Website Development is a Thorough Process
Just like having a physical store for your business is beneficial, so is having a website. Think of your business’s website as its digital storefront. It gives customers a place for them to visit your business, learn more about you, and make a purchase. As we currently live in a digital age, the need for a website is greater than ever before. After all, four out of five consumers use search engines and the internet to find local information. So, if your business does not have a website, consumers may never find you. The internet has become a crucial part of growing your business and increasing your sales.
55% of consumers state that they seek out reviews and recommendations online before making a purchase. Additionally, 47% of them would rather visit the company website, compared to only 26% who said they would visit the physical store. As you can see, by not having a website, you put your business at a disadvantage. For those that don’t have a website or are looking to update their current site, website development may soon be in your future.
Website development may seem like a foreign concept for many small business owners. However, with each passing year, businesses need to create a digital presence online to ensure the success of their business. That begins with creating a website. Tech Critic has years of experience creating state-of-the-art custom websites. With these sites, businesses have been able to increase their reach and improve their sales. Today, we are going to be explaining what to expect during the website development process. If you and your business need a new company website, contact Tech Critic today and let’s get started.
The Development Process
Whenever you decide to begin construction on a new website or to update your existing one, you’re going to need a team with years of experience that has the tools and skills necessary to craft an efficient website. Once you have found the right group, it’s time to get started on your website development. Your site is a business asset. Regardless of if you are creating a brand-new site or giving your existing site an upgrade, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of the process.
Most web builders follow the same process with some variations. However, there are vital steps that should be taken by all.
1.) Getting to Know You
Before your team starts designing or creating your site, they must first get to know who you are and what your business is. This step is integral to the entire process. Your web building team will learn all the essential facts about who you are and how you want to be represented, creating the foundation for what your site will be. During this step, you will need to explain:
- Who your company is
- What products or services your business deals in
- The audience you want to target
- How your brand differs from your competition
- What your goals and objectives are for your site
- What websites and designs you like and feel would reflect your brand well
By providing this information, you are giving your web builder a framework to create your website. They will have a better understanding of who you are, what your branding is, and what message you want to send.
2.) Site Planning
The next step in website development is the site planning stage. Essentially, this means creating the architecture of your site. This is where you plan how you want your site to function, such as planning a site map that includes main, secondary, and tertiary navigation. Your design team may create wireframes to give you a visual representation of the user interface. This gives you a first look at how your site will look for the user. While there will not be any design elements in this step, it gives you and your design team an idea of how you want your site to operate so you can design it accordingly.
Additionally, you may also discuss what technology you intend to use on your site. Whether it’s the technology used to create it or technology that you will implement on your website, you must decide early on what you intend on using.
3.) Design Process
Once your website development team has learned enough about who your business is and how you want your site to function, they can begin designing it. In the first meeting, you should have provided enough information about your business so that your design team has an idea of what your brand is. Additionally, you should have also provided them with example websites to give the builders a good starting off point.
During this step, your design team will create all the visual content, such as images, photos, videos, infographics, and more. They will typically make comps of your home page first to present to you for your approval. These are often created as PDFs first before they are coded onto a website. Once the homepage comp is approved, they will move onto secondary and tertiary pages.
You may need to go through a few comp iterations before landing on the one you prefer the most. You should also ensure your team is providing comps to show you what your site will look like on other devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. Once you have approved these designs, your team can begin moving the design to HTML/CSS and creating your site.
4.) Content Creation
While your team is designing your website, you may also want to begin content creation. You can even begin creating site content after the site planning stage. Regardless, your site content should be ready around the time your design team has begun creating your site. You should create new copy and gather new images and graphics that already exist that you can use on your website. Take new videos and pictures to give your audience a fresh look at your company. Once you’ve created this content, give it to your design team, so they can plug it into your new site.
Now, it’s time for your site to come to life. Once you have created the framework, approved the designs, and finished the content, website development can take off. Your design team begins building your site, and your website finally becomes a reality. All the designs, navigation, technology, and more that you approved can finally be put into practice. You get to see how your site will function. During this stage, you will:
- Create and test static design elements
- Test navigation
- Implement third-party integrations
- Optimize your site for SEO
- Develop interactivity
- Build site framework
- Perform and install custom programming
- And much more
Your site will likely be created in a private development environment and will eventually be moved to the appropriate server when ready. After it has been created, you should thoroughly test the site, doing quality control or QC. This means going through every single page, testing each link, every form, every script, and piece of code. You want to ensure your site functions at its best abilities before you launch.
6.) Site Launch
Once you’ve established your framework, approved the design, created your content, thoroughly QC’d your website, it’s time to launch. However, this step is not as easy as just flipping a switch. You have to ensure the site is uploaded to the correct server and retest it once more to make sure everything works right. If this is an updated site, you have to also set up redirects from your old site to your new website.
Remember, your site needs constant maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Set up a schedule of adding new content and regularly QCing it to make sure nothing is wrong. Bugs can happen, so you must always remain vigilant.
If you are ready to start website development for your business’s new site, contact Tech Critic today and let us help you create a brand-new, engaging website today.