Six phases of the Web Site Design and Development Process
There are numerous steps in the web site design and development process. From gathering initial information, to the creation of your web site, and finally to maintenance to keep your web site up to date and current.
PHASE ONE: Consultation/Information Gathering
During our initial meeting in person, we will discuss your current situation and see what needs you are looking to be met.
The first step in designing a successful web site is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when I design the look and feel of your site, so I first ask a lot of questions to help me understand your business and your needs in a web site.
Certain things to consider are:
What is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service or business, sell a product..?
What do you hope to accomplish by building this web site? Two of the more common goals are either to make money or share information.
Is there a specific group of people that will help you reach your goals? It is helpful to picture the "ideal" person you want to visit your web site. Consider their age, sex or interests – this will help me determine the best design style for your site.
What kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site? Are they looking for specific information, a particular product or service…?
PHASE TWO: Planning
Using the information gathered from phase one, I put together a plan for your web site.
Here I develop a site map – a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics (if applicable). This gives me 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, ecommerce, database requirements, or CMS (content management system) such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, 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.I also incorporate elements such as the company logo or colors to help strengthen the identity of your company on the web site.
Once I've designed a prototype, you are given access to view on a test server, which is a secure area of our web site. The test server 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 web site will match your needs and taste. We work together in this way, exchanging ideas, until we arrive at the final design for the site. Then development can begin.
PHASE FOUR: Development
This is where the web site itself is created. I take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the functional web site. I 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 on the test server, and suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
PHASE FIVE: Testing and delivery
At this point, I attend to the final details and test your web site. I test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, I test for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), ensuring that the site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions. I also ensure site is showing up properly in all types of devices, desktops, ipads, mobile phones. Also ensure site comply with all W3C web standards.
Once we receive your final approval, it is time to deliver the site. We upload the files to your server. Here I quickly test again to make sure that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional. This marks the official launch of your site, as it is now viewable to the public.
PHASE SIX: Maintenance
The development of your web site is not necessarily over, though. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. If this interests you, I will be more than happy to continue working together with you to update the information on your web site. I offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your site.
Once project is complete, I deliver a complete copy of your site(zip file) so you can keep as your backup, and I also give you 3 months free of any changes, or updates on your new site.
I have over 17 years of professional experience in Web Design, along with a degree in Computer Information Systems.
Listed below are some of the services I offer, in no particular order:
Complimentary consultation.It's my pleasure to meet with every possible client on a one to one basis, where we can discuss their project needs.
Create a "new one–of-a-kind" website, with images, logos, etc.Discuss the nature of the site, also if company logo is needed or if they already have one. Also discuss any art work or images that might be needed on site.
Webdesign training/tutoringDecide if the website will be maintain by company staff, or if they would like some hand-ons instructions on how to maintain.
Not listed above, but very important service I offer, is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is needed to see that your business or website ranks high within the current search engines. Also not listed above, but as important is that all the websites I create comply with current W3C Standards.
I offer a complimentary consultation where we will discuss the desired outcomes of your project. During the complimentary consultation, costs and other needs will be discussed and a contract drawn up, if we decide to work together. I always try to work within a client's budget.