Following on from my blog post last Monday , you’ll know that I had a clearer idea of what I wanted. Firstly – focus on the Branding. Get the graphical side of things right. I decided that I needed to get moving on the design of the site. I had already had an association with Sarah East who had done work for me before. She’s a small business just like me. Sarah listened to what I wanted, asked lots of questions and then set about designing not the website, but my business cards and letterhead. From here Sarah then asked more about the sites I liked and what I wanted in my own site. She came up with the mock-ups for the site and we went back and forth a few times to get it just right. Sarah gave me static JPGs of the Web site that represented what the end site would look like with everything right where it should be. I was able to then take this to a web designer for the next stage.
Lesson #3 – Getting it right at this stage is far cheaper and easier than later in the process.
For the next stage in the build process, I contacted one of my long time associates Mark Kofahl from Solutions Outsourced. We’ve recommended Mark and his team to a number of clients we have in our reseller business Correct Solutions. Mark suggested initially that I could use the Content Management System he has built for his clients. I’d already decided however that I needed mine to be based on WordPress. Mark through his network of contacts enlisted the help of Adrian Stein from Blackbird Solutions. Adrian had specific experience with being able to turn a static graphic image into a real working WordPress template. He took the graphics that Sarah designed for me and then built the template on his own servers allowing me to see what it looked like for real. It was then that I realised that I needed a number of changes not only to the design but also to the layout of the site. Adrian and Sarah both engaged with me to make the needed changes and it was not long before I had a working template that I was happy with.
Lesson #4 – Get the overall site map well thought out before you start the graphic design process.
More in next Monday’s instalment on how this site was built.