Website Development Process: 7 Steps to Create a Website
In the modern world, a website is the face of the business, so it is important for any company to be present on the internet with one that can show it in the best way possible. In this article, we have decided to have a closer look at the process of web development and to see what steps are essential for creating a good website.
Today digital technology is growing extremely fast, and with the advent of the internet, the world has become more digitalized than ever before. Now any kind of information is easy to find within a couple of clicks. Many people today spend most of their time on the internet – reading news, watching movies, browsing social media, or making purchases online. This means that a website has become a must-have for almost any business.
A company’s website is strongly associated with its products and services, so it is very important that it should reflect the company’s core values and identity. A quality website forms the client’s experience and helps them understand the products or services of the company better. A clear and well-structured website can also help to increase traffic and attract new customers.
What is Website Development and Why is it Important?
Website development process is the work that is connected with building a website. The website can be anything from a landing page with mostly text on it, to a complex web application or even a social network. Web development includes all the actions that are aimed at the creation, updating, and post-launch maintenance of the website.
As the digital space is constantly growing, almost any business today needs to be present on the internet. A company’s website is the place we encounter it for the first time, that is why it is often associated with its products and can form our impression of the company itself. And if the potential customer’s experience of the website is negative, it can make them assume that the products of the company are not good enough as well.
There are a number of reasons why you should consider creating a website for your business:
A well-made website adds to a reputation of a trusted company
It can help people get more information about your business
Using a website you can keep the customers informed on all the changes within your company
It becomes possible to reach out to a bigger audience
It is important for marketing and promoting your products or services
A website makes it easier to convert potential customers into actual clients
You can place your portfolio and customer reviews there
Building a quality website is quite a challenging task. The web development process includes web design, content development, coding the website, dealing with security configurations, and all the other kinds of tasks.
In general, there are seven main steps in web development:
Research and Gathering Information
Testing and Deployment
Maintenance and Updating
The number of web development steps can sometimes vary depending on the situation, but the overall picture mainly stays the same.
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Before starting the development of a website, it is important to clear out all the details of the project and set goals. This stage is crucial for understanding how the work on the next steps should be done. If the details are not clear from the very beginning, it will be much harder to do any proper planning, and the project can go in the wrong direction. This, in turn, can make the process of website development stretch for longer, and use up more resources than expected.
In order to define the web development strategies that will work best for your project, it is important to take into consideration the main factors.
Business Details and Goals
To achieve good results in developing a website it is crucial to analyze the company’s work and requirements in order to create a plan for future development activities. It is necessary to clarify the main goal of the website – whether it is created for promoting your company’s services, selling products, or just sharing basic information about the organization. It also can be useful to define the most important message that you want to communicate through your website.
The next step is to take a closer look at the target audience, and answer some of the following questions:
Which group of people would you like to reach in the first place?
What are their age, gender, interests, and habits?
What kind of information will they be looking for on your website?
Is there any additional information that can be useful for these people?
Are there any specific preferences?
Answering these questions will help you better understand the target audience’s needs and requirements, and determine the way the website should look.
It can also be a good idea to look at the company’s competitors, and find some ideas for inspiration, or decide what should be different on your website so that it will stand out.
Another important phase of website development is planning. This is the stage when the developers create data for the customer to judge how the website will look when it is ready. Here it is necessary to create a plan based on the information gathered in the previous step.
Creating a Sitemap
Oneof the most important things to do in the planning stage is to create a sitemap. Usually, it determines the structure of the website, the number of pages and how they should be connected, and what type of content needs to be present. This step should not be skipped, as trying to build a website without a clear plan never turns out as good as expected. In this picture you can see an example of a sitemap of a website created by our web development team.
Creating a quality sitemap before starting the web development process will help to make it more user-friendly and easier to understand. However, the sitemap only shows the structure of the website, but it doesn’t include the user interface. That is why it is also important to create a mockup or a wireframe.
Creating a Wireframe
Another stage of building a website worth mentioning is creating a wireframe. A wireframe shows the main elements of the visual interface that you are going to create. It doesn’t include any design elements, colors, logos, etc. It only shows the main elements of the website and their locations in a simplified way.
