Imagine this: You’ve found an agency to build your website, it fits perfectly into your budget and the work has started. But you have no idea what comes next.
An unfortunate trend in agency web builds is that they don’t always show the full journey up front. They may wow you with figures and tactics, but, as a customer, you end up confused about the process and unsure about what results you should be seeing and when.
We prefer to keep things a little clearer here.
Not only do we take you through one of our typical web development journeys, we also want you to know ahead of time what you might be signing up for. In this article, we’ll share exactly what it looks like to work with us.
Proposal & initial scope of work
The first documents that you’ll receive from us will be the proposal and, once you’ve chosen us, an initial scope of work. We use the term ‘initial’ because this is our best understanding of the work we will undertake before we have performed any discovery or planning work.
Within the proposal, we will also discuss our preferred tech stack, including implementation of HubSpot’s CMS Hub. This should ensure that there aren’t any surprises when it comes to set-up and build.
It’s important to know that, should the scope change dramatically during the discovery, the agreed quote may have to change as well.
Discovery and planning
During our discovery and planning phase, we will dive deep into your business so that we have a true understanding of your needs, target audience, and proposition. Without performing a thorough discovery, you may get a website that functions, but you won’t have one that is optimised for the way your business actually works.
The key elements of our discovery phase include:
- Internal discovery
The internal discovery is a series of workshops and meetings with key stakeholders in your business. This informs the user experience planning and sitemap, as well as creates consistency for building audience personas and the value proposition, should you need those developed.
- Audience personas
We will identify your key audiences and build out personas (semi-fictional representations of your actual buyers) to create deeper understanding of their needs, goals, and frustrations. If, however, you have these created already, we will review these and incorporate into further planning.
- The buyer journey
Once personas have been identified and developed, we will break down your audience’s needs at each stage of the buyer journey as they progress through awareness, consideration, and decision-making.
- Your value proposition and positioning
We’ll help you clearly define what you offer, your unique selling point, and how to position that offering to potential customers.
- UX page plans
The UX page plans are designed to aid in understanding what your audience requires as they navigate through your website and what needs to be done to make sure they have a positive, frictionless experience.
These plans will inform the site map, page layouts, content, and calls-to-action that will appear throughout the site.
- SEO audit of existing site
As part of our discovery, we will also perform a high-level SEO audit of your existing site to see which pages and content are providing you with the most visibility. This will inform the site map, so that you don’t lose the SEO equity of existing pages.
- Site map
All of this will culminate in the creation of your final sitemap. The sitemap will display the overarching structure and hierarchy of the content in your site. From this point, we won’t change the sitemap until after launching the website and only if visitor behaviour indicates that we should.
Once all of the discovery documents have been created, we will send across the final scope of work document which will lay out exactly the work to be undertaken and will include any agreements made regarding delivery and turnaround. This whole phase of the project can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
Website design and development
During the following 6-8 weeks, we will complete all of the tasks needed for the building of your website. This includes everything from designing, developing, and writing content for each page, to integrating the site with your CRM. We can take care of everything that goes into creating a website that works for you and your business.
Throughout this process, we take an agile approach to feedback and refinement. We’ll be in touch regularly and will make sure that you are kept in the loop. By bringing you along the journey with us, we keep queries and changes to a minimum.
This iterative development and feedback process ensures we are all on the same page the whole way through the process.
After the site has been designed, developed and signed-off by all parties, it will be time to launch! Beyond simply flipping a switch to go live, we take steps to ensure that the launch of your site is both smooth and well-communicated.
We can help by crafting both internal and external messaging for communications as well as undertaking any supporting marketing activity. As a full-service growth agency, we are able to help customers succeed and grow in all areas, not just developing their stunning sites.
In addition to the communication activity, we will do performance testing to make sure that the new website is running efficiently.
It’s now 10-12 weeks since the start of this project: the development is done, the website is launched, and now you can sit back and enjoy, right?
Technically, yes, you could.
However, our web development process is a hybrid approach that takes elements from Growth-Driven Design (GDD). That means that, from the time of launch, we don’t abandon our customers and leave them to it.
This part is an ongoing partnership which, while not technically necessary, is a big part of creating a website experience that your visitors will love and which will drive lead generation. We can adjust lengths of terms, but tend to suggest about 8-10 months of this work being carried out.
We may, at this time, also suggest training on HubSpot to ensure that all users have a firm grasp of how to use the many tools that CMS Hub provides.
After all work has been completed, we also perform an internal retrospective. Each project that we review helps us to continually improve our processes and delivery. While you won’t receive this document as part of your website build, be assured that we take our learnings into each new project. We are dedicated to constantly improving our work.
And that’s it! From proposal to site launch and beyond, now you know exactly what it’s like to build a site with us. If you’d like to learn more or would like to see our work, then get in touch! We are always happy to talk about websites.