5-Step Process: How to Build A Website
When you hire a web designer, what exactly goes into them creating your website? Here’s a quick overview of my 5-step process.
1 - PURCHASE THE DOMAIN
Before you can build a house, you need to know what the address will be. Building a website is no different. I use Google Domains to purchase and manage all of my addresses or “domains”. (luhvleedesign.co is my main domain)
In my business, this step is my client’s responsibility simply because, I want THEM to own the domain, not my company. Once the domain is created, I will ask them to give me permissions to make edits if needed. The only other time I need to touch the domain settings should be in step 5.
2 - SETUP HOSTING
So, you’re building a house. You need the address of where the house will be but you will also need to pay land tax for the house to exist there. Think of land tax as “website hosting”. Your website needs hosting to exist on the World Wide Web. Ideally, I will host my client’s website. Sometimes, a client will come to me with their own hosting and existing website. Ideally, I would like to host the website because I want to be able to work with the server and tech support if something goes terribly wrong. Also, the hosting provider I use is AMAZING. (Luhv you, Flywheel) I do not up-charge website hosting. Whether my client uses my company or sets up their own account, it will be the same price.
If my client wishes to have their own hosting, they will need to grant me permissions so I can handle tech issues or plugin updates. I do add an additional fee for monthly maintenance and tech support.
3 - BUILD THE WEBSITE
Step 3 is a bundle of mini-steps combined for the sake of a quick blog post. There is a lot that goes into building a website but in simpler terms, this is when the butter meets the bread. I build my websites on WordPress using a premium theme. I do not build my websites from scratch. (my “work smarter, not harder” approach to website building)
In this step, there will be a few back and forth discussions between my client and I to make sure the website is accurately representing their company. I do not like surprising my clients. They are involved the entire build to ensure we’re on the same page.
4 - TESTING, OPTIMIZING
Once we get to step 4, everything has been approved by the client. I will test the site on all major browsers to ensure everything is running smoothly. All buttons and links will be clicked and tested.
Most importantly, I will test the site on a tablet and a phone to make sure the site looks the same, if not better, on smaller screens. I will make any changes needed to optimize the user’s mobile experience.
5 - POINT THE DOMAIN RECORDS TO THE NEW WEBSITE
The website is ready for launch! I will log in to the domain registrar (Google Domains) and point the domain to the new website. How does one point a domain to a new site, you ask? My hosting provider gives me a website IP address. I will log in to Google Domains and point the DNS (Domain Name System) records to that IP address. This can take a day or two for everything to fully propagate.
Once the website is fully propagated, I will do one last sweep to ensure everything meets Luhv’lee standards.