Is your business in need of a new website? Perhaps you’re not sure what features your website needs to make your business stand out. In either case, if you’re considering a web designer and developer for your next project, it’s helpful to understand the process of web design and development to ensure your website is a roaring success.

A web design and development process is a detailed outline of how your website will be built from start to finish. It includes the research required to make the best website for the right audience, the scope and budget of the entire project, custom page templates and assets, and the coding required to create a functional and efficient website. It even includes launch and post-launch details to ensure your website runs efficiently and attracts new visitors.

By understanding each step of the design and development process, you’ll be better equipped to discuss the creation of your future website.

Why have a Web Design and Development Process?

Think of the process like a recipe. Every ingredient is clearly labeled and portioned beforehand- in this case, the pages and assets that will be utilized. The process details how much time it’ll take to make your website, and how many people it will potentially reach. It’s a step-by-step approach to building, customizing and testing a new website.

Ultimately, a good web design and development process establishes clear expectations of the project for both parties involved. This helps avoid confusion and miscommunication- two common symptoms that can cost time and money.

Where to Start with Web Design and Development?

What happens during the web design and development process? Here are the most important steps involved. If you’re not sure what the difference is between the two, read our article here.

Planning: The client and web designer interact frequently during the planning stage. This is where you articulate your goals and intended audience while outlining any specific features you want the website to have. The designer drafts a project outline and a site map with a breakdown of each page. Any third-party software or resources required are also included in the planning phase.

Once a contract is agreed upon, you then hand over the keys to your website hosting services: server access, log-in credentials and database information. The designer and developer need this information to begin building and testing your new website.

Web Design: The web designer uses the information collected in the previous stage and constructs a framework (commonly called a wireframe) of the website’s visual layout. This often includes a mock-up of the website that clarifies special features you may have requested and how each page should look visually. During the web design phase, expect a great deal of back-and-forth discussion between yourself and the designer to make sure you’re satisfied with the final design of the site.

The final mock-up is then delivered to the web developer to slice and build each visual aspect. By the end of this phase, most of the visual elements will be applied to the website.

Web Development: With the website fleshed out and coded, the web developer programs and tests the site to ensure each page looks and functions properly. Special features such as authentication and contact forms are generally added around this time. The website is then filled with content- photos, videos, text and articles.

Quality Checks: The website is given an in-depth review, and any changes or alterations are made in the process. The designer and developer will scrutinize every page until they can confirm the website is in proper working order.

Launch: The launch stage includes polishing the website to improve the overall user experience. The website is moved from a test server to a permanent web server and then reviewed again to make sure each page looks and functions properly.

Post-Launch: The project officially concludes. Make sure you receive any important documentation related to the site, such as the framework and languages that were used. This information will come in handy if you need to make adjustments later on down the road.

Your New Website Awaits

The web design and development process is an important aspect in creating and constructing a successful website. Without it, you may end up spending money on a broken or unfinished website.

Curious about how a web design and development process can help your business? We’d love to hear from you.

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Published: September 1, 2017