LINKS

This link below is to a prototype of the wireframes

Link to wireframes – early version of website 

This is a link to a prototype of the website using the final designs:

Link to prototype of website

These prototypes of the website have been created using Adobe XD

 

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Learning Curve

Adobe XD

I have enjoyed learning Adobe XD and learning how I can integrate this into other areas of the Adobe Design Suite. I had never done the majority of my design work for a project Adobe XD before and found it interesting doing this with the ability to quickly create prototypes it made demonstrating the website to my client more professional.

 Local Development – XAMPP

This was a total new area to me and it was interesting to develop my knowledge in this area, it was challenging with the initial problems I experience but through research managed to overcome these.

 Zurb Foundation and Atom (Code Editor)

Using both Zurb Foundation and Atom I was able to develop my coding skills and learn new aspects of code especially PHP. Learning and using GitHub too has allowed me to store snippets of my code has given me a central strorage area for me to refer to when I need them in the future.

WordPress – Development of theme

This was challenging for me as WordPress is quite complex but I feel once I had started working through the process of converting the static website it became clearer and is something I want to continue you with outside of the Degree Course.

Theses are only some of the skills I have identified above I have learnt and expanded over the last year I have learnt many more including working with a client which I imagine will be different on every project.

The majority of the skills I have learnt on this project are all-transferable and I plan to develop these further outside of the Degree Course through further study. The design and web industry is constantly developing and evolving; the skills I have learnt throughout this project are immense and have given me an excellent grounding to develop further in the future when working in industry.

Evaluation and Future Considerations

I feel this project was a huge learning curve for me which I have enjoyed working on. Developing a full static website via Zurb Foundation and code expanded my knowledge of code especially HTML and CSS which is an area I plan to continue to learn after leaving the course. I feel fortunate that throughout this project communication with my client has always been good. My client responded quickly when I asked for any information for the or for her thoughts on the designs. She did not already have a website which I feel but had clear ideas of what she wanted from the website which helped; she listened to my ideas on being more social via social media and LinkedIn and feels this is an area she would like to develop. It will give my client a ‘brand’ identity as I discussed with her however she felt at this point she did not want a logo this is an area I plan to discuss further and demonstrate the positives of to my client before dismissing it.

The actual design process took longer than anticipated although I had many ideas some from my research and some from my client herself I found it challenging with earlier designs not reflecting the essence of my clients work. This is clear now looking back at the final designs and comparing them against the first and early designs for the site.

On reflection I did not manage to complete all the areas I hoped to achieve before the end of the course but feel the knowledge I have learnt will allow me to continue with this. Although communication with my client was good she did request many changes throughout the project some I could include others I was unable to but discussed why with her and we came to other conclusions; this did slow the progress of the project down.

The transferring of the static version of the website again took longer than anticipated WordPress is a complex platform to learn including more PHP code which was challenging. I feel now I have a good grasp of this as I began to develop the WordPress theme but time constraints meant the template will be completed after the Degree Course has finished. I could have chosen other CMS options for example CushyCMS but felt WordPress offered more options for my client with the addition of plugins and analytics. I do plan to continue with the development of the website and WordPress template as my client will use this when it is finished. As a professional and under future considerations this project for my client is not yet complete and my work reflects my reputation in the industry. I plan to continue to develop and complete the website and thorough user testing and hand over a live website to my client remembering the website still belongs to me as the developer until I hand it over to my client and it is released.

Deliverables

Wanted to Achieve and Deliver 

  • Create a static responsive version of the website and increase my knowledge of code
  • Create a WordPress Template
  • Live website with WordPress as the CMS
  • Client asked for a fun not corporate website

Actually Achieved and Delivered 

  • Local static version of website
  • Creation of WordPress Template – in progress

Still to Do 

  • Finish creating WordPress template locally
  • User testing
  • Transfer WordPress Template and files to live version of site on GoDaddy platform
  • User testing
  • Give client access to website and CMS – (this still belongs to me as the developer until handed over to client)

Marketing

Once the website is completed this is an area I will work on with my client. I have already discussed these ways of promoting the website and my client with her and she has initially agreed. I feel these could be effective ways of my client promoting herself and communicating with possible future clients and her target audience. As with all marketing each area will need updating regularly as fresh content is needed to keep followers engaged and interested. All of the options involve minimal cost if any – and are a cost effective way of marketing.

Social Media – Twitter

 Twitter is all about words and communicating with others. It allows users to share small chunks of information as tweets with links to enable interested users to explore more and click through to images and more detailed content. My client can use the platform professionally rather than personally tweeting about her subject area and industry.

