The easiest part of building websites

We love what we do — which makes just about anything seem easy and based on the horror stories we’ve heard from clients who have war stories to tell, building a website and making it easy is not always the case. And the only reason the coding is the easiest part of our job is because of all the work we do before the coding gets started.

Allow our clarification of “easy.” Coding and programming isn’t really easy, but it’s a whole lot harder if you don’t have a plan.

We create our plan through our discovery process, where we do a deep dive into what the website needs to do, including a questionnaire that the clients have to complete. Armed with that information we develop a series of documents that lay out

  • who the target audience is
  • how we’re going to attract that audience
  • what action we want site visitors to take
  • and what content, features, and functionality we need to achieve our goals

In simple terms — the really tough part of the job happens before coding and design have even begun. It’s the discovery process, in which we create planning documents that lay out exactly what we need the site to do in order to succeed, that makes other steps so much less painful.

Those documents are:

  • Strategy Brief
  • Site Map
  • Wireframes
  • Functional Specification
  • Design Brief

With these core critical documents, you create a framework that provides guidance to the team that will be down in the trenches doing the design work, copywriting, and coding.

To these documents we can also add outlines for KPIs, integration with other marketing efforts, and maintenance and security protocols.

Too often, we see clients balk at the process, feeling that they “just need to get the new site up” rather than “waste time with all of these planning exercises.”

If you’re tempted to forego proper planning because it’s just a small update or because time is of the essence, we urge you to reconsider. You’ll never regret the time you invest in thinking through your goals to get the result that you want.

And if your web development team looks at you like you’ve got three heads when you suggest a process that creates the documents above, you may want to put a hold on this partnership.

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