ou probably want to build a website for a client. Well, there are simple things to follow if you want to create an amazing website for your client.
Building a professional website for a client can be intimidating, especially if you are just starting out in your career or exploring a new niche. With one of your client’s most important marketing assets in your hands, your contribution to the project can make or break it.
Fortunately, there are wise, doable actions you can take to guarantee the success of the client website you create. You may assist your client through the project and provide a website that meets (or exceeds) their expectations by planning each step of the process.
In this post, we’ll walk you through some useful stages for creating a successful website for a client. Each stage will be described in detail, along with some pointers and crucial inquiries to make along the road. Let’s get going, shall we?
Identify the Client’s Online Objectives
The main goal of this step is to collect as much information from the client as possible and to identify their needs. When a client seems unsure or when their suggested course of action lacks a grasp of website design or technology, it can be good to ask exploratory questions to get a better understanding of what exactly they need.
This part of the process is where you collect and clarify information. You’ll later have the chance to offer a solution and present your thoughts and services. But first, it’s crucial to be rigorous in defining their demands by posing numerous inquiries.
You could create a questionnaire that you can use in your approach. Consider the following issues:
- The activities they engage in, day-to-day?
- How are they different from their rivals in this regard?
- What do they hold dear?
- What is the definition of their brand?
- Do they already have brand assets made? A brand policy?
- Where do they see their company going in the coming months and years? How are these objectives affecting their website?
- What do they aim to achieve with their website?
- How long should it take to finish the project?
- Do they already have a domain name? host a website? (You’ll need access to their hosting account for their website, as well as perhaps their domain registrar.)
- What platforms do they intend to use for social media integration?
- Are email integrations required?
- Do they require any other forms?
- How about continued site upkeep? Will a member of their staff handle this, or are they willing to hire you on a regular basis on a monthly or hourly basis?
- Who will be the decision-maker and point of contact for the project?
- Do they prefer a particular website platform over another?
Take notes and look for every significant detail. In areas where you still require clarification, you can then ask follow-up questions just for clarity.
Towards the end of the meeting, review your notes and summarize the key topics to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything crucial for the client. Don’t feel obligated to provide immediate solutions or numbers because you’ll cover a lot of details in this conversation. Tell the client that you will analyze their project requirements and provide them a scope of work document as an alternative to notifying them of the next stages.
Select a Platform for the Website’s Creation
The platform used for a website can have an impact on a number of project elements including; hosting, cost, functionality, and timing. As the basis for what you will be constructing, choosing a platform early in the process is crucial.
There are various Content Management Solutions (CMS) that can be used with your client’s website. Once you are aware of your client’s requirements, you may select the CMS that will best meet those demands. Some of the best CMS solutions you might choose for your client are:
- WordPress is a free and open-source CMS, with many plugins to increase the functionality of your website.
- Drupal is another free and open-source solution with many customizable modules.
- Joomla is similar to the first two options, free and open source. It has a large number of modules that provide it versatility. In terms of difficulty, Joomla is more difficult to learn than WordPress but less difficult to master than Drupal.
- Shopify can be used by online shops as a hosted eCommerce platform. It’s simple to use but has limited versatility and customization options. A monthly subscription to Shopify is necessary and costs approximately $29 per month.
Make sure your website is built on a safe, reliable platform that offers continued support in the future when selecting a CMS. It’s critical to choose the course of action that will produce the best results for each individual project, satisfy the demands of your clients, and be consistent with your area of expertise.
Craft the Proposal and Establish the Project’s Scope.
It’s now time to put together a project proposal, once you’ve collected all the project-related information. The project costs, as well as the deliverables and terms, will all be specifically stated in this agreement.
It’s important to provide enough details to cover the fundamentals. The contract or scope of work can contain further specifics. There, you should outline the client’s project requirements as well as your suggested solution and the associated cost. Selling your idea as the answer is acceptable, but be prepared to modify it in response to the client’s needs.
