Why work with Square Daisy?
Your website is often the first point of contact that you have with potential clients. It is your shop window. It’s true that visitors to your website will very quickly form an opinion on whether you are a credible and capable business to use, and therefore the design of the site is very important. But web design and development is so much more nuanced than that. There is more that goes into a great website than just outstanding design – the design is in many ways just the tip of the iceberg.
A website is built on more than just the visuals, it needs a strong foundation in planning out what kind of content will be on the site and how it is packaged alongside a really strong user journey and user experience so visitors can find what they need quickly and easily. Updates and content changes should be easy and intuitive, structuring and adapting the content management system – WordPress – in such a way that creating and curating content is straightforward and allows your website to evolve as your business does. Additionally, built in the best way possible from a technical perspective, using clean code to allow for the site to be well optimised for Google and Bing searches and any significant future changes and additions to the structure of the site to be seamless.
This is how we work, looking at the big picture to make the website and your investment as flexible and future-proof as possible.If you want a quick and cheap website, we are not the right fit for you. If you want a major part of your business marketing to be a viable investment that delivers results, we will be a great match to deliver your website project.
What technology do you use?
The sites that we build fall into three categories – brochure websites, e-commerce and SaaS (software-as-a-service), however it is brochure websites that we build the most of by far. Our preferred technology that we use to build these websites is WordPress – it offers a tremendous amount of power and flexibility while being robust and secure.
While WordPress is the core content management system (CMS) that we use, we don’t work with purchased templates or theme builders, all of our websites are designed and built from the ground up. There is a place for pre-purchased themes and templates as not every business can afford or needs a custom designed site, but we can’t add any value to that process so we leave it to others.
In terms of the more ‘detailed’ elements of how we build, we’ve put together a short video to explain what our websites are fundamentally ‘made of’:
Do you use themes or purchased templates?
No. All of the sites that we build are delivered via a custom design and development process. There is absolutely a place for themes and templates in the industry but we feel that the value we add comes from the more comprehensive mapping process we undertake along with the methods we use to leverage the technology, allowing your new site to be flexible and future-proof.
What is the process of website build?
If you have never had a website built before, this is one of the most important elements of the whole project. If you have had a site built before and the project didn’t go well, it could well be because there wasn’t a robust process in place to ensure it ran smoothly.
This robust process achieves four core outcomes:
01 – It keeps you, the client, involved and in control at every single stage. You can see and input on every stage of the project ensuring that you are comfortable in the direction of the website and have the opportunity to work collaboratively with us throughout.
02 – It protects the budget for the project. When we send across a proposal for the website development it will have a comprehensive and itemised budget section, breaking every element of the project down and attributing a time value to it. If there are any issues with the direction of the project, it can be quickly picked up, discussed and rectified without investing too much time, and therefore money, into design or code which will ultimately be discarded. This ensures we can work in a lean and efficient way to protect your investment.
03 – It enables us to link key project milestones with payment instalments. The way we work with our projects is to divide the payment schedule into four – 25% upon signing the contract, 25% upon approval of the wireframe, 25% upon approval of the front-end design of the site and a final 25% when the website is completed and deployed to the live hosting environment. This way you are paying when you see evidence of activity and delivery of outcomes, giving you more comfort you are getting something for your investment and the project is progressing as expected.
04 – Website development projects are renowned for going over budget and over the deadline date. We work really hard to ensure that the website is completely in line with the budget which is agreed in the contract and that when we agree the development schedule, it takes into account feedback loops for the client. That way we are able to create a website on time, on budget and to specification for our clients.
Our seven stage process includes the following steps:
- Proposal and Technical Specification
- Discovery Workshop
- Style Tile
- Front-end Design
- Back-end Development
- Testing, Fixes and Live Deployment
To help you understand the process a little better you can visit our website development process page.
What training and support is there?
