My name is Steve Shearer, Owner and Lead Project Manager at Comvert Marketing. I’ve personally put together these Process Documents so there are no surprises if you decide to hire us as your new Website Design and Development team.
Building an amazing website for your business (especially if it’s your first one) can be a large undertaking, even if you’re not doing the development yourself. Therefore, to start off on the right foot of every project, we hope all of our potential clients read our Process Documents to hopefully answer any questions you may have about your exciting new website project.
At Comvert Marketing we work behind a computer, but never hide behind the computer. We strive to always be transparent and trustworthy, so if this document raises any additional questions, please feel free to reach out and we will answer them as best we can.
Now.. Let’s get started!
Step One . . Discovery Call
Prior to signing anything, paying anything, or committing to us, we would love to have a quick, 15 minute chat so we can learn about you, your business, get a basic idea of your project, and answer any questions you have for us. Once you book your Website Discovery Call with us, you will receive an email confirmation complete with the time of your booked call, along with resources to help you get started. If you haven’t yet, please book a call at your earliest convenience here.
This Discovery Call will go over the following, and more:
- Business Information
- Goals for your new website
- Competitors we should be aware of
- Your Preferred Domain Name Ideas
- Add-on features or services we offer
- Our Build Process
- Website Platform Recommendation
- Rough Cost Estimate
If you are keen to get started and want a head-start, please feel free to fill out our Website Discovery Form that can be found here. (Your Website Discovery Call confirmation email will also provide links to the necessary forms we need filled out, along with resources to help you get started.)
This form will allow us to understand your needs from the very start of your project so we can provide an accurate quote and timeline. If you would rather go over these questions together with us, we are happy to on our Discovery Call.
Step Two . . Onboarding
Following our Discovery Call, you will be required to fill out our Brand Information Form, Business Information Form, Services Document, and/or Inventory Document complete with Product/Service Page Templates.*
During our initial Discovery Call, we will set a time to have these documents completed, and book a Follow-Up Call. You will be expected to complete these documents before our follow-up call. If they are not completed by our agreed-upon time, we will go over these documents on our follow-up call and complete them together, in which case this time will be added to your website development invoice.
After our follow-up call, we will prepare and send your Website Design & Development Proposal, contract & initial invoice. The proposal will outline your project in more detail with our expected plan, process, price, and timeline unique to your project. Once you are happy with the proposal, we ask that you sign it, return it to us, and pay the initial deposit fee (50% of total investment, plus website hosting and/or domain registration if applicable) to get started.
If you have purchased our Comvert Cloud Web Hosting, or registered a domain with us, we will create your hosting account and purchase your domain so you can use it right away.
*P.S – The reason we ask that you complete these documents prior to signing an agreement or paying a deposit is so that we have enough information to accurately quote your project and ensure we’re not waiting on information during the build process.
Step Three . . Research
The fun begins! We will now get busy with thorough research into your company, your market, your industry, and target audience so your new website is a hit. What this entails exactly is a little different for each project, but this step ensures your project is built upon a foundation of facts and evidence so you can be confident it will be successful.
Although we love being creative, design is more than creativity. To nail a website design, it needs to function well, and make sense to the market. Navigation needs to come naturally, your message needs to be clear, your offer needs to be enticing, and every choice needs to be data-driven. That’s Marketing; and that’s why you chose us.
Step 4 . . Content Outlines & Planning
Once we’ve been able to do our research, and thoroughly read through the information you’ve provided us, we will begin developing content outlines. This can include blog post outlines, service/product pages, portfolio pages, lead magnet development, etc.
The idea at this stage is not to develop final-stage content, but to gather the content needed for the website in some form so we can accurately plan the different pages needed, navigational aspects and begin developing the wireframes and user-flow of your website project.
Step Five . . Wireframing & User-Flow
Wireframing is sort of like an X-Ray of your website. It’s a low-detail blueprint or map of how users will navigate your new site. Much like an X-Ray, Map, or Blueprint, we know it’s not the most exciting part of the process unless you’re a designer, doctor, adventurer or architect, but it allows us to be sure the User Experience of your new site is spot on and it gives you an idea of what to expect. This will be your first chance to see the website in its simplest form – a Wireframe.
Step Six . . Content Delivery
Once you have approved the website Wireframes and User Flow, we will begin developing your Website Copy Writing and organizing the images and videos you have provided. If you are able to provide copy for your website, this step can be condensed, but in most cases, we will develop your copy writing based on the information you have provided.
