Website Development Process Guide in Steps
The stages of preliminary information gathering, post-launch maintenance as well as detailed planning are the things that usually stay behind the scenes and, at the same time, remain the crucial part of website development and design life cycle.
We will take a look at how the general website development process may look like in this article. The variations of the overall website developing stages usually come from five to eight. However, the whole picture stays pretty much the same every time. So, the main seven steps that we should follow are as follows:
1: Information Gathering
2: Planning time
3: Design ideas
4: Content Writing and Assembly
6: Testing, Review, and Launch
Website Development Timeline
Your thoughts rotate around two main issues when you are thinking of building a website, e.g. the time and price. On the size and scope of the project, these two principles depend basically. You need to create a website development timeline by tasks, and establishing milestones for your project, to outline the whole development process. To track the implementation of your projects, you need to make sure you keep up with the deadline, it is the best way.
To double-check that you do not miss anything, we have prepared an estimated time for each step, and a detailed description of the whole website development process.
Website Development Life Cycle
Step 1. Gathering the Information: Main Goals, Target Audience, and Purpose:
his stage, we determine how the subsequent steps will look like. Besides, it is also the stage of discovering and investigating. To get a clear understanding of your future website purposes, the get target audience you want to attract to your site, and to achieve the main goals you wish to get, are the most important tasks at this point. To develop the best strategy for further project management, such kind of website development questionnaire helps a lot.
Online resources for the teenagers looks different than sites for adults and news portal differs from the entertainment websites. Websites of many different types give different functionality to the visitors, which says that different technologies have different purposes and they should be used according to purposes. To solve the unexpected issues such as design changing or adding the functionality that wasn’t initially planned, a well-described and detailed plan based on this pre-development data can protect you from spending extra resources. The estimated time for this step is from 1 to 2 weeks.
Step 2. Planning: Sitemap and Wireframe Creation
The developer creates the data that allow a customer to judge how the entire site will look like, at this stage of the web development cycle. A site map is created on the basis of information that was generated together in the previous phase. The detail of that site map of that XB Software website is as follows:
The relations between the main areas of your website should be described in that sitemap. That map or representation could help you in understanding, how usable the final product will be? The relationship between the different pages of a website should also be shown by that map so that you can service if the end-user starts from the main page or you can judge how easy it will be for the end-user to find the required information. To build an easy and user-friendly to navigate website is the main reason behind the sitemap creation.
That site map does not describe the user interface but it slows you to understand how the inner structure of a website looks. Sometimes, there’s a necessity to get approval from a customer that everything looks fine before you start to code or even work on a design so that you can begin the next phase of developing that site. A mock-up or wireframe is created if such case happens. A visual representation of the user interface that you’re going to create is called a wireframe. Any design elements such as colors, logos, etc. are not contained in that wireframe. Only the elements that will be added to the page and their location are described in it. In the production sketch, it is artless and cheap.
To select the technology stack is the other important thing. Technology stack is a programming language, frameworks, CMS that you’re going to use. The estimated time of this step or stage is from 2 to 6 weeks.
Step 3. Design: Page Layouts, Review, and Approval Cycle
The shape of your website takes place during the design phase. At this step, all the visual content such as photos, videos, and images etc. are created. All the info that was gathered through the first phase is crucial once again. While you are working on a design, the customer and target audience must be kept in mind.
The consequence of a designer’s work is the layout of that website and it may be an actual graphic design or a graphic sketch. To represent the information structure, demonstrating the basic functionality and visualizing the content of a website is the primary function of the layout. Layout can give a general understanding of the future product. Moreover, colors, logos, images are contained in a layout.
The customer can send you his feedback, and he can review the layout after that. You should change the layout and send it back to the client if he is not sure about some aspects of your made design. Unless the customer is completely satisfied, the cycle should be repeated again and again. The estimated time of this step or stage is from 4 to 12 weeks.
Step 4. Content Writing and Assembly
With other stages of website creation, content compiling and writing usually overlaps and the role of this step cannot be underestimated. It is very necessary to put in writing the very essence you would like to communicate to the audience of your website and add calls-to-action at this step of development. The creation of catching headlines, writing new text, text editing compiling the existing text, etc. are also involved the content writing.
As we know that it takes a lot of effort and time. The client undertakes to provide website content ready to migrate to the site as a rule. Before or during website coding, when all website content is provided, the results come better. The estimated time of this step or stage is from 5 to 15 weeks.
Step 5. Coding
You can finally start creating the website itself, at the step of coding. Graphic elements should be used to create an actual website that has been designed during the previous stages. According to the website pyramid that was beforehand created in the procedure of a sitemap, the home page is created first, and then all sub-pages are added usually. To make sure that the server can handle the installation and set-up smoothly, CMS and Frameworks should be implemented.
During the mock-up and layout creation, all static web page elements that were designed should be created and tested. Special features and interactivity should be added after that. The most crucial thing in this phase is the deep understanding of every website development technology that you are going to use.
You can also install CMS plugins at this step if there’s a need when you use CMS for site creation. Search Engine Optimization or simply SEO is the other important step. The optimization of website elements (e.g., title, keyword, description) that can help your site achieve higher rankings in the search engines is called SEO. And as we all know, valid code is pretty important for SEO.
The estimated time of this step or stage is from 6 to 15 weeks.
Step 6. Testing, Review, and Launch
The most routine part of a process is probably testing. To make sure that there are no broken one among them, every single link should be tested thoroughly. You should run a spell-checking software to find possible typos. Moreover, you should check every script and every form. To check if your code follows the current web standards, use the code validators. The most necessary thing is valid code if, for example, cross-browser compatibility is crucial for you.
It is the time to upload it to a server after you check and re-check your website. A software called File Transfer Protocol or simply FTP is used for this purpose. You should run yet another after you deployed the file. To check every of your file has been mounted properly or not should be the final test to be sure. The estimated time of this step or stage is from 2 to 4 weeks.
Step 7. Maintenance: Opinion Monitoring and Regular Updating
A website is more of a service than a product is the most important thing to remember. To “deliver” a website to a user, it is not enough. You should also make sure that everybody is satisfied and always be prepared to make changes in another case. Check whether everything works fine or not.
If you add the Feedback system to that website, then it will allow you to check and debug possible problems the end-users face. In this case, the top significant duty is to repair the problem as rapid as you can. You may find one day that your users prefer to use another website if you won’t. As a substitute of putting up with the tiresomeness for the end-user.
Keeping your website up to date is the most crucial thing. Regular updates will prevent you from bugs and decrease security risks if you are using a CMS. Its estimated time is ongoing.
The thing that you should always keep in mind is that the website development project does not start with coding and does not end after the day you have finally launched your website.