Anyone can build a website!
Its a fact! Just about anybody who has the time can figure out how to make their own web page. It takes years of dedication, however, to learn about what 'not' to do. Search Engines are not forgiving and can even penalize websites that are designed poorly making it difficult to be found.
Today's technologies make it easier than ever before. The Internet is chock-filled with amateur web sites. Most are developed using Cookie Cutter software giving you a nice looking site that generally looks like all the rest. While these services are often free and easy to use, they can be very limited.
Web surfers know the difference between a custom website, and a template that has been reused throughout the Internet!
Computers were meant to work 'for us', not against us! Our focus is aimed towards companies who are looking to get more out of their website. Easy editing software, intuitive tools, unlimited content, simple procedures that you can manage yourself!
1. Pencil & Paper
The design process is really not so technical. I'll get together with my client in person, or over the phone and work out as many details as possible. Color schemes, product branding, logos. I'll often take a look at other sites that best interest the client to get an idea what they have in mind.
I usually start off by drawing out my ideas in good old fashioned pencil and paper! Once I have the concept laid out in front of me, I use it as a guide to keep in focus with the envisioned theme.
The drawing phase usually takes a couple of hours of my time since I really try to narrow the design down to a single style that will be used throughout the web site.
The page will most often consist of two navigation areas, a header, footer, and will often utilize a white space for the body of the page. (white is traditional, but easy to change if the client wishes)
2. First Draft Page
Once the concept has been drawn on paper, I'll then create an image in Photoshop that looks exactly like what I want the web page to look like. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, I will show the client the mock-up image before converting it into html.
I prefer to work 'off-site'. I own a few domain names that allow me to build or update websites before going live. So the next step is to upload all of my work to a work-site, so that the client can see the progress, without showing it to the rest of the World.
Now I can work with the client to tweak everything until they are pleased with the design. This process can happen very quickly, but requires a bit of communication from the client.
3. Creating Content
Now that the client has agreed on the graphical layout of the site, it's time to start putting together some actual content.
The beauty of our services is that you now have all the tools you need to populate your own content. Once the site is done, and you have been introduced to our Content Management System, you won't have much use for us. (We hope!) But we do like to get the ball rolling, so we often put together a couple of simple pages of content so that your page isn't empty during launch.
We often start with a 'Welcome Page', a 'Contact Page', and a 'Links Section' just to get you started. We'll also work with you to create the first couple of pages of real content.
You'll learn how to create new pages with pictures and text, add new products, photos, and how to approve member's comments. You'll learn how to configure your website enabling you to turn certain features 'like commenting' on or off. We'll teach you the basic ideas of building content for good Search Engine Optimization practices and walk you through your first Flash Slideshow.
By the end of your tutorial, you should feel confident about keeping your website up to date and have enough content to officially launch your website for the World to see.
We Support Our Product!
Our software is quite literally "my" software! Downeast Design prides itself on using original code, written and tested by me, "Billy McDaniel".
All of my websites use the same software that I sell to my clients because I have full confidence in it. I find it to be fully capable of taking me anywhere I need to go. I hope that you will find it equally resourceful!
We stand behind our product and offer a personal connection between "you" the client, and "me" the programmer. If you need help, just give me a call!