Web Development Process ( Guide for Your First Website)

Every day we see a lot of beautiful websites shine on the Internet. Before we see them making a success online, there is a lot of stages that lead to that point, that people are usually unaware of, with hours and hours of hard work to make it look perfect.

The process of web development can be baffling for most of you but it is very important to be aware of. Follow these steps to create a website and this will help you everything you need to know about web development so that you can start developing websites straight away if you have the required language knowledge.

Understanding the Client’s Needs

Deep Research and Analysis: Before developing a website, you need to do deep research and analysis of the business that you’re will be working for. That includes self-research as well as a 30-minute call with the owner during which you discuss purpose, goals, design direction, and target audience of the website. This phase is the crucial phase of every web development process, skipping it can cause a lot of unnecessary problems and project prolongation.

Project Charter: If not given, you should ask for a Project Charter. A project charter should

  • Contain the essence of the project.
  • Provide a shared understanding of the project.
  • Act as a contract between the project sponsor, key stakeholders, and the project team.

Determine the required software and resources: Sometimes business owners have software requirements. They can ask you to use a certain programming language or platform. That is something you should discuss with the owner in the call we mentioned before. Usually, the developer is free to use what he thinks will finish the website in the most efficient way but most of the time owner will provide you with resources. Sometimes you’re going to have to search & find them yourself.

Web Design Process

Planning Site Map: The first step to designing a website is to plan a site map. Site maps are “blueprints” for the structure of the site. They are equivalent to an outline, but for websites. Sometimes they are not made to be deciphered by the human eye, instead, they are made for search engine crawl bots. this may be the most important step in developing a website.

Wireframing the Website: After finalizing the site map, you’re ready to make a wireframe. A wireframe is a “sketch” which can be drawn by hand. It represents the document in which you plan the information hierarchy of the design. In other words, your wireframe represents how your website should look.

Mock-ups based on requirements analysis: Next is the stage where, if not previously agreed with the owner, you need to choose design elements such as Layout, Color Scheme, Typography, Navigation, and Content, then create mockups based on requirements analysis. A mockup is a visual representation of the website that requires no coding. There are lots of free software for
developers to use to create mockups. It’s super easy!
Review and approval cycle: A cycle of review, correction, and approval should take as long as it needs until both sides are satisfied with wireframe/mockup results. This is the right time to make design changes.
(stock photography, fonts, etc.)
Designing individual Pages: You will need to design individual pages using the template you made after the cycle of review and approval. Usually, they all have the same data hierarchy, but depending on the website you’re building, every page can have a different data hierarchy. And in some cases, a different set of content can be published in the same template. Like a blog page. A website can have different blogpost but all of them have similar layouts.
Graphic Design: The final step in designing the website is graphic design. If not provided by the developer, you should make your own graphic content (Logo, Images, Banners, etc.) or hire someone
to make these for you.

These are the key process to design a website.

Developing the Website

Start Coding the Pages or Page Templates: Based on the final mockup/template you made, now is the time to put some basic coding in. The developer can use Simple HTML/CSS/JS or any other frontend framework to create a simple website design. Higher-level coding languages will come in later as this is only the basic design for your websites Public pages. You can insert some interactive elements and special features to your website. If you’re familiar with Javascript, there are some good libraries to make this work such as jQuery.
Selecting a development framework: You also need a backend of your website to manage the website your self. It can be made using a CMS or a custom made backend using language like PHP, JS, Python, etc. In order to build the unique features of the project, you’re going to need to select a development framework. There is a large number of open-source frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Django, Laravel, or NodeJS.
Code templates for each page type: It is a good practice to create code templates for each page. Pages usually have a similar structure but can vary sometimes.

Develop special features: 

Writing content For The Website

Replace the Dummy Content: After developing the website you should fill it with content. If you have the content ready then fine but if you don’t then you should hire a copywriter. This not a job for your designer or developer but a copywriter. If you are getting your website from an agency then they might provide you some content written by their content writer. This is when your website acquires
the end product look.
Test and verify links and functionality: Now you need to check if all functionalities are working properly. Every link and button should be checked as well as the URL of every page.
Check Accessibility: Check your code accessibility. Your website should be accessible to everyone which includes enabling keyboard input, transcripts for audio, alternative text for images, good semantics,etc..
Onpage SEO: Check if your code is good for SEO. Search engines will rank your website higher if your keywords are inside headings, links, etc.

Deployment

Getting a Server to Host Your website: You got your web app or website but now its time to make this real and available for the public to use. Now it’s time for your website to get on the Internet. Organize data in a folder structure and choose a web hosting server to upload the website. Depending on your needs you may need to buy a VPS or Dedicated server to make your website available for end-users.
Testing/Review/Deployment: Before publishing it make sure you’ve tested every feature and spelling one more time and reviewed the results with the developer.

Here is a list of things you need to check

  • Menu Items
  • Buttons
  • Spelling Mistakes
  • Typo In Content
  • Site Load time
  • Site performance on Load

Polishing The Site: If you see any small details that can be improved, now is the perfect time to do so. This is called Polishing.
Transfer Website to live server: After polishing you are ready to transfer your website to a live server. This is when you get in touch with the business owner again to let him know that everything
is done and the website is ready to go online.
Final Cross-Browser Check: You should check if your website is functioning properly on every browser(Chrome, Firefox, InternetExplorer, Brave, etc.).

Post Deployment and Maintenance

Handoff to the client: Make sure the business owner is satisfied with the results and that you’ve met the requirements they set.
Provide Documentation and Source Files: You should also provide documentation and source files to the owner. This should include details on the language and framework you used as well as the site map.
They will need it in case they want to hire another Web Developer, to make life easier for them.
Project close, final documentation: Time for goodbye. Receive your last payment and leave some contact information to the owners in case they need you in the future.

Conclusion

These are the usual steps in the web development process but can differ from client to client. A good working relationship, including an open line communication,
with the client is a must when developing a website to ensure that you’re creating a successful website that will help your client’s business grow!

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