A well-designed and highly performing website is crucial to the success of your business. Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing efforts and is often the first interaction people have with your company. Most people will form an impression of your website in roughly 0.05 seconds. In this fraction of a second, they decide whether they will stay on your website to conduct their research and learn about your company or move onto a different site to find what they are looking for. With such a small window to capture the attention of your audience, it’s critical that you nail the website development process.
Website development refers to all of the steps that go into the creation of a new website. This includes a wide range of actions, updates and operations that allow you to not only build the website, but effectively manage it once it goes live. This is a complicated process that typically involves a team of specialists to ensure every phase is performed correctly.
When all of the stages of the website development process are executed properly, you’ll experience a variety of benefits:
To experience these benefits, you’ll need to devote a significant amount of time and resources to the website development process. The following stages are crucial to building an effective website that will help your business grow and thrive:
This is one of the most critical, yet often overlooked steps of the website development process. In order to ensure your new website addresses the specific needs of your business, it’s crucial to engage in an information gathering process that explores the purposes and goals of your new website. The insights gained from this information gathering will set the proper course for the rest of the project, ensure your resources are being used efficiently, and help avoid unexpected issues later in the process.
The first part of the information gathering process should focus on identifying the purpose and goals for your new website. Some potential goals may include:
While it’s good to establish a few goals, we recommend that you focus on the 3-4 items most critical to driving your business forward. If you have too many goals, it will be more challenging to create a cohesive plan that effectively addresses them all.
Once you’ve established your goals, you’ll need to compile information about your target audience. This should include:
The best way to gather this information is to build detailed personas for each group in your target audience. These personas will ensure that the design elements, content and calls to action used on your website resonate with the specific needs of your audience.
The information gathered during the first phase of the process will be used to create a detailed plan for the website development project. The plan should include the following items:
During the design phase, all visual elements are added to your wireframe to bring your website to life. These elements include:
Your design should be created with your target audience in mind and should help convey your brand messaging. The design phase is critical to your ability to achieve a unique website that helps your business stand out from your competitors.
At the end of the design process, you’ll be able to view a static mockup of your new website design. This will give your team a clear understanding of what the final website will look like and provide you with an opportunity to request any revisions necessary to convey your brand messaging more effectively.
During the next stage of the website development process, you’ll begin writing the content for every page on your site. Well written, informative and engaging content is critical to the success of your website. Your content is one of the primary ways to convey your brand messaging, establish your business as an industry thought leader and build trust with your audience. In addition, your content plays an integral role in your ability to rank well on the search engines.
Your website should contain a mix of the following types of content:
The writing and development stages should actually be considered steps 4A and 4B since they are typically completed at the same time. During the development stage, your website is actually built.
There are two components to the website development phase:
Once development has been completed and all content has been populated on the web pages, your website must go through a series of tests before it can go live. These tests are performed to ensure everything is working properly prior to launch.
The testing process will include:
After all testing is complete and you have confirmed everything is working properly, it’s time to launch the website. This process involves uploading the website to a server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software. After all files have been added to the server, you should run one final test to ensure everything has been uploaded properly.
During the launch process, your web design and development company should provide you with CMS training. This is a basic walkthrough of your website’s admin dashboard so that your team understands how to make edits and updates once the site goes live. While your website design and development agency can make these updates for you, it’s beneficial for your team to understand how to make small updates which don’t require the assistance of a dedicated specialist.
Your website isn’t a static entity. It must be updated and maintained periodically to ensure it continues to meet the needs of your business as it evolves. These maintenance and update tasks can be as simple as adding new content and visual assets to the website. However, it can also include more complex tasks such as:
The website development process is highly complex. To ensure every stage is performed correctly, it’s important to work with an experienced web design agency who has in-house specialists responsible for each of the tasks discussed above. Webolutions can deliver a high quality website that will set your business up for success.
Since its inception in 1994, Webolutions has been regarded as one of the nation’s leading website design and development agencies. Our exclusive Websites Right Methodology™ has been developed from the knowledge and lessons learned from building thousands of websites over the past 27 years. This unique, fully integrated, strategic approach to website development creates a superior client experience and increased website marketing performance that will elevate the success of your business.
All of the stages of the development process discussed above are performed with meticulous detail, keeping the needs of your business and your target audience front and center at all times. Our team will collaborate with you every step of the way to ensure we are all aligned and all of your needs are being addressed. Our team of experienced developers can implement any advanced website functionality you may need, and our designers will create a custom web design that brings your brand story to life.
You’ll also benefit from:
Contact us today to schedule a free website development consultation. Webolutions serves clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.
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