Custom Websites

In a competitive world, the best website wins

Picture your prospects comparing your website to the websites of your competitors. Does your website win? The best website is not merely a professional storefront. It is a friendly and knowledgeable salesperson who engages visitors, directs them to key information, and politely encourages them to convert into leads by either contacting you or giving you their contact information.

Hallmarks of a Hollister Creative custom website

Strategy. To develop the strategy, we approach your website as marketers first, and designers second. We will align your website with your organization’s goals. And we will benchmark your website against competitor sites to get a clear picture of the weaknesses we can address and the strengths we can exploit to make your website a winner.

Planning. The planning documents for a custom website are a sitemap showing the navigation structure, pages and page types; and wireframes showing the structure of each page type, i.e. home page, section landing page, blog page, gallery page, etc. To prepare the plan, we go through a thorough discovery process to understand your value proposition, your competitive situation and the content that will attract your target visitors.

Team. For each custom website, we assign a team consisting of a designer and a content specialist. They work together from their first meeting with you to the site launch, ensuring dedicated and consistent execution of the strategy and plan.

Responsive design. Your custom website will be inviting and easy to navigate, whether visitors are viewing it on a computer, tablet or smartphone. Responsive designs automatically adapt to the size of the screen on which the website is being viewed. This saves you the time and expense of separately developing and managing a mobile site. More importantly, responsive design improves the visitor experience by eliminating the need to zoom in or scroll sideways to read the text.

Search engine optimization (SEO). Your custom website will be properly constructed for SEO. On each page, site managers will be able to place keyword phrases in SEO-friendly URLs, page titles, headlines, subheads, image tags and meta descriptions that help searchers find the page. You also have the option to contract with Hollister Creative to do the SEO work for you.

Google Analytics. Every page of your custom website will have Google Analytics installed. This free software provides rich data on site traffic, so that you can monitor the performance of your site. All you need to access the data is a Gmail account (free). You also have the option to contract with Hollister for regular analytics reports sent to you by email. Reports can be sent weekly or monthly.

Content management system (CMS). Your custom website will be easy for nontechnical people to update. You won’t have to pay a professional designer or coder to make the changes website owners typically want to make over time, including the addition of new pages. We have found that people who are familiar with Microsoft Word can be taught to use a CMS in about an hour. We provide that training for free.

Open source code. Proprietary code can saddle you with a site that cannot be modified in the future by anyone outside the company whose programmers wrote the code. Your custom website will be built with open source code, which means no one owns it and programmers around the world are constantly contributing to it and improving it.

Proven process keeps project on track

Our custom website development process has been written down, revised and improved over more than a decade. You will have a copy of the process at the proposal stage, so you will know what to expect. At each milestone, we will ask for your review, alterations and approval before moving on. If you respond each time within a few days, you will have a new custom website in 12 to 16 weeks.

The process starts with competitive strategy and planning. The result of that is a sitemap, which outlines the structure of the site and defines the content that will be on each page. We build your website much as a contractor builds a house. The sitemap is the blueprint. The designer frames up the website with wireframes, just as a contractor frames up a house with studs, joists, door frames and window frames. This is followed by coding of the website’s functionality, which is akin to installing the HVAC, wiring and plumbing in a house. The final phase is page design: applying the useful and attractive finishes that give each house – or website – its personality.

Once the site is ready and the content is in place, you’ll get to review it live on a development server. Then, we launch.

Training and technical support

Following site launch, Hollister conducts an online training session to show you how to use the CMS to update your website. We also provide SEO coaching to explain the website’s built-in SEO tools you can use to optimize each page. Alternatively, you can hire Hollister to update your site and/or do the SEO work for you.

If anything on your website ceases to work properly, we will fix it for free during business hours for the first two months. Forever after, we want what you want: a winning website that makes you proud and turns visitors into leads. We’ll always be excited to pick up the phone and talk with you about what’s new in web techniques and technology that can benefit your business.

 

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