Get It Right the First Time: Website Development Consulting
Website development consulting can help you leverage innovative web design to differentiate your brand. Get help with planning, design, and development.
February 7, 2024
Is your website a liability instead of an asset?
You pour time, money, and effort into your online presence, but is it delivering results?
Many businesses struggle with:
Hidden costs and unpredictable timelines: Freelancers and agencies offer vague estimates, leaving you vulnerable to budget overruns and delays.
Technology traps: Developers often prioritize their preferred website design tools over what is best for your unique needs.
Renovation roadblocks: Updating an existing website can be complex. Some developers prefer starting from scratch, costing you more.
Wasted potential: Unskilled professionals deliver generic solutions that fail to reflect your brand or grow online visibility.
Sound familiar? You are not alone.
Companies deal with these problems all the time. Website development consulting can be the solution.
This post isn't about the "what" of consulting, but the "why." We will unveil the hidden pitfalls of the traditional web development process and show how a consultant can be your secret weapon to navigating these challenges and achieving real success.
What is the difference between web design and web development?
People often confuse web design and web development. However, these are two distinct disciplines that serve different functions. The difference between them lies in their focus, method, and end goals.
Web design is primarily about creating a site’s aesthetics and user experience. The web designer creates the site’s visuals. This includes navigation, page layouts, colors, typography, and images. Web design focuses on the website’s “front end”, using design software to create a wireframe or mockup.
Web consultants are a better solution because use both design and development to create sites that are aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.
To advise clients on website projects, consultants must be proficient in both technology and design.
What does a website development consultant do?
Website development services help businesses plan and execute successful website projects. They provide expert advice throughout the process, from ideation to launch.
Website development consultants make sure that their clients have a solid plan in place before starting a project. They work closely with clients to gather business and user requirements to create a web strategy and project plan. This plan outlines all the steps needed to deliver a high-quality website that meets specific needs and business goals.
Experienced website development consultants also provide ongoing project management to keep the project on schedule and budget. The consultant will track the project’s progress, manage the team, provide updates, and manage risks. They will also identify issues and come up with cost-effective web solutions.
Their expertise enables consultants to make recommendations on how to optimize website functionality, and design, and create the best user experience. They also use best practices to optimize a site for search engines and implement digital marketing techniques into their website strategy.
Here is an in-depth summary of the website development consulting process:
1. Needs analysis
The first step in any website project is to conduct a needs analysis. The purpose is to identify the website features and functions the business needs. A thorough needs analysis provides the framework for the entire development project. The website development consultant will use this information to craft a customized plan, assign roles to team members, and track progress.
2. Customer journey mapping
Once the needs analysis is complete, the consultant will focus on developing the customer journey. The customer journey refers to the steps a user takes from the moment they discover the brand to purchase and beyond.
Customer journey development includes analyzing behavior, identifying digital touchpoints, and guiding users toward their end goal with a seamless experience. This "path to purchase" sets the tone for successful marketing strategies. The consultant will create the website plan based on the user experience journey.
3. Website structure and page layout
A well-organized website structure makes it easier for users to navigate the site, find the information they need, and take action. The consultant will typically create a sitemap or wireframe to outline the structure of the website. A visual representation is the best way to organize and prioritize content, which helps make sure the website’s design is user-friendly.
During the website development process, consultants also focus on creating intuitive navigation and user flows. To do this, they design a logical structure for content and make sure users can easily access the information they need.
4. Website content strategy
Website development consultants also oversee website content creation. Content includes everything from text, images, videos, and graphics to animation and interactive elements.
To develop website content, a consultant will research the target audience and anything related to their demographics, interests, and preferences. The goal is to get a better understanding of what potential customers desire and create content around those interests.
5. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is a process designed to optimize a website so it will rank higher in search engine results pages. SEO plays a crucial role in driving organic traffic to the website and increasing visibility. The website development consultant will make sure the website’s content is SEO-friendly by conducting keyword research, on-page optimization, and backlinking.
Many times, businesses build websites first and implement SEO later. However, your website won’t attract much organic traffic without SEO. So, search engine optimization should be part of a web development plan.
