At FreshySites, our main focus is building beautiful websites that our clients will love. We work every day to make sure we understand our clients’ visions and bring those to life on the web.
But how does that happen?
While it may seem like internet magic, there is a lot going on behind the scenes to get your website from idea to reality!
When working with our clients, we generally break down the process into five general phases:
- Information Gathering
However, it is sometimes not clear what exactly goes on in each one of those phases so let me give you a peek behind the curtain!
Phase 1: Information Gathering
In the first phase, our Account Managers work with the client to get a good idea of what they are looking for in the project. The Account Manager then introduces the Project Manager, who will be involved in the day-to-day work with the client.
A Kick-Off Meeting is scheduled for the Project Manager and the client to dig a little bit deeper into the project goals, the website content and the overall look and feel of the website.
Pro Tip: It is often helpful to think about design elements such as logo, color scheme and photography before the Kick Off Meeting.
If a client really wants to go above and beyond, they can gather some existing websites that they like the look and feel of so we can have a solid understanding of what they’re hoping to achieve!
Phase 2: Mockups
After we have a good handle on the look and feel of the website, the stellar design team at FreshySites gets to work on some homepage mockups.
Depending on how much the team has to work with and how many projects are in the design queue, mockups can take anywhere from 3-5 business days to complete.
Once those mockups are complete, the Project Manager sends them to the client for feedback and, if necessary, a round of revised mockups are made.
Pro Tip: Since we prefer to have all of the website content before we build, it is also a good idea in Phase 2 for the client to gather all of the content. That way, when a final mock up is approved, the project can go right into our development queue.
Phase 3: Development
This is where the true magic of the website happens.
A builder from our team of outstanding web designers reviews all of the client’s materials including the Project Brief, the mockups and the content provided by the client.
They use all of this information and their skills as developers to build out the website on our devoted development servers. Our team also does quality control and responsiveness checks to make sure the site looks beautiful across all devices.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that this is a development queue meaning that there are several projects waiting in line at any given moment. Because of this, a site usually takes about 2-4 weeks to complete from the time it enters the development queue.
Phase 4: Revisions
After the development link is sent out to the client, we wait to hear feedback from the client.
This is the phase where the process is really in the hands of the client — if they take a bit longer to gather revisions, then it will take longer for the site to go live.
Once the client has finished adding their comments to the site, the Project Manager reviews everything and sends those revisions to our Build Team to complete.
Pro Tip: It can take a decent amount of time for a Project Manager to translate feedback or add clarifying notes for the Build Team. If a client is as descriptive and clear as possible with their notes, that helps to speed up our process considerably!
Phase 5: Launch
Once the development site is exactly how the client wants it, we move on to making it live! Our launch team ensures the site is ready to launch and works hard to get it live on our servers.
There is a lot of technical knowledge involved in this step, but the most important thing to know is that launch is not as easy as pressing a big, red “Launch” button (though we wish it was).
There are several steps involved to make sure we preserve the data, get everything set up on the live domain and perform back-end optimizations after the site is live.
Pro Tip: There is no set amount of time that it takes for a site to launch.
Once the DNS is changed (the address the website lives at), it has to propagate throughout the entire internet, which can take some time. In some cases, it can fully propagate in about 5 minutes, but in other cases, it can take up to 24 or even 48 hours. We’re really at the mercy of the internet! For this reason, we generally don’t launch sites on Fridays — we wouldn’t want the site to finish propagating on Saturday and have nobody here to troubleshoot!
After the site is live, the project is considered complete and the client is looped in with our brilliant Support Team to help them for as long as their site is active!
As you can see, it takes an entire team working with a lot of moving parts to bring your website to life.