FDC Initial Web Design/Coding/SEO Work Process
Our process starts with working with you to understand and clarify the outcome you seek, and whether you have a set budget or are looking for a menu of costs. If you don’t have a budget, we’ll supply you with a likely banded cost range as early in the process as possible.
We’ll work to understand your company’s structure, goals, product(s)/service(s), market, competition, audience, current marketing and channels to reach your audience. Ideally we’ll be able to review the analytics from your current site, though we know that’s not always possible.
Content Style & Function Review for the New Site
At this point it’s also good for us to understand what you already have (we don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel) in terms of content. If there’s available copy, is it usable in its present form or does it need a rewrite to be made more engaging? Are there blanks we need to create new information for? Are there photographs/illustrations available – are they engaging enough, are they the right format, do we need new photographs/graphics?
We’ll also go through with you a number of functional issues. How the site needs to be built, what web addresses you already own, transferring traffic from an existing site, and any existing database or email issues that may arise. And looking at the possibility of purchasing a more effective web address based on Keyword search parameters.
Interim Site Plan
Then we’ll structure a site and navigation plan. This will define the number of pages the site needs, the subject matter on each page (though not the actual copy/graphics/design) and the navigation paths to access the information. At this stage we’ll also set out possibilities for video/motion graphics/animation/ photographic content.
Visitor Traffic Enhancement
We’ll also consider what drivers you are currently using to inform your potential audience of the site address and what other channels may be worth considering to increase relevant traffic i.e. advertising, social/business networking sites, blogs/whitepapers, publishing articles in article sites, and business/social directories.
Menu of fees and costs/Timeline
With the Interim Site Plan and Visitor Traffic Enhancement Plan we’ll also deliver a menu of costs. There will likely be a number of possibilities defined by their costs, giving you a choice.
This will include our fees, any further external photography/photo library/music/sound effects costs, and any on-going monthly site hosting costs. Also we allow for a contingency budget, for any changes that you may wish to include after budget sign-off.
We’ll also table longer-term site care issues such as ongoing security updates, content updates, analytics reports of the site, and system software upgrades, with associated fees. We’ll explain the reasons for these, giving you the knowledge to make an informed decision on whether or not to implement them.
Project time span and project deliverables with associated targets for each stage will also be discussed and agreed at this stage.
Creative Stage 1
Now we know pretty much what and where the content is, and the agreed level of investment, we deliver the first stage creative concepts. These will be unique solutions tailored to your requirements, we do not purchase pre-designed templates that can be used by anyone. The concepts will be non-active i.e. buttons in place but not functioning, motion graphics positioned but not animating.
After your comments and views are discussed we’ll provide a final set of non-active page designs for sign-off.
Creative Stage 2/Coding Stage 1
This encompasses transferring the static page designs to an active environment. We code one or a series of back-end templates that control the overall look of the site, to a password protected on-line environment. We give you on-line access to this area throughout this process. Enabling you to view, discuss and amend the site through the build process.
Any animations, videos or motion graphics will also be created at this stage. We build what are called desktop projectors, enabling you to view them on your own computer before they are encoded and uploaded to the site.
Click on the image below, or its control bar to see the animation.
Coding Stage 2/Creative Stage 3
Design shouldn’t stop once the coding starts. Which is why we don’t sub-contract the coding element of the site build. By retaining control throughout the coding we can actively enhance the site throughout the functional part of the process.
This is where the pages are built and all content is added. As above, you have constant access and involvement. We can meet face to face through this process, though we find that by using emails, phone calls or video conferencing using Skype (whether or not you have a video camera on your computer), most issues can be resolved quickly, time-wise and cost efficiently.
Throughout the coding process we constantly check for various operating system compatibility and cross-browser functionality, depending on what we’ve agreed to deliver.
The PC Windows operating system is different than the Apple Mac environment, and Apple’s mobile devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod) use yet another operating system. Then there’s Google Chrome’s operating system and the various other smart phone systems (Android/Sony/Blackberry etc). As a rule, we deliver as part of our standard fee structure, functionality tested on the following operating systems: Windows, Macs, and Apple mobile devices, as these are by far the main choice of site visitors. If we can see from your previous site analytics that you have a statistically important number of visitors using one of the other operating systems we’ll cost that functionality in. Also if you’ve agreed to our analytics package we’ll inform you of any pattern change in usage of other operating systems by visitors to your site.
Cross browser compatibility is another issue. There is no standard platform on Planet Web. If you imagine viewing TV on a two different makes of set, the picture would be slightly different on each, graphics or captions would look different or even be non-existent, without constantly cross-checking and coding tweeks. It takes time and attention to detail to ensure consistency across Browsers (see three pictures above) so that your site looks good in the viewer's choosen browser. As a rule, we deliver as part of our standard fee structure, functionality tested on the following browsers:
In the Windows environment; Internet Explorer 10/Firefox/Google Chrome.
In the Mac environment; Safari/Firefox/Google Chrome.
Apple Mobile (iPad/iPhone/iPod); Safari.
The video shown below (shot and edited by FWDC) plays in Windows, Mac and iPhone/iPad environments.
Existing Twitter/Facebook Modules/Links
If you’re running an existing social or business network campaign or communication we can build in active feeds or links to those at this stage.
Coding Stage 3/Search Engine Optimisation
Here we start building in Search Engine Optimisation. We’ll do what’s called a keyword search, looking at the most likely individual words or long tailed phrases (strings of words that maybe entered into search engines), editing and amending the current copy to take advantage of current search terms for your type of site. If there’s a requirement early on in the process to supply new copy, we’ll do this then.
