Your website is often your brand’s first opportunity to build a relationship with your target audience. If you’ve bounced around our website, you’ve probably heard us talk about our “people are people” philosophy. Whether they are a CTO looking for an MSP or a mother searching for an organic diaper company, people still make decisions based on some level of organic connection with your brand (with a whole lot of other things in the mix as well).
Stout Heart believes in intelligent strategy, meaningful design, and brand authenticity. This is true for branding but also absolutely possible in website form. There’s a huge difference between a website design that is simply a transactional interaction and a website design that builds an emotional relationship with your target audience. We try for the latter, as ultimately this is the lasting connection that is also a long term investment.
As with all Stout Heart projects, strategy is at the heart of our process. We think ahead so that we minimize thinking on the fly.
We always look for the tie that will make your brand’s target audience truly feel something when they visit their site.
Stout Heart is A WordPress development shop. We look for efficiency in how we build without cutting corners.
You’ll rarely hear us recommend a theme or template. We believe that you should have a solution custom-tailored to your exact needs.
We conduct an intense pre-launch review to ensure that your site goes live without a hitch.
The internet is constantly evolving and so should your website in order to improve for longevity and effectiveness.
Listening is an essential part of all that we do at Stout Heart, regardless of the project type. We are an agency started by an account service professional so relationships are of primary importance to us. We begin every website project with a kickoff meeting that gets us on the same page. We’ll cover your history, your values, your culture, your objectives, your functionality needs, your user’s journey, and so much more. We might be nerds but we love these kickoffs. They take us down some interesting and informative rabbit holes that provide us with insight that is incredibly handy as we continue the website design and development process.
Most Stout Heart website projects include interviews with both internal stakeholders and customers. We like to get a variety of perspectives so that we understand how different parties prioritize the website’s objectives. We also conduct a competitive analysis and, if budget allows, we’re always in favor of qualitative research (focus groups, surveys, etc.) to ensure that we have all the insight we can get as we move into the creative process.
We may sound like a broken record- and if you’ve bounced around this site a bit you’ll see this oft-repeated- but everything we do is founded in strategy. It’s pretty easy to write off a creative brief as an unnecessary bit of housekeeping but it is the most important tool for clearly outlining the strategy behind website design and development in order to keep everyone on the same page. Our team writes a creative brief for every website we’re behind. Our client then signs off on this brief before we begin any of the following steps. Every word is important in a creative brief and we build ours carefully.
We know that this part of the website design process is not particularly pretty but it’s an important step. Essentially, we use this time to map out every site that must live on the site and then take the exercise a step further and map out the content that each page should contain. If we were to compare the website design and development process to building a home, we’d call this the stage where the homeowner lists all the rooms their house needs and what each room will be used for.
If the site architecture is the list of rooms and their uses, the wireframe is the blueprint that the architect will use to decide how to allot square footage to each room. It is, essentially, a prioritization of the use of space. And while it’s not a super pretty step, it’s imperative to nail it down for the success of a website design project.
Copywriting and design are the chicken and the egg of website design. Do you design for the copy or do you write copy to fit in the design? Our answer depends on the project but most of the time it’s a hybrid. We tend to write the copy for a site on a parallel path to website design so that the writer and designer can work together to solve their respective challenges. All copy is written with an eye toward both SEO and user needs.
Now you’ll be rewarded for your patience. Here’s the fun part. Now that we done our strategic homework, we make your website beautiful. Website design should be done in a way that prioritizes your target audience’s needs and differentiates your product in a beautiful way. If you haven’t gathered, we’re branding snobs and we always aim to elevate your brand in your website’s design.
And now we build! Stout Heart is a WordPress shop with deep experience in just about every arena. We do our best to balance custom development with plugins and widgets that make sense for your functionality needs. We’ll check in with you as we build to let you know where things stand and what’s to come.
As much as we wish a website launch were just a matter of pressing a button, it’s a wee bit more complicated than that. Prior to launch, the Stout Heart team completes a rigorous final Q/A to ensure that all the minute and easily overlooked pieces of the site are in place (Favicon? Check. SEO Keywords? Check. Form submissions working? Got it!). Once that’s done, we turn the website over to the client for one last review before we get your final blessing to push live. Website launches can take two days and way may or may not blast Push It in our office when your site shows up live on the web.
We watch every site carefully for the thirty days after it’s been launched. We want to make sure everything functions as it should. We also conduct a WordPress training session with the client(s) who may want to edit or update in the backend. We also stay in close communication with the client to ensure that they are up and running on their end without a hitch.
All WordPress websites need to be updated regularly to ensure that their functionality remains intact. This means that both the instance of the WordPress CMS update and any plugins used on the website must be updated. It is important that these updates be handled by a developer and that a full Q/A of the site must be done to confirm that updates do not conflict with or break anything on the site. If these regular updates do not happen, both the quality and security of your WordPress are at risk. Stout Heart offers this as an option or is happy to hand your site off to a developer of your choice for maintenance.