So every web designer is different. I can design a site the traditional way with wireframes and straight HTML and CSS, but for the past few years, I have discovered the wonders of WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), similar to Drupal and Joomla. WordPress started out as a blogging system, but soon the developers discovered that you could build a whole web site with the software. As a former journalist, I have spent most of my career using content management systems of one sort or another, so it fits right into my background of publishing. Anyone who wants a web site is essentially self-publishing. Developing in WordPress means that I can set up a web site remotely through a database on your hosting account. I install it right into your hosting account and complete some setups and send you a link where you can login to the site through your browser. I set up a login for me and a login for you. We can both be in the site at the same time, which means we can track changes and set roles for users. While I work on changing the design, you can start adding content pages and posts. Once I get the design in place, your pages pick up the design automatically from the templates embedded in the site.
So for you as the owner/user, all you have to do is login to your site remotely through a browser to edit pages and make changes or add a new page. It’s simple to use and gives you as the owner freedom to make changes when you want.
Because I work in WordPress, you don’t have to come back to me to update your own site, unless you want to pay for that service. It allows me to work faster to get a working site up and running as well.
Here are the steps in my web design process:
1. We meet, have a consultation and sign a contract. (I don’t enter into any web work without a signed contract or a downpayment)
2. You give me the logins and passwords to any site that I need to get into to start the work process.
3. From what you tell me during the initial consultation, I find three themes that I think would work. Note: I choose existing WordPress themes based on the structure of the theme and then I change the design to match what you want. I don’t choose themes based on the way they look because I can customize all that for you. It gives us a base to start with, cutting out a lot of development work, and subsequently saves you money.
4. Once a theme is chosen and paid for, I install it into your site and we can begin to build. This is the time when you need to do some work. I’ll need content in Word files or simple text files, as well as any logos, icons or images you might have for the site. If you do not want to provide content in files, I can show you how to create pages on the site and you can start typing your content right into the site. Note: Photos and graphics need to be in high-res quality versions to be considered for use.
5. You can start asking for different features and then I find ways to accomplish those goals (as specified on my web site, depending on which package you choose) and we slowly work toward the end together until the site is fine-tuned. You can see the progress for the site at any time during the process.
The best-case scenario is you working on content while I work on the design. If you also want me to work on content, you will have to pay my hourly fee for that work.
6. If the site is being built in a different location from the actual host, we must do a complete migration before the site is launched. Some sites take longer than others to migrate because occasionally technical issues arise. Sometimes, we have to temporarily put up an ‘Under Construction’ page for a few days.
7. Once the site is finished to your satisfaction and all the pending fees and charges are paid, we launch the site.
8. After the site work is done, I can install the items listed in the Web Site Design Exit package (as specified on my web site), if you pay for the exit package. If you do not want to pay for those services, I can show you what to install and you can do it all yourself. As you will be responsible for all the maintenance services from this point on.
9. If you need more WordPress training at this point, we can schedule a session, but I only show you the basics. I don’t have time to show you the advanced features, unless you would like to pay for additional training hours.