Images and video can be abundant when building a website, so before we get started with the online development, we will ask that you provide all images and video that you plan on providing. If you are hiring a photographer or videographer, please plan accordingly. If you need assistance developing high quality images and video, we are happy to help.
This stage can be overwhelming, so we are happy to work alongside you as you prepare and deliver this content, so please feel free to reach out to us for any help if necessary.
Step Seven . . Design & Styling
At this stage we begin developing the Front-End of your website. In most cases, there are a couple ways you can design a website while still meeting the expectations of your audience, the industry, your brand and your personal preferences, so we will deliver two Home Page design examples and ask you to review them and provide feedback.
With these two examples, you’ll be able to tell us what you like, what you don’t like, along with any ideas they may have sparked, and we can use this information to finalize the design and carry it throughout the rest of your website.
In many cases, your website will require custom graphic design in some form. This can be your provided images with text over-lays, custom iconography, graphic illustrations, branded product photos, and more. At this stage, we will begin developing this content to fit your chosen style.
Step Eight . . Development
The development stage is when everything starts to come together and the end is in sight. This should be your favourite part, because by this point, your work has been completed (hopefully).
If you don’t have a website or if we are building your new website on a new domain, we will create a “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” page for users who happen to stumble upon your domain. If you have a website currently, it will remain active until your new website is ready to be launched. Ask us about drafting an email, social media post or banner notice on your current website to get people excited about your new website.
We will purchase and install any necessary plugins, themes, custom or third party apps and begin developing your website pages, posts, menus, features, galleries, etc. You know… everything that makes up your website.
Step Nine . . Testing & Optimization
Speed, Responsiveness, and Functionality tests mark the final stretch. Once you have approved your new website, we’ll use our library of tools and resources to test all the different areas of your website, making sure it’s completely optimized for your users.
We will begin working on optimizing the content and technical back-end to improve the website page-load speed, SEO, security, contact forms or email automations and more as needed.
We can build you a stunning website, but it’ll just float around out there in the infinite space that is the internet unless it’s optimized properly, and users can find it. Therefore, to us, it makes the most sense to setup a website properly from the start. This includes On-Page SEO and Technical SEO so your customers can find you using their favourite search engine, as well as any tracking or analytics used for future Digital Marketing efforts.
Of course, having said that, we can’t forget the legalities…
We won’t lie to you here, we’re not lawyers. We will ask that you consult professional legal advice for projects that go beyond the basics. However, if your project falls under rules that we know how to handle, this will be detailed in your initial proposal and implemented during this stage. These documents protect you, your business, and your users and there’s a good reason it’s becoming a legal requirement around the world.
Finally, we have Security. Like the legal requirements, having strong security in place on your new website is becoming more and more important. Some web hosts will offer basic security features, but depending on your project, we’ll likely need to take extra steps in protecting you, your website, and your visitors from the online evil in this world. No need to worry, this is common practice included in all of our websites.
Step Ten . . Launch & Maintenance
Now your new site will be live and ready to start growing your business! Depending on what we’ve created for you and your future needs, we will likely recommend signing onto our monthly Care Package. Our Care Packages are the way to ensure that you can be worry-free and as hands-off as you need to be to run your business, while still being sure your website remains perfect and productive. Options that can be included in our Care Package plans include:
Weekly Software Updates – If your website is built on WordPress, or a similar CMS, it will require frequent plugin, database or theme updates. These updates are required to ensure security and if not completed, can render you, your website and its users vulnerable. However, sometimes these updates create conflicts between plugins, or themes. So each update needs to be tested before it’s implemented on your website, or things could go wrong.
Content Updates – Keep your content up to date for no additional cost. This can include updating images of you and your team, or changing your hours or contact information.
Analytic Reports – Receive weekly, monthly or bi-monthly reports so you know exactly how well your website and marketing efforts are performing.
Security Updates & Backups – We monitor the security of your website and make sure you always have a fresh backup in case something goes wrong.
Blog Posting or Portfolio Updates – If your website includes a Blog or Portfolio, we recommend you update it monthly. We know you’re busy with the business itself, so we can do this for you.
Building an amazing website for your business can be a lot of work, even when you’re working with a development agency or designer. The reality is that your business is unique and if you want to convey that to people effectively, it can require a lot of unique content, information or media created or provided by you. Sometimes this can mean working with a copy writer, marketing agency, photographer, graphic designer, website designer, and website developer. To make this process a little easier, we offer all of these services and work alongside you or your business to ensure you’re represented in the way you want, but also in a way that will work with your market and industry. We hope this document helps you prepare for your new project!