After you have created a sitemap and a wireframe, it is also important to choose the technology that you are going to use – programming language, frameworks, and CMS. Additionally, it is necessary to define the website development timeline.
All the visual content of the website is usually created during the design stage. This part of the work is often shaped by the company’s style, branding elements, corporate colors, and other elements specified by the client. These elements should be consistent across all the platforms where they are used – social media pages, newsletters, marketing materials, etc.
During this stage, the design team creates one or more prototypes of the website. The wireframes created in the previous step are transformed into elements of design – typography, colors, images, buttons, menus, animations, and much more. It is very important to keep in mind the target audience and its interests, in order to create a positive user experience. The primary function of these layouts is to show the website’s functionality, information structure, and visualize the content to create a complete vision of the final product.
This step usually includes a lot of communication with the client. After the designs are finished, the customer needs to review the layout and give feedback. If they are not satisfied with some of the elements, the team changes the layout and sends it back. This cycle is repeated until the customer is fully satisfied.
4. Content Writing
Once the wireframe and the concept of the website are ready, it is time to start the process of creating content for the website. Work on website content and design is often performed simultaneously so that the resulting picture can be more integral.
Content is one of the most important aspects of the website. At this step, it is necessary to put into writing the main message you want to convey and communicate to the visitors of the website.
Content has two essential purposes:
It increases the engagement of the audience
Quality content can engage the readers and drive them to take target actions. To make sure the content is engaging, it is important to create catching headlines, edit the texts in a way that they are easier to read, and add calls to action.
Content is important for SEO promotion
Content also influences the site’s visibility in search engines. This is why search engine optimization, or SEO, should be taken into account while creating content for a website. To make the website easier to find by the search engines, it is important that the content should be readable, informative, and rich in relevant keywords.
5. Website Development
Another vital part of the website creation process is the building of the website itself. The graphic elements that have been created in the previous website development steps now need to be converted into a real website. Usually, the home page is built first, followed by the rest of the pages, according to the sitemap created before.
After that, all the static elements of the website need to be created and tested. Then, it is important to add extra features and interactive elements. During this web development phase, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of all the website development technologies that you’re going to use.
The website development process includes two elements: front-end and back-end development.
Front-end development deals with building the client-side of the website, that users can interact with. The designs that have been created in the previous website development stages are turned into elements of the website, animations, and interactive effects. The front-end development team integrates all the necessary functions and makes sure that the website is responsive, user-friendly, and works well on all kinds of devices.
Back-end development sets up the interaction between the user-side and server-side of the website. The back-end developers are responsible for the business logic, database management, working with the server, and other tasks, according to the objectives of the website.
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Testing is one of the most important parts of the website development process as well. There should be a series of tests to eliminate the possible bugs. The quality assurance team needs to check all the links, forms, scripts, etc. Also, it is necessary to make sure that the site is functioning correctly and smoothly, to check its usability, compatibility, and performance.
When the testing is finished, the development team may need to fix the problems on the website, and probably add some extra details to optimize the functionality and performance of the website.
After the website has been thoroughly tested and checked, and the quality assurance team gave its approval, it is time to upload the data to the server. When all the files have been uploaded, it is important to make another, final test, in order to make sure that everything works correctly.
7. Post-Launch Maintenance and Updating
When the website is deployed, the work on it doesn’t stop. As the business grows, it can be necessary to update the information, add more pages or new features to the website. It can be useful to collect user feedback and update the website based on this information.
Maintenance of the website usually includes:
Editing the existing content
Adding new content
Fixing bugs and errors
Regular maintenance is important for keeping in touch with the users and keeping your website up-to-date. This can also prevent bugs and decrease security risks.
Website development is not limited to the process of building the website itself. The process of website creation includes many essential steps, and each of them is equally important to ensure good results. Following these steps will help you plan the website creation process properly, understand how things should be done, stay aware of the progress, and avoid a lot of problems that can occur due to poor management. Only with a thorough preparation is it possible to be sure that everything goes as planned, and the result is going to be as good as expected.
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