Website Design: How the Sausages Are Made

web design in Vermont

Having a website designed for you can be confusing and tedious. But this blog provides blow by blow details as to how we do website design here at JEG DESIGN INC.

Every Sunday is spent with my Gram.

My uncle, her son, is a Pastor at the local Methodist Church. Her and I are Catholics, but he is a masterful speaker. And truthfully, it’s quite thrilling watching someone you love wow his small church with his weekly message.   Afterwards, Gram–a little Sicilian/Italian 91-year old gal who finds the Georgia winters too cold for her Floridian frame—and I enjoy lunch where she eats five morsels, talks for the entire meal, and takes home the rest for dinner.

This past Sunday, as I was bringing her home in Woodstock, Georgia—We were on Route 140, a road with significant traffic, which in Georgia is as common as roads named Peachtree. I was about to turn onto the road that leads us directly through downtown Woodstock when Gram, with the attention span and curiosity of a 12 year-old with A.D.D asked—

“Why do you have the right of way?”

There was a car waiting to turn onto the road I was turning off of and I turning on the road they were leaving (If there is an easier way for me to describe that, I cannot find it).

“Because they have a stop sign Gram.”

“But why?”

“So we don’t kill each other.”

“But why don’t YOU have a stop sign then?”

“The flow of traffic Gram.”

“But why? I want to know why?”

Now I don’t have kids. And I may never. But at this moment, I was about to drop a, “because I said so.” Then it dawned on me– how wonderful is her curiosity at such a ripe age?

A day later I contacted Jon Gicewicz at J.E.G Design and suggested he pull back the curtain and let people know what the process of creating a web page and a graphic design consists of. He instantly replied with a “let’s do it!”

For you see, the question of why and how is asked occasionally, but not frequently. Jon graciously freed up some time to let me discuss with him his process for both—Web Design and Graphic Design—And then I learned how the sausages were made.

This is the first of a two-part series in the behind the scenes of how things are done at J.E.G Design. Many others in these saturated industries of web and graphic design may do things differently. Yet I found it quite revealing in talking to a man who has made a nice living for him and his family doing what will be discussed in the next two blogs.

With that, here is how Jon Gicewicz of J.E.G Design creates a web page for a client.

Do you have an existing site?

Ironically, I kicked things off by asking what is the first thing he asks his potential client?  Which was of course followed by me asking if he simply has a questionnaire he has his clients fill out? Of course he doesn’t. That would make things too easy, right?

Speaking of easy, his first question to any prospective client is whether or not they have an existing domain or website. I quickly assumed someone who already possesses a site must make Jon’s process/life a whole lot easier.

Not the case.

“Existing sites can be a pain in the ass because there is SO MUCH information, content, what have you, that needs to be migrated over from their existing site over to the new one.”

Tell me about it. I just leased a new car and getting all the change out of my cup holder from the old car is such a hassle. Who needs pennies? Honestly. But imagine there is loose change everywhere. In between the seats, under the seats, front and back, passenger and driver. In the trunk. In the console. In the dash. Everywhere.

This is what it’s like for Jon to transfer information.

If the customer doesn’t have a site, Jon will ask a question which he must, but will be a reoccurring theme throughout this—“Is there a site you like which you would like for yours to look like?”

This helps Jon determine whether or not this site will be a templated site (one which essentially has it’s bones and structure already created), or a custom built site. However, and here is something which will be mentioned in the graphic design blog, companies LOVE to emulate their direct competitors. Not national brands. Not corporations who excel in the industry they reside. The guy or gal who is in the exact same zip code who does exactly what they do.

Regardless, templates are plug and play while custom built are months of work.

Templates can be done, up and ready within a day. Custom, as mentioned, not only take time, they can take a whole lot longer if the client doesn’t have any literature whatsoever.

E-Commerce or Brochure?

The next step is determining whether or not this site is going to be an e-commerce (essentially an online store) or a brochure site. A brochure site is an online business card. It provides who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. Also providing the necessary details about you and your business. It’s essentially, wait for it, a brochure.

Hosting & Security

Now, and this is why hiring a web designer, which isn’t the point of this post (it was the point of THIS post and THIS post) is crucial—From day one, Jon establishes hosting and security.

If you already have a site, Jon goes through and checks any and all security issues which the client may or may potentially have. If it’s a client having a new site created for them from scratch, Jon will establish hosting and start the security process right away. And if you’re wondering how important security is for your site, read this.

Mobile Compatible

From there is the mobile friendly aspect. As we all can understand, or should understand how critical it is to have a site which is seamless in how it operates on a mobile device has become imperative. It affects not only user experience, but how your site ranks in regard to SEO. This requires the testing of plug-ins and functionality.

Proposal & Payment

Lastly is payment. Don’t get me wrong, there is one common question faced by all of us who offer any type of service—“How much is this going to cost me?”

When you offer any type of service you want to educate and provide your value. Show why hiring you is so much easier and better than trying to do it for themselves.

And this is why Jon is also different.

The proposal Jon lays out is typically one page long. Let me repeat that, it is only one page long.

I have a funny story about this—When I first entered the world of radio advertising a lifetime ago, I was taught that for every thousand dollars I was asking for should be a page in my proposal. So, if I were to submitting a $5,000 proposal, I need at least five pages.

The next day I was going to propose $30,000 to a tractor company.

“I’m going to write 30 pages for a guy selling shit spreaders?”

Moral of the story, people like things spelled out simply, direct, and to the point. Transparent yet efficient. This is what Jon offers in his proposals. These proposals are based off the budgets provided after determining what type of site the prospect wants/needs.

Many web designers will try to dazzle you with this fancy language. A vernacular only possessed by those who live off of Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy drinks as they hoverboard around Silicon Valley. Trying to confuse the hell out of you so you cave in at any suggestion they make.

Not Jon. It’s brief, simple one page menu of what it is, what it’s made of, and how much it costs. Then, from there, he will break down how payment will be structured depending on what he and the client agree upon.

And that’s it. It’s that harmless.


The funniest part of all of this is Jon himself. He’s a no B.S. type of cat who only wants to help you as fast and painless as humanly possible. If dealing with my Gram, Jon would look at her after she asked for the 32nd time as to why there are stop signs and say—

“Let me worry about that, you just worry about being beautiful.”

But he also hasn’t met my Gram.

For more information, contact Jon at JEG DESIGN INC and set up an appointment for your free estimate today.




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Written By Keith Hannigan

Keith has over a 11 years of copywriting experience and has been blogging for companies in the advertising, design, boating, and marketing industry. For examples of his work or to contact him with any questions, please email Keith at [email protected]