Deciding to get a new website or to have one redesigned is a very exciting time for everyone – the prospect of new colours! New fonts! New layouts with new features!
It’s very easy to get ahead of oneself when you’re super excited about a new site and raring to go.
You’re doing what? When?
The best way to not be disappointed in the length of a website development project is to understand all the parts and steps that go into it so you can get a better idea of where you are in the process at any given time.
Since we’re not all web designers (that’s our job so you don’t have to!) we forget that not everyone understands when we refer to the various stages involved in a project.
In this article we’ll go through the 5 main steps of any website development project and the process behind them.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Stage 1 – Discovery
The purpose behind the discovery stage is to ensure we get all the information needed to make the right decision for your project and company.
We’ll ask you questions regarding your current marketing, your current business processes, what’s working and what you feel can be improved.
The biggest area we’ll focus on is your current customers and your ideal customers (not always the same people). By understanding your target market, we’re able to create a more effective site which speaks to them.
When we’re done this phase of the project we’ll have clear, measurable and actionable goals we can use to build and design your website. We’ll really understand your target market and how your company will benefit them and their lives.
End Results – A clear roadmap of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.
Stage 2 – The Content
Before we can start to develop the website and create each page we need to be able to determine exactly what sort of content will be housed on your site.
What is content? Content is the information contained on your site – everything from text to pictures to documents and schedules.
The first part of creating the content for a site is to lay out a site map – this determines what pages your website will have and what order they are likely to be viewed in. Once we determine this portion we can gather or create text, images and supporting information as needed for each page on your website.
When we have content ready to go for our developers – the fourth stage is accomplished faster and easier, making us that much closer to the completed project.
End Results – A sitemap with written content, images and supporting documents to provide to our developers for the completed site.
Stage 3 – Design
This is where the magic happens – in the design stage we’ll use the information we gathered and use it to create the look and feel for your project – we give it a face. From colours to fonts and overall layouts, this stage covers the visual portions of the site.
Our designers are the best in the business. Not only are they extremely talented in terms of their craft, but they’re incredibly good at taking the roadmap we create in stage 1 and identifying the best way to accomplish the goals laid out in it.
Once complete we present the design of the site to you for approval and adjust as needed to suit your purposes – until you’re as happy with it as we are.
End Results – A detailed mockup of your website’s pages with a clearly defined style.
Stage 4 – Development
This is where the real action gets started – our developers take the roadmap, the site design and the content and start coding the site you need.
Using the appropriate technologies, the developers will use high quality coding practices to make sure your site is current and up to date. From the back end to the front end interactions, we think of every point of contact between the website and your customers.
Once done they’ll upload your site to a testing server so your organization can go through and test or get approvals.
End Results – A working prototype of your website you can test and go through thoroughly.
Stage 5 – Quality Assurance and Going Live
Before we let your new website out into the public for everyone to see, we’ll need to make sure it has all the kinks worked out of it.
Using both your eyes and our own, we go through the site with a fine tooth comb and make sure all features work as expected, all content is as it should be, the site looks great across all devices and many more items from our large check list.
Once we’re satisfied that the site is beautiful, functions correctly, meets all the goals we set out initially and is loved by everyone in your company – we go live!
We’ll take your website and move it from our testing server to its new home, where you can start telling people about it and seeing some results towards the goals we laid out.
End Results – Your fantastic new website!
And that’s how we do things over at 12Strong. Using our extensive experience we’ve been able to hone our process into one which works great for both our team and our clients.
We’ve been told many times our process makes the experience very enjoyable for our clients and we’re happy to extend you a look into how we do things.
Want to work with us?
We’d love to talk with you about your project and how we can help you achieve your goals.