How A Website is Made: A Very Special GLAD WORKS Production
We talk a lot on our blog about what we do, but we realized that we never talk about how we do what we do. So today, and maybe every so often from now on, we’ll give you a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes here at GLAD WORKS during the “doing” phases of your projects.
First, let’s talk about what happens when we design a website. It seems magical, doesn’t it? You come in here, you tell us what you want, and POOF! There’s a website.
“Whoa! That was AWESOME!” you say. “You guys are mmmmmaagical!”
While this is completely true and we are indeed quite magical, there’s a lot of steps in between the kickoff of a project and the launch of a beautiful, brand-y new website.
Here’s the 411 with a very special GLAD WORKS twist.
First we have the kickoff meeting where we sit down with you and talk about what you have in mind. Depending on what we’ve gathered about your needs from our initial contact with you, we’ll assemble our team accordingly. There will certainly be a designer, a web developer (aka Techie), and a project manager. Oh, and you’ll be there too, of course!
Maybe there will also be a photographer and a copywriter if you’re really doing it up nicely. We’d show you a picture of them but they’re both too unattractive looking to make an appearance here today, the poor creatures.
It’s okay if you have no idea what you want your site to be like. We have lots of experience with this sort of thing and we’re not afraid of the likes of you unless you look like this:
Even then, we are still not afraid; we’d just prefer to do the kickoff meeting by phone.
At this meeting, we’ll ask you questions designed to help us understand your needs. We’ll discuss your target audience, goals for your site, your overall branding, and what deadlines you might have. We’ll look at stuff you do and do not like and also make sure you’re getting all the extra stuff you need like eCommerce or a new logo.
And then you go home and you wait ever so patiently while we get our creative on.
We start by researching your business and your competitor’s sites. We look to see who comes up first in a Google search and try to determine why they come up first, and then we dream of all the ways in which your website can be amazing in its own right. We also start thinking about fonts and colors that might look nice on your website.
Sometimes our designers start by sketching things out on paper. Sometimes they start with an etch a sketch or a wireframe, but whatever they use, it helps them determine the layout and structure of the site and what the navigation will be like. Once they’re done, you get to see the initial concepts and give them some feedback. It’s ok if you don’t like what they come up with. It doesn’t need to be the big, pink elephant in the room.
After all, this is your website and you need to dig it.
Once everyone agrees on how your website is going to look and how it’s going to function, the designer goes to town on the home page and sub pages of your site. They put in the content and the images and send it off to you again for some feedback.
Make sure you’re happy with everything because once it’s coded, it can be time consuming to make changes. It makes the techies’ heads explode and it’s so gross.
Now the techies get to have their fun! The site goes into the coding phase where they wave some kind of wizardry over the design and POOF! There’s a real live working website!
And then they test it to make sure it behaves the way they intended and that it’s fast and functional as can be. Believe it or not, they actually try to break it. Yup. They try to break what they worked so hard to create because if they can’t break it, hopefully your customers can’t either.
And then it’s time for the big moment—the launch! Your website is finally ready to go live. Sadly, nobody breaks open a bottle of champagne and smashes it over the computer screen or anything, like they do with a ship. But it’s still a big moment—it’s the culmination of our collaborative efforts. It was just you and all of us, working together to create something magical and amazing, something that will (hopefully) make you lots of money.
After that it’s all Zen, baby!
This is clearly just a broad overview of what goes on. There are a gazillion team meetings and internal deadlines happening in between the major phases of a project. And we didn’t even tell you about this part:
We wanted to protect you.