5 Essential Steps for Designing a Website

PRIMARY recently designed the website of real estate client Woodmont Properties – a New Jersey-based company in business for more than half a century that develops, builds, markets and invests in a diversified portfolio. The challenge was that their web design wasn’t keeping pace with their growing business, lacked a custom design, and had a dated look and feel. Sound familiar?

Read on to learn how we used our proven five-step process to effectively build a website for Woodmont, and how this framework could be applied to your next web project.

Step 1. Research

All brands are unique, and for your brand, as well as for Woodmont, our first step is the same: asking questions to learn about business needs. By having clients complete the PRIMARY Website Project Survey, we’re able to focus our efforts on what is essential, and create a custom project brief.

After this scoping exercise, our team develops a deeper understanding of the industry landscape by compiling a list of your direct competitors and examining their website strategies to learn from their successes and failures.

We then perform several deep-dive audits of your existing website and summarize our findings to highlight areas of improvement to the SEO / content strategy, performance, and functional usability of the future website.

To achieve success we first have to define it. In Woodmont’s case, we determined three success metrics: increased site traffic, longer time spent on the site, and more frequent contact form submissions. With the old site’s data collected, we had our benchmarks and a strategy to exceed them.

web design process step 2 - plan


Step 2. Plan

For your website to convert users into customers, it is necessary to understand the needs of your target audience. Armed with insights, our writers and strategists optimize the copy to message them effectively.

Once Woodmont’s target audience and site goals were defined, we understood that improving Search Engine Optimization would be critical. Based on our audits from step one, we set out to improve Woodmont’s rank in search engines.

We then determine the ideal information architecture and desired User Experience (UX) for the upcoming site design. For Woodmont, our site would serve up content as a single-page experience, with a few inside pages to browse the company’s extensive News and Awards content.

The homepage would then seamlessly integrate the Introduction, About, Leadership, Portfolio, and Careers sections of the site. This contrasted greatly with the original site that made browsing more difficult for visitors.

Step 3. Design

With the research and planning all mapped out, our design and development steps commence simultaneously. This agile workflow involves the client early and often to accelerate the completion of our web projects.

Now our design team produces user-centered solutions to achieve site goals and meet functional requirements. We refine the visual design as the client reviews functional prototypes, providing feedback and approval along the way.

web design process step 3 - design

Step 4. Develop

While the web design team worked on user interface and art direction, our developers started on the site’s back end and core functionality. We plug content and images into the database, and set up the admin dashboard of the Content Management System (CMS) so that clients can update content quickly and easily.

Our web development tasks for Woodmont included the creation of a customizable Portfolio section of nearly 150 investments across five categories, with the ability for visitors to sort by Property Type and filter by current status (now leasing, coming soon).

Woodmont website portfolio redesignWe ensured the web design was mobile-friendly to look and perform well on all devices including tablets and smart phones.

Before proceeding to the site launch, our team tested the site thoroughly for any bugs/errors, broken links, browser compatibility quirks, or content needs.

Step 5. Launch (and Beyond)

Prior to launching the site, we crafted Woodmont’s announcement strategy to make a splash. We created posts to target their social media followers, and an HTML e-blast designed to drive relevant traffic to the fresh homepage.

As their online presence thrives, we’ve been able to improve site metrics further by reviewing analytics with remote user tests to optimize the site’s design, conversion rates, and ongoing performance.

Woodmont website homepage redesign

Woodmont is now a long-term client of PRIMARY, and we’re here for them any time they need design or functionality updates to ensure that their web presence is constantly the best it can be.

“My experience working with PRIMARY has been refreshing. Working with such a creative, solutions-oriented full-service agency has transformed the way I run my marketing department. I no longer have to rely on different vendors for each one of my needs. PRIMARY is made up of true professionals and I feel confident that our success is their number one priority.”

Chris Camy
Marketing Manager
Woodmont Properties

Whether your site’s web design needs a minor update or a major overhaul, we invite you to take our Website Project Survey and start a conversation with us.

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