Any creative process during its implementation goes through several stages and has to be planned carefully. Website development also includes a number of mandatory stages, the quality of which directly affects the success of the entire project. Let’s consider each of them in detail.
Initial stage (strategic idea formation)
A very important point at the start of website development is the customer’s exact understanding of the purpose that the website will serve. Based on the tasks set, the type of site that best meets the client’s needs is determined. It can be an educational or entertainment portal, an online store or company business card, a news feed or a personal blog.
Analysis of the target audience and competitors
The next step is determination of the website’s target audience. Precise understanding of the „portrait“ of a potential client will allow you to clearly formulate the proposal and predict the reaction of visitors. Having outlined the framework of the target audience, we will receive the main criteria, under which the design, content, functions and structure of the site will be formed.
Analysis of marketing indicators, such as strengths and weaknesses of competitors, niches and types of activities, the impact of seasonality on the company’s activities, will continue the work on the site. Also anchors that can attract the attention of the visitor and keep him on the site are determined.
Development of technical documentation and detailed characteristics of the site
It is highly recommended to carry out semantic design even before the formation of the technical task, since later the semantic core will affect a number of the most important characteristics of the site, including its structure and functionality.
The drafting of the technical task must be carried out in close contact with the customer.
This document contains detailed characteristics of the resource, including:
- general design requirements (colors, corporate identity, page composition);
- site structure with page descriptions;
- description of the site’s functionality of the site, its modules, accomplished goals and objectives;
- technical and system requirements.
All specialists involved in the development of the site will rely on the technical task. Therefore, its careful drafting and direct participation of the customer in this process are the key to future success. „Polishing“ of the technical task continues until it is signed by the customer. From this moment, the direct work on the site’s development begins.
Design as the most important stage in website creation
The importance of design for a successful website can hardly be overestimated. It is the design that „catches“ the visitor, attracts him on an emotional level, encourages him to stay on the page and continue working with the site.
In the course of his work the designer relies on the technical task and implements the requirements contained therein. Graphic elements are developed in accordance with the corporate style of the customer. If there is no corporate style, the corporate symbols will first be developed and approved, and then on its basis the design will be performed.
In his work the designer will try to use modern trends in web design, prepare several design options of the main pages and transfer the layouts for approval to the customer. If necessary, layouts will be modified according to the customer’s wishes.
Interface and software development
At this stage the front-end developer performs the page layout and implements the user interface. The site comes alive, clickable page elements get going and dynamics appears. For the correct display of the site in various Internet browsers such a function as cross-browser compatibility is implemented. The content management system, which determines the order of the menu and hyperlinks, affects the creation of pages, categories and subcategories of the site, begins to work. The final structure of the site is being built.
At the same time, the back-end developer forms the software and hardware part of the service, builds the internal and computational logic of the site, additional software and information systems. All the main functions that determine the site’s productivity are launched.
The content manager makes the resource content and internal optimization of the pages. The site contains texts, photos, videos, soundtracks – any information that the customer considers as necessary to offer a potential visitor.
This stage is performed by a tester who checks the functionality of the resource according to a number of specific criteria and identifies errors and inconsistencies that appeared during the previous stages of website creation. All detected errors are eliminated by related specialists. This process continues until the site meets the acceptance criteria.
Site delivery to the customer and following support of the project
After finishing the work on the project, the final site version is transferred to the customer. Logins and passwords have been set. The choice of domain and hosting has been made.
Having accepted the project, the site owner can use a number of additional services:
- updating content, updating information blocks;
- training the customer’s personnel to work with the site;
- site support;
- SEO optimization;
- preparation of texts, writing articles, etc.
An extremely important point is the control of all stages of website creation by the customer. Approving the results on each stage avoids misunderstandings related to different ideas about the customer’s desires and developer’s capabilities, speeds up the processes and guarantees an excellent final result.