Your website is an investment in the face of your company. At Great Big Lake we work with a select group of clients who understand that the look of their website and other marketing materials communicate their level of professionalism. If you want your customers to take you seriously then you need to devote some time and energy to the design of your brand and apply it to every part of your business.
Website Care Plans are required
Healthy websites are a reflection of a healthy business. A healthy website requires a certain amount of ongoing maintenance and a WordPress powered website is no exception. WordPress is continually evolving, offering improved services, security updates, new features, and fixes. It is important that regular care and updating are provided in order to keep your website functioning properly, looking its best, and able to serve your audience.
Our monthly website care plans offer website maintenance and varying levels of site enhancement. If you are not interested in investing in a website care plan, then we are probably not a good fit for your business.
How we work
Do you have goals?
Do you know what it is that you want to accomplish with your website? Having clear goals is very important so that we know what we’re working towards.
Do you have an audience?
Building an audience involves actively creating new content. Have you considered how your business could benefit from blogging, creating podcasts, white papers, and/or presentations to attract and mentor new customers?
Is your content ready?
Before we begin any web design project, we expect that our clients will have gathered and organized their content. This includes general ideas for pages, written text, documents, and any specific imagery and photographs that you would like to incorporate into your pages.
Need help with content?
If you’re finding it difficult to develop the content for your website, think about hiring us for a discovery session. We will sit down with you and discuss your offering, map out the different pages needed, and then come up with a plan to write the needed content. If needed, we will hire a writer who specializes in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) copywriting to assist in the development.
Do you have a budget?
Building a website is an investment in your business. We require a 50% deposit up front, 30% installment once functionality and design have been agreed upon, and 20% balance once the application has been tested and everyone agrees it is ready to go live.
Your time and energy
Are you ready to devote some time and energy to this project? When we start a project, we have set aside that block of time to work on your site design. If you are not available to provide/create content and to give us timely feedback for whatever reason, then it would be better to wait to start your project until your schedule is clear.
Are we a good fit?
Your filled-out, online website project questionnaire is the first step in our process. After looking over the details of your project, we’ll assess whether or not we think that we are a good fit for one another. If we think that that might be the case, we’ll go forward by scheduling a meeting over Skype or in person to go a little deeper into the nature of your business and your unique offering as well as it’s set of challenges. We’ll talk about your goals and what you envision for your company or organization over the next few years.
Our Process—Your Expectations
Evolution took millions of years. It didn’t just happen. Creating a brand or an online presence is a bit like evolution on a much smaller scale. It takes an investment of research, energy, play, and time. It’s a process. If you’re really serious about building a fantastic web presence, it will take a good portion of your time and energy. Are you prepared to devote yourself to this project?
The Website Project Questionnaire
Before we meet with any client, we ask that they fill out our Website Project Questionnaire. In the questionnaire we will be asking you about your business needs and goals as well as about your desired visual look. Think of this as your first assignment. The results of this form will do two things. First, it will help us find out if we are a good fit for you and your business. Second, if you do decide to solicit our services, it will help inform the direction we take in the design of your site.
After the initial meeting, we will put together a proposal for your project. If you decide to accept our proposal, we’ll set a schedule. Most websites require at least 10–12 weeks from beginning to completion. Rushing that process is not recommended if your goal is to produce an uncommon, creative solution.
What you can expect during development
Once we begin working on a project, this is the typical schedule:
- RESEARCH PHASE—We begin by examining where you are. We then look at your competitors and what is happening in your industry. Gathering additional photos and ideas about what kind of imagery might need to be created is included in this phase. At this point we also put together an interactive prototype of your website, meaning the general organization of pages and content without any styling so that we are clear on what we need to build.
- CREATIVE/PLAY PHASE—Once we have an idea of where you are and what you need to go forward, we will begin the creative part of the process. We will create three different looks/styles (typography, colors, themes) from which you can choose. If we don’t quite hit upon what you envision in the 1st round, we will take your feedback and come up with a 2nd round of revised design styles.
- DESIGN/BUILD PHASE—Once you’ve chosen a visual direction, we will take those general visual styles and apply them to the layout of the different sections of your website. In this phase we put everything together, building out the actual website and making sure that everything is functioning correctly.
What happens after we launch the website?
Once your website has launched, we provide a month’s support for any adjustments and minor content changes that arise. After that, you will need to choose a Website Care Plan. Some people really love to update their own content. They will only require our basic plan unless they want help with ongoing SEO optimization of their site. Others choose to let us handle content additions and modifications. It all depends on you and your employees and your level of technical savvy as well as the amount of time you can devote to adding new content. If you have your own marketing person or team, we would be happy to work with them to optimize your site in any way that they see fit.
Ready to get started?
If you’re ready, head on over to the Website Project Questionnaire and fill out the application. Once we receive your application we will look it over and be in touch within 3 business days to let you know if it seems like we’d be a good fit. We will send you your filled out questionnaire so that you can use it as a starting point, regardless of whether you end up working with us or with someone else.