Step by Step Guide to Web Development
Having a website in today’s technology driven world is important. While it once used to be optional, this is no longer the case. A large percentage of consumers first look online to find out information about a business, product, or service. If consumers search for your business online and you are nowhere to be found, chances are they will forget about your business quickly.
Most likely, you’ll be having someone else work on your website and understanding the process can help you in hiring the appropriate agency. Not all agencies are alike, and not all are as experienced as they claim to be. It’s good to know the basic steps that go into creating a website, so you can understand the complexity and attention it requires to build it successfully.
Step One: Project Definition
The first thing that needs to be done is finding someone to create your website for you. Whether this is a single freelance web designer or an agency of web developers. Please make sure to do your research and due diligence by choosing a company with good reviews and samples that show their work. Once your decision is made, you will need to map out your project and write the requirements. Be as detailed as possible while writing your requirements and do not leave anything too vague or unclear. By writing clear and descriptive requirements this will assist the web development agency to get an understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish with your website.
Let the agency know ahead of time what is your business goals, what kind of website you are aiming for, and what are your terms way up front. When it comes to business goals, let them know who your target audience is and what you are looking for. Make sure the agency knows of any special website needs like podcasts or video streaming. Finally, let them know your terms and specify when you’d like your website to be completed by.
Step Two: Research and Planning
The next step is very important, and involves research and planning. In this step, the agency will lay down a general sitemap outline of your website, choose a domain name, provide hosting information, and other miscellaneous details regarding third party services. This step is the blueprint for your website and all of the costs associated through the development and launching process. The key is to have a full understanding of what is going to be build to ease any miscommunications down the line.
Step Three: Designing
In this step, the design of your website will take place. This is where your color scheme will be chosen, selection of media (whether this is audio, video or simple pictures to help convey your brand to your potential clients), style, format, and theme. This is also where the general web design will be laid out, from social media buttons to the special fonts that will be used to tie in with your color scheme and the theme of your website. By the end of this step you should have a really good idea of how your website will look like. If your not happy at this stage we recommend not moving any further until the web design issues are resolved as it will get more expensive to resolve these issues down the line in terms of time, cost, and stress.
Step Four: Development
Until now, the agency has been creating your website as a draft. Step four consists, building up your code and setting up your server. In this step the groundwork will be laid and all the technical decisions will be taken into consideration. The developers will either use a premade theme, wordpress or hand code the entire website, depending on your web development needs. In this step all topics of web programming and web development will be taken into consideration for example choosing development languages, platform, architecture, best practices, security, and other technical web development programming decisions that will impact your website. While in development rigorous testing and performance runs should be done on your website to ensure its capability upon launch. A good website development agency will try and iron out all of the issues and bugs while in development so that your users do not play bug catcher, since this may damage the user experience and damage the reputation of the website as a whole.
Step Five: Launching
This is the final step that needs to be completed before your website is delivered to you. Your team of website professionals should have run extensive tests, making sure that every part of your website functions as it should. Once the website is confirmed to be bug free and ready for live deployment the agency will provide server code, server configurations, and transfer it to your chosen domain name. Lastly, they will provide you with basic instructions on how to run and edit your website, if needed.
Step Six: Maintenance
Lastly, a good website agency will give you routine maintenance plan and potentially a limited warranty. This can consist of having trouble with your site, websites stops working properly, and in the event that you come up with new features that were not part of the original creation of the site. Keep in mind that once your website is launched it is a living breathing animal and as you gather feedback from your customers you will need assistance in helping it grow, scale, and evolve over time in order to keep up with the demands of your customers and market trends.
Other services that a web development agency can provide is assistance with internet marketing. Internet marketing is its own topic and must be respected and valued to get your website the web visibility it requires to grow. Internet marketing should not be ignored and needs to be part of the overall strategy of launching a website. A good agency will provide monthly SEO services to get the word out and have it grow organically via search engines, including doing pay per click advertisements and other social media efforts.
These steps are just the tip of the iceberg, as this is simply a general overview. There are many important activities that go into proper website development, which is why it is crucial to hire a team of professionals, such as a web development agency that can facilitate and make the development process as smooth as possible. Finding a good website agency is the key towards having a seamless and pleasant experience in creating a website.