Five Steps for Web Development
These are the five essential processes in web development:
homepage design excels at moving clients successfully through these processes to create websites that bring results. In addition to designing visually-pleasing websites, we have the technical expertise to ensure your website is well-executed.
The First Step in Web Development is Planning
The most important phase of web development is planning. Before you start creating graphics, writing content or choosing page design, you must understand your website objectives, your intended audience and your website’s organizational architecture.
Websites that are not well planned can frustrate the visitor, ultimately leading the visitor to leave the site and not return.
There are 7 key questions to ask during the planning process:
- What is the purpose of your website and how does it fit in with your overall marketing strategy?
- Who is your target audience?
- What types of web technology are accessible to your target audience?
- How will you entice visitors to keep returning? What needs are you solving for your target audience?
- How will you organize your information?
- How will you measure success
- Who will manage your website project?
Designing the Structure and Content
The key to good design can be summed up in three words:
speed, simplicity, clarity.
Issues that need to be addressed at this stage include:
- Web page layout
- Navigation through the website
- Readability of text
- Graphic style and speed
- Accessibility across browsers and platforms
Without content, your website is just a pretty brochure. Content gives your site stickiness, making people want to return again and again. Well-written content will also help your website rise in the search engine rankings.
Decision to made include:
- Who will write the content in a clear, concise manner?
- Do you have existing materials that can be repurposed?
- What content do you need to purchase or acquire?
- What is your plan for delivering on-going content once your initial website is completed?
- How will you manage dynamic customer driven content?
Implementing Your Website
Implementing your website involves many technical aspects. Resolving these issues well will increase your site’s performance.
Some of the issues to consider include:
- Choosing a domain name
- Finding a suitable web hosting environment
- Creating the actual website in HTML
- Setting up programming scripts, databases, e-commerce packages and security as necessary
- Testing your site
Marketing Your Website
- Announcing your website and being found by the search engines
Maintaining Your Website
Once you’ve implemented your website, you need to allocate 72 percent of the resources for development to maintaining your website (Jakob Neilsen; http://www.alertbox.com). Websites that have out-dated information don’t hold visitors’ interest.
Consider the following:
- How will you develop fresh content?
- How will you make changes and updates to your website?
- How will you manage the feedback, information requests and sales generated from your website?
- How will you continue to market your website?
- How will you track the effectiveness of your website?