The Web Process


"Also, we want it all done in a month." Unfortunately, this (or something along those lines) is a phrase I hear all too often in the creative industry.

No matter how much I, as the designer, try to explain that the process can never be done that quickly, nothing quite proves it once the client gets the first round of comps and takes weeks to make a decision.

We at Masonry pride ourselves with how quickly we can turn projects around, yet even the simplest project, whether it's a logo or a website or a PPC campaign, takes time. I thought I would walk through each step, illustrating what typically goes into our web creation process so you know what to expect.

Step 1. The Intake Meeting

We create everything custom for your business. It goes to reason that we try to understand your business as much as possible. Who are you, what do you want to become? Who are your competitors, your role models, your ROI goals? We sit down with you, one on one, to learn as much as we can in your own words.

Step 2. Research

How much time we spend researching depends on the size and complexity of the project. Basic areas we try to understand are things like:

  • Your industry. How many companies are there? What is typical for your industry? How quickly does your industry plan to grow and how can we help you be on the forefront of that?  
  • Your target audience. Who are they? What are they buying? What is the common income, demographic, education, interest, etc?
  • Your competitors. Are they local, nationwide, or international? What are they offering compared to what you offer? How are they presenting that on their website, emails, ads, etc? What wording do they use? What type of photography? Do they have a different sales strategy than you?
  • Your goals. Looking at those previous three areas, what do you hope to accomplish with this project? Do you hope to increase sales, get more phone calls, or collect more email addresses? How do you plan on measuring this?
  • Your preferences. With every client, we ask them to become familiar with what other websites are doing. What websites do you like (doesn't have to be in your industry) and why? Who is getting it right in your mind, and who isn't? What type of style and presentation are you hoping to be most like?

You are coming to us because we are experts in our field. What very few realize is that in a matter of days/weeks, we have to become (somewhat) of an expert in yours.

Step 3. Site Architecture

After all the research and a proper understanding what you want, we build the site architecture. This is a basic sitemap of all the pages on your future website. They typically look something like this:

We also begin the content strategy process with you. Depending on the size of the project, you can edit old content, write new, or we can hire a copywriter to help you write the best copy for your company's improved image.

Step 4. Wireframe

After the Site Architecture has been approved, we begin the wireframing process. This is a black and white skeleton of how your future website will be laid out. It helps us determine where the copy will be placed, how much copy will be used, where we will need photos, and how everything will interact.

Sometimes we won't have content, most likely because we added a section or page that wasn't there before. In those cases, we use filler Latin copy called Lorem Ipsum and help you develop real content for the live site. Once that is approved, we begin the design phase.

Step 5. Design

This is always my favorite part of the process: turning those black and white versions into something beautiful. We work with you on the font, color, and image choices, and create a custom website that best reflects your company.

Step 6. Coding

From there, we slice the flat Photoshop design into pieces and code it into HTML5 and CSS3. This phase can take a bit of time, depending on how many unique pages are part of your design.

Step 7. CMS

Once the site is coded into HTML, we hook it up to your future content management system, making the text areas, links, images, etc, editable through the CMS. Then we go through and begin adding all the real content. All those images, copy, links, and downloads get inputted at this stage.

Step 8. Testing & Launch

Finally, before the site goes live, we triple check everything, make sure all the SEO tools are set up, and test it again across multiple devices and browsers. When everything looks good and we get the go-ahead from you, we launch the website.

That is what goes into creating a website with Masonry. It may seem like a lot, but we make sure to walk through each step with you so it is not overwhelming.

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