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Our Development Process

This page takes you step-by-step through our development process to give you an idea of how we will work with you to create your website. We don’t expect you to be an expert and will always explain things in non-technical terms.

Process Contents

  1. Initial Consultation
  2. Client Survey
  3. Estimate Preparation
  4. Development Contract
  5. Content Gathering
  6. Site Structure
  7. Design Drafts
  8. Code Development
  9. Site Testing
  10. Site Launch
  11. Site Maintenance
  12. Managing Change

1. Initial Consultation

Two businessmen shaking hands over a desk

The first step is an initial meeting at no cost or obligation on your part. We will answer any questions you have and try to find out about your business and what you want a website to achieve for you. The main objective of this meeting is two-fold: to enable you to decide whether you would like to work with us, and for us to determine whether your project is an appropriate one for us to undertake.

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2. Client Survey

If you decide to go ahead we will ask you to complete a Client Survey. This questionnaire helps us to gather the information we need to prepare an estimate for your project. Occasionally we may need to ask for further clarification on some of the information provided.

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3. Estimate Preparation

From the information gathered so far, we will prepare a written site specification and a cost estimate for your website project.

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4. Development Contract

Signing the contract

If you decide to proceed based on the specification and estimate we prepare a standard development contract for you to sign. We ask for a down payment of approximately one-third of the estimate at the signing of the contract.

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5. Content Gathering

Before work can begin on building the site, we need to gather or develop the graphic content and the textual content needs to be written. We will assist you in pulling together the text, logo, graphics and photographs needed for the site, but please be aware that this will require a time commitment from you to find and prepare the necessary materials.

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6. Site Structure

We will then develop a site map to identify all the pages that will make up your finished site. This will show how the site will be structured and how visitors will navigate their way around.

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7. Design Drafts

Architect working on technical drawings

Next, we prepare the initial page layout and visual design, taking into account the goals and requirements previously identified. We generally find that two review cycles is sufficient to reach a final draft. In each review cycle we will ask for your feedback and use this feedback to produce the next draft.

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8. Code Development

When you have signed off on the final page design, we begin the actual code development for your website. Another payment of approximately one-third of the cost estimate is also due at this time. This payment may be adjusted if your website specification has changed significantly (see Managing Change below).

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9. Site Testing

We thoroughly test our coding to make sure it functions properly on different systems and browsers. You will have the chance at this point to review the site and make minor corrections as necessary.

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10. Site Launch

Impressive fireworks display in the sky

Prior to launching your site to the world at large, we need to optimise it for the search engines so that people can find it. Lastly, upon payment of the outstanding balance we will upload your site to your host server and it is "live".

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11. Site Maintenance

If you would like us to undertake the ongoing maintenance for your site we will be happy to do so. We can offer either a fixed monthly cost or a “pay-as-you-go” scheme depending on the volume of changes you expect your site will require.

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12. Managing Change

It is inevitable that things will change over the course of the project and we will do our best to accommodate necessary changes as they arise. However, it is very easy for projects to get out of control in terms of both time and budget through a stream of seemingly innocuous minor changes to the agreed scope.

We therefore employ a change management process whereby whenever you request a change, we will inform you of the additional time and cost that will be incurred before asking you to sign it off. We find that this ensures that you control any budget or time increases arising through changes in specification.

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Building Blocks

Our process can be broken down into the following 5 high-level phases:

1. Project Definition
Architect working on blueprints

Just as you wouldn't start building a house without plans, we don't start building a website without them either. The first phase identifies what you want the site to achieve and who it's aimed at. It mainly involves fact finding and data gathering, but it is an important first step.

Covers process steps 1 to 4.

2. Develop Site Structure
Construction worker laying a building foundation

Next, we have to lay the foundations for the site. We need to identify what content you want to include and where it will be sourced — does it already exist or will it need to be created? We will produce a sitemap identifying all the pages on the site and how they will link together via navigational elements.

Covers process steps 5 & 6.

3. Interface Design
Bedroom interior with well dressed bed and bedside table

Finally we get to work on how the new site will look. We start with some rough design ideas which are refined over a couple of review cycles. The final design will define the colour scheme, the heading and text fonts, site graphics and page layout.

Covers process step 7.

4. Build
Construction working laying bricks

At last we get to the physical build. We write the code for every page on the site and develop the site stylesheet. We test each page for standards compliance, accessibility and browser compatibility. We also check that all navigational elements and links function correctly.

Covers process steps 8 & 9.

Launch & Beyond
Welcome mat outside new front door

Just before we launch the site we make some final tweaks for the search engines and then we copy all the files to your web server and the site is live! Once the site is live, you may start to think about improvements. This may simply be to add your latest news, or it may be an entirely new feature. Whatever your needs, we can help you keep your site maintained.

Covers process steps 10 & 11.

Feedback

We hope you find the information contained on our site helpful. If you have any feedback or questions about this site, then please get in touch.

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