Do you have your own unique look for your business or need one developed? Our expert team of coders and graphic designers will help you turn your vision into a fully functional website and more. We will equally brand all your social channels using your main template as well.
With over 400 custom websites under our belt, I think we can create a look for your online presence that is just right for you.
These websites are great for people who are already familiar with content management systems, like WordPress and Joomla, and are ready to start loading content to their sites. If you know what you want to say to your audience, Wikads can help make it happen with fast loading theme.
Don't worry about branding, we can easily tweak templates to compliment the look and feel of your business. Our graphic designers are available to create a business logo and a full color scheme for you, if you need one.
Designing and developing a web site is most definitely a process, and one that requires intelligent, methodical, and detailed knowledge, planning, and customer communication.
Different designers will proceed according to their own experience and ideas, so the process can vary, but most design processes will involve the following steps:
Gathering pertinent data is step one in building a successful web site. This first step is the most important one, as it requires the designer to develop full understanding of the client company—you! The designer needs to understand your products and something of your industry, your history, your present profile, your short- and long-term goals, and your aspirations and ideas in order to effectively design a site that will best serve your company and where you want it to be.
Here are the kinds of questions your designer needs to ask to create understanding of your business and how the web can serve your company's mission.
What exactly will users be looking for on your site? Specific information, a specific product or service, online ordering, etc.
What exactly do you want the building of this web to accomplish for you? Generate revenue, share information?
Connected to the first two–what is the purpose of the site? Promotion, marketing, building an information resource, selling products, presenting a service, or—?
What specific groups, or markets, will help you reach goals and achieve purpose? Who is the ideal site visitor, considering specific demographic characteristics such as age, sex, and interests?
With the foundation of thorough research, planning begins, and we develop a site map.
The site map is a complete and detailed list of all topic and sub-topic areas of the site, and this guides the decision process concerning site content. The development of the site map is critical to building a good user interface. Coherent, user-friendly site navigation and congruent look and feel—color, images, structure, tone that match the message–are make-or-break considerations for any site, as the end-user must be foremost in every aspect of site development.
Planning is the time to make decisions about the technologies to be used, such as content management systems (CMS), contact forms, database systems, e-commerce applications, and other applications.
What should the site look and feel like? What kind of experience do you want the user to have? How do you establish your logo and brand in the design?
The end-user drives the design process, and different markets and audiences will require radically different looks: consider the difference between targeting teenagers for retail and targeting financial institutions for a business-to-business site.
Your web designer will usually build a prototype or several prototypes or mock-ups, typically as emailed .jpg images, or sometimes as an actual dummy site on a secure private area of the designer's site.
A good designer will encourage and facilitate thorough site knowledge and customer communication throughout the design and development stages.
In this phase, communication between both you and your designer are crucial to ensure that the final web site will match your needs and taste. It is important that you work closely with your designer, exchanging ideas, until you arrive at the final design for your web site.
This stage is where the site components are put together and the designer creates the functional site. Your designer should make the site accessible to you for feedback during this entire process.
This phase usually begins with the home page's creation, followed by a shell or navigational frame for the interior pages that will hold the site content. Elements such as the CMS, interactive contact forms, e-commerce shopping carts, and other applications are made functional during this phase as well.
Your designer should also ensure that the site's HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)/CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code is compliant with the latest web standards to maximize functionality and accessibility to as large an audience as possible.
The next step is testing functionality and browser compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers) –a good designer understands and uses the latest standards for site design and development for HTML and CSS, and tests to ensure all of your site’s web code “validates” –that is, meets current web development standards. This is necessary to ensure cross-browser compatibility as noted above.
When the site's been green-lighted, the design team uses an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program to upload the site's files to a server. Many web designers will also register a domain name for you and host your site on their own site; those that cannot make recommendations for registering and hosting.
Before going fully live, the site should be tested a final time to ensure 1) everything has been loaded; 2) the site remains functional; 3) plugins are installed; and 4) Search Engine Optimization (SEO), including code validation, has been completed.
SEO is part of the delivery phase: once the site is online, the SEO people work to make it rank high on page 1 in critical searches.
SEO is complex enough that we have created a separate introduction to this critically important part of making a successful business web site.
7. SITE MAINTENANCE
Getting a site up and running is only the beginning, however. Successful sites are lively, not static, and offer new content regularly to keep users returning. If you do not do it in-house, your web designer can usually provide updating and maintenance on a continuing basis, with fees based on how extensive your updates will be.
If you want hands-on control and do not want to outsource maintenance, using a CMS for your website such as WordPress (see 1. Planning) allows you to update, change, and add material to your site easily and without great technical knowledge. WordPress offers users a door to an administrative area and an online text editor not unlike regular word processing software like Microsoft Word. Using WordPress means you can be as creative and involved as you want to be in the functioning of your site.
Whether done in-house or by a vendor, one crucial maintenance duty is regular site backup—be sure to build in regular, secure backup of your site and its contents, including databases.