Website development can be an exciting and enjoyable process. An opportunity to give your creative muscles a stretch and create something that will be both interesting and productive. It’s also not something to go into lightly.
It’s easier than ever for the layperson to make a website that looks pro-grade—often in a matter of minutes. But to actually develop a website—to make sure that it has the features and content required to bring people in and keep them there takes work. In this article, we highlight the web development process. Read on to learn more about the website development process!
Trust the (Website Development) Process
So, why is web development important? Though it’s easy to rush something out if you want a good finished product you need to trust the web development process. It will take time and work but when you follow the right steps you will be rewarded with a great finished product.
Branding is Everything
Blue is a nice color. So is purple, green, brown. But if you smear all together you get…bleh. So it is with your branding color pallet. You should know going into the web development process what the cosmetic vibe of your brand identity will be.
Like the walls of your home, you don’t want your website’s color pallet to clash. Establishing a logo and color scheme is a big task, but also an important first task in the website design process steps. And don't forget, you'll want your visual branding to reflect your overall mission and brand community.
You Must Believe in the Design Team
It may sound like something a kindergarten soccer coach would say (believe in yourself!) but it’s also true. The web development process involves taking something from your head and making it exist on the internet.
Of course, belief without substance is meaningless. Back that belief up with careful planning. Make mockups. Create lists of details that you want. The more work you do on the front end the smoother the entire process will go.
Where Is Your Website?
This isn’t a philosophical question. Your website needs a domain name and a host. Otherwise, at least as far as the internet is concerned, it doesn’t exist.
The Website of Your Dreams
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork for your web development process you get to enjoy the fun parts: using your imagination. Make a list of things you want your website to be able to do.
It’s always a good idea to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. When they hop onto your site, what features would they want to see? How will they get to your website in the first place? Through social media, Google search results, word of mouth, or something else?
Working back from that makes it much easier to choose features. You will be able to add new things after your site goes live but the better your planning, the better the launch will be.
Steps of Website Design Process
The web development process does not need to be overwhelming. Whether you hire a pro or do it yourself, don’t get stressed. While some of the steps will ask a lot of you, they are all achievable, and when followed faithfully, they produce good results.
During the design stage of the web development process, you get to make fun decisions on things like the color scheme, special features (e-commerce, chat features, etc.) graphics, videos, and the overall visual experience your website will provide.
With websites, there’s really no such thing as a “final draft”. Even once it goes live you will probably go in periodically and change things up. Be prepared to do this a lot during the web development process.
The more you build your website, the clearer your vision will become. Unfortunately, that often means you will need to revisit earlier work to make sure it compliments the current tone of your website.
The actual development stage of the web development process can be done by you or send it off to a professional. Either way, there will probably be more revisions for you to work on during this stage, so be ready for that.
The testing stage of the web development process is designed to see how your site performs from your customer’s end. Basically, during this step, you are checking to make sure that everything works the way it is supposed to. Once you get everything verified, you’re just about done
You did it! You completed the web development process. Now it’s time to bring the site live. Get the domain up and running. Secure your hosting, and that’s it! You are now ready to launch!
Things to Consider Before Designing a Website
From here on out it’s a matter of continuing the cycle described above to nurture your website’s growth and maturation.
Should I Hire Someone to Build My Website?
Should you hire a professional? It depends on a few things. The biggest consideration will probably be financial. If you can afford to bring in a pro, particularly a team with experience creating things similar to your website, go for it!
Building Your Own Website
If you aren’t able to hire a pro that’s ok. Time to buckle down and commit to the web development process. Research the steps exhaustively, and proceed with careful attention to detail. The more prepared you are, the smoother things will ultimately go.
Websites are never really finished. Even after your site goes live, it’s a good idea to do regular audits. Monthly, quarterly, or on the schedule that makes sense to you, take an inventory to make sure your site is still meeting your needs.
Editing Your Website
Editing a live website can involve minor changes or big overhauls. Either way, don’t be afraid of the process. Change is good. If old features or design concepts no longer suit your vision, get rid of them!
Importance of a Website
The website is how you present yourself to the world. In some ways, it’s the public face of your business. Thousands of people (hopefully) will filter through it, and often the impression they have of your site will be applied more generally to their thoughts on you as well. Get it right!
Master the Stages of the Website Development Process - Or Hire an Expert to Guide You
Master the stages of web development or hire someone to do it for you. This process shouldn’t be intimidating or overwhelming. It should be fun! If you don’t think you are up for the task, that’s ok. You can always reach out to a pro to get the work done quickly and correctly.
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