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 my job so you don’t have to!) I forget that not everyone understands when I refer to the various stages involved in a project.
In this article I’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 I get all the information needed to make the right decision for your project and company.
I’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 I’ll focus on is your current customers and your ideal customers (not always the same people). By understanding your target market, I’m able to create a more effective site which speaks to them.
When I’m done this phase of the project I’ll have clear, measurable and actionable goals I can use to build and design your website. I’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 I can start to develop the website and create each page I 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 I determine this portion I can gather or create text, images and supporting information as needed for each page on your website.
When I have content ready to go for development – 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 for the completed site.
Stage 3 – Design
This is where the magic happens – in the design stage I’ll use the information I gathered and use it to create the look and feel for your project – I give it a face. From colours to fonts and overall layouts, this stage covers the visual portions of the site.
Not only am I extremely talented in terms of my craft, but I’m incredibly good at taking the roadmap we created in stage 1 and identifying the best way to accomplish the goals laid out in it.
Once complete I 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 I am.
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 – I take the roadmap, the site design and the content and start coding the site you need.
Using the appropriate technologies, I’ll 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, I think of every point of contact between the website and your customers.
Once done I’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 I let your new website out into the public for everyone to see, I’ll need to make sure it has all the kinks worked out of it.
Using both your eyes and my own, I 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!
I’ll take your website and move it from my 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 my extensive experience I’ve been able to hone my process into one which works great for both my team and my clients.
I’ve been told many times our process makes the experience very enjoyable for my clients and I’m happy to extend you a look into how I do things.
Want to work with me?
I’d love to talk with you about your project and how I can help you achieve your goals.