There are thousands of website designers and ways to build a website. Why this one?
My Squarespace & WordPress website design process has been honed through my work with dozens of clients. My process gives us both clear expectations of each step, an understanding of what happens if we need to go backwards or change course, a design journey that isn’t overly time- or energy-intensive, and, at the end, a website you fully own and feel empowered using — that also works really well for your ideal clients.
This process works best for business owners with some clarity around their business, who are willing to dive deep and make a plan before we start building, and who are excited to invest in a holistic website ally to bring their website to life.
We’ll start by getting clarity & making a plan.
What’s that saying, hope is not a strategy? First we’ll get really clear on what your needs are, what you want your website to do for you, and how it fits into your overall marketing/sales picture. We’ll figure out what you have already and what you still need (fonts, colors, website design inspiration, copywriting/photos, etc.) We’ll decide if we’re building on WordPress or Squarespace or if you need to find a designer/dev for another platform. Then we’ll make a plan, which gives our hope legs to stand on.
At the end of our website planning workshop, you’ll know everything you need to do, gather and bring before we start your website build. We’ll have a solid wireframe and plan for what we’re going to build, and we can work together or separately to assemble everything. This is the mise en place step.
A new website is a big investment, so this workshop lets us try out working together before we dive all the way in. There’s no commitment to work together, but usually by this point we’re psyched to keep moving forward together.
Then we’ll work on your website content.
After the workshop, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what copywriting and images you’ll need for your website. Or maybe you came into our work together with a clear idea of what content you need and you have it ready to go.
If you’re handling copywriting on your own, I’ll share a template and you’ll write or fill in the blanks. If we’re working together, we’ll schedule a time for our conversation(s) for my collaborative copywriting process. I’ll share Google Drive folders so you can get me your images.
In this phase we’ll also talk about the less-shiny website pieces — privacy policies, accessibility statements, analytics tools, etc.
We’ll design your website.
I love taking advantage of beautiful things that already exist, so we’ll typically build your site starting from a professionally-designed, well-built website template on WordPress or Squarespace. It’ll look uniquely yours when all is said and done.
If we’ve decided we need fully custom design, I’ll start building based on website inspiration and your specific needs. Most custom sites are built on WordPress, but occasionally Squarespace works better.
We’ll work together on a round of revisions, and you’ll sign off to finish this step. Meanwhile, you’ll make sure all of your content is ready for me to plug in.
We’ll put all the pieces together.
I’ll add in your copywriting and images, let you know anything we’re missing, and have you provide final feedback and minor changes before we launch. At this point the website will look, feel and be your business/brand. We get this step right because we spend time up front planning for you and your ideal client.
Depending on the scope of work we determined earlier, we’ll set up analytics, fill in on-page SEO details, and configure any extra plugins.
If we get to this point and there are new functionalities or features needed, we’ll put those on a phase two list so we can get the initial version of the site launched and scope out what’s next.
We’ll launch your website.
Launch week is fun and technical and so good to have behind us. I’ll take care of all the launch details, tie up remaining loose ends, show you how to use your website (or send you a couple of how-to videos), provide 30 days of tech support, and send you your website owner’s manual so all your website details are in one central place.
We’ll talk about any phase two needs and whether you want to manage your own website or work with me for monthly WordPress maintenance.
For Months to Come
Your website will work well for you & your clients.
Every business’s priorities are different, and so much more goes into a website’s success than just the design, content and build — so I don’t make big sweeping promises about traffic or conversions (although we can dive into this when planning!)
What I do promise is that your website will work predictably, smoothly and easily for you as the website owner and for your ideal clients and customers. This means showing your ideal clients they’re in the right place and turning away anyone who’s not a fit for you.
This is what you hire a website designer for, and I promise to get you there as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.
Ready to work together?
“The ongoing process has been fantastic. Don’t expect it done overnight. Websites don’t come together this way. It is a process and Jessica has a great feel for the process.”
– paul, website design client