Six Phases of Web Site Development Process
- Discovery: Statement of need, RFP
- Definition: Response or proposal, contract
- Design: Marketing plan, briefs, design specs
- Development: Web site production
- Delivery: Site and legal documents, maintenance and quality assurance plans
- Post-Delivery: Maintenance checklists, usage metrics
Phase One: Information Gathering
The first step in designing a successful web site is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when the look and feel of your site is designed, so a lot of questions are asked to help understand your business and needs in a web site.
Certain things to consider are:
- Purpose: What is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a product?
- Goals: 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.
- Target Audience: 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 interests and this will help us determine the best design style for your site.
- Content: 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?
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Phase Two: Planning
Using the information gathered from phase one, a plan is constructed for your web site.
Here we develop a site map which is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics (if applicable).
This gives us a guide as to what content will be on the site, and will determine the navigational system. This is also the point where we decide on what technologies should be implemented: 1) interactive forms, 2)CMS (content management system) such as Drupal
Phase Three: Design
Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, we determine the look and feel of the site. The 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. Incorporate elements such as the company logo to help strengthen the identity of your company on the web site.
Once a prototype has been designed , you are given access to the Client Studio. The Client Studio 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. Ideas are exchanged the final design for the site is completed.
Phase Four: Development
This is where the web site itself is created. We take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the functional web site. We also take your content and distribute it throughout the site in the appropriate areas.
You can suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
Phase Five: Testing and Delivery
At this point, we attend to the final details and test your web site. We test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, we 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.
Once the final approval is obtained, it is time to deliver the site. Here we 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 over. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. The site has to be refactored using new technologies and frameworks.