I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago and he asked me if we were to build his website how would the process look like. So I explained it to him and decided to write a blog post about that process.
Regardless of the size of your website the basic idea remains more or less the same. You as the client come to us because you want a new site. We discuss the general idea in person if we happen to be in the same geographical location or by video chat. After that we ask you to give us the general structure of the site the way you want it and an idea of what the content will be.
If we are talking about a small website then this would mean to tell us that you want it to have the following sections: About, Services, Clients, Projects and a Contact. We also expect you to give us a ruff idea of what will each of these sections have in it. If it will have lots of text and no images or the other way around and any other information that would help us get a better idea. The more accurate it is the better. But we also know that often some parts are yet to be determined and we can work with that as well.
We will also ask you to give us exmaples of websites that you like. This helps us to get an initial direction for the visual side of the project.
This generates a discussion between us in which we clarify all questions that we both (client and ourselves) have.
Based on this information we create a project proposal for you. In it we explain you how we plan to approach the project, which technologies we plan to use and why, how long it will take us and how much it would cost.
After the client has accepted the proposal we start with the front end of the site (what regular visitors see) and give you a design proposal. If you as the client likes it we start developing the backend (the administrative part of the site visible only by the client). Once we are ready with it, we deploy the site into a test environment where the client can calmly look at all of it and make some final decisions on alterations that we should to do before the official launch. A few days later the site is live.