The Web Development Process: Step by Step
Developing a website is a team effort between eFocus and you. We will do our best to get to know you and your company so that we can capture who you are and portray that on the Internet. Your job is to let us know how your website can best serve you and your customers. We have various ways of extracting this information from you so don't worry if you have a mental block!
Before Development Begins…
- Consultation—We visit with you in person or on the phone to determine what your needs are.
- Proposal—We provide you with a quotation based on the information from our consultation.
- Deposit—We require one-third deposit before we start developing your website. This is to ensure that we get paid for any preliminary work we do. (We know you wouldn't do this to us, but we're sorry to say some people have in the past.) Typically this first third pays for market analysis, domain name registration, and website design but it varies from site to site.
Website Design and Market Analysis
- Market Analysis—We do keyword research and competition analysis to determine the best web solutions for your business.
- Domain Name—If you don't already have one, we will help you choose a suitable domain for your website.
- Website Design—This is the part you've been waiting for! We present a web design for you to approve. The design should portray your company's personality and target your customers' profile. It includes your logo, corporate colors, slogans, and anything else that makes your company unique. It is also designed to be easy to navigate for your website visitors' enjoyment.
- Web Hosting—We set up your web hosting account, email accounts, spam filters, web statistics, etc. according to your needs and preferences. We will also bill you for your domain registration and web hosting at this time.
- Content—Once you approve a design, we start adding copy and pictures for the home page, about us page , contact us forms, page for frequently asked questions (FAQs), and other web pages designed just for your website. If you need a database or a shopping cart, it is added at this time so that you can start entering data or products.
- Second Payment—Much of your web site is online now and this payment covers adding content and installing databases.
Directories, Search Engines, and Optional Features
- Search Engine Optimization—We continue to tweak some of your copy to encourage search engines to rank your pages well.
- Directory Submissions—We submit your website to the free Internet directories like DMOZ, Alexa, Jayde, and many others so that you have some initial links giving you some 'link popularity'. We also recommend Yahoo if you opt to pay their annual fee for business website inclusion.
- Optional Features—Every small business has different needs such as shopping carts, email newsletters, autoresponders, private sections of the website, pay-per-click advertising, etc. We can add new components to your website as your business grows or needs change.
- Search Engine Submissions—When your website is complete, we submit your website to the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo Search, and Bing. They will index your website and your web pages will start showing up in their search results over time. Yahoo and Bing are fairly quick — Google can take 3–6 months, especially if your domain is new, but it varies.
- Final Payment—Your initial website development is now complete.
Website Maintenance and Updates
To remain competitive on the Internet, we recommend that you update your website regularly. The time interval varies by business but at least 2–3 times per year — monthly or more often is better. Certainly you have new information or products to share with your customers from time to time. So make sure your website is doing its job and get it updated in a timely manner. Updates and maintenance of your website are charged at an hourly rate if you prefer not to do it yourself.
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