There are numerous steps in the website design and development process. From gathering initial information to the creation of your website, and finally to maintenance to keep your website up to date and current. The exact process will vary slightly from project to project, but the basic six steps in the process are generally the same.
Our Tried & Tested Web Design Process
Phase One: Information Gathering
The first step in designing a successful website is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when we design the look and feel of your site, so we first ask a lot of questions to help us understand your business and your needs in a website.
Phase Two: Planning
Using the information gathered from phase one, we put together a plan for your website. Here we develop a site map – a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics (if applicable). This gives us a guide as to what content will be on the site and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. This is also the point where we decide what technologies should be implemented – interactive forms, CMS (content management system) such as Joomla or WordPress etc.
Phase Three: Design
Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, we determine the look and feel of the site. Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration here. A site aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different than one meant for a financial institution. We also incorporate elements such as the company logo or colours to help strengthen the identity of your company on the website.
Once we’ve designed a prototype, you are given access to the demo of the website, which is a secure area of our website. The mock-up allows you to view your project throughout the design and development stages. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the site design.
In this phase, communication is crucial to ensure that the final website will match your specification and requirements. We work together in this way, exchanging ideas until we arrive at the final design for the site.
Phase Four: Development
This is where the website itself is created. We take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the functional website. We also take your content and distribute it throughout the site, in the appropriate areas.
This entire time, you will continue to be able to view your site in the secure area of our website and suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
Phase Five: Testing And Delivery
At this point, we attend to the final details and test your website. We test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, we test for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different Internet browsers), ensuring that the site is optimised to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
Once we receive your final approval, it is time to deliver the site. We upload the files to your server – in most cases, this also involves installing and configuring the platform (e.g. WordPress), along with a core set of essential plugins to help enhance the site. Here we quickly test again to make sure that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional. Once we are happy everything is working, we will enable the website making it visible to the public and search engines.
Phase Six: Management & Maintenance
The development of your website is not necessarily over, though. Depending on the platform your website is built on, it may be necessary to carry out regular maintenance to ensure the platform, template and extensions are kept up to date. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. If this interests you, we will be more than happy to continue working together with you to update the information on your website. We offer a variety of website management packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your site. Further information about our website management packages can be found in the “Website Management” section of this proposal or on our website here.
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