These are the four key stages in the creation of your website:
- You sign up for web hosting (I recommend Evohosting) and choose a domain name, e.g. joebloggs.com.
- You share the web hosting login and password information with me.
- You provide me with some draft text and ideas about pictures (and specific image files, if available).
- I create a preliminary version of the website and you give me feedback, and perhaps provide some additional/revised content. I make revisions accordingly. The process is repeated until you’re completely satisfied.
Stage 4 is often surprisingly brief. Many clients simply say, “That looks great. Can you please just change x and add y, and then we’re all done!”
However, a minority of clients are very different. They give every aspect of the site careful consideration and then request multiple changes (macro and micro) not just once or twice but repeatedly, over a period of weeks. I genuinely like this type of client just as much as the ‘easy’ kind! I devote an enormous amount of care and attention to every website I build and I’m delighted when a client can spare the time to get as involved as me in nurturing our creation.
- Assuming the website will be a new build (rather than a revamp of an existing site, which I’m equally happy to do), you’ll first need to sign up for web hosting. It’s necessary for you to do this, rather than me, because you ought to be the owner of your website rather than have me owning it on your behalf. You can sign up with any host you wish, including one of the big names like GoDaddy, 1&1 or 123Reg. Personally, I recommend (and use) Evohosting.
- Again assuming the website is a new build, you’ll need to choose and register a domain name, e.g. joebloggs.com. You don’t have to register your domain name via your web host but it makes life a lot simpler (and usually works out cheaper) if you do. Your web host will have tools to help you find an available name, and you’ll be able to choose whether you want a .com or .co.uk or other address.
- You’ll need to choose from the web host’s selection of hosting plans. The cheapest, most basic plan will almost always suffice for a new website. It’s easy to upgrade later if the need arises.
- You then share the web hosting login and password information with me, or install WordPress at the web host and share the specific WordPress login and password information with me.
- You provide me with a brief (which can be short or long, sent by email and/or discussed over the phone), some draft text and ideas about pictures (and specific image files, if available).
- Also, feel free to request any specific visual elements you might want for your site. These might include a logo, icons or other tailor-made (or at least hand-picked) graphics. Please see the Services page to get an idea of some of the graphics I’ve created for other clients.
- I will install WordPress as your website’s content management system, if you haven’t already done this.
- I’ll install a suitable ‘theme’ – the site’s styling framework. There are thousands of themes to choose from and I’ve acquired an in-depth knowledge of which ones look best, work best and will best meet a client’s specific attributes and requirements. You’re welcome to get involved in the theme selection process although most clients decide to leave this entirely up to me.
- I will also install various ‘plugins’ as appropriate, augmenting the site’s functionality. There are more than 50,000 plugins available, for almost every conceivable purpose, both behind the scenes and ‘on stage’. The plugins I routinely install include ones that buttress the site’s resistance to hacking attempts and improve its visibility to search engines. If you’re interested, please click here to read more about plugins – and let me know if there’s one (or more) you’d particularly like added to your site.
- I will create a preliminary version of the website, usually over a period of 3–4 days. During this phase the site (although already live) can be hidden from public view, showing only a ‘coming soon’ message to any would-be visitor other than a logged-in user.
- I may email you during the creation process to consult you on some particular issue. And, when in doubt, I might ask you to prioritise certain characteristics. For example, do you want each page to be feature filled or to load very fast? (Usually you can’t have both.)
- I’ll advise you as soon as the draft version is ready for your inspection. For simplicity, I usually make the site publicly visible at this point but if you prefer it can stay hidden and you’ll have to log in to be able to preview it.
- You can give me feedback when you’ve had time to consider everything. By all means provide some additional/revised text and/or images at this stage and I’ll make revisions accordingly. Unlike printed publicity material, it doesn’t matter if you (or I) get something wrong or have a minor afterthought or a complete change of mind about any aspect of the website. There’s no limit to how many revisions can be made.