On this page you will find:
Basecamp is currently what we use for project management. You already received (or will soon) an invite to Basecamp. This is going to be your go-to spot for knowing where we are in the process. You can see to-dos accomplished, what we have left to do and any to-dos (included the homework listed here) and due dates.
When you receive your email invite, click on 'Accept this invitation to get started'. It will take you to Basecamp where you will set up an account. Once you do that, it will log you in to Basecamp. You will see our project in bold. You can put a star by it to have it show up as a 'favorite project'.
From here you have a few options. You can click on the project itself to see the Latest project updates, discussions, To-do lists, and Files. I tend to focus on Discussions and To-do lists to see what has been done, what needs to be done and what is assigned to me next.
Another great option is the bar at the top theres a list of options. Projects, Calendar, Everything, Progress | Everyone, Me. The best place to go to keep up with your to-dos is the 'Me' section. In 'Your Open To-dos,' You can then click on Due: and change it to today, this week, next week, etc. This is the best way to not be overwhelmed with EVERYTHING on the project but just focus on one task at a time.
We use Squarespace now with most of our clients. If you want to use Wordpress or some other CMS, please let me know, we can make it happen. But we use Squrespace because of ease of use and how simple it is to update and keep updated regularly. We found that clients were having issues with every other CMS to keep their site updated and instead wouldn't change it for months or even years. This is the worst thing you can do for your business so thats why we go with Squarespace!
To browse all templates, go here.
Think of the template you choose as the foundation for your website. Your final site will look completely different but will still have the same functions, basic layout. Only certain templates have certain features (like blog sidebars) so go through each one and choose the template that best fits with your vision of your website.
Take a look at all the different templates and keep these things in mind:
A domain is the URL of your website (www.website.com).
A few things to keep in mind when choosing your domain:
You can get your domain registered at Dreamhost, Godaddy or any other third party domain. If you purchase a year of hosting from Squarespace, you get a domain for FREE! Since we are a Circle Member at Squarespace so you will also get 20% off if you purchase a year of hosting. If you would like to get your free domain and 20% discount on annual hosting, let me know.
This is not required but it will help speed up the process and give me a general idea of your taste and how you want your final website to look. You have a few options with gathering inspiration: Pinterest, Canva, Photoshop, magazine clippings or just throw everything into a folder on our shared dropbox folder.
A few tips on building your inspiration:
What to collect: Textures, patterns, layouts, fonts, images and graphics that represent the vibe you envision for your brand.
Have a consistant color scheme.
Don't have more than 30 images on your board.
Refine your board. You can start with dozens of images you like but refine until you get your board exactly how you want it. If the board isn't perfect, what is missing? What needs to change? (more color, different fonts)
Fill out the website questionnaire to the best of your ability. Read through it once first and then fill it out once you know all the answers.
A sitemap is one of the most important first steps of designing your website. Its the basic structure of what your final website will be. What is important to remember is that this is not set in stone. It can always change later but getting a rough draft is a great way to get started. You can get all fancy with it but the easiest and most time efficient is just good ole pen and paper. You want your website to make sense and flow easily.
Ideas for creating a sitemap:
This is the time-intensive part.
Keep in mind, ALL of your content must be ready BEFORE the start of your website design!
It's incredibly difficult to design a website around no content so get started on this asap!
Once you’ve written the text content for your site, it’s time to choose what photos you want to feature on each page. If you’re handy with a camera, you might already have a lot of photos to choose from. If you don’t, here are some of our favorite resources to find photos for your site.
Another option is to hire a photographer. We highly suggest this even if you have a small budget. Having custom images of your business and your company ensures that the photos on your site are what your site visitors haven't encountered before. It also makes your site more personal to your business.
Once you have photos chosen to use on each page, you will need to make sure they’re in the right format for Squarespace. Some photos may need to be resized in Photoshop to ensure that they look their best on your site. Here’s a checklist to use when prepping your photos for Squarespace. Photos should be:
We do two rounds of feedback on the website. After we receive all your content and design the website in full (this can take up to a few weeks depending on the number of pages), we will send you a link to the site. At this point, you and your team need to go through every page thoroughly. Make a list of the page and any adjustments to that page.
Initial feedback will be big changes to layout, function, page arrangement, etc. Take a look at every page but keep in mind, any adjustments on mobile will be in the second round of feedback.
The second round of feedback will be after we have made the initial round changes. These will be small adjustments, changing out text, changing out images, and small tweaks. At this point the website should be 99% done, we are just fixing little issues. Remember to check out your mobile site as well.
Tips on feedback:
There are a few things that have been set up temporarily that need to be set up by the owner of the site. These are items that you must connect because they are through your personal accounts.
If you have an e-commerce website, we also need to set up:
Once the website is approved design-wise, we will do a thorough testing of your website. We will check through everything including links, contact forms, testing on multiple devices, etc. But we ask that our clients do the same thing. To test your site:
We will set up a meeting in person or via google chat to schedule your training. You can invite anyone else on your team that you want to be involved in training. Make sure to bring a pen, paper and the computer you will be using to update the site. If you have a desk top, you can just take notes from what I show you on my laptop.
Pop open that champagne and lets launch this website! You pick the date and time you want the official launch to go down and everything will be scheduled for you. We will send you a graphic of your new website that you are free to use on your social media pages, just please link back to @rachelhosdesign.
The next few weeks after your website is launched, we will check back and make sure things are still running smoothly. We will take care of any maintenance issues for 30 days after your launch date. Any additional design or website changes AFTER you've submitted Final Feedback are subject to additional charges.
Thanks for working with Rachel Hostetler Design and SO STOKED your website is up and running!!