A peek inside our website design process.
With anything that matters in life, it’s often the work we put in behind the scenes that makes them wonder how we did it. So in this blog post, I’m sharing a peek inside our web design process, primed for 2022 and beyond.
Much like the self-care appointments that we love to book (think, hair, nails, massage, brunch, okay!?), a calendar keeps our time locked in for direct care and focus on our needs for that space in time.
When you hire a web designer, work with a social designer, or even find the right coach you are getting access to them for a time period that allows for the assigned needs of your business to be met.
As a Branding Agency for the last 5 years, we’ve had multiple amazing projects that really changed the landscape for female entrepreneurs and what was possible for them in design. And alongside those wins, we’ve also encountered consistent issues surrounding the ability to launch effective, impactful design projects on time and within budget.
With the landscape of web design for small businesses changing, I wanted to breakdown the process in this blog of what helps ensure an easy/breezy project process as you embark on elevating your brand in 2022 and beyond. May this even help you decide whether you’re ready to hire a website designer or if you should start with a template.
What we’ll cover:
Planning projects with tangible goals in mind ensures all the right details are in place in the final result.
Managing multiple projects works best with the right system. In this case, I use ClickUp to create a design calendar. A design calendar shows all the projects (e.g. clients) in the pipeline so that there’s always an overview of what’s next. This is also why making sure clients understand and have time to prepare what’s necessary to get their projects done on time is so important.
The video below gives a simplified example of the design calendar with multiple Focus Sprints or Design VIP clients. This 2-week design process is perfect for cutting down on project delivery. But it’s also a nightmare if a client is not ready with their materials in time for their own focus sprint, and what we always work hard to avoid, misses their design space on the calendar.
For design agencies, this results in delaying other projects and/or charging a client a project rescheduling fee — much like a missed hair appointment, taking time on a designer’s calendar ensures focus on your project but also only allows for that block of time to be paid for and allotted.
Get clear on how the website fits into long-term marketing strategies and monetary goals.
Focusing on the key monetary, brand awareness, launches and other key business goals that required the project take place in the first place.
Decide the hierarchy of the goals (e.g. products/services to showcase, calls-to-action that support these goals, etc) and where/how they would appear on the website. Showing clear connections based on the strategy call is allows for clarity and consistency in both strategy and design throughout the brand.
Once we have an informed, calculated direction, we then know what we need to prepare.
Preparation for a website design project makes sure all the visuals and content are aligned with the brand’s ultimate goals.
Content is what makes sure a website serves its purpose in growing a digital brand. Once the strategy and priorities are in place, we’ll know what we need to prepare for:
- Brand Design Strategy
- Written content for all pages, email lead magnets, product descriptions, etc
- Visual content, which can include selecting relevant stock photography or planning a brand photoshoot
With the right tools in place, we can begin designing the website, or as I like to call production.
Proper planning & preparation helps produce a website that drives business forward.
Often my website design projects are booked 1-2 months in advance to give us time to help clients plan and prepare (content, photoshoots) in advance of our production schedule.
For newer clients and brands that need help with re-organizing their website content, Website Templates are a helpful starting point. While custom designs for brands like beauty/wellness, personal brands, bloggers, and influencers give them an edge — so they are able to show up with their unique flair from amidst a crowd of sameness.
In the last year alone, there has been a surge in selling website templates available.
A website template works well for those that:
- Have a limited budget (under $1000.00)
- and/or are still in the validation stage of their business
- Don’t have the time to make the deadlines a professional would need them to meet (e.g. need more time to get it donee
Web designers are still highly recommended for clients that:
- are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin
- Want to maximize their digital platform
- understand the importance of working on their business vs. in it
- want to work with a professional to spearhead the process AND understand what comes next (after the site is published)
- have a clear set of products/goals that they want to achieve with the website
- Want to hand off the work to someone who gets it
And whether you use a template or hire a designer, nailing the Plan & Prepare stages will make production so much more effective.
With the website design completed and ready to rock and roll, we’re ready to hit publish. But as you can probably guess, we’re doing more than pushing a button and walking away!
To maximize your investment of time and money, publish your website to a warm audience and provide consistent content strategy.
If you’ve ever seen me say, Launch Like You Mean It, this is a cornerstone. Don’t just hit publish and hope visitors find their way to the party on their own.
Your launch strategy can incorporate marketing channels (email, social media, Facebook/Instagram ads, tc) that you already utilize and even introduce new ones.
For my clients, launch strategies have included:
- Countdown posts on social
- Announcements to an existing email list
- Creating Instagram stories + highlights describing the WHY for the new website or rebrand process
- Announcement post on social media
- PR: like writing to a local/global publication to announce the new website
- Writing new blog content to encourage visitors to see the new website and engage with the strategically placed content
A website design project can be a fulfilling process that further establishes your expertise, a home for your brand, and the perfect employee that works for you 24/7.
In 2022 and beyond, I hope you see growth at a grand scale. Are you ready to get your best brand off the ground? Apply to work with us here.