Website Design Process

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Customer Support Web Design Process

The Design Process

The process of creating your site begins with the creation of comps - photoshop-based designs that will be presented to you as a webpage with a single graphic bearing the look and feel.

What is needed from you?

Once the above have been received your designer will review the given content, search for photos if necessary, review the sites and templates of other companies of your industry, and begin designing. Upwards of three designs will be created and presented to you by way of a link to a test site created to house your project until it is ready to go live.

Revision Process

At this point, you may select a design to proceed with, offer revisions to any of the designs (this may include combining pieces of different designs into one new design), or enter into negotiations for the creation of new designs. Revisions will be presented to you in the same fashion as the original design once they are completed.

Design Approval

When you have selected the design you would like to proceed with, you will be presented with a design approval form (generally by fax). Once you have signed this form the site may advance into the building process, but it is also limited in what further revisions may be made without incurring an added cost.

Once a site begins to be built, changing the design is no longer a simple process. A built site holds the design across as many pages as your project entails so one look change on one part of the design becomes many changes as the design changes must be repeated across every page. There is also a cascading effect where the change of one thing effects other things around it. Think of a tower of cards; the concept is similar.

Design Changes

The following are changes that are best done prior to a design approval. If you require any of these changes to be made after the approval we will offer you a quote of the additional time needed before these changes are made.

Definitions

A graphical element may be:

A text area is defined as space given to text. it is noted in comps by dummy text (Lorem ipsum...). The background of a text area is not considered part of the text area.

Note on Fonts

To allow maximum exposure to search engines, we strongly suggest that any text element be actual text and not an image containing the appearance of text. Because of this, the fonts used on your site are generally limited to the default fonts contained in standard browsers such as internet Explorer and Firefox. It is possible to use fonts other than these, but they would not appear to anyone who did not have that font installed. (Fonts that will later become images, such as those in a logo, do not need to meet this requirement.)

View font examples

Stock Image Approval

Before any stock images may be used in the end result of the site, we need a written approval that the selected images should be purchased. Generally, our stock images are one dollar each for photos and between five and seven dollars each for vector graphics (artwork). The price of these images will be added on at the end of the project process. Once images have been purchased if you decide to change one, you will be charged both for the original purchase and the new image.

Page Build

What is needed from you?

During this process a general template is created from your selected design. This template is then applied to all created files, one for each page. Your content is inserted into the appropriate page in a graphically pleasing, easily read, and logical way. Also during this process a cross-browser check will be made to ensure that your site fits and reads well in various browsers and screen resolutions.

Screen Resolutions (What is a Screen Resolution?)

As of the time this article is written, sites are generally designed primarily for 1024x768 screen resolutions, but will scale down to fit an 800x600. Background elements are employed to create a smooth graphical appearance in resolutions from 1280x1024 and up or, depending on the client preference and site requirements, the site may be designed to fit full screen no matter the resolution of the monitor it is viewed on.

Browsers

Page Revision

At this point you will be presented with a whole working site on our test server. You may work through all of the pages and make note of any changes you would like done before the site goes live. This is primarily a period of text revision, spell-checking, and assurance of information accuracy.

Programming

If your site requires programming it will be turned over to the programming department at this point and you will be given another opportunity to revise. Generally programming is done in C# .NET, but may also be in Classic ASP. Reasons your site may require programming might include a shopping cart or other administratable features such as a photo gallery or slideshow. This may also include content management systems to place the content of your site into your hands. All of these things will be discussed in pre-development.

Site Approval

Once you are satisfied with the way your site works and looks, you will be presented with a site approval form. A signature on this is necessary before a site can go live.

Quality Check

One final check is made on the site before it goes live. This includes a link check, browser check, resolution check, and general functionality check.

Going Live

This is the process that makes your site visible to the world wide web. You will have your own domain name and your site is ready to start collecting visitors. If you have any further changes or concerns we will be happy to assist you.

About Domain Names...

The domain name is the website address. For example the domain name for this website is nrgnetworks.com. There needs to be a domain name in place before the site can go live.

If you already have a domain name, before the site goes live, we will either need the person who controls your domain to point that address to your new site or we will need access to the domain control so we can set it up. This also applies if you are creating a new domain name instead of having us do it.

If you don't already have a domain name, we can set one up for you. Periodically, the domain will expire and need to be renewed. If you have registered the domain name then you will receive notices about this long before it expires. If we have registered the domain name, we will contact you when we receive the notices. If a domain name expires for whatever reason then users will be unable to access your website unless they know its IP address.