Our Proven Website Design Approach

The Ocotillo Design Process

Ocotillo Design uses a proven five-phase approach to web design based on more than 20 years of experience in website design, editing, graphics development, and project management. Our approach reduces the chance of “scope creep,” in which unscheduled additions or changes during site design add mounting costs and time to project launch. We ensure your website design project meets your needs as well as your customers’ needs while remaining within budget and on schedule.

Phase 1: Defining the Site

The objective of this phase is to define the objectives of your new or redesigned website. Specifically, we establish the goals of your site using a series of tools and discussions that hone our understanding of the audience, competition, website opportunities, and the site’s overall vision. Like the development of a physical community itself, it is the initial and essential process of visioning, using successes and lessons learned from similar sites. Tasks and products may include client survey, external survey, formal or informal competitive or industry analysis, content audit, project plan, creative brief, password-protected progress site, and staging site.

Phase 2: Developing Site Structure

Site structure equates to the hierarchy or architecture of the site. Developing site structure creates the backbone of your website, and is the map we will refer to throughout site development, particularly for content creation and defining the site visitor’s experience. Tasks and products may include content outline and site map, content analysis, content delivery plan, global features, user role definition, and wireframes.

Phase 3: Visual Design and Testing

Once the site map and navigation overview are complete, visual design and testing begin. The site begins to take on its online shape with the definition of design parameters, selection of the mobile-responsive WordPress theme, and theme customization. Tasks and products may include presenting WordPress theme options and selecting a final theme, planning for theme customization and plugin selection, and user testing.

Phase 4: Site Production

Production comprises the creation of the WordPress website, taking into account the site map, wireframing, and chosen theme. All aspects of site design and content creation are addressed in this phase, including theme implementation and customization, addition of multimedia and other content, and user testing, if applicable. Tasks and products may include content creation and editing, WordPress setup and configuration, primary theme implementation and customization, full site buildout, and user testing.

Phase 5: Launch and Beyond

Once the site has been built, it is reviewed in-depth by the client and then launched. Ocotillo Design does not host websites, but does arrange hosting and related services through SiteGround (our recommended WordPress host) or a host of your choice. This phase may also include search engine optimization, development of a maintenance plan and user’s guide, archiving the old site if applicable, and WordPress site maintenance training.

Optional: Site Maintenance

Keeping your site fresh and updated is essential, both to keep visitors coming and also to protect against ever-evolving cybersecurity risks. Though our regular website design packages do not include site maintenance, Ocotillo Design offers monthly, biannual, or annual maintenance packages to ensure your website remains in peak shape.

In Summary

Our phased approach to website design and implementation is not about tricks or gadgets — it’s about a website with as much online sense of place as the community from which it has grown. It’s about directing site visitors to where they need to be, and bringing them back again and again.


For further information or to request a bid, please contact us.