Here's how the web design process worksAll the little tips on getting a great looking website included.
This is what you and I will go through, and should be prepared to do to make a great website.
Here’s the TL;DR version:
- You envision your website. You get the content ready.
- You contact me. We discuss details. (50% deposit fee)
- We make a shared folder, and I provide a design mockup for you to comment on.
- Once we’re both happy, I whisk off to start making the website.
- I’ll show you the result, and you provide feedback.
- I apply the feedback, and we finish up. (50% finalization fee)
Find some space for your website.
#1.1. Let’s start with the domain.
You’re going to have to get a domain first.The easiest and cheapest way is to buy one is through GoDaddy.com.
There are many other domain registrars online, you can find them with an easy Google search.
Some things you will have to know.
– When getting a .com.au, you need an ABN, and it could take a couple of days to get it registered. It works fine for everyone in Australia.
– The .com is still the easiest to remember.
– Besides the .net, and .org, there are many new gTLD (generic Top Level Domains) that you can use to get a creative domain address. Check out the list here.
Some advice on choosing a domain name.
– An intuitive, direct reference to your business/character is the best choice.
– Adding hyphens can sometimes acquire you what you want, but try saying it out loud. If it doesn’t roll off the tongue, it’s probably too hard to remember. (ex. “I want almostinevitable.com, but it’s taken, so I’ll just get almost-inevitable.com.” needs a bit of explanation every time you tell someone about your website.)
– Getting too creative with the letters or numbers could be detrimental. (ex. 41mos7inevit8ble.com or almstinvtble.com)
#1.2. The next step is to get a server.
Think of a server like a hard drive. It’s where you store the files for your website. The text, the images, the documents, and videos.
You will need to set the nameservers of your domain to point it to your server.
Here’s some advice on choosing a server
– There are cheap servers (about $5 US a month if you pay for 3 years up front), and they aren’t too bad. In fact, BlueHost, JustHost, and the ilk host a lot of websites. The catch is that they put your domain in with the rest of the cheap servers and sometimes your website can be a bit slow. Also, like computers, your server might lack in memory. The space is usually not an issue as long as you are not uploading videos directly. (Use Vimeo, Wistia, or YouTube for that)
– The slightly more expensive servers are much much better though. Almost no down time, usually unlimited space, better memory, and less websites sharing the space (so faster).
#1.3. All this can be purchased directly through an internet hosting company yourself.
OR, we can sit down, and work on getting both the domain and hosting together. Just get your credit card ready, and I can walk you through purchasing everything together, no extra cost.
Think of it like this:
|The address you want your home to be located|
|The registry that gets your land acknowledged at that particular address|
|The land where you are going to build your home|
Envision your new website
#2.1. Start with a one word category for your website
Here’s a bunch of words that can help you determine what type of website you are aiming for:
Photography, Music, Blog, Magazine, Restaurant, Corporate, Creative, Directory, Social, eCommerce, Education, Mobile, Entertainment, Real Estate, Retail, Technology, Wedding, etc
Even if your idea for the main category is not listed there, you get the idea. Settle on one word.
#2.2. Now you need a word to sub-categorize your main category.
For example, if you are a photographer, the common sub-categories are: wedding, event, portrait, landscape, casual, etc.
Or if you are a musician, some sub-categories would be: rock, jazz, metal, dubstep, etc
Or if you are a restaurant, some sub-categories would be: burger, steak, grilled, Thai, sushi, etc
Or if you are an artist (creative) some sub-categories would be: illustrations, digital, calligraphy, watercolor, etc
I hope you get the idea. This helps you understand which direction you want to go in the next step.
#2.3. Think of two modifiers: an aesthetic style + an emotional style
Here are some more examples:
A wedding photographer might think of: old-fashioned, and happy
A rock musician might come up with: punk, and lively
A steak restaurant might say: rustic, and friendly
Or an illustration-focused creative might consider: dark, and sombre
I’m sure you get the idea.
Think of it like this:
|The style of architecture you want the house to have|
|The style and colors of your house|
Getting the content ready
#3.1. You need to gather the content.
A website can only be constructed as much as the content provided. The more fleshed out your content, the more I have to work with, whether it be images, or text. Here are some good guidelines for you in providing the content.
- Images: Making a large image smaller is easy, making a large image from a small one is horrendous.
Here are some suggestions/guidelines:
– JPEG images should be over 2000px on the long side.
– AI images are fine (they can be scaled into any configuration)
– Logo images can not be smaller than 600px across. (AI files are the best, but large PNG files with transparency is OK.)
- Text: There are basically three types of text.
– Headlines: Page titles, chapter titles, section titles, product titles, and portfolio titles all fall under this type of text.
– Sub-heads: Slogans, short summaries of pages, or additional one-liners under headlines.
– Regular text: The regular paragraphs what accompany About Us, product descriptions, and portfolio descriptions, basically all long text fall under this category, and is probably what you would need the most work on. (So start typing!)
#3.2. Send it all over!
Here’s the easy part! You’re all done, and now it’s all up to me to arrange them in a beautiful way.
There are several cloud drives I use, if you use any of these services, it will be easy for us to get this done.
- Dropbox: Any email can be used to sign up.
- Google Drive: Any Gmail account provides this.
- One Drive: Any Outlook account provides this.
We can set up a shared folder, and sync that folder between our computers.
Or, we could use a USB thumb drive to transfer your content over, but I would highly suggest using a cloud drive as it is easier to make edits and constantly update content.
#3.3. Staying in communication
Although we will meet in person when this whole project begins, and maybe a couple more times if needed, but there will have to be a major line of communication.
I would suggest a chatting app.
- Facebook Messenger: The phone app is easy to get and you probably already have it, the desktop client can be downloaded here
- Wire: There are phone apps available, and the desktop client is right here. This app is great because it’s encrypted, and can do pretty much everything.
- Skype: Most people know how to use this, and the desktop app is right here.
The important thing is that you have one of these apps on your desktop and phone. I’ve found that staying in constant touch is the best way to come to a mutually satisfactory result. I won’t be bugging you 24/7 or anything, but I would appreciate it if we could both have a quick and easy line of communication. Emails only go so far, so please consider a messenger app.
And you are done!
Wait a bit, stay in touch,
and you will soon have a great new shiny website!