The overall impression of your website depends on the quality of its design. Whether the users are impressed or not when visiting the website depends on its layout and visuals. This makes the management of web development an important factor in creating a successful online presence.
Every web development project has to go through certain steps that take the development project from initiation to completion. These steps divide the project into manageable phases. Although the exact phase of the web development process varies slightly, the most basic steps remain the same.
The steps in the development process are
- Planning : project planning is focused on the objectives and goals for the project
- Scope : project scope deals with the budget and timeline to complete the project
- Design : the design is process is selecting colors, fonts, images, the layout and more
- Development : the project is turned from info into the website you can see and test
- Testing : the design and development team test your site and you should test it too
- Launch : After approval the site is moved to its hosting server and one final check is done
Below are the 6 steps of the process with more details that will help you understand web development on a professional scale.
Step 1: Planning
Project planning refers to determining the overall goals and objectives of the project. This step is further divided into the following parts.
- Requirement Assessment – This includes determining the target audience, website goals, detailed features, and other similar information about the website.
- Project Summary – The website’s requirements. This concise document serves as a reference point throughout the web development process.
- Determining Resources – In this step, any 3rd party media needs, software and other resources, for the website project are identified and added to the budget of the project.
- Key performance goals – The project deadlines, budgets, and page speed are some of the goals that are set at this stage.
- Competitor Analysis – Questions about your market and other companies with similar offerings, such as Which are the rival businesses of your website? How many visitors will visit the website? And so on.
Step 2: Project Scope
Creating a well defined scope of the project will help in ensuring that the website project ends on time and within the specified budget. One of the best ways to delineate scope of the project is through a Gantt chart. A gantt chart offers a visual reference of the project, it shows activities and a timeframe for the completion of each step,it also creates accountability between the design and development team.
Step 3: Design
During this stage, the website development team focuses on selecting the theme, color, layout, features, CTA’s and other aspects of the website. The website designers incorporate various elements like a company logo, brand color that strengthens brand identity, a theme that reflects the company’s product portfolio, and layout that is elegant, easy to navigate and appealing.
A note on The Visuals
In design, images play a very important role, much more in website design and development. Images have a lot to do on websites, they give a professional look and feel, and they help build trust. Images make texts easier to understand. Content with images engages more visitors and increases the number of clicks on the site.
But, do not use images that will slow down your website. Use the right images, in the right size to appeal as well as communicate with the visitors of your website. Ask your development team about the ideal size for your images.
Step 4: Development
The development team takes the individual elements of the website and combines them to create a functional website. The team will develop a home page after which a “shell” is created for the interior pages. The shell will contain navigational structure and can include elements like interactive contact forms, payment gateways, and choosing a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress, Joomla, and Magento.
Step 5: Testing
In this step, the team adds final touches and tests the website. This is a step you as the owner should be involved in. The complete functionality of the site is examined to ensure that it runs smoothly without any glitch. The team will test the scripts and forums, to make sure the site displays well on different devices and platforms, verify internal links, and validate the website code to ensure that it meets the latest standards. This testing ensures that the website performs smoothly without any issues and problems.
Step 6: Launch
After the final approval is given by you, the website owner, it’s time to deliver the site. The team will upload the site to a hosting server that you specify and select, by using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. After the website has been uploaded, a final run through is conducted to ensure the site’s performance, this step validates the files and that the site is fully functional.
To complete the project, the team adds finer details to the website, which help to optimize its functionality and performance. Some finer details include plug in installation, on page SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and page speed optimization.
By now you may be asking yourself What is the most important step in web development? The most important step is your active participation in the entire process, after all this is your website, your product, your digital storefront. Be an active member of the development process, this will make the development a fun experience and successful project for you and your development team.