Our approach to building websites is all around the need to provide you with the tools you need for the website to grow and evolve as your business does. We build sites that have the capability for you to create and curate new pages and add content without the need of a developer, using the various blocks and components that we have already built for you to place your new content within.
In order for you to maximise the value you get out of your website and realise the return on investment you are looking for, we provide you with the knowledge and confidence to use it effectively. As part of any website build we come over to your premises, or you can come to our offices, where we deliver a comprehensive training session on the website, the content management system (CMS) and tips to get the most from it. This usually lasts 2-3 hours and we look to train several members of the team. In addition to this face-to-face training, we also provide a comprehensive and bespoke user guide for reference. This guide is broken down by the different pages, sections and tasks associated with your site and has simple step-by-step instructions and screenshots with highlighted areas for you to refer to when you are updating the content.
If you require additional training or have specific needs, we can cater for this and tailor a session that suits your needs.
How much does a website cost?
This is very common question and one which is entirely understandable. The short answer is “we don’t know”. Think of it this way, if we were to ask “how much does a house cost” the answer would vary wildly based on the location, size of the house, number of bedrooms, age of the building, etc. This is the same as a website – we have no idea how much it costs until we know what it needs to do and what the objectives are.
We wrote a blog post which gives into some detail around website pricing which you can read, but below are some headline points on the complexities of website pricing.
01 – We don’t price a website on the number of pages, instead we establish what kind of content needs to be delivered at what points, which then allows us to build the right block or component to do that. The relevant pages are then curated to house the relevant information for your customers.
02 – The wireframe is an absolutely critical stage of the project as it allows us to show you the structural basis of the website – very much like an architects plan before a house is built. This is an absolutely non negotiable element in the process as without agreeing the structural layout of the website, there is a risk that the rest of the project veers off specification. We create the wireframe using HTML – a key markup language – which means when approved we can take all of that HTML and build on top of it, so no time is wasted and the process becomes more efficient, unlike when a wireframe is provided as a PDF for example.
03 – We break down our website development budget so you can see where the time element is allocated. Providing that there is no change to the specification, there is no change to the budget. Part of this budget accounts for the full testing process, which needs time allocated to it. Without rigorous testing there is an increased chance some functionality doesn’t work perfectly on some browsers or devices, which can cause issues for users and affect the quality of their experience, and therefore the chances of conversion. We also allocate time for training and creation of a bespoke website CMS user guide (see question further up the page) to allow you to get the best out of the website.
In terms of pure numbers, we can tell you that we know we can’t build a site properly in less than 85 hours, which is an investment of around £5,500. Depending on the complexity and technical specifications a website, our builds can go right up to £30,000. If we were to give an average value of the sites that we build for our clients, it would be around £9,500.
Do you host the website?
As with most web development agencies, we don’t have our own hosting infrastructure but we are resellers for large scale, secure datacentre’s. We have a reseller agreement in place with a large UK based datacenter, and have comprehensive information on our hosting services which can be accessed from the hosting section of our website.
Do they work on mobile devices?
The simple answer is yes! We are in an age now where no website should be built without responsive design applied, so every website we build is responsive for mobile devices. The landscape is changing though. We have multiple browsers that we need to test on and a huge number of devices that need to be accounted for – from 27” iMac screens to 6” phone screens and everything in between. This takes time and planning, which is always built into budgets and a key element of our website development process.
As part of the discovery workshop, we look at your existing web analytics to understand what proportion your traffic is coming via which browser and type of device – desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. This arms us with the traffic information we need to approach the website project in a way that most effectively services your customers.
Can you help us with SEO and digital marketing?
One of the elements that will deliver the best return on investment for your new website will be an investment in search engine optimisation activity, or SEO. The way that we build our websites is so they are technically robust and provide the best conditions for optimisation of content. In addition, we also offer a range of digital marketing services either directly, or through recommended partners, so that you can maximise your investment.
More information on our digital marketing services can be found on the SEO section of our website.