Once the proposal has been approved, you may use it to create a more thorough scope of work that clearly outlines the entire project. Your work and your interactions with the client will be guided by this document. It will serve to make it apparent what each person should anticipate.
Create a Visual Layout and Sitemap (Wireframe)
Every good design has a blueprint as its foundation. With the use of a sitemap and wireframes, you should establish the website’s functionality and user experience at this phase. You may create sitemaps online using applications like Octopus.do. Alternatively, you can create wireframes using a computer program like Sketch.
Don’t be reluctant to give this step some time. Redrawing an element is significantly simpler than having to revamp a whole page. You should choose the site’s overall design and style at this point, along with the sitemap and page structure.
To make sure you’re addressing all of the required topics during this phase, keep your scope of work close to hand. If problems come up that are crucial to the project, you can discuss them with the client right away and arrange a meeting to assess the situation and determine the best course of action. The client should approve of any tasks that are outside the scope of the work beforehand.
Collect or Create Content for Your Website
By this time, you ought to have a well-defined content strategy, be aware of who is in charge of providing the content, and comprehend how it will be organized on the website. Make sure that everything is prepared for deployment at this stage and that you have enough resources to develop each page of your website. Collecting the page content items can be your first step. Review any website material that the client has given and identify any potential opportunities for optimization.
For instance, your client might not be aware of the value of keywords or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so you might think about giving them some good keywords to use as a guide when they are creating content. The project’s success will depend in part on providing targeted material that gets results, especially over the long term.
Create and Test the Website
This step is particularly enjoyable since it brings your diligent labor to life. Think about the content of your pages first while creating them. You could inquire of yourself things like:
- What does this page aim to achieve? Throughout the entire design process, this should be a top emphasis.
- What should the user do after arriving at this page? Make sure the CTA is appealing and unambiguous.
To ensure consistency across the website and quicken your workflow, you can develop and use page templates. During the design phase, be sure to stick to the agreed-upon styles and visual components.
When the site’s design is complete, you can complete a pre-launch checklist that might contain the following items:
- Check the text for errors.
- Ensure that all buttons and links are functional.
- Make sure notifications are sent to the appropriate team members and test all forms.
- Test the operation of the shopping cart and online transactions (if applicable).
- Check the website’s responsiveness and accessibility across various platforms and browsers.
Depending on how you created the site, there are different technical considerations to this phase. To ensure a worry-free deployment process, it’s best to prepare a launch checklist whether you used a local development environment or a server to build the site.
When the website is complete, review the pages and links to ensure that everything is operational. You might wish to plan the launch for the weekend, late at night, or another period when there is less website traffic. When issues do occur throughout the launch phase, it’s critical to take the initiative to address them as promptly and competently as you can. Additionally, it’s a good idea to note any bugs or problems that appear at this time.
Don’t forget to give the client any login information they will require to access and update the site when you make it live. However, until they become familiar with how the website functions, you might want to suggest that they use a login user with restricted capabilities.
Make a Statement With Outstanding Customer Service
You act as a crucial link between your client and the website’s technical components. As a result, it makes sense to be proactive in providing support choices. You can either offer a monthly add-on assistance package or free support for the first thirty days.
Giving your client the website is akin to giving them the car’s keys. Remember that your client might not be a skilled driver. The moment your client is happy with their new website it’s the right time to request a recommendation or assessment of your work. Don’t forget to make the procedure as simple as you can for your client.
After that, even if you don’t have a maintenance agreement, you might think about planning a three-month, six-month, and annual check-in call with your client. These could present chances for future employment and help people remember you for recommendations. Additionally, making these calls will show that you are kind and supportive, which will be good for business.
Although creating a great client website is a challenging process, it may be made easier by segmenting each stage into well-thought-out sections. You may manage the project professionally and make it fun for your client and yourself (or your team) by adhering to the above-discussed steps.
By doing all these, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a successful website launch if you stick to these guidelines. Naturally, you’ll also require a top-notch web host.