This is actually too vague a question to answer simply, because there are a plethora of web-building apps that various sites use to keep your site with them. Wix, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more! There are also programs like Muse and Dreamweaver which have a little more power than the online tools. Finally, there’s actual coding. This is the cleanest, and most versatile way to build a website. Granted, I’m not a developer (reference my previous post, Why I’m not a Web Developer), but I am handy with editing code templates with block-style chunks I can repurpose and move around. This is my method of choice when it comes to web design, since the code stays clean and Google can clearly see that the site is relevant to searchers.
So, maybe the better question would be, How Does Baker Street Build Webpages?
Well, it starts when your Account Executive gives us a work order for your site. This will help us determine the scope of the site, what content needs to be included, what visuals you absolutely need, what things you’re leaving to us to have fun with, and what functionality you know you need. From there we have a blast!
Site Maps Are Road Maps!
Once we have the work order, we build a site map. This is a super-simple diagram that shows our designers what content is going to go where. We might even come up with a few variations for our whole department to look over and agree on which is the most intuitive stream of information. When a site map is finalized, we know what information goes on what pages, how many pages there will be, and where they all go. This guides us, and helps us see how our progress is coming along.
After the Road Map, Comes the Plan
Wireframes come next. These are bare bones representations of how information will be laid out on each page. This also goes through a few iterations in house as the designer figures out in what order information makes the most sense to be displayed. Where do they menu items go? What order? What shape does this section need to be? And, most importantly, does it make sense to a customer?
Blueprints Ready? Get To Work!
So we have a Road Map, and a Blueprint, but what comes next? The build. Now the artist either chooses a template to start from, or uses a code block template and starts laying out the HTML and CSS for the site. This can take some time, as code is a little tricky. To a client, it may sound like “Just add a button there.” But to a designer it sounds like “Just add a whole new block of code you didn’t expect or plan for in a spot where there isn’t any space.” Just for the record. Sometimes, the stars align, and the code works for you that day, and you just add the button, or the image, or the content block. Sometimes you struggle with it for days because you left off a semi-colon when you were typing feverishly. Yeah, it’s a thing.
Site Approved, Make It Live!
Yeah, not so fast. Is this a brand-new site! If so, we’ll purchase your domain and hosting and set you up. If not, well, we may have some rocky roads ahead. Where did you have your domain name? Where is your hosting? And where are your emails? These can actually all be in different spots. It works best for them all to be in one place, under one account, and for one bill. If you used a CMS like Wix we’re going to need to purchase hosting for you elsewhere, since those types of CMS platforms don’t support custom code. If your emails are with another party, and you want to consolidate, it could take days to ensure all email addresses get properly transferred and are no longer associated with old IP addresses and MX records. Bear with us, it’ll be worth the consolidation efforts in the long run, for real.
Now that all that’s out of the way, you have a shiny new website, hopefully consolidated under one domain and hosting account, and you’re set to go win customers left and right!