Creating a website may be a little more involved than most people would assume. When creating your websites it’s good to keep in mind the stages of website development to make sure that you’re following the same path that every well-designed website follows. Today we’re going to go over the steps that each website goes through in order to be up and running.
1. The Idea/Concept Phase
Every website and business starts with an idea or concept. This is the foundation that your website will be built off of. Whether you want to sell clothing for dogs or industrial-grade paint mixers, or you want a website specifically for hosting cat videos no matter how determined you are, it’s not going to happen unless you have the idea first.
2. The Information Gathering Phase
After you think of why you want a website, you’re going to have to figure out the “how”. This involves looking at other websites of a similar nature to see what works and what doesn’t and maybe even finding contractors to help with later steps. This step is almost as important as the first step because you’re going to want to make sure that you have good, accurate notes handy as well as a list of reputable contractors that can help make your idea a reality.
3. The Planning Phase
Once you have your notes written down and a list of contractors that can help, it’s time to start making plans on how to move forward. This involves getting a rough idea of how you want your website to look, navigate, and feel as well as figuring out exactly which contractors are best for the job. If you’re still doing a little research during this step that’s perfectly okay, you’re going to want to make sure that you have a good conceptual framework to go off of. Plus at this phase people will usually do extra research into their contractors to make sure that they’re a good fit because this is also where you’ll be starting to hire your contractors.
4. The Design Phase
This is where the real fun starts. This phase begins after you’ve already hired your contractors, you’re going to have to speak with them to make sure that they’re on the same page with each other and with you. Your contractors may have their own ideas to tweak your plans for the design of the website, and you should hear them out. These kinds of contractors are specialists and have built websites before and they only stand to gain by making your website as good as they can because when it’s done it goes in their portfolio. This phase is when you and your contractors will work together to get a wireframe work and prototype of your website, and you’ll sign off on the prototype as long as it’s to your liking. During this step, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to deviate from your original plan, your original plan for website design is kind of a rough sketch of where how your website should look and feel and can always be improved upon.
5. The Content Creation Phase
This is the phase where you’re going to get all of your content together. This means pictures, videos, and any text that you’ll have on your website. The text that you include on your website is especially important, as this is going to be how you explain things to your visitors. Most websites have at least an about us section, contact us section, and other sections that explain your goods or services. Your contractors will be able to help you through this phase as well, including helping you pick out good fonts for a website as well as good color choices for your text. Having readable text is important as it inspires trust in your visitors, which can keep them coming back to your website and can also help convert them from visitors to customers.
6. The Coding Phase
If you’ve hired a contractor to handle web design, this is where they’re going to do a lot of heavy lifting so to speak. They’re going to code everything for your website to make it functional as well as make sure it looks good. All of the content that’s been created, as well as any design choices you have made, will be put into action here. What your contractor is creating here is the beta version of your website, so don’t be surprised if there are a few bugs here or there when you look over it. This isn’t where your final product is created.
7. The Testing, Bug Fix, and Launch Phase
Around this time you might start feeling a little excited, and you should. You’re nearly ready to open your website up for the internet. This is where you and your contractor will look through the website to find any bugs that need fixing and make any last-minute adjustments for design and navigation. Once everything is working smoothly and your contractor has ironed out the wrinkles, you’re ready for your website to launch. If you don’t know how to put your website on the internet, that’s not a problem because your contractor very likely will.
8. The Post-Launch Maintenance Phase
This phase will be the one that you’re in for most of the lifespan of your website. Most websites undergo a major overhaul from time to time to make sure that they’re always looking up to date, but for the most part, your work is done. You’ll need your contractor to check back in every so often to make sure that everything is still working and to perform minor updates as you see fit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is unimportant though, you want to make sure that your website is well maintained at all times. If it’s not it can lead to major website crashes, especially if you get a lot more traffic than the site was originally built to handle.
Making the Website of Your Dreams
While it can take a bit of time to get your website up and running, most people find it well worth it in the long run. Every major company in the world has its own website and eCommerce has been steadily growing since the advent of the internet. Having a solid website to help sell your goods or services, or even as a way to sell ad space is a great investment into your business.