By this stage in the process, we will have determined the design of your new website, its navigation menu and started its content creation. We will also have tested the prototype pages – and, based on feedback, made any necessary adjustments/modifications.

Web development

Working with you we will now jointly select the website’s Content Management System (CMS), i.e. the software that will enable you and your (authorised) staff to add and amend content. Many web agencies have a strong preference for a particular CMS, but our approach is to work with you to choose the software that best fits your organisation and your particular web project.

As we develop your new website, we will place a high emphasis on its overall ‘performance’. We don’t just mean ensuring the website is visually attractive and has content that matches visitors’ needs – although these are highly important – but also that it responds to today’s rapidly changing technology and that your web page load times match people’s expectations. Using high quality coding and experienced web engineers, we will create for you a really superior website.

Website build and website testing

Website development in more detail

In order to be regarded as fully professional, a business website must be:

  • Reliable
  • Fast
  • Maintainable
  • Optimised properly/correctly for search engines.

Whichever CMS we jointly select, we will carry out bespoke website development with care and skill – to ensure you gain maximum benefit from your investment in the new website.

We particularly draw your attention to the need for rapid loading of web pages. As we all know, people often judge businesses on their first impressions; and in today’s digital world that invariably means the quality of the businesses’ website – both in terms of its content and their experience of using the website. Clearly, a website with, for example, pages that load slowly deters people from engaging with that business and leaves them with a bad impression. This article provides some statistics, noting, for instance, that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. The abandonment rate is higher on mobile phones as Google point out in the quote below.

Slow loading sites frustrate users and negatively impact publishers. In our new study, “The Need for Mobile Speed”, we found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. – Google

Knowing how essential it is that your website performs well – particularly on mobile devices, where connection speeds can be poor – we will therefore make optimisation of your website’s performance an integral part of your website’s development. We will ensure, for example:

  • Webpages load quickly, and without any problems
  • Images are compressed to the smallest size possible without loss of visible quality
  • High-definition images are only supplied when being viewed on high-definition screens
  • All coding is compressed to a minimum size
  • Server configuration is set up to facilitate faster page loading.

As a stage in your new website’s creation, we realise that website development does not have the same draw and excitement as examining potential website designs, colours and page layouts – but it is just as essential an activity, and requires proper web coding skills and high attention to detail.

Website testing

Your new website will be viewed by customers using a wide range of devices, operating systems and browsers. As a result, we place a very high priority on website testing – to ensure your website performs smoothly and correctly on all possible combinations.

“If you want a great site, you’ve got to test. After you’ve worked on a site for even a few weeks, you can’t see it freshly anymore. You know too much. The only way to find out if it really works is to test it.” – Steve Krug

Consider the following.

Your website may be viewed on any one of many different hardware devices (e.g. PC, tablet, iPhone), different web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer, Opera) and different operating systems (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS). Multiple versions of each browser and operating system are also available at any one time. But sadly, not all combinations of the above implement web standards in quite the same way. In addition, although we are aware of many of the issues, new ones are always arising.

We therefore test your website on around 45–50 combinations of the above – and use real devices rather than simulations. We look out for any oddities, peculiarities or larger faults. And if there are any problems we provide fixes, re-test and make sure there are no unwanted consequences elsewhere. And, of course, we encourage you to try the new website on your own combinations of hardware devices and software.

Indeed, we believe we place greater emphasis on website testing than many web agencies.

Aside from testing your new website’s appearance and function, our testing programme also encompasses checking page load speeds on different combinations of hardware/browser/operating system. We look out for any bottlenecks and resolve these by making adjustments to the code and configuration.