Yet, many web designers and developers know little about SEO. Again, this is where a web development consultant who has SEO expertise can be invaluable.
6. User experience design
Website development consultants use various design elements to create intuitive and responsive sites. They rely on UX design principles to ensure that the site is accessible on mobile devices, user-friendly, and generates conversions. Principles include clarity and simplicity in design, calls-to-action (CTA), and functionality.
The consultant will also perform testing to make sure the site is easy to use. A/B testing, multi-device testing, and cross-browser testing are examples of techniques used to identify issues before the site goes live.
7. User interface design
A website’s UI design plays a substantial role in attracting and keeping users on the page. Website development consultants must have a deep understanding of the users’ needs and preferences. They often leverage psychology to create a design that users will like.
The consultant will identify informational components, such as the menu items or key website features, and determine how to prioritize them. They will also design the input controls, such as buttons and text fields. Depending on the target audience, specific input controls may offer an advantage over others.
Website prototyping is a vital step in design and development. The preliminary version of the site is tested for usability, functionality, and user experience.
Consultants use prototyping to understand how the site will look, feel, and function. It’s an essential tool for identifying potential design flaws, and usability issues and improving overall user experience.
The purpose of usability testing is to eliminate barriers to user task completion and goal achievement on the site. Testing can include remote testing, moderated testing, and unmoderated testing. Remote testing gathers data from users in different regions using software, while moderated testing uses a moderator to direct participants. Unmoderated testing requires participants to complete tasks on their own with no guidance or observation.
Website development consulting can help you decide which method is best for your company’s site.
10. Maintenance and security
Sites with sub-par website maintenance and security get hacked, which can lead to data loss and reputational harm.
Website development consulting will help you make sure all software and programs are up-to-date. Outdated software and plugins are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. These can compromise functionality, affect user experience, and harm the website owner’s business.
Website security is equally important. Hackers regularly attack websites. A consultant can help you implement security measures to protect site users and data.
You might need website development consulting services if...
If you are a startup or a small-to-medium-sized enterprise, you may not have the resources to employ a full-time web team. To create a good first impression, attract customers, and achieve high conversion rates, you must have a strong online presence. Hiring a web development consulting service allows you to focus on your business while they oversee software development.
Here are some signs that your company needs web development consulting services:
You don’t know much about UI/UX Design and building websites or apps.
If you have limited knowledge of UI/UX design and website development, you will need a consulting firm. You can’t take a chance that your site ends up with a poor design.
Your site has low engagement.
If your site has a high bounce rate, it means visitors aren’t interested enough to explore the website’s content. This could be because of poor design, slow loading times, or weak content.
You aren't sure if you need to build a new website or can just renovate your existing site.
A consultant may advise that you can simply renovate your existing site to address any issues. In some cases, they may even suggest that it doesn't need any changes.
You have limited resources for an in-house web development team.
In-house web development teams may not be feasible for small teams or startups. This is where web development consulting services come in. They can provide the expertise you need to build and maintain a strong online presence at a fraction of the cost.
You want to improve your website’s SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for ensuring your site appears at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). A web development consulting firm can help you improve SEO and search engine rankings.
How much does website development consulting typically cost, and what does it include?
The cost of website development consulting varies depending on the scope and complexity of the project. On average, it can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. This typically includes services such as planning, design recommendations, development guidance, SEO optimization, and ongoing support.
Web development consulting fees vary from one consultant to another and will depend on the project.
When researching potential services, it’s essential to get an understanding of what they include in their fees. Be sure to ask questions about any additional costs that could arise as well as how fees are billed.
When discussing pricing with a consultant, establish a clear time frame for the project. Many providers may have different hourly rates based on the expected hours required to complete your project successfully. This information helps you decide if hiring a consultant is feasible and how much to allocate for the project budget.
Is your website costing you customers?
The Brand Auditors’ web development consulting services can help you implement solutions designed specifically for your company’s goals, industry, and budget. Our experienced web development consultants provide technical expertise and guidance for any web strategy, in-house or outsourced.
With our website management plan, you control your site, not designers or hosting companies.
Click the button below to schedule a free consultation.
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