Custom Web-design

Custom-made front and back end solutions that nail your exact requirements.

01. Intro

Every website that we build is unique, and so to a large extent is the process that went into it. The customer’s desired level of involvement and other factors mean that no two processes are exactly the same. The process below is intended as a rough guide to show you how Gremlin Works make beautiful custom-built websites.

02. Planning

We believe that starting a project with the correct foundations is the right way to ensure its long term success.
Stage 1 includes everything that will happen before we sign a contract with you, and before any money changes hands. You’re free to walk away at any point and use what we’ve given you with a competitor of ours.
We’re confident that we’ll impress you and you won’t do that.

 

A. Initial Meeting

At Gremlin Works we are 100% focused on results, providing products and services that are going to be a positive ROI for your business.
Typically an initial meeting will take around 1.5 hours. We’ll show you what we’ve done before and answer any questions you may have, but the real focus is on us finding out all we need to know about your business and this project. To do this we need to begin with understanding your business; its goals, customers, challenges and strengths. Only armed with this information are we able to plan effectively for you.
Some of the things we’ll talk through with you are:

Goals

We need to clearly understand your business goals before we can consider how your website can support them.
Do you want to sell products or services, promote your brand, showcase your work, or build an audience? They are all different goals and require different solutions.
A clear goal is a requirement of an optimal solution – if you go on a journey without a destination, don’t be surprised if you don’t like where you end up…
It’s our job to refine a clear idea about where you are trying to get to, before finding creative solutions of how to get there.

Customers

What problems are you solving for your customers? What do they care about? What are their demographics?
These are the kinds of questions that will help us to build up a clear picture of who are your customers. This picture of your customers is an essential step towards us being able to design a website that will appeal to them.

Challenges

OK, so we know your goals. Why haven’t you reached them?
Every business has bottlenecks and obstacles that are stopping it growing as fast as it would like. We can examine these with a fresh perspective and add our expert opinion.
Understanding your current challenges is important. It might be possible to find creative ideas to overcome them, or online solutions that negate them.

Strengths

Where do you shine? Where is your current business coming from? What areas of expertise do you have inhouse?
Our objective here is to help you leverage these strengths to maximum effect.

 

B. Needs Assessment

Shortly after the Initial Meeting we’ll come back to you with a Needs Assessment.
At this point we may add one or two things based on our own ideas, but it’s basically a summary of the Initial Meeting with some clearly defined requirements for the new project.
The objective of this stage is to make sure that we’re all on the same page before we go into any more detail.

 

C. Research and Plan

Next we take some time to dig a little deeper into your your industry, your competitors and their marketing, your SEO environment.
Then using everything we’ve learned so far, we’ll put together the following deliverables for you.

Site Outline

A high-level look at your website, what it’s setting out to achieve and how it’s going to do it.

We’ll include details on

  • how your new site will look and feel
  • how it will be operated and maintained
  • how users will interact with the site
  • suggested technologies


Sitemap

A sitemap provides the best way to understand the structure and layout of a website. You’ll be able to clearly see all the sections of the site, their hierarchy and how they interact with each other.
Here’s a simple example.

Using a sitemap is the best way for all parties to agree on the scope of the website, ensuring that we can give an accurate quote.

SEO and Marketing Plan

Our goal at Gremlin Works is helping our clients succeed online, and an SEO and Marketing plan is a key part of that; a website without one is like a shop in the middle of the Sahara Desert!
During this stage we’ll look at your competitors and give you valuable insight into

  • Their website traffic and performance
  • Which keywords they are ranking for and the traffic that they are likely to receive from them
  • What links they have built to their site and which links are adding SEO value
  • What other marketing channels they are active on and what lessons you can learn

We’ll also investigate your firm’s SEO environment, giving you an good idea about both the difficulty and opportunity of an SEO campaign, some keywords that you can consider targeting, as well as some strategic suggestions.

03. Design

Wireframes

A wireframe is the next step along from a sitemap. It helps us to specify visually how each page will be laid out, showing you what content and functions will go where.
Here’s an example of a wireframe.

As you can see, there is very little detail and no design. The wireframe may be clickable so that you can navigate around the site.
We will produce a desktop, tablet and mobile version of the wireframe, so that you can see how your website will perform on different devices.
While it may seem over the top, this is an important step for both parties and helps ensure that we are all on the same page before moving on to the more complicated and time consuming tasks of design and coding.

Design

Our first consideration here is your CIS (Corporate Identity System – logo, fonts, color scheme). The new website must of course be follow this.
While it is tempting to wipe the slate clean and make the new website completely different to the old one, in some cases this does not have the desired effect as it is too jolting to existing loyal customers.
It is often best to retain some consistency with the past as we look to the future.
Gremlin Works break our design up into three stages. At each stage we complete the design work and submit it to you for approval and any modifications before we move on. The stages are:

  1. Homepage
  2. Other key pages
  3. Remaining pages

Of course, we’ll provide a separate design for desktop, tablet and mobile versions. The design will follow the wireframes, but at this stage they now become full colour with rich design so that you can see exactly how your website will look.

Content

Great content is non-negotiable if you want a great website. Want your website to rank well in Google? You need great content. Want your website to convert visitors into leads? You need great content.
Your content needs to be tailor made for your audience, and fit your brand voice. If you’re targeting young consumers, keep it light and entertaining. If you’re focusing on older professionals, keep it engaging and informative.
The golden rule is that you must add value to your readers.
We have writers that we can call upon to create content for your website, both in Chinese and English. The more specific or technical a topic, the more important it is that you create your own content.
As an agency who also provides SEO services, Gremlin Works is perfectly positioned to ensure that your content is optimised for search engines.

04. Build

Next comes the all important coding stage. Thanks to the background work of wireframes and design, all that remains is to build out the functionality and make the site work.
We can work with a variety of technologies, and are happy to either suggest what we think will be the best choice for you or to follow your suggestions.
When considering technology choices we consider:

  • Time to market
  • Cost of development
  • Stability of the system
  • Ongoing maintenance

05. Launch & Optimize

Can we launch yet? Can we launch yet?
Hold your horses, there’s a few important steps to go.

Testing

A thorough test of all pages and functions must take place before launch. Here’s a few of the things we do

  • We test on all major browsers
  • We test on all major screen sizes
  • We check for consistency of fonts and styles
  • We double check security
  • We test any submission forms or email captures
  • We ensure good page load speeds for SEO performance

301 Redirect

Such a crucial step, and so often overlooked. If I had a pound for every time someone missed this…
In search engines’ eyes, SEO value is accumulated in the pages of your website over time. And when you build that fancy new website it will most likely have a completely new URL structure to the old one.
Hey presto, your SEO value is lost and your rankings plummet.
Not if you have done a 301 Redirect.
In a 301 Redirect you are literally redirecting SEO value, links and traffic from your old pages to your new ones.
You can’t just push all old pages to your new homepage; you have to match to the most relevant new page for best effect.
The whole process is not overly time consuming or difficult, but it’s one of those things that is so easy and so very very painful to miss.
If you are considering other web designers (and you should), beware of anyone who doesn’t mention this to you!

Search Engine Submission

This is the process of notifying search engines about your new website content so that they include the site properly in their indices and search results.

Launch

Your time has finally come. You are ready to show your new website to the world and bask in your own glory!
But don’t fear, we’ll be on hand to keep an eye on your site and give you advice about conversion rate optimisation, online marketing and anything else that we can help with. All Gremlin Works clients get a free 30 minute consultancy call, once a month, for a year after their new website has been completed.