Websites are central to most business marketing strategies, which is why good web design and web development is so important.
Over 90% of people use search engines to make buying decisions. That means looking for what they want, and comparing before they buy, whether online or offline.
Our web designers and web developers work closely with many different clients to make sure their websites are perfect for the job.
Our websites don’t just look good, they work well. They generate the sales, and return on investment, you want. They help you achieve your business objectives.
Whatever your web design requirements, we can deliver the goods, creating a website that:
- Reinforces credibility with strong design and powerful content
- Is built to generate enquiries with strong search engine optimisation
- Engages fully with customers and delivers an immersive experience for your visitors
- Demonstrates your expertise, your voice, your style, your ethos. Your brand.
We follow a step-by-step process to make sure your website fully supports your business success.
Scoping out the web design project is the first step. And the first thing we do is to listen. We want to know what you are seeking to achieve. What your objectives are.
For some clients, these are very well firmed up. For others, things are a little looser. Either way, we can cope, and can provide marketing advice, if you want it.
Part of the scoping process is to consider key marketing issues up front, so the web design plan is based on firm foundations. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself about your new website:
- Who is your target audience?
- What do you want the website to do for your customers, and for you?
- What should the user experience look and feel like?
- What existing websites do you like or dislike, either from a design perspective or functionality?
- How will you be promoting your website?
- What is your budget for realising your website? We recognise you’ll want an idea of costs from us. But we’ll need an understanding, because we produce websites costing from £2,000 to £40,000.
- Is there any specific functionality you require, and in what priority order, in terms of development? For example, online booking, large image gallery, password protected customer area
- What countries will your site be targeting, and how important is ability to publish your site in multiple languages?
- How often will you be adding products or changing information about them? What kind of e-commerce functionality will you require?
- Last, here, but really important: What date do you need your website to go live by?
Together, we will identify who needs to do what, and by when. We give you a clear understanding of what we will be needing from you and what you can expect from us.
We will build a site map for your website – illustrating clearly its shape and scale. This helps our web designers and our clients to understand the business and website objectives.
Crucially, developing a site map helps make sure we all think about the website through the eyes of the people we want to visit it and respond positively to it: the customers.
Whether it’s a pre-coded template site or fully bespoke website, the look and feel of your website will naturally be important to you.
The design stage of creating your website is the point at which we determine how your site will look and feel. We can create visuals for your home and inner pages, such as product pages, so clients can see precisely how they will look, and request amends.
Our approach is to get experienced web developers to work alongside graphic designers. Designers design and Developers develop (also known as coding, programming or doing their magic thing; they need to be humoured sometimes).
Once the design process has been approved, the web developers get to work.
This involves installing an appropriate content management system, like WordPress, and hooking up relevant plugins or writing code to create the specified site functionality.
We assess the appropriate use of technologies to use, to future proof your site. So whatever technological advances might come along in online marketing, you will be able to incorporate them in your new website.
Responsive websites as standard
We build responsive websites, that’s sites that can be viewed on smartphones and tablets, as standard. A rapidly increasing number of customers are using these kinds of devices to buy products and services.
Also, Google penalises websites that are not mobile-friendly. So our customers need responsive websites. We build an appropriate and consistent viewing experience between the desktop site and that on a tablet or a phone.
Words and images – static or moving – make a vital contribution to the success of your website, in terms of visitor experience and search engine ranking. Getting the content in shape is also the single most important factor in meeting deadlines of your site build.
There’s a number of ways matm can help here:
- Sourcing photography and editing it to the right size and shape. Large images can slow down your page load speeds. Quicker load times = better google ranking
- Writing powerful web copy, that both engages the right website visitors and is optimises in line with the latest latest requirements of Google and other search engines
- Entering and formatting content. Some clients prefer to enter the content themselves, to save a little on the budget. But we can make sure it looks great, is search engine optimised and is done in time to hit key launch deadlines.
Testing, testing … 1,2,3. During the build process you will be given access to a test site. Don’t worry, it’s hidden to the wider world and that includes Google.
You will be able to see progress of your site build online. This has the additional benefit of allowing us to test different sections of the website and functionality as we go along, saving valuable time later on.
Our final testing procedure includes setting email addresses and menu systems where required. We also make sure your website looks good and works well when accessed by all web browsers your customers will be using, including Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
See our blog posts for details on browser usage. It may be a useful read.
7. Go live
There’s a lot more to it than simply pressing a button… we work with you to switch on your new site as seamlessly as possible. We ensure Google Analytics is fitted to your site, that you’re linked up to Google and Bing webmaster tools, your sitemaps are configured, any redirects created and much, much more.
We can provide business class web hosting too.
8. Post-live care
We don’t simply build and run away. All of the websites we build come with:
- 3 months content updates free of charge
- 3 months WordPress and Plugin updates free of charge. Thereafter we recommend our Website Service Programme
- For WordPress sites – a comprehensive 128 page user guide
- Free installation of useful tools, for example Google Analytics and WordPress SEO
- If it’s appropriate, we can also create a roadmap for future development work.
Whether you are seeking a fully bespoke responsive website, an e-commerce solution that lets you hire or sell your products online, or a straight forward microsite or a brochure site – talk to matm.