I will suggest to me client to plan ahead and plan her tweets so tweeting and using the platform does not feel overwhelming and so she is prepared for future events with in the Publishing and Editorial Industry.

Plan What and When to Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Twitter is all about communicating my client will not only be able to post Tweets herself she will be able to follow, reply to and connect with other users and industry professionals as a way of promoting herself and her business.

Example of Tweets and Replies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the main ways business and professionals use Twitter include:

  • Sharing information and content
  • Driving engagement for promotional activities
  • Interacting with consumers
  • Networking
  • Branding
  • Reputation management

Once the website is live Twitter can be used to promote and announce my client to the Twitter community and the world.

Blog

 Having a blog as part of the website is another way for my client to connect with her target audience who can subscribe to automatically receive any new posts make client.   The blog can reference my clients Twitter and her Tweets and vice versa both publicising each other together my client’s business as a whole. Again it is good to plan blog posts and what you would like to write about as more content is required in a blog post than a Tweet in most cases. More interaction and connections made via the blog will improve SEO and raise the prominence of the blog in search engines and the website as a link from the blog; driving traffic to the website. It is also possible to view the performance of the blog via Google Analytics and will my client a clearer picture of the most popular posts so she can get a feel as to what content readers prefer.

Linked In – Professional

 Currently my client does not have a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is a good way to connect and network with other industry professionals and potential clients who can clearly see your resume and area of expertise. This is a platform I feel would benefit my client if she were to have a profile on this platform which includes her professional resume with links to her website, blog and Twitter. Your LinkedIn profile is often one of the top search engine results when users search for a name and immediately allows my client to promote herself professionally and her expertise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source – Business2Community

I also suggested to my client sends an email or letter to all her current contacts to let them know of her new website and also as a way of reminding them of my client and her business which may prompt more work.

SEO Search Engine Optimisation and WordPress

SEO Search Engine Optimisation is focused on increasing visibility of a website in search engine results.  It’s aim is to increase awareness of a website in search engines, improve rankings and drive traffic to a site.  There are various aspects to SEO from keywords used on the website to the way other sites link to your site.  As this website with be created in WordPress I researched both SEO and how I can improve rankings for my clients website using WordPress SEO plugins.

SEO is complex and the exact formulas and algorithms used by the major search engines are not known, it is known though that the following are all important factors in a websites ranking:

  • Keywords
  • Site structure
  • Site speed
  • Number of inbound links

This is an important area of development for my clients website as better and optimised SEO can improve the number of visitors to a website and so improve the work and enquires my client could receive.

There are various SEO plugins for WordPress, I have chosen to implement and use the Yoast SEO plugin for the reasons listed below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoast SEO is a popular plugin and has a 5 star rating based on a large number of ratings 12,121 indicating that the plugin is widely used and is popular.  It is also listed above as having 1 + Million Active Installs which again indicates it is widely used and recommended.  The last updated was recorded as only 2 days ago this indicates the plugin is being maintained and updated.

Yoast uses a traffic light system to clearly indicate how well each of a WordPress sites pages are optimised and indicates exactly what can be improved.  Once the website has been handed over to my client and the SEO optimised if my client makes changes in the future this plugin helps the user and directs them how to improve SEO if any changes my client makes were to affect the original SEO setup.

 

This is an example of Yoast SEO results for a WordPress page below based on the keywords on that page.

 

 

 

 

 

This is an example of Yoast SEO readability results for a WordPress page and again indicates in red what can be improved.

 

 

 

The Yoast SEO plugin also has the option to include a sitemap and list the links of the pages which will help with SEO and ranking of the website.

 

 

Purchasing and adding Domain to my GoDaddy Hosting Package

After purchasing the domain http://www.SallyByford.co.uk I spoke to GoDaddy as it was not clear if I had hosting with the domain so I called the GoDaddy helpdesk to check this.  My GoDaddy package is the Delux cPanel with hosting.

The GoDaddy helpdesk confirmed my package with them did include hosting and I needed to add the domain to my GoDaddy hosting package.

To do this I logged into my GoDaddy account and select ‘My Products’ from the drop down menu:

I then selected ‘Web Hosting’ – ‘Manage’

And then selected ‘Manage’ on the screen below:

I then selected ‘Addon Domains’ on the top menu bar on the cPanel screen which appears next:

This is a view of the full screen:

Below – Although not shown on this screen you need to tick the ‘Create an FTP Account’

Select ‘Add Domain’

The domain http://www.SallyByford.co.uk has now been added to my hosting – I can now download WordPress via the cPanel to use with the domain.