Just like any other product, website development project also goes through systematic steps and phases through its lifecycle. The idea is to make sure that a business owner is able to effectively adopt each and every aspect of creating a website to ensure successful results.
Website development processes when implemented in a systematic format with the help of laid down protocols facilitates higher productivity, efficiency and better results.
Listed below are the standard processes that are adopted by most web engineers and business owners to make sure their internet project is executed successfully and efficiently. The experts and the clients should work closely together for creating a successful project that can benefit both.
1. Concept and Proper Analysis
The web development project is defined via a creative brief, and any questions about the goals or requirements of the project are answered. This phase is generally used to determine the scope and size of the project, and once it has, the project can proceed.
This is obviously the most vital step in the entire scheme of creating a website. When the client start discussing his/her needs and expectations with a web development company, the first thing the company will do is conduct a preliminary analysis of the client requirement.
Since the website is going to play an integral role in day-to-day business, it is important for the service providers to gain clarity on the client's industry, the needs of target audience and the role the project is going to play for the business or brand.
2. Creating Primary List of Specifications
A comprehensive list of design, content and miscellaneous elements are made. This includes the general layout of the website, the number of pages, the dynamic and static aspect of the website; specifications with respect to navigation etc. are listed. Further, industry specific requirements are also listed since that may require some technical skills and tools. After this has been approved by the client, depending on the scope of work, a formal proposal is given to the client for approval.
3. Web Designing and Development
After the first two stages are closed on by the client and the web development company, the experts and the client begin working on the design and development. Typically, clients can either provide all the written material as well as some specific elements that they want to include in the website, or leave it up to the service providers to create the content and incorporate other elements on their discretion. This is obviously executed on the basis of approvals at every stage.
This process can be quick or can take a very long time depending on how well the ideas of the experts and company match. The process may involve a number of changes, additions and deletions through the process to make sure that the end result is perfect.
This phase often happens alongside the next outlined phase (design), as it is very difficult to complete either phase by itself. Content development essentially looks at what content needs to be included in the website. This phase can have a considerable effect on the addition or subtraction of web pages for the site, which is why it is often completed alongside design.
In this phase, the website’s information architecture is developed and its prototypes are tested. Once the content has been roughly developed and the number of web pages has been finalized, the actually design itself can be approved. For web development, it is really important to finish this phase before moving onto the next one, as it is much easier to make changes in images than codes.
In this phase, the website template is built and then the individual web pages themselves. The web developers begin their job by incorporating all the necessary codes without upsetting the design aspect of the website. This is crucial when a website intends to be dynamic or integrate some high-end applications to facilitate audience engagement.
Here, the developers and designers will interact on a regular basis to make sure that neither one of their works are being effected in the process.
4. Testing and Maintenance
After these stages, the website is almost ready and needs to go into testing. After conducting an internal test and getting all the approvals from the client, the website can be taken to a group of the target audience to get an unbiased review on features such as the usability, relevance, design, etc..
In this phase, the website is launched and made live on the internet. The web developer will do a final complete link check to ensure that everything is working, as well as checking any applications or other features that have been included.
The web developer will set up a maintenance system for the client to use in editing and adjusting some of the simpler and more basic aspects of the website (such as images, video and content).
Furthermore, the client may want the website to be better optimized for search engines, having social media promotions, online reputation management, making use of advertisements, major upgrade in design with additional application and features somewhere in the future, and so forth. This can be discussed with the experts post the launch of the website.
By breaking down the phases of web development, it is much easier for clients to understand what their project entails, why it is going to take longer than a few days, and why developers charge what they do.