First things first, tell us everything. For WeDIA to build you the most impactful site possible, we want to fully understand your vision and the functionality the site will be capable of delivering. Do site visitors need to be able to book appointments? Make payments? Live chat? Etc. Go as far as to share examples of websites you like and don’t like. This provides a great sense of what excites you, and what we should avoid.
We’ll help you determine if it’s a website or a web application that you will need. Web sites are typically static content, oftentimes managed through what is known as a CMS (content management system, like Squarespace and WordPress). Web applications, on the other hand, are dynamic content and offer a level of interactivity. They have a certain “business domain” which provides the user with the ability to perform a series of actions which provide value beyond just viewing static data. Popular web “applications” include things like Facebook, Airbnb, and the G-Suite of products by Google.
Having clarity around the scope of the site, WeDIA can determine which platform is best to host the site on. Generally, if it’s a website (static content), we’ll go with either WordPress or Squarespace for more straightforward designs. We also can provide you with custom hosting options for more advanced sites. For web applications, we prefer to use Heroku.
WordPress is more expensive and time consuming, though it has the advantage of beig fully customizable - meaning if you can dream it, we can build it.
Alternatively, Squarespace is a great fit for lower budget, fast turnaround sites that need limited customization or advanced functionality. Since Squarespace requires starting from a template (there are thousands to choose from), WeDIA may not be able to customize every part of your site.
For more information about which hosting platform is best for you, check out our blog post Squarespace vs WordPress.
As for web applications on Heroku, we find that it’s best-practice due to the massive availability of plugins, toolchains, and general ease of use. It’s an affordable and user friendly solution that integrates great with many web application frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails and Python/Django. We love it, and we think you will to.
Consider a sitemap to be your websites “skeleton”. An example sitemap may look like the following outline:
Agreed upon sitemap in hand, let the fun begin. While we’ll do the heavy lifting, this is going to be a team effort - welcome to the squad! You will be responsible for coming up with language to fill the site (i.e about section, employee bio’s, etc). If this stresses you out, we came prepared to help. We have templates/example content that you can work off of for each section you’ll be responsible for.
Throughout the entire process we line up weekly reviews between a WeDIA developer and your team to touch base on your sites progress and make real time adjustments. You may play as active of a role in the process as you’d like, though we are conscious of your busy schedule. Combine the content you’ve built out with our work on the formation of your site, and before you know it, the site is live.