A successful process:
1. Initial contact with client via phonecall or email.
2. Meeting in person with the client. Ask many questions about what they do, how they think. Establish business aims, keywords, target audiences and get a feel for the project.
3.Write up a business agreement, which contains a brief and key outcomes of the project. Client must sign the agreement and return to start the project.
4.Begin researching: competitor's styles, target audience interests and motives, brainstorming...
5. Create a moodboard containing possible colours, photos / illustration styles, typography and written language.
6. Once moodboard is agreed with client, start creating wireframes of key areas of the site as possible...
7. Mockups of some key pages before actually building the site's core structure and CSS.
8. Testing phase.
9. Ammendments, details then launch.