How we work

Delivering your new website.

 

Our managed website plans use a design template to kickstart the build process faster than the traditional concept/wireframe approach. The templates are easily customised to fit your brand and message and this allows us to build websites in a rapid and more agile way.

Each stage is designed to ensure the right focus is applied to reviews and approvals to minimise re-work and associated delays.

These stages form project milestones that we use to track overall progress to adjust project and the launch forecast accordingly.

1. Setup

 

This is mainly a planning and administrative phase where the team works out how your project will be delivered and what resources will be needed.

  • We discuss your requirements and preferences so the team can decide the plan and best approach.
  • Build and Staging environments are set up in preparation for the next phase
  • We set up the Basecamp project space and send you an invitation to participate in the project
  • We’ll finalise your preferences with you and request any brand assets you may have
  • Assuming everything is OK we’ll finalise the PSD and ask you to review and sign it off so we can start creating the Design Template.

 

Key items & milestones:

  • Project Requirements
  • Brand Assets Delivered

2. Design

 

The objective is to provide an initial baseline website design for you to review to get a feel for how the finished site will look.  As we adopt a rapid development process using templates & page builder tools it replaces the design and wireframe phase in a traditional project.

  • This phase starts with us selecting a design template from our extensive library that we think is the best option to be modified to fit your brand, requirements and any other preferences we are aware of
  • At the same time as we are looking at designs a Project Specification Document (PSD) is produced  – this contains all the key information needed and we use this as a “work package” for your project
  • We assign a Developer to start customising the selected baseline template using the specified requirements from the PSD.
  • We create versions of the following, tailored to fit your existing brand:
    1. Homepage
    2. Footer
    3. Menu laid out to the agreed site structure

These 3 main elements form the cornerstone of the website design and we bring these together into what we call the Design Template.

  • We use the Design Template as the baseline for the remaining pages
  • We’ll present the design on a Staging URL and discuss the key elements with you, answer any questions or make any changes needed
  • This review is designed to give you an idea of how the site could look and ask questions or clarify any decisions made in the Project Specification Document
  • We also advise you on initial content requirements so you can start thinking about this early
  • Once you have approved the Design Template and Project Specification we can schedule the remaining Site Build.

 

Key items & milestones:

  • Design Template
  • Project Specification Document
  • Design and Specification Review
  • Design and Specification Approval

3. Build

This is often the longest technical phase of the project as we create all the remaining pages and features.  

  • We build the site out page by page
  • This allows for faster technical delivery and gives you a quicker idea of the style of content needed
  • During this phase, you can see all the changes as they are made on the Staging website
  • We have a separate discussion area on Basecamp for each page to keep things organised
  • As the layout, features and functions are completed for each page, we ask you to approve the page layout and we lock it down from further development changes and move on to the next page
  • Once all the pages are approved, we mark the site as Development Complete.  While minor amends are likely still required, the bulk of the development is finished and we can focus on site Finalisation with you once your content has been supplied.

Key items & milestones:

  • Page layout approved
  • Development Complete

4. Content

 

With all the individual pages built and layouts approved, you can focus purely on creating any outstanding website content.

  • You send in your content (words, images and other assets) and we will upload to the Staging site
  • Once the page content is provided we mark that page as Content Complete and upload it to the site for review
  • We’ll review each page and feature with you to confirm everything specified in the PSD is complete and the uploaded content doesn’t require further design adjustments to the page
  • Once you have approved a page we’ll lock it down from further changes apart from QA / bug fixes

 

Interim Site Option

During this stage, you may choose to launch an Interim Site using the new design.  Website projects often slow during content creation so this is an ideal way to launch a slimmed down version of the final site using any completed pages that are feasible to create a meaningful website.

  • Typical interim site pages include the homepage, about us, what we do and contact page.
  • Once the cut down site structure has been agreed, the interim site will move to Finalisation.
  • When the interim site is Live, we resume work on the remaining pages and can deploy them as a group of pages, or as a complete replacement website.

 

Key items & milestones:

  • Content Complete
  • Page Finalised

5. Finalisation

 

With all the individual pages approved, the site is now nearing completion and we build time into the project to have a final review of the entire website.  It’s common to require some minor changes at this stage as the website is viewed as a whole and the user journey and experience can be looked at from start to finish.

  • Typically, some technical adjustments are needed to sizing and spacing as the content and page layout changes, especially for mobile display
  • We track these Final Amends individually and inform you when they are ready for your review and approval
  • When these are complete, we’ll request you sign off the website as Ready for Launch and agree on a go-live date
  • The project focus shifts to site optimisation and launch readiness.

 

Key items & milestones:

 

  • Final Amends List
  • Ready for Launch

6. Launch

 

The site is locked down from further changes so we can complete final QA and Launch Preparation activities and move the site to the Live hosting environment.

  • We will carry out performance optimisation using a predefined checklist to ensure best practice standards are met
  • Once this is complete we’ll harden the WordPress installation and create user accounts
  • We carry out a final set of functional checks in the Live environment
  • When everything is ready we work with you to make the DNS change at the agreed time and the site is live
  • If an Interim Site has been launched, the project then resumes with the next outstanding page
  • Otherwise, we then transition the website to Support, set up monitoring and other tools and add it to our site management schedules before closing the project down in Basecamp.

 

Key items & milestones:

 

  • Site Preparation Complete
  • Launch Scheduled
  • Launch Complete
  • Transition to Support