Website Design/Development

Imagine: a contractor gets hired to build a second floor on a house only to discover when they arrive at the property that the existing home is just a tent!

When trusted professional advisors come to us for a website, something similar sometimes happens: they want to jump ahead to build or renovate their online home without realizing that they don’t yet have a solid foundation in place.

Asking Questions Is the First Step

Before we start, we want to make sure your foundation is properly built and determine if we’re the right people to help you build on it. To do this, we’ll ask you a lot of questions. Do you have a logo? A branding guide? Written copy? And so on.

If your answer is, “Oh sure, we’ve got all that, no problem,” but you can’t give us any details about your process for creating those things, that’s a clear sign there’s more work to be done. If you’ve paid $5 for a logo on Fiverr, aren’t clear on what a “brand guide” is but think you must have one, or figure you can write all of your own copy in an afternoon, it’s not yet time to build.

Many people don’t realize that there are specific steps you need to take in order to build a successful website. They think, “Everything’s as good as done, I just need the website to be put together for me.” They don’t realize that a website project must be done in phases, each phase building towards the next, with the quality of the finished product relying on the quality of each of the preceding steps.

This is why we’ve developed a process to help our clients understand where they’re at now and the specific action steps they need to take to build an effective website.

We Want to Understand Your “Why”

At the beginning of the process, we need to understand your “why.” Why are we building this site? What are the intentions, the goals, the needs? Because we know things change, we’ll build a flexible web infrastructure that makes it easy to add something later on so you won’t have to restart the whole thing from scratch. We’ve seen that happen before, and it can be very expensive to go backward.

We understand that not everyone wants to take the time for a detailed discovery process. Many people think they can get the whole thing completed in a week or two, and when we tell them we’re not at that point yet, they get frustrated. They don’t like slowing down.

But we don’t cut corners. We take a methodical approach, implementing best practices in order to consistently create the best possible outcome for our clients.

You Can’t Build a House on a Cracked Foundation

Our clients who best understand and appreciate this approach are those who’ve experienced a failed project. They’ve had a web designer or digital marketing agency promise them everything they wanted without asking questions or digging into the underlying specifics and then, like a home built on a cracked foundation, the whole thing fell apart. A project that becomes a costly trainwreck is a learning experience. Our process works because it prioritizes success over speed.

Here’s How We Work

Building a proper foundation requires first having a series of conversations to determine your priorities, pain points, and desired outcomes.

We begin by identifying values, starting with the values that are most important to each individual, then distilling them down into the values that represent the firm. Then we move on to discussing right-fit clients and reviewing competitors’ websites. We also discuss wrong-fit clients—if you’re spending 80% of your time on 20% of wrong-fit clients, you need a way to filter those out.

Next, we talk about your services and what problems they solve. Once we have those answers, we move on to defining the client process, determining which of those steps make sense to be completed online versus a more labor-intensive, in-person process.

We continue weekly conversations until we’ve gotten all of the foundational materials we need to move forward.

We Can Help You Build From Wherever You Are

Of course, some businesses really do have all the pieces ready to be put together, which can speed up the discovery process. But that’s the exception rather than the rule.

It can take time to build a solid foundation, but it’s crucial for your brand credibility that everything is built correctly. Potential clients will Google you, so the quality of your online presence is incredibly important. And if you’ve met with someone and they decide to learn more about you by visiting your website, that site needs to enhance their positive impression of your meeting rather than contradict it. Your logo, your site design, and your content send a message, and if that message is unclear or superficial, your web presence can cause harm to your business instead of promoting it.

You can’t build the second floor of a house until you’ve built the first one, nor the first floor before you’ve laid the foundation. It takes time to do things carefully and in the proper order, but, we assure you, it will be time well spent.

Our process always begins with a free consultation. Let’s have a conversation.

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