Launching an online shop is a huge task. Because it's so huge, it can seem very intimidating, especially to someone unfamiliar with the process that gets you from A (wanting a site) to B (having a site).
I like to tackle my projects with a clear outline of what tasks will be tackled and when. This outline portrays a method to conquer the madness. And it's a method that works out really well.
This process is one thing that potential clients are always very concerned about. Rightfully. Each task can be divided into one of seven phases of a web design project.
The principles of a project plan begin the moment a potential client contacts me. Why are you hiring me? Do you want an eCommerce or an informational website? Are you interested in having a blog?
These basic project components, usually included in the first email you ever send me, are the beginning of the Planning phase.
The Planning phase continues to include our first phone call and a couple of questionnaires. We work through the features your site will employ, your design requirements, and all the how-tos to get you from that A to B.
Architecture is the phase where we take all of our planning and turn it into the blueprint for your website. We have a plan in place, now we need directions on how to implement it.
My architecture phase includes creating you a full sitemap and content to-do list. I'll take your requirements for your site and create a checklist of all the elements that you'll need to get to me. Things like making sure you have a pretty picture of yourself for your About page, and knowing what you'd like your newsletter sign-up auto responder to say.
Giving you a complete checklist of these items gives you a manageable task of collecting your content, with no surprises later.
The content phase is all about you. We've worked together to create a plan and a blueprint for your site, I've created you a sitemap and content checklist, and now it's your job to get this content together. Page copy, images, product descriptions. We'll factor in a few weeks for you to get all of this together, and then we'll be on to the fun part.
The design phase of the web design process is always the most anticipated. The dirty work has been done, and now it's time for fun. It's where you begin seeing your project come to life.
I begin each design phase with gathering your inspiration, and sharing some of my own. I then begin creating non-functioning layouts of what your new site will look like, allowing for some edits as needed.
Once a design has been finalized, it's time for you to sit back and dream of your launch. The development phase is all on me. I'll take your design and begin working my coding magic, turning it into a functioning website.
When the website is coded and implemented, I'll take all of that content you worked so hard on and load it into your website.
The final portion of the development phase involves setup and testing. I'll hook up your domain, your payment processor, and make sure everything is good to go!
The launch phase is when the butterflies really start to flutter. We'll work through a final testing phase, with all the setup complete, and then I had the site over to you.
You can do a happy dance.
Each of my projects come with a no-questions-asked warranty in regards to what might happen to it once you get your hands on it. I don't want you to afraid to really get at your new website, digging your heels in and learning something new. So, for thirty days I'll be here to smooth out any snags and fix any oopsies.
On average, a new website done by yours truly will go from initial contact to launch in 2.5 - 3 months. This allows for a week for initial contact, project proposal, and securing your spot with a deposit, a week of extra planning and creating your architecture, and then 2-4 weeks for you to gather your content. Depending on the size of the project, the design phase will last about 2 weeks, 2 weeks for development, and 1 week for the final setup and launch.
It can be a really fun experience, and I've had the pleasure with working through this process with so many wonderful clients. It's a lot of hard work, but boy is the payoff exciting!
If you're interested in jumping into this process with me to launch your online business, and perhaps you want to launch your project before the holidays, then it's time to book. Like, right now.
I have about 3 spots open for projects to launch before the holiday shopping season starts, so if you're ready to go, then I'd love to hear from you!