October 25, 2018
Digging Deeper into the Design Process
There's much more to website design than simply creating pages that look nice. For sure, aesthetics are important, but they're a part of a wider strategy in which usability and functionality are also key. A successful website balances form and function, with all elements (from visuals to written content to navigation) working together to portray the business' unique brand and story.
Our web designers here at World Web Technologies Inc. (WWT) create websites exclusively for lodging providers, tour operators and attractions. We know web design for the hotel and tourism industries—but you are the expert on your unique business. That's why we work closely with each and every one of our clients to ensure that their website accurately represents their brand in a genuine way.
When we understand our clients' specific needs and our clients understand the steps involved in creating their website, the design process is that much more successful, resulting in a great-looking, user-friendly and search-engine-friendly website that generates bookings.
So, let's dig into the design process here at WWT...
The first step is to consult with you, our client, to assess your requirements, whether you need a brand-new website or improvements to your existing one (a redesign).
Our design team has a lot of experience creating websites for accommodation providers and tour companies, but learning what makes your specific business unique (your USP—unique selling proposition) really helps us bring your vision to life.
We'll chat about the goals of your website—obviously converting lookers into bookers is a top priority, but are you also trying to grow your social media following and newsletter sign-ups or promote your event services? Think about who your target audience is (Millennials? Families? Business travelers? Wedding planners?...) and what they are seeking from your website. Hot tip: have a look at your competitors' websites for inspiration and to identify ways you can stand out.
We'll discuss the pages you need and features you'd like (such as online bookings, forms, galleries, social media plugins, a blog, etc.), as well as your deadline and budget.
After our consultation, we'll put together a contract outlining the scope of the project, including a timeline and costs so you know exactly what to expect.
2. Theme Search and Installation
Based on our consultation, we'll suggest a selection of WordPress website themes that best suit your needs. We use the WordPress platform because we find it the most efficient and cost-effective solution to building high-performance websites for our clients (read more about this in our post, Why We Work with WordPress).
The selection of recommended themes is chosen based on our client's particular requirements as well as the experience of our designers who are familiar with WordPress and the themes that work well for accommodation providers and tour operators.
In addition to visual design, layout and navigation, our designers consider such attributes as responsiveness (mobile-friendliness), browser compatibility, compatibility with desired plugins and software, customizability, updates and security, loading speed and search engine optimization (SEO) features when selecting themes that best match the look, functionality and feel you want for your website.
Once you choose a theme based on our recommendations, we install the theme and begin construction of your website.
Working with the content (text, images, video, your logo, etc.) that you provide, your designer will get busy building your website.
Putting your website together involves determining the best way the content and features will interrelate to portray your brand and engage your customers. Here is where your designer's knowledge of both visual and user-experience design for the hotel and tourism industries is an advantage, as they expertly balance visual elements with functional and SEO considerations that include navigation, pageload speeds, descriptive URLs and meta tags, and the right plugins. (WordPress offers tens of thousands of plugins that add all sorts of cool functionality to websites, however, not all are created equal. Our design team is familiar with plugins that work well for lodging and tour operators and can choose the best options for your website.)
Our designers can customize the selected theme to match your vision and to make the design uniquely yours. The construction stage ends with a great-looking, fully developed responsive website that automatically adjusts to any screen size and device it's being viewed on. Once you are happy with your website, it's time for testing...
4. Quality Assurance
Before your website goes live, it undergoes thorough quality testing performed by our team. Your website will be combed through to make sure navigation and all links are working, graphics and videos display properly, email forms are working, all software and plugins function correctly, and pages load quickly.
Tested on different web browsers, at different resolutions and on different devices, this vital part of the process not only catches any technical issues but ensures a quality user experience for your customers.
Once your website has passed the testing stage, it's ready to launch! We'll put your brand-new site live and provide you with log-in credentials to access your WordPress content management system (CMS). Your WordPress CMS is essentially the backstage area of your website, which allows you to easily update website content—such as text, images and blog posts—yourself (you'll be given a brief tutorial on how to do this).
As part of the going-live process, your website's sitemap will be submitted to Google for optimal ranking, and Google Analytics will be added to your site so you can track its performance.
As you can see, there's a lot more to website design than making pretty webpages. With a focus on client communication and a knowledge of visual and user-experience design in the hotel and tourism industries, our design team creates attractive, user-friendly, cost-effective websites that drive conversions.
Contact us for a quote!