Process of website development in 7 steps
Currently, there are approximately 1.17 billion websites worldwide, with 3 new websites being created every second. By the time you finish reading this article, 2,000 new pages will appear on the Internet.
Such huge competition requires a very thoughtful approach to the process of website development. It's not enough to have a great idea anymore, but it also needs to be correctly implemented, which is a big challenge.
Website development life cycle has 7 stages as standard, but depending on the project, this number may vary. However, the overall picture of the process remains unchanged. You can treat our article as a website development checklist, which presents all the necessary steps from the beginning to the end of the website development process. Each stage is essential; no matter what type of project you are in, you cannot skip any of them. Because each step follows the previous one, you must complete all the steps correctly if you want to ensure your product will be successful.
Step 1: Defining the goals of project
Contrary to appearances, it is the most critical stage in the entire web development process. If the project goals are unknown, the remaining steps will not be completed appropriately, and you will lose time and money. Failure to define project goals, or wording them too general, may lead to misunderstandings, schedule extensions, and budget overruns. And the business success of such a project will still be uncertain.
At this stage, it is worth participating in the Discovery Workshop, where, under the supervision of experienced CTOs, you will have the opportunity to analyze your idea and set project goals consistent with the business requirements and users' expectations. Importantly, anyone can participate in such workshops - a lack of technical knowledge or experience in the website development process will not disqualify you! The result of the several-day workshop will be detailed documentation, thanks to which your vision will be understandable to development teams, designers, and business partners. Thanks to this, you avoid misunderstandings during the project implementation, and you will have a chance for a successful final product!
Suppose you cannot take part in the Discovery Workshop. In that case, when implementing this step, you must consider the website's purpose and to whom it will be directed. The news portal is different from entertainment sites, and the site for teens will look different than the site for professionals.
Different websites provide visitors with different functionality, meaning different solutions and technologies must be used to reach the target audience depending on their purpose. In addition, the above factors will affect the content available on the website, which must also be adapted to the website's functions and recipients.
Only this approach will ensure your successful web development.
Some people think that planning a website development project is only about choosing a technology stack and creating a site map. Meanwhile, the planning process should consider a few more key factors.
First of all, you should focus on
Sitemap and User Journeys
A sitemap will determine your site navigation, key landing pages, and their relationship to each other, creating a seamless user journey. The sitemap for your website should outline the connections between the main sections of your site. It will help you assess and understand how useful the final product will be. The sitemap can show the "relationship" between different pages on your website, so you can determine how easy it will be for users to find the information or service they need. A sitemap's primary purpose is to make a website more navigable and user-friendly.
The sitemap helps you grasp the site's internal architecture but doesn't show how users will interface with it.
It is the key to creating effective conversion paths on your website. This stage includes drafting content for each landing page, defining the information flow and content needs, and making a project plan.
Assess your current integrations to determine which ones should be migrated to the new website. It includes reassessing which ones should be added or removed to support your desired functionality and goals.
Content management system (CMS)
Define CMS functions that will make the administration of your website more simple, fast, and intuitive. Adjusting the website content in a dynamically changing market is essential.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Try to determine the keywords that potential users of your products or services are typing in your search engines. These keywords will influence your website's online positioning and future SEO campaigns. Of course, website content can always be changed, but it is good to be aware of the impact of content on website positioning at the stage of the process of website development.
At this stage, you should define the technologies in which your website will be built. Don't forget that the technologies should match the project's requirements. If the lack of technological knowledge prevents you from making an informed choice of technology, please get in touch with us. We are a company that has been creating web applications for over 12 years, and our portfolio includes the creation of many web pages. You can find out more about the choice of technology in our article.
Key performance indicators (KPI)
At this stage, you should consider how you want to evaluate your website's success. It is crucial for you and every web developer who creates a website. All project participants must know its goals and what indicators will measure the website's success. There is no set of universal indicators that can always be used. It all depends on the specifics of the project and its goals. If you want to learn more about KPIs for Software Development, read our article.
Step 3: Design development process
We know from experience that the web design process is a stage that project owners like. They can give a general understanding and idea of the future product. At this stage, the website takes its real shape. Visual elements (graphic design, photos, website layout, etc.) are created, and the individual page layouts include colors, logos, and images. In this phase, all the information gathered in the first phase is crucial, i.e., the data on the target audience. Each web designer working on this project will make every effort to ensure that the new website is effective and enchants users.
Choosing the right colors is also essential. Research has shown that almost 85% of consumers mention color as the main reason for buying a specific product.
It is the essence of communication as it relates to the website's user interface. It is the process of adding a call to action and other information related to a business, product, or service to a website. Writing content requires creative headlines, creating new texts, editing old ones, and so on. Of course, this process takes time, patience, and commitment.
Due to the importance of this task, it is good practice to prepare the entire website content just before or during implementation. It is a good practice when the website's full content is ready before the coding stage. Thanks to this, the web designers will program the appropriate amount of space for content when creating a website.
At this point, you may finally begin building the website. The final designs for the visual components should be utilized to construct the real website. A home page is generally established first, followed by additional subpages as needed based on the site hierarchy that was previously defined in the form of a sitemap. It's essential to use the appropriate technologies on your server to ensure that it can handle installation and setup without incident.
Having a full understanding of each web development technology is crucial at this stage in developing your website. Every part of the website, from the mock-up to the layout, must be evaluated before you can move on. In addition, you'll need to add unique features as well as interactive elements.
At this stage, the CMS plug-in is also installed, and work on optimizing the website elements begins. Thanks to this, the website will achieve a higher position in search engines. It's good to know that correct code is also essential for SEO.
Step 6: Testing and Deployment
Before implementing the website on the server, there should be detailed tests to detect even the smallest irregularities. Testers must test all scripts, ensuring the site loads and displays perfectly on all devices and platforms.
Everything must run smoothly and smoothly. In addition, comprehensively conducted tests can identify areas that can be further refined and improved later.
Of course, you must not forget to test the code itself because, as we wrote earlier, the correct code is related to the positioning of the page. Testers often use a code validator to check that the code complies with the current network requirements (which change from time to time).
Once content with your page, use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software to upload it onto your server. Once all the files are installed, test everything one last time to be sure that nothing is damaged.
Deployment does not end the process of website development. Maintaining the website, current updates, and adding new features are necessary to keep users. Pages that are not updated regularly lose their users' interest very quickly. In addition, you need to collect feedback from users on an ongoing basis and react to it quickly.
The essence of website maintenance is its constant support and improvement. A website is more like a service than a product, so ongoing monitoring and improvement are crucial. If you forget about this stage, you can be sure your users will soon find another, more engaging website that responds quickly to changing market trends.
The web development process consists of many essential steps that must be followed to create a successful website. Each next step follows from the previous one, so if you don't take this process seriously from the beginning, you have no chance of success.
Each project must be targeted at the right target audience, so you need to do everything but know as much as possible about your future users (e.g., age, gender, interests, expectations, etc.).
A common mistake is "forgetting" about the website on the day of its implementation, which may fail even the best project. Proper website maintenance is a continuous process that makes the website work smoothly and quickly react to changing market conditions and users' expectations. When thinking about creating a website, many people mainly think about the issue of time and money. This approach is understandable, but you have to be careful not to distort the overall picture of the process. The overriding goal is always to create a unique product, which does not mean that such a product has to be the most expensive. A great idea is not enough to be successful; the entire process of building a website also counts, which impacts the final result. We hope that the above project steps will help you have control over the whole process so that nothing will surprise you.