website development stepsIt’s understandable that a cosmetic practice, or any business, might be a little ignorant when it comes to building a new website. In my experience, expectations seem to vary wildly in terms of how quickly or easily something can get completed. In this article I’d like to dive into the different steps required to build a new website for a cosmetic practice.

Before you even begin the process of building a website you need a starting point. At the very least that means having a color scheme in mind, as well as a couple sites that you like (or at least elements of a couple sites that you like). If you have a logo that’s also essential to have from the start. Then, you’ll need to get set up a development server. This will allow your new site to be built without interrupting the website that current resides on your domain. Additionally, every new website will go through the following steps:

1) Web design: If you opt for a completely custom design this requires a graphic designer mock up different “templates.” These templates typically include the home page, inside pages, and blog pages, to name a few. They’re usually created in Photoshop and can be altered based on the client’s discretion. Typically, when you’re in the “design phase” you want to get the look as close to perfect before you implement (code).

Even templated websites, such as those using a prefabricated WordPress theme, can have quite a bit of graphic design. Custom banner images and headers are just a couple of the elements that one can customize on a WordPress theme.

2) Web development/coding: Typically, after the design phase comes implementation. During this phase the customized templates are sliced up and converted into HTML where they are then implemented onto the CMS platform of your choice. As we frequently state. our CMS of choice is WordPress.

If you opt for a templated design you’ll start with #2 and then work on the custom graphic design after the theme of your choice has been implemented. Therefore, this option works in reverse of the completely custom website route.

3) Adding content/copywriting: This is by far the most tedious part of the project, especially if your website has over 50 pages, as most med spas and plastic surgery centers have. Even if you have all of the content already and it merely needs to be copied over the work can be very time-consuming. That’s because it requires more than just copying and pasting. While a CMS like WordPress is very user-friendly, you still have to make sure the text looks right on the page, especially once you start adding images and outbound links.

This step can get drastically more time-consuming if there’s copywriting involved. Like the design phase, the copywriting phase may require multiple edits to the get the wording down correctly.

Lastly, if you have images, these will need to be added to your photo gallery or appropriate web pages. Depending on how your photo gallery is configured this may require editing and re-sizing of each photo.

4) Optimization: A very important part of any new website is the optimization phase. This starts with basic keyword research. Then you’ll need to go to each and every page to make sure the title tag, meta description, header tags and page names are optimized. You’ll also want to make sure you have an XML sitemap set up, as well as Google Anlytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

5) Adding plugins: A thorough agency will make sure that you have the appropriate plugins in place for spam protection, security, SEO, web leads, photo & video galleries, and more.

6) Testing: The last, but not least, step before you go live is the testing phase. You want to make sure all the links work and everything looks good. You’ll also want to have your 301 re-directs set up and ready to go so that once you get the new site live your old web pages will re-direct to the new one’s.

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There you have it. A summarized breakdown of the various steps involved in building a new website. This process can take 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the response time from the client. The two things that hold up a project the most are: not supplying timely feedback during the design phase and slowly trickling in the content. If these two roadblocks can be avoided a project will almost always get done in less than 3 months.

If you’d like to learn more about developing a website or you have any questions about the process please leave Turbo a note here, or you can reach us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.