WH Internet Ltd Logo

Web design agency in Reading, Berkshire offering website design & development, maintenance, web hosting, domains, promotion and marketing

High Quality Website Design & Development

Your website needs to represent your business 24/7. It needs to be attractive, simple to use and professional enough to keep the reputation you worked hard to get. Your customers need to be able to find what it is they are looking for or what they want to buy quickly and easily. They may have just left a competitors site because they couldn’t do that... we make sure that they won’t leave your website for the same reason.

Whether you have a picture in your head of your completed website or have no idea how it should look and function, we can help you with our thorough process, including:

  • Initial meetings and discussions
  • Information architecture and user experience
  • Wireframes and schematics
  • Colour
  • Visual designs (mock-ups)
  • Website development
  • Web copy
  • Browser compatibility
  • User testing
  • Final approvals and launch
  • Aftercare

The process itself is a complex one, made up of many steps. We have outlined most of them below – we use tried and trusted methods to ensure that your website has been designed and developed the correct way and we pride ourselves on making sure that any potential stumbling blocks are found and resolved early on.

Our design and development process explained...

Initial Meeting and Discussions
The initial meeting can be a help for both parties; we find out what is required, what the site is and who it is aimed at - you find out what our capabilities are, what features are possible and which of those possible features is the most appropriate to your site. Meetings are preferably done in person however telephone conferencing can also be arranged. Either way an initial meeting is a great way to gather ideas.

From then we find that the old fashioned ways are sometimes the best! Hand-drawn sketches are a quick and easy way to put down some initial thoughts and processes for the site, which can then be easily edited to suit what you require and what we think is needed.
View the initial sketch for www.whinternet.co.uk

Information Architecture and User Experience
Who is the target audience? How will they arrive? How will they leave? What path do you want them to take? If they only have time to view one of your ten services, which one do you lead them to? You have to leave the navigating of your online business to your website… which is why we ask a lot of questions at the start of your design project. The more we know, the better we can build up your website and drive your audience down the path you want them to go. The way your website is laid out can have a significant impact on its traffic and return visitors. We take extra care into building up your site architecture so that your visitors don’t have to stop and think about where they need to go, they just know.

Wireframes and Schematics
Wireframes lay out the basics of your site – from the positioning of the company logo and site navigation to the main content and onto the footer. This “greyscale” look at your site takes out all visual aids such as colour and fonts and leaves just the core elements.

Schematics take this one step further. They include reasons as to why these elements have been placed here, the problem they solve, the process flow they initiate and why visitors will need them. Anything not needed is stripped away.

Think of wireframes and schematics as the blueprints in house building. They recognise any requirements and filter out any problems that may occur when the time comes to build. Sure you could probably build a house without them but it would certainly take longer and you’d encounter lots more problems along the way – which would become more costly to fix.
View the initial schematics for www.whinternet.co.uk

Colour
Colour is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in all website builds. We understand that there may be a prior requirement for certain colours based on existing company branding however many colours are chosen as potential solution to a problem. For example the classic:

Client: "It needs to be pink."
Designer: "Why?"
Client: "Because it is aimed for females."

Whilst the above statement may be true, without knowing the underlying issue we cannot use our knowledge in colour theory to establish whether pink is actually the right colour. Our initial questioning session will have identified the target audience at which point we can use our judgement to recommend a colour combination to you.

In essence, you bring us the problem and we’ll find you the solution.

Visual Designs (mock-ups)
OK so we know what the website is for. We know what you want the visitors to do. We have the core elements in place. We now know the colours we’ll be using... let’s put it all into the bowl and mix it up!

Mock-ups are possibly the most pleasing part of the design. You get to see an image of what your website will look like. What’s more, basing the visual mock-up on all the points raised previously will ensure that there is little or no tweaking needed before the build of the website can begin.
View the visual mock-up of www.whinternet.co.uk

Website Development
It’s time for us to start turning that mock-up into your website by getting dirty with some geeky code! There are many technologies that can be used to build a website however we prefer using Hypertext Mark-Up Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). As a standard rule, all our websites are built to the W3C Website Compliance Standards Guide which outlines all the best practices a website should meet. In addition we also provide support and development for the following technologies:

  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • MySQL (for database driven websites)
  • Flash
  • Photoshop/Fireworks (for image manipulation)

If you are aware of these technologies/programs and like what they offer, simply discuss this with us and we can provide you with information as to their advantages and disadvantages and how they might benefit your website.

Web Copy
Something very important is still missing. A website is nothing without words... and you’re the best person to provide them for us! This is the part of the project you can really get your teeth stuck into. Based on the information you have for your website we encourage you to create the copy for your website, after all, you know your business better than we ever will. We do also understand though that writing for the web can be a tricky thing – and we’re on hand to help. We have many guides you can use to help you with your copy writing and all copy will be scrutinised by us to ensure that it has been formatting correctly for online viewing. We will also look at the copy with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind to help your site be recognised by Google and co.

Browser Compatibility
As standard we design and develop our website to look consistent and work properly in all the major web browsers, including (but not limited to):

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Google Chrome

Why is this important? Like humans, different browser types interpret your website in different ways. What may be perfectly aligned in Firefox may not be displaying at all in Internet Explorer! We take time to ensure that the viewing experience of all your visitors is of the highest quality no matter what browser they are using.

User Testing
So far only two pairs of eyes have seen this website. Ours and yours. How do we know it serves the right purpose? The only way to do so is to get as many people as possible in on using the beta version of the site and providing feedback to us. User testing can range from spelling and grammar checking to setting the user specific goals to try and reach and then evaluating their experience. This ensures that any final issues are spotted and necessary tweaks done before the launch. We try to reach a varied demographic of people in our user testing but always try to lean towards who we think it most like the target audience – we also encourage you to do the same.

Final Approvals and Launch
All the groundwork is done, the build is complete, the fancy animation is whizzing away, Internet Explorer 6 users are happy they can see the website... what are we waiting for? Your approval actually! We never launch a site without our clients 100% satisfaction first. Hopefully in the steps previous we have met all your expectations and goals and the site is ideal for your business… if so let’s put it live!

Aftercare
We won’t just put your site live and then expect you to swim the shark infested waters of the internet alone! We’ll be on hand to ensure that any further questions/problems are resolved as soon as possible. Our maintenance and promotional services are available to you if you need our ongoing assistance. If not then we’ll provide you with the logins, passwords and files used to create your website (normally via CD) and send you on your way with your shiny new website, leaving you safe in the knowledge that as a valued client of ours, you’re welcome back anytime!