Website Design

IXP’s custom website design and development services help you build a website which melds substance with style — no matter what type of device your customer happens to be using at the moment.


Technology

We build websites using a computer program called WordPress. WordPress is a web content management system (web CMS). It’s for your content: text, images, photos, audio, and video. It’s a management system: it enables you to create, edit, store, and deploy your content on your website, without having to know computer code yourself.

WordPress is open-source software. Since 2003, WordPress has been developed in a public, collaborative method by literally thousands of software developers around the world. This means WordPress offers unparalleled flexibility for your needs.

WordPress is industry-standard. According to a Forbes magazine article in Sept 2012: “WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day.”

Finally, WordPress is easy to use. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress. If you can use Facebook, you can use WordPress. It’s that simple.

In short, WordPress puts you in the driver’s seat of your website, enabling you to harness the power of the Web. Contact us to request a free demo of how WordPress can put you in charge of your website.


Process

Define the Project

Our Define the Project phase sets parameters and expectations and develops methods for clear communication throughout the project’s duration. This phase includes Discovery, Clarification, and Planning.

Representative Tasks

  • Gather information
  • Understand your target audience
  • Analyze competitive environment in your industry
  • Develop your functional requirements
  • Create a project plan
  • Create a schedule
  • Assign project team
  • Set up staging area
  • Determine overall goals
  • Prepare creative brief
  • Have a project kick-off meeting

Develop Site Structure

In this phase, we focus on developing and shaping the content of the website from four angles: Content-View, Site-View, Page-View, and User-View. From the Content-View, we look at the overall organization, coherence, and flow of the content. From the Site-View, “sitemapping” is our main task: setting the overall information architecture of the site. For the Page-View, we work on “wireframing”: making sure we are presenting and organizing text, images, and UI elements so the product is meaningful to the end user. Finally, from the User-View, we need to think about the relationship of each page to the next, and if this is complex, we’ll probably develop a flow-chart showing visitor paths.

Representative Tasks

  • Audit existing content
  • Outline content
  • Create a content delivery and/or content creation plan
  • Make a sitemap
  • Build wireframes
  • Define key user paths
  • Create user scenarios

Design Visual Interface

During this phase, the designers create the visual interface: the first thing the world sees when visiting the redesigned site, the first experience the audience has with your brand. Thanks to the preparatory planning from Phase 1 and Phase 2, this “face” of the redesigned site accurately represents the desired tone, stated goals, and established structure of the site in a visual format. It includes everything from font choice (topography) to the pictures selected.

Representative Tasks

  • Review site goals
  • Develop concepts
  • Present designs to you and gather feedback
  • Confirm flow and functionality of user interface
  • Test functionality
  • Create style guides

Build and Integrate

In this phase, we actually build your site.

Representative Tasks

  • Create and populate pages
  • Develop WordPress theme
  • Implement WordPress plugins
  • Conduct quality assurance testing
  • Identify, prioritize, and fix bugs

Launch and Beyond

The focus of this phase is to smoothly transition your new website “into the wild,” from development mode into maintenance mode. During this phase, we tie up loose ends, make sure search engines know about your site, and develop a plan for measuring the success of your site and adjusting it as needed.

Representative Tasks

  • Provide WordPress training
  • Optimize for search engines
  • Launch the site
  • Confirm site security and crawlability by search engines
  • Conduct a post-launch meeting

FAQs about our Process

How long does the website development process take?

Typically it is a six to eight week process at least. The schedule runs something like this:

  • Week 0 – Kick-Off Meeting
  • Week 2 – Content & Functionality Review Meeting
  • Week 4 – Design Review Meeting
  • Week 6 – Pre-Launch Review Meeting
  • Week 7 – New Website Launch

How do you make sure that my website supports mobile devices?

There are various ways to do this, depending on your needs. Typically, we develop a multi-device-friendly WordPress theme using a technique called “responsive web design.” Responsive web design allows you to have a single web design which automatically responds (or adapts) to the screen size of whatever device someone is using to visit your website.

Why is it important to have a multi-device friendly design?

It is becoming imperative for websites to support mobile devices, since more and more people are using tablets and smart phones to surf the web. Google research shows that 75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly website, and Cisco Systems predicts there will be one web-enabled mobile device per person by 2015.


People

Daniel D. Vos, Lead Web Developer

Daniel VosAs Lead Web Developer for IXP, Daniel leads a website development team which includes graphic design and programming specialists.

Daniel holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA), and a Web Programming certificate from Virginia Western Community College (Roanoke, VA).

Daniel is passionate about user-focused, content-driven, future-friendly web design for the multi-device web. In addition to his full-time job as Lead Web Developer for IXP, Daniel is an adjunct Web Design instructor for American National University.


Douglas J. Vos, DevOps Director

Douglas VosTo every website project, Doug brings his 25+ years of experience in the information technology and interactive media industries, after working with organizations ranging from local businesses to regional organizations to Fortune 500 corporations.

Doug has a Bachelor degree from Kuyper College (Grand Rapids, MI). Prior to his current role at IXP, he worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Hewlett Packard (HP) from 1988 to 2008, gaining a broad range of IT, System Architecture, and Web Development consulting experience.

During his time at EDS, Doug led a website development team which invented patented technology for asset data collection, presentation, and management (Patent US20080086345).