We’ll also add the coding for certain areas of what are termed Metatags (the code that search Engines read as important). This includes individual page titles as well as key points throughout the copy, and ensuring that all graphics and pictures have Alternative Text (how a search engine knows what a picture is and to comply with search engine user access standards).
Coding Stage 4/Search Engine Optimisation
The final stage of the site build is to add in the Metatag information for the site descriptor, each page’s article description and also the keyword code (keywords aren’t as important to Google anymore as the Google Search Engine scans the actual copy for repeated words/phrases and defines it’s own keyword list, though they’re still relevant for other search engines).
Once you’ve approved the site to go live we’ll remove the password protection and inform the 3 key search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing that the site exists, and we’ll add tracking code to every page. This enables us to be able to view visitor interaction with the site (see 3 example images below) and if you’ve taken our tracking package, we can amend and revise the site based on those interactions – though that’s the future, for now you’ve got an effective site designed, built and running – on time and to budget.
Social/Business Networking Sites
We’ll also design and build pages for any agreed networking sites such as Twitter/Facebook at this stage, so that they reflect the overall site design, and start any agreed campaign to link into the main site.
Fees and Costs
Every site has different requirements; some have copy and images already existing, with a pre-existing navigation structure. Others need videos filmed and edited, copy written, navigation structures developed, and images sourced. Therefore it’s not possible to standardize a set of costs for the unique sites we design and build, though we can give you a guide – the sites shown in our portfolio (click here to go to our portfolio page) tend to be in the price range of £2,000 - £6,000, and e-commerce sites in the range of £6,000 - £12,000. We hope that gives you a guide.
We’d be happy to discuss any plans you have in more detail. Email Jonathan Frewin for a call back: firstname.lastname@example.org
E1 x E2 x E3 = E100
E1 – Engaging:
From the very first moment a potential visitor to your site starts researching how to discover information, we ensure that your company is able to engage with them. Whether that is in your search engine ranking, social media engagement, or through a strong, consistent message and style through other media signposting them to the site.
Once they’ve arrived on-site we engage them with relevant content designed to entice the visitor to discover more, within the approximately six seconds the viewer takes to make the decision to stay or go. We then offer them suitable choices, both written and visual, to enhance their experience and make the engagement rewarding.
E2 – Eloquent:
Eloquence is defined not only by how beautiful a point is stated, but also by its clarity. For instance, the London Underground map is eloquent in its clarity of information, expressed through its exceptional, yet simple graphic design. FWDC offers eloquent solutions to the content, both written and visual, and navigation structure, guiding the visitor to enlightenment.
Importantly we also ensure that your other type of visitor, search engines, find the coding equally eloquent, in terms of their search functions.
E3 – Enlightening:
Enlightenment can come in many ways.
Not least in our ability to provide unique solutions that enhance our clients business. As well as the creative and informative way that we showcase their products or services.
The unparalleled access we give during the creative process. And the insights our structured, simple and clear approach to visitor analytics gives them over the longer term.
For the site visitor, by providing the answers they seek - with clarity, uniqueness and relevance - ensuring an engaging, eloquent and enlightening experience of discovery. Through whichever mediums are most appropriate – Windows and Apple based computers, smart phones and tablets.
E100 – Effective:
Our belief is that the majority of sites don’t attain a level that we would find acceptable. We’d go so far as to say (through our experience re-designing and building previous sites) that companies aren’t getting value for money. That websites aren’t effective unless they fulfil all three E’s. Criteria that covers our client’s goals, visitor interaction, search engine rankings, security of site, and long-term effectiveness through regular review and actions developed from visitor analytics.
We design and build effective websites and we remain committed to our clients over the long-term (you can’t just stick up a website, leave it and expect it to be effective). That’s why we don’t charge a couple of hundred pounds for a website (you can’t build effective websites for that – we won’t take on a project if we can’t deliver results). We do deliver work that is on time, on budget and on-course to deliver results.
How FDC Enhances Your Business
Within the design and build process we ensure excellent search engine optimisation (SEO) and analytics, on all their clients’ sites. We achieve high visitor interaction (keeping them engaged and on the site) and exceptional search engine rankings through customer focused content (including video). Appealing and unique design interfaces, and intuitive website structures and navigation. Giving the visitor an engaging, informative, interactive, delightful and persuasive experience.
Why Change Your Website?
Well, if it’s not prompting one of the 4 key basic response mechanisms in the human brain: Does it please me? Can I eat it? Does it frighten me? Can I have sex with it?, then you should read on.
The need for the majority of businesses to have a successful e-business element, is crucial to their financial success in this ever-changing market place, and understanding the basic human decision drivers is critical to that success: Does it please me (is it visually attractive, a pleasure to use). Can I eat it (does it inform me)? Does it frighten me (is there a response driver based on missing out)? Can I have sex with it (well, we’re not going to suggest a direct correlation with that one, but that’s what’s meant by ‘sex sells’)?
Which leads to three questions …
Can you be sure your site is optimized for both new and returning visitors, using both the search function (search engines, links, online and off-line advertising) and the operating system of their choice – PC browsers, Mac browsers, smart phones or tablets?
If they can find you, do they stay on your site (pleasure/food/fear/sex) and find what they want?
Do you know how your site’s visitors are interacting with your site?
If your company's based in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, London, or for that matter ...anywhere – we currently work with clients in the U.K., Italy, Canada and the U.S. - FDC can probably make a big difference to your web communications, visit our Portfolio page – or call Jonathan Frewin on 07884 097 509 or email: email@example.com