What to expect when you're getting a new website

Websites are our bread and butter, we’ve spent years sharpening the process to perfection so it’s as easy as possible for both you and us. You might have managed a dozen website projects or you may be about to embark on your first, so we thought it’d be useful to talk you through what you can expect and how long the whole process will take.

1_planning.png It’s all in the planning
First of all, planning what you want for your new website is essential - engaging with your stakeholders to make sure everyone achieves what they need from it is vital in the planning stage and will avoid disappointment further down the line. Creating a sitemap and noting any functionality you’ll need is crucial in this phase and will feed into your website design brief.
2_process.png 12 weeks process
You’ll need to account for a 12 week process from briefing your school marketing agency to your website going live. You’ll see below what’s involved in this process and why 12 weeks is about right for the creation and development of a bespoke website. If you’ve a complex integration or bespoke form system needs then this might add more time to the process.
3_design.png Design
This is the most exciting part of the process, where your designer brings your website brief to life! Making sure your brief is as detailed as possible means your design team gets this part right first time. Allowing for a couple of rounds of amendments, you’ll need to be sure when you’re approving the website visuals because changes to the design once development has begun is costly. Once designs are approved you’ll receive a development link to check, this is your website in its early development stages.

Content population
Handing over your website content in one document (which has been pre-proof read and approved) is another vital stage in keeping the whole process as streamlined as possible. If you’ve lots of departments contributing to website content then you’ll need to make sure they’re all working to a deadline. We suggest you start working on website content as soon as your website sitemap is signed off. It can be a lengthy process, so being on the front foot will help you stick to the timeline. Once you hand over your content, your website development team will set about populating every page of your website. Don’t forget, content includes images too! So having all your website images ready is also a requirement at this stage.

5_checks.png Sign off and checks
Once your website is populated, you’ll need to check it. Your website agency will give you a list of pages without content, but you’ll need to check the whole website and make sure you’re happy with every page. So grab a packet of biscuits and sit next to the kettle because you’re in for a good few hours work! Once you’re happy with everything and you’re ready to ‘go live’, it’s not just the push of a button. Your website agency will then need to check every detail including browsers and different devices to make sure everything is working as it should be before pushing that button.

Marketing plan
Putting your new website live is an amazing feeling, because a whole lot of hard work has gone into it and it’s the centrepiece of your marketing! Now comes the part of making it work hard for you - preparing a solid marketing plan will help you do that. Make sure to include SEO high up on that plan, as well as considering other paid search options such as PPC and paid social. If you’re in need of help to create a successful marketing plan for your new website, give us a call!