How I work

I like simplicity, both in design and communication. Making a website is not always such a straightforward process, however. It helps to check if we have a matching approach to make things easier and ensure that your project will be a success.

Good results take time

If you want a website built to fit your needs we first have to consider what that really means. This requires more than a couple of weeks. Depending on the size of your website it can take anywhere between two to five months.

Teamwork

Making a website is a team effort; I’m here to do the heavy lifting, but I’ll need your help to figure out what your site needs. Let’s talk about what you want to accomplish and together we can figure out the best way to get that result.

I also believe you have to delegate when necessary; you need the right specialist for each job. I have a list of trusted freelancers I work with that can jump in and lend your project their expertise.

Structure is everything

Ever wonder why some ugly sites work so well? It’s because they understand that function comes before style. Your visitors’ goals are more important than having a neatly designed website. That’s not to say that style isn’t important; a well-designed site can also improve its function, but it should not be your main concern.

First, we have to understand what your site needs to do by making a project analysis. Such an analysis answers questions like: What is my primary content, how can we help visitors find what they need, how do you promote extra content, what functionalities are required? From there, we can make a structure overview that addresses all of these questions and creates the blueprint for your site.

Content, content, content

Once we know the site’s purpose, you can decide on the content of the pages. This is a phase that ideally runs simultaneous to the wireframes/design phase so I can incorporate real examples of each type of content into the wireframes. This helps us to spot issues early on when there’s enough time to rethink and rewrite where necessary.

Photoshop is for defining style…

I don’t make a full mock-up of your web pages; instead, the look and feel are determined through smaller style components: what headlines will look like, what image dimensions will be used, what type of icons or graphics need to be made, etc. This way, we can bring the elements together in different layouts, creating unique pages for different types of content without having to make a full mock-up for each page. This helps to maintain a consistent style throughout the whole website.

…code is for everything else.

No more static mock-ups of web pages, only style components get designed in image editing software. The rest is made in the browser, really! This saves a lot of time on figuring out ‘how things will work’. Changes can be made faster and the results are viewable in their natural habitat: the web. It does mean that you have to wait longer before you see the fully polished look; but I assure you it’s worth it.

We start off with working HTML wireframes (based on the project analysis) and layer the style on top of them once we have the technical details sorted out. After the fully designed website prototype is completed the HTML is transformed into a WordPress theme.

Why WordPress?

It’s good. It’s solid. It’s not the latest flashy CMS or Javascript framework, but it does the job. On top of that it’s well maintained, has good documentation, and a lovely community. Plus, it’s easy to use! So easy, in fact, that you can manage your content yourself. (If you want to, of course; I can always help out.)

After the launch

Websites are not a build-it-once-then-forget-about-it sort of thing. They need maintenance, updates, and security checks. As your business or project grows, you might need new functionalities or a partial redesign. I offer maintenance contracts for websites I build and give priority support to existing customers when they need…well, anything website-related, really.

Convinced we’re a match? Let’s talk!