout of the site, without the graphics. During the Development Phase the site begins to take shape. The text is placed where it will go and “placeholders” are inserted where the pictures and other graphics will go.
Are you asking yourself, “What happened to the graphics?” Well, the truth of the matter is that great websites have great content first and then that content is supported with great graphics.
Designing your website
The Design Phase is where we show you our proposal for the front page and get your feedback. We will also show you our ideas for the layout and design of the inside pages. Once we have agreed to how the site will look and feel, we can then go back to the studio and finish putting the site together.
Let’s face it… this is the most exciting phase of your website – where you actually see what it will look like!
Testing and Delivery
Once we have completed the site we test it to make sure it is responsive (works on all major mobile devices) and that all the links work. Once we have done this, we can either host your site on our servers, (which we highly recommend) or we can move the site from our development server to your host. Once the move is made, we once again make sure your website is working the way it needs to, just like it did before.
Just because the site is “done” it’s not really done. You will have to bring new content or products to your readers to keep your site updated. You can do it or you can contract with us to do it. Maintenance also can include making sure your site is secure from hackers who want to do bad things to your new website.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a critical part of your website. The truth is that we will build a beautiful site that, once your prospective clients find you, they will stick around and look through it. But, you also need a professional to do more than just the basics for your SEO. We do site design. We do beautiful site design but we don’t do advanced SEO…we hire someone to help us with it. We know the professionals who can do your SEO for you and they do a great job.
We can set your social media up for you. However, we cannot do the maintenance of it. That can be a lot of work and we just don’t have the time. We have professionals in our “Rolodex” who all they do is Social Media, and they are darned good at it.
Our ideal client is:
1. someone who values our work as much as they value theirs
2. someone who understands that knowledge and experience count for something
3. someone who understands that we work for money and not promises
4. someone who values our time as much as we will value theirs
5. someone who is not afraid of being told “no” when they want us to do things that just don’t make sense
6. someone who respects us and our limits…there are just some things we don’t do, can’t do or won’t do. If that happens, we will tell you so and why not. If you need something done that we can’t do, etc, we will refer you to someone we have used and trust.
Because no two websites are exactly the same, we find it hard, if not downright impossible, to tell you how much your site will cost before we sit down and talk about your needs and wants. Not only that, we will not do a “bait and switch” by telling you your site will be $100 and then start telling you it will require add-ons to make it operational bringing the total price into the thousands of dollars when you were expecting $100. We just ain’t gonna do that to you.
What we can tell you is that our prices start at $750US for a website that has 3-5 pages, has images you have supplied as well as the content (text), basic SEO, 1 year of web hosting on our secure servers, a beautiful custom blog layout and a Google-friendly address that begins with HTTPS. Please note that your site will be a custom site that is not made from a template. Also, this is for a “brochure style” website that does not include any eCommerce functionality (that costs extra). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will get back to you just as quickly as possible, usually in the same day.
Our hourly rate is $75 per hour. Therefore, when we tell you how much your site will cost, we are guessing how many hours it will take. If we are wrong, and it takes longer, then you don’t pay extra for our time. Sorry, but if we are done sooner, you don’t get a discount.
Yes, we will work with you on payments. However, you need to know it will cost you more to make payments than if you were to just pay us. It’s kinda like using your credit card…if you paid cash for something you wold pay less than having to pay interest on the card.
We also offer maintenance programs to fit your budget. Our rates start at $60 per month which include:
- up to 3 changes per month,
- adding content (supplied by you or we can write it for you…ask for pricing),
- hosting on our secure servers provided by SiteGround,
- adding images (supplied by you),
- hardening your website to prevent hackers from getting in,
- minor modifications to existing layouts,
- creating new social accounts
- adding and deleting email addresses