Demystifying the web design process
Too many web design companies shroud their work in a veil of secrecy and technical terminology. Some do this to make it easier for them to charge additional fees for unexplained reasons. We think this is wrong. At Keystone Websites, we believe that it is important for you to be "kept in the loop" as we work on your website. For this reason, we have created this easy-to-follow guide to help you understand each step of the web design and publishing process. Where technical terms are used, we have provided you with a comprehensive glossary, to arm you with the information you need.
Registering a domain name
The first step when creating a website is to register a domain name. You should pick a name that is the same as, or closely resembles, the name of your organization. At the same time, you must decide what domain name suffix you need. You may wish to register more than one domain name/suffix combination. For example, you may want "yourcompany.com", "yourcompany.net", and "yourcompany.us" to prevent others from registering your business name. Each domain name/suffux combination you register incurs an annual fee from the domain name registrar you buy it from. Keystone Websites can handle the registration for you, and the first year of registrar fees is included in all of our web design packages.
Purchasing web hosting
In order to make your website accessible on the World Wide Web, you need to publish your website on a web server. You must decide on what kind of website you want to build and then purchase a web hosting plan that can handle your needs. Keystone Websites can help you decide on the right web hosting solution, and the first year of hosting is included in all of our web design packages.
Planning the site
A successful website has two main components: content and visual layout. At Keystone Websites, we take pride in building websites that are accessible to all. In order to achieve this, we like to separate a website's content from its visual layout.
The most important component is the content itself. We work with you to create an outline of what the site is going to include, a bit like a table of contents. You then provide the information necessary to "flesh out" that content, in the form of text, images, prices, and other material. Much of this may come from existing literature, such as brochures.
Building the site
We start by getting a rough idea of how you want the site to look, and then we build a functioning "no frills" version of the site. At the same time, we work together to create an appealing visual design, incorporating any logos and imagery you might have where appropriate. Visit our technologies page for specific details of what web technologies are used to construct your website. Most of the work we do for you takes place in this step, and the process can take anywhere from days to months to complete, depending on your specific requirements.
Once the design has been finalized and the content is in place, we blend the two elements together to create the final design. For dynamic websites, we rigorously test the database system to make sure everything is functioning correctly. For commerce websites, we test the shopping cart system, making sure that merchant account and credit-card processing arrangements are in place.
Once everything is ready, the website files are uploaded to the web server, making the site "live" and accessible to anyone on the Internet. The basic process is complete.
Fees and Maintenance
Domain name/suffix combinations are subject to an annual fee, and web hosting is subject to a monthly fee. All such fees are outlined to you at the very beginning of the process so that you know exactly what to expect. Depending on your specific requirements, your website may need regular maintenance or updating, and Keystone Websites can handle all this for you on an hourly basis for maximum flexibility.