O360 is fast approaching a big milestone in website design – 3000 custom websites completed, most of these dental websites. Building a few thousand custom websites with dentists and doctors as clients and key stakeholders can be quite demanding, and you’re bound to learn a thing or two. We certainly have. We have learned what it takes to make a dental or medical website that everyone is thrilled with – the client, the patient visitors online and even our own design team.
In this article, we will share a bit about how we separate ourselves from the others – and how we build a fine, professional, custom-design website from the ground up.
The Client Interview & Needs Analysis
This is the critical first step. In the absence of understanding what the clients’ objectives are, we would not be able to build a roadmap with clear directions on how to get from here to there. We gather their needs, desires, wants, turn-ons and turn-offs. We begin to envision where this may take us, and where we can take this project.
Assigning the Right Project Manager
Every client is unique, as are the talented members of the O360 design team. It is important that the right project manager/designer is placed on a project that is a good fit for the opportunities and requirements of the website. Many agencies simply assign the designer who is available next. That may work for $8 haircuts, but not with premium, custom websites. Each project manager is assigned according to their strengths and skill set, this process brings the best out of them and applies their best to the project.
Establishing Expectations & Priorities
Once the designer is appointed, the designer and client will discuss the project’s needs and establish the guidelines, schedules, and deliverables. Setting these priorities early helps ensure that all communications going forward proceed smoothly. It is often during this stage where additional objectives and clarifications arise, giving the project further direction.
Build the Concepts
Our designers now know what is expected and he or she will begin to work on the first mockups of the design. Often designers begin this stage by working in Photoshop to create a graphic representation of the design. It is in this stage where edits, additions, and revisions can be easily made. Coding can wait until the client likes what they see. Designers meet with other team members to get internal feedback on the design, more eyes will produce a better project. Once the mockup is complete it will be submitted to the client for review and feedback.
Solicit Client Feedback & Additional Input
Our process works because we understand how dental and similar medical practices functions We gather input and objectives early in the design process and we respect a doctor’s time and schedule throughout. It’s at this important milestone where the client is encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, opinions and honest feedback on the design mockups. There is often a bit of back and forth between the client and the designer before the project reaches the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Coding & Content
At this stage, we can finally start creating the actual website itself. Graphic elements that were designed during the previous stages are used to create the website. Typically, the home page is created first, and then all sub-pages are added, according to the website hierarchy that was previously created in the form of a sitemap.
Content composition, often a mix of client supplied text and that was specifically crafted by our team of writers is compiled for inclusion on the website. It is at this stage where O360’s SEO secret sauce is implemented. The content will be engaging to the visitor’s human eye as well as the search engine’s crawling robots that result in high ranking.
Test, Tinker, Test, Review
Once the overall design is in place, content populated and the client is satisfied in the direction the project is going, testing can begin. Throughout all stages, our designers are testing in various browsers and devices to be sure that the website is performing as planned, but testing will continue. This is an ideal time for the client and others to review the website making sure that there are no inaccuracies or mistakes.
Wrapping Up the Final Design
We’ve reached the stage where both the client and our design team are satisfied, and all testing is complete, now any final changes or corrections can be made. This can be something discovered during testing, or as minor as chasing away some typos, dead links, etc. At this point, the website can be considered complete and ready for primetime.
Time to Go to Market
A website is just a bunch of data bits spinning on the cloud if no one visits it. SEO, both onsite and offsite tells the search engines that the website exists, is good and relevant to related web searches. The client spent money on this website, our design team spilled talent out building a great website, now we need to get people to see it. Often the client utilizes a variety of specialized marketing program elements that help lead web users to this new, engaging and converting website. The process is complete.
Updates, Edits, Modifications
All websites are going to require updates or revisions at some point in the future, and O360 will be there to perform these services. Whether it’s placing new text, bios, specialty services, additional offices or a complete design change, our clients will receive the same personalized and caring service that they’ve come to expect from O360.
A custom website may take a little longer to complete, but it’s time (and money) well spent. Throughout this design process, the client and the development team have been working towards a single, mutual goal – to produce a website that can attract visitors and move them to interact with that dental or medical office, driving new business opportunities. It takes a solid team to build 3000 websites and we’re proud to be part of our clients’ team.