I follow an iterative process when approaching a new project. From planning until completion, I believe the Agile Development Methodology is the best way to ensure your website gets completed as fast as possible. Here is a breakdown of the steps we will go through.
We can't get started building until we know what exactly it is we're building. What I deliver at this stage is a thorough breakdown of all your features into finite software development tasks, including metrics for priority and complexity level. At this point I can begin estimating with a higher level of certainty, how long your project will take. Through this examination process, I will also produce a site index and page workflow in order to bring to surface complex or previously unthought of requirements. If you have gone through this process already with another developer or design firm, I will require only a brief amount of time to read through their documentation.
After we have solidified the project's requirements, I will produce an initial set of wireframes, and mockups for key pages. Because of the iterative process of Agile development, we will not invest time here planning every detail of every page. We will only seek to develop a foundation of design and functionality on which to build the remainder of the site.
This process is the heart of Agile development. We will work in strict iterations (1-2 weeks) at the end of which we will deliver a functional set of requirements. This simple process is why you can take your product to market faster because you don't have to build the whole application before your core features are complete.
In addition to testing the site throughout development, we will go through a quality assurance phase to highlight anything that needs to be changed or fixed. Once the site is ready to go, we'll launch the site into production.