Stage 1: The briefing
Every website project starts with a briefing.
In the briefing, you describe your wishes and ideas for the result and what problems occur with your current website.
Eventually they should be fixed.
The following are the questions I discuss with my clients in the briefing before each project.
Once these points have been clarified, I can make a detailed offer:
Briefing: Questions for web design projects
What do you want to achieve with the website?
What goal should your website achieve: Should it inform? Represent? Sell? Entertain?
Do you want to take over and adapt an existing page or create a completely new one?
There is often already a website that needs to be revised (redesign) because it no longer meets your requirements for a modern website.
Be it that the design is getting old or you are not satisfied with the performance: for SEO reasons or because the user guidance does not correspond to the habits of your visitors and they cannot find their way around your pages. You may also want to add new functionalities.
Is there a corporate design that needs to be considered?
If your company has corporate design guidelines, then these should also be expressed on your website.
Who are your website visitors?
Who will mainly visit your website? Which customers are you addressing? If you want to address very specific visitors, the website should also be structured and designed specifically for this target group...
What should a visitor do when they visit your website?
What is the best possible action for a user to take on your website? To order something? Submit a request? Watch Videos? Call up? Book something? Find out about your offers?
Do you already have content for your website?
Do you already have images and text for your website? Good content, prepared in an interesting and informative way for the user, is crucial for the success of a website.
How large will the website be?
Perhaps you already have a website structure in mind - which topics and pages there are, what content can be found there, whether and how many subpages a page has, etc. This is helpful for estimating the scope of a website project. Small sites start with maybe ten pages, large sites can have several hundred pages.
Websites should grow: It is always possible to start small and add more pages and subpages later.
Which functionalities does your website need? What do your customers want? Does your website need e.g. a news area or the display of events? Do you need a way to filter products or service? Would you like to provide certain information that you provide as a PDF only in return for an e-mail? Would you like to send newsletters?
Will the website be monolingual or multilingual?
Are you locally oriented or do you want to address an international audience? If the latter is the case, then you should consider which language your target group speaks and also offer this language on your website.
Who will update the website and how often?
If you or your employees want to update the website content yourself, a training course is a good idea if you have not yet worked with the Contao CMS and have no other experience with content management systems.
Who will maintain the website (backups, system updates)?
Contao is actively developed and therefore releases regular updates:
Contao Release Plan
For security reasons, it makes sense to keep software up to date and update it regularly. I offer Contao updates on demand.
When should the website go online at the latest?
Is there a specific date when the website has to be online (trade fair, opening ceremony, product launch, etc.)? Or does one week or the other more or less not matter?
Last but not least: How Much Can Your Website Cost?
The creation of a website costs between €1,500 and €10,000 on average. Depending on the requirements, it can sometimes be lower or higher.
It is therefore important to provide as much information as possible in the website briefing.
Stage 2: Content planning & information architecture
This is about who your users are and how they can interact with the website in the most comfortable way possible.
What content and subject areas are important, what should be presented on the page and how?
In this phase it is planned how the page structure should be built, which navigation points can be superordinated and which can be subordinated.
So-called sitemaps, flowcharts and wireframes are used, which show the rough structure of the site and the user's path through it.
Stage 3: Drafts
Web design development.
Usually 2-3 drafts are made based on the briefing. You then decide in which direction to go.
If you have decided on a website theme for cost reasons, this phase does not apply, as the design has already been selected with the website theme.
Stage 4: Corrections and modifictions
Corrections and modifictions are carried out on your chosen draft. Minor changes can be carried out on a theme.
Stage 5: Realisation phase
The draft correction stage is finished. You have given your approval for programming the website design.
While you can often work with dummy texts and images in the design phase in order to assess the effect of the layout of the draft, the original content must now be available at this stage at the latest. Dummy texts and placeholders will now be replaced with your text and images.
Stage 6: Approval
The original content is incorporated. You now have the opportunity to test your website again to ensure that all functions are working as you wish and that all of your content is correct. Then you give your OK to go online.
Stage 7: Release
The website goes online.
Since a website is not an immutable product like a brochure, you should think about who maintains your website as early as the briefing. This does not just mean simple text changes to the content, which you can do yourself with a CMS and after training.
It's also about database backups, backing up files from the FTP server and repairing errors and bugs that may appear later because of new browsers appearing on the market or new Internet technologies are available.