Our Website Design Process

Graphic Memory Internet Services, Inc. has followed a proven process since its inception for successfully designing a client website. The process includes an initiation, demonstration, accountability, and milestone meeting with a minimal amount of client participation as possible* throughout. Most web design projects are published 30-45 days from initiation.

wordpress website design examples

Project Initiation

It all starts with a phone call or email request. Our office is open and staffed 9AM to 6PM Mon-Fri. The initial phone conversation serves as a pre-discovery talk to determine if we are a good fit for you expertise, budget and even personality-wise.

E-Mail Contact - When contacted by email, we always respond back within one business day of receipt.  Initially by phone and then email. We respond to all inquiries with an overview and capabilities statement email about our company with numerous project example links and references.

Discovery Meeting - If all goes will with our initial phone discussion, we then schedule a no-cost face-to-face one hour (typically) meeting to get more info for developing an accurate project outline and estimate.

"Face-to-face" meetings can also be conducted online through Skype.  Our Skype handle is graphic.memory

Preliminary Estimate Range - At the end of this meeting, we will at least be able to provide a verbal price-range estimate from the information provided. If the range is in line with your estimations, we then proceed to developing a website outline with written details and a more finite project price estimate.

Project Outline & Letter of Agreement - Within a couple of days, we deliver a draft project outline with more defined estimate and appended Letter of Agreement (LOA).

Typical 6-9 page business presence websites average 50-60 hours of time to design, develop, review, test and publish. Graphic Memory bases most of its services on time electronically-timed and invoiced to the closest quarter hour at $85.00/hr.

With at least one more phone conversation, we agree to what was presented with the draft or re-negotiate/edit some aspects of the outline to a final signed  copy to begin the project after receiving the initial deposit.

website homepage mockup image example


Usually within a few days of receiving the signed Letter of Agreement (LOA) and deposit, Graphic Memory then designs a Photoshop image for your homepage where it is "pasted" within a webpage for our client to view and approve before being sent to our developers to configure to a WordPress foundation. Thus, there are no surprises where the client isn't informed and able to view project progress online every step of the way.

Once the mockup is approved, we send it to our developers who typically deliver it back in a WordPress foundation within one week. At this point, the foundation of the site with all plugins and other requirements are in place and we then start internal page layout and content development. See Example Mockup Image >> (Image designed at 1340px width - set monitor resolution to 1360x768)

Content Development

Within 7-10 days of converting your homepage mockup to the WordPress foundation, we then start developing the site's internal content. Site content is the most important, and challenging, part of the project for many reasons.  It's a balancing act with many purposes.

Perception is Reality
Today, short and to-the-point is what everyone wants.  No one wants to have to read a page of text to get what they want from visiting it.

On the other hand there does need to be enough to satisfy Google and the major search engines towards providing strong relevant information for a page's subject matter to index effectively. For instance, Google recommends 300 words of content minimum for any web page.

Who Writes the Content?
Depends on the existing situation and/or client's wishes.  We approach it from three different scenarios from our experience:

  • The client provides all content (rarely happens);
  • There is a carryover of existing website content with a redesign contract that is then revised or added to for updated info and for search engine optimization (SEO);
  • We conduct an interview process asking the who, what, why, where and how's for each subject matter web page and professionally write it out optimally for SEO purposes.

Surprisingly, most of a typical business presence WordPress site's various development stages are set costs. Content development is typically the main variable cost of a project based on which of the scenarios listed is the case.

How Much Time Is Involved with Website Content Development?

All Content Provided - In the rare instances where the client has researched and already outlined and developed the content, typically we estimate 1.5 hours per web page to lay it out in a balanced manner with imagery and SEO best practices applied.

Carryover & Mixed Content - The carryover and revision model is typically estimated at 2.5 hours a page. We take the client's existing and spend time reformatting to SEO, balancing out on a page; and, in most cases, beefing it up to meet the 300 word Google minimum standard.

Full Content Development - This scenario involves a 1.5 to 3 hour meeting with the client where we perform a recorded interview to obtain the who, what, why, where and how's of all pages within the site's outline.

We then write your content from our interview.  This scenario often provides the best presentation of content as we get to dive deeper into some subjects focusing on details that are important for each.

This process averages out to 4.5 hours per page for development taking interview, writing, page layout and basic SEO time into account.

Site Review & Publishing

Once all content is developed, we initiate a review process with the client.  As stated before, we like to take control of getting the site done without interfering with the client's time as much as possible.  Typically, the client does a review and sends quick edits for info that may not be accurate. We are also reviewing internally for typos and grammatical errors.

Depending on the site's requirements, additional testing of custom development modules, e-commerce, and mostly web form formatting and delivery tests are performed at this stage to ensure everything is working properly.

We also review and apply basic SEO best practices ensuring strong page titles; apply effective meta descriptions; pages meet Google minimums requirements; apply Google Analytics traffic stat tracking; and generate 301 redirects and/or upload site maps for effective indexing.

Website Addresses (Domains)

We are a full-service Internet company. We manage most of our clients domains through the Enom registry meaning we ensure the contact information is under the client's ownership, not ours; all domains renew automatically at time of expiration and invoiced by Graphic Memory 30 days prior.

Many of our clients prefer to manage their domains themselves.  All we would require is either a login to the registrar provided to us or access to someone knowledgeable with the client company to set new DNS or nameserver entries.

Find Out More About Domain Management >>

Website Hosting

Graphic Memory possesses company managed web hosting servers through InMotionHosting (IMH), a nationally-recognized primary ISP service headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va.

Of course, we prefer to host our client's websites as we know our hosting server and have access to premium support for any technical issue. This isn't always the case with other hosting providers, however, with the exception of a few, we work with a wide range of other hosting entities.  We would simply need account access information to upload files and site databases.

Find Out More About Web Hosting >>

Website Related E-Mail

Graphic Memory and most major hosting entities offer POP/IMAP mail services as part of their website hosting plan. This also means you have email addresses that match your website address.

However, POP/IMAP email is also fraught with attacks and other issues that are guaranteed to result in disruption of services and a plethora of other issues.

We recommend our host and web clients to use one of the major cloud or Exchange mail entities such as Microsoft Office 365 cloud mail, Google business mail, or our local telecom company Cox Communications that provide cable, telephone and Internet services.

Regardless of the email setup chosen, Graphic Memory will assist in getting it set up for you.

Find Out More About Cloud Mail Services >>