I am new to website design and development. Where do I start?

If you are new to website design and development, and have never been part of a project like this before, then you’re in the right place! We’re here to answer your questions and guide you through the process.

The first thing to remember is this project doesn’t have to feel like a mountain. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, but the important thing is to select a partner who is an expert in building websites, and can get the job done right, with the least amount of information and input from you. After all, you have a job to do and a business to run, and we get that.

Here’s a few of the questions we’ve received over the past decade of working in this industry. We’ve provided our insight, so you can begin your project feeling more confident and knowledgeable about what the process should look like.

How long does it take to design a website?

Good news. Less time than you might think. Depending on the number of pages and the complexity of your project, a site can be completed in as few as 4 weeks. Even larger projects should take no longer than 12 weeks to complete. We hate to hear that clients have experienced prior website builds that have dragged on for 6 months up to a year. There’s no need for that, and we pride ourselves on operating with maximum efficiency so you can have a site that you love and then move on with your life.

How much content do I need?

This very much depends on a few things:

  • How many pages are on your site
  • How many services you provide
  • How long your company has been in business
  • How many members are on your team
  • If you are interested in SEO optimization or an ongoing SEO campaign
  • To learn more about each of these items, read on.

How many pages do I need?

This also depends on many of the same variables as the question above, and it’s a good time to introduce the concept of a microsite to you here.

What is a microsite? Simply put, a microsite is a one-page website. Most people think they need to have a multi-page website, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes a beautiful, well-developed microsite is all you need. We have outlined a comprehensive list of how to know if you need a microsite or a multi-page site in this blog series. Part 1 will answer these questions as well as give you some direction in making this decision, and in Part 2 we’ll share five different examples of microsites including the strategy behind each one and how they were designed.

How do I choose website colors and design styles?

Your website should be a reflection of your brand and the look and feel of your business. Here are few things to consider:

  • Do you have an existing logo, and brand colors, or is this something that needs to be created?
  • What colors would you like to include? What colors would you like to stay away from?
  • Which design characteristics best represent your brand?
  • Modern
  • Professional
  • Playful
  • Colorful
  • Classic
  • Edgy
  • Luxurious
  • Casual
  • Serious

How many revisions do I get?

Typically, we include up to three rounds of revisions per page. Because of our process and how much effort is put into the pre-production phase with content development and design mapping, most clients only need one to two rounds of revisions before approval.

Do I need professional photos?

Professional, high-quality photography & videography is a non-negotiable part of becoming an authority in today’s digital marketplace. Your iPhone is good, but it ain’t that good, and if you want to be taken seriously, you need top-notch images. That’s why the majority of our sites come with one hour of photography included.

If you must use stock photography, or images from your phone, then we have access to an unlimited library of images for use, and we can provide guidelines on how to best take photos with your phone, or select stock images to use on your site. Professional photos of your team, business, and services provide an immediate feeling of authenticity and credibility, and consumers place a lot of value in that when they are making a purchasing decision.

Does my site need to be SEO optimized?

First, let’s talk briefly about what SEO is. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and that means your site has keywords and other critical information Google uses to determine where your site should come up as a search result when someone is looking for your product or service. If you are looking to grow your business online, and want to bring in more leads, especially more qualified leads, then SEO is a great opportunity for you to explore. Even if you don’t know if you are ready for an SEO campaign, sometimes doing the research upfront can be a helpful strategy.

Whether you are intending to move directly into an SEO campaign or just want to understand what the opportunities are, we recommend beginning the website development process with an SEO Discovery. This is a one-time service that includes keyword and competitor research so you can see all the opportunities available to you online prior to building your site. This is an important step because it may indicate that the architecture of your site (number of pages, how much content you need etc.) needs to change to meet your SEO goals. To learn more about an SEO Discovery, and find out if it’s right for you, check out the blog below.

  • SEO Discovery: The Power To Grow Your Business
  • Do I need a blog on my site?

    Blogs can be very helpful for SEO purposes. However, we recommend that you create a new blog at least once a month, and even better if you can create one weekly or every other week. Our rule of thumb is – if you haven’t had the space to create new content in a few months, you should archive your blog until you can commit to creating content on a consistent basis. Or, you can hire a pro to help.

    What does the launch process look like?

    Easy! After final approval, all we need is access to your domain, and we’re ready to roll! Typically, site launches take between 24 – 48 hours at most. In the following 24 – 48 hours, we ask you to test the links, contact forms, etc. to make sure everything is working perfectly, so we can make adjustments quickly, if needed.

    What happens after it goes live?

    All websites must be hosted somewhere, and they also must be secure. In addition, you will want someone to be regularly updating the software and making any content updates as needed. Every business and website is unique, so we have multiple website care plans available so that you choose one that has everything you need, and nothing you don’t. To learn more about website care plans, check out the blog below.

  • Why Do I Need A Website Care Plan?
  • If you have questions about what your site should look like, and how many pages you need, we are here to help.

    Symmetric Design is a digital advertising agency in Tulsa that helps businesses with web design and SEO. Contact us today to start your project.