How we make a Website

The process of building a website can seem lengthy and nearly impossible. With so many different variables to consider, it is a process that can be daunting and feel overwhelming to those with less website building experience. At DC Dev Shop, we have developed a process that breaks it down into a matter of steps that the client can easily follow. We go through the website-building journey together step-by-step with our clients to make sure that they are satisfied and understand every step of the way.

After the new website has been built, it is our goal to make sure that clients understand how to operate and make changes to their website when needed.  WordPress is a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows website owners to easily alter and add content once the website has been built. In recent years, the CMS has become one of the most popular tools for a variety of business structures.  With its wide range of abilities WordPress is functional for anything from a small personally-run business to a large corporation. The function and convenience of the interface is exactly why we recommend it to our clients and work with them to help them build a proficient UX.

DC Dev Shop also places a prime focus on making sure that our clients maintain websites that are accessible to the visual and hearing impaired.  Our goal is to make sure that your website, the strongest means of attracting and growing your business, is enhancing the use of every feature. Our process begins with discovery and UX, followed by design, development, and client training.  At the end we will make sure that any questions you may have are covered before fully launching the site and setting your business ahead.

Discovery

The first step of building a website. DCDS will sit down with the client and discuss why we are building a new website. Throughout the discover process we will revisit the website goals and if they align with our decisions. Our team will ask ‘why?’ several times, so be patient with us. Now is the time of understanding the thought provoking design.

We have any 3rd party integrations that need to be added to the website. This could include connecting contact forms to MailChimp to embedding Eventbrite events to the website.

If you have an existing website we will discuss what content needs to come over to the new site. If the new site will be using the same domain name we will put a plan into motion to setup link redirects to avoid any dead links and 404 pages. Existing website also gives our team insights into what content has been the most viewed and provides insights into user behavior.

Where your users come from. If it is from searching the internet, we would want to set up a good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan.

User Experience (UX)

DC Dev Shop uses a content first approach to building websites. The sitemap is used to generate what page templates will need to be designed, starting with wireframing the content to include in each page template. During the User Experience phase, content to include on the site is finalized and templates are sent to our copywriter.

Think of this as the skeleton of your website. We will have different layouts for different pages but many pages will have the same template and display different content. These page templates are associated with the sitemap and are necessary before designing of developing the site. If we are able to incorporate text and copy into the wireframes, this is the time to start thinking about it.

Design

When we kickoff the design process we are well underway to having a website. During this phase of the website project we are incorporating existing branding. A web style guide is created which includes colors, typography, headers, and image use for the site.

The DCDS design team works with existing brand guidelines and will use any design examples or inspiration provided. Our team creates a mood board with the client and is a time of back and forth collaboration. This phase of the project defines the look and feel of the site. It is what the user feels when they come to the website. Your website is your online representative that interacts with your potential clients – it should have a look and feel that your business or organizations is aiming to highlight.

Development

If all goes according to plan, we now have a beautifully designed website ready to be developed into a responsive, mobile friendly website. Our team of experienced developers will incorporate the web style guide into CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. After we have the website working in a web browser, we use the wp-hierarchy to build out page templates in the custom WordPress theme.

We take website accessibility pretty seriously. We build websites for the visually and hearing impaired. Our sites are 508 compliant and comply with WCAG standards. All projects are served over an SSL certificate and Content Delivery Network (CDN). You can discover more about our development process by downloading our whitepaper below.

Staff Training

After development, the DCDS team will meet with you and your team to train your staff on your WordPress powered website. Our trainings cover the WordPress CMS and is tailored to each session to highlight website features and empowers your staff to own managing content for the site moving forward. Any changes to text, images, and more are done during this phase. All changes made to the site can be viewed before going live. With good planning, the content and design will work nicely together and any design adjustments can be made.

Quality Assurance + Launch

Final quality assurance will be performed by the DC Dev Shop team. This is a collaborative effort from our project managers, designers, and web developers. We check the site on different devices and using different browsers. We check to make sure any third party integrations, such as contact forms, are connected and pushing data to the correct location. We’ll run through our launch checklist which includes submitting your sitemap to the Google Search Console, unblock search engines from indexing the site, and running a broken link checker to name a few of the items on the checklist.
While the website build process is far from easy, DC Dev Shop does its best to simplify the different factors that play a role in the creation of a quality website. The goal is to make the website easily accessible for both clients and their leads to navigate. Our process helps to make sure clients understand how and why their website is being built a certain way. In creating a well-organized and effective website, a strong appeal and tactical inbound marketing are implemented that allow a business to grow immensely.