The Web Development Process
Phase One: Determining your needs.
- What is the purpose of your site? Are you selling a product? Are you providing a service?
- What are your goals for the site? Is it to make money immediately or share information about a product?
- Who is your target audience? We’ll want to design the site specifically with them in mind.
- What kind of content will be on the site? Where will that content come from?
Phase Two: Planning.
Using the information we gathered in phase one, I’ll create a site map to create during the design process. Not only will this be an essential part of designing the navigation system, it will serve as a guide as to what content is needed for where. This phase is critical to ensure the end-users of the site experience a consistent, non confusing experience on your site. A customer quickly finding what they’re looking for increases your chance of getting their business.
Phase Three: Design.
- Once we understand what it is we need to do, it’s time to decide what it’s going to look like. Do we need to incorporate your existing brand or do we need to build it around a new brand? It’s important we incorporate colors and logos that strengthen the identity of your company on the web site.
- You’ll decide on a design template for the site.
- Communication during this phase is crucial so there’s no surprises or dislikes on the final website design.
- Custom logos and graphics are discussed and agreed upon.
Phase Four: Development.
- The developmental stage is the point where the web site itself is created. At this time, we’ll take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the actual, functional site.
- Elements such as the WordPress plugins are integrated into the design and configured to your needs.
- During certain stages of this phase, you will be given access to suggest any additional changes or corrections.
Phase Five: Testing and Delivery.
- Once a site is complete, additional time is still necessary to test and tweak things. The site must be tested in all of the major browsers and different platforms such as tablets and mobile.
- At this stage, we’ll check our SEO (Search engine optimization) and make sure important elements are being passed through the code. This is important to make sure people can find your website. This is something that will be looked at again in a few months when we can check our performance.
- Once final approval is made, we’ll enable the site and make it visible to the world.
Phase Six: Ongoing Maintenance.
- At this point the site is either handed over to you or we sign a maintenance agreement. Though the initial development is over, bringing new content or features to the website will help it grow and grow. You will be given access to a back-end administrative area where you can edit and add any any additional content. The possibilities are endless!
- It’s really up to you as far as how comfortable you feel with updating your own web site. Some people prefer to have all the control so that they can make updates to their own web site the minute they decide to do so. Others prefer to hand off the web site entirely, as they have enough tasks on-hand that are more important for them to handle directly. One less thing for you to do is always a good thing in these busy times!
- Other maintenance-related duties include performing regular site backups, WordPress and plug-in updates, etc.