Building Your New Website
There are several steps in the website design and development process to complete a fully-functional website. From gathering initial information, to the creation and optimization of your website, all the way to maintenance to keep your website up-to-date. Below you’ll read what step(s) I take to assure a high-quality end product for you, the site owner.
Be Committed To Your Website Presents, and ContentA high-quality website requires a lot of commitment and effort with keeping your site fresh with up-to-date content. Your visitors expect to see this commitment and effort you put fourth by having accurate information on your site at all times. A website can be almost compared to a pet – think about whether you really want one before you get one.
Planning And StrategistOnce you decided that you really want and need a website and your totally committed to it, it’s then time to design a plan of action which consist of the following:
- What is our goal(s) for your website?
- Who is our target audience?
- What will your content consist of?
- Which data and metrics analytics will you use to determine our success?
Content ArchitectureAfter our planning phase has been completed, we won’t immediately start designing. First, we need to create, test, verify, and reconsider the structure and architecture of your site. We’ll do some research on several similar/competitors top sites to see what’s working best for them. Our goal will is to meet the same level of professionalism as these relevant sites, and then “One up them”! Hey, if you want to be the best, we have to beat the best.
Design and AestheticsDrawing from the information gathered up to this point, it’s time to determine the look and feel of your site.
Your target audience is one of the biggest factors taken into consideration with our design. A site aimed at teen’s, for example, will look much different than one meant for a Construction Company. As part of our design phase, it is important to incorporate many elements such as your company logo, and colors to help increase the identity of your company on your site.
We will create one or more prototype designs for examination. This is typically a .png or .jpg image of what the final design will appear like. Usually I will send my clients an email with a link to a mock-up of their website by giving them access to a secure area of our own website meant for customers to view our work in progress.
Either way, we will allow you to view your project throughout the entire design and development stages. The most important reason for this is that it gives our clients the opportunity to express their likes and dislikes on the design before we get to far into it.
In this phase, communication between both you and I is crucial to ensure that the final website will match what we discussed and agreed upon. It is important that we work closely together, exchanging ideas, until we complete the final design for your website.
Now the development may begin…
Development, Coding, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Developmental stage is the point where the website itself is pieced together by “slicing” and “coding”. I will take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype(s) and use them to create a functional site.
Typically this is done by first developing the home page, followed by the interior pages. These interior pages serve as a template for the content pages of your website as it contains the main navigational structure. Once the interior pages have been created, I will take your content and distribute it throughout the site within the appropriate areas.
We will also optimize your website for search engine bots that will frequent your website several times a day, or as requested. For businesses, this is a crucial element of designing a website because a well “Search Engine Optimized” website can mean $$$ to someone who relies on organic search results. We’ll discuss this plan well in-depth beforehand.
This entire time I will make your web site available to you for viewing, so that you can examine and suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
On the technical side, a successful website requires an understanding of front-end web development. This involves writing valid XHTML / CSS codes that complies to current web standards, maximizing functionality, as well as accessibility for as large an audience as possible.
Testing and Quality AssuranceI will now attend to the final details and testing of your new website. I will test things such as the complete functionality of forms, scripts, compatibility issues such as viewing between different web browsers, ensuring that your new website is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
A good web developer is one who is well versed in current standards for website design and development. The basic technologies currently used are XHTML and CSS. As part of my testing, I will check to be certain that all of our code written for your website is validated. Valid code means that your site meets the current web development standards, which helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as I mentioned above.
Once you give me the final approval, it is time to deliver the site. An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program is used to upload your new website files to your server. I use Microsoft Expressions Web and Dreamweaver as my web authoring software which you can also purchase to help manage your new website yourself. I also offer domain name registration and web hosting services too (Godaddy). Once these accounts have been setup and your web site uploaded to the your new server, the site will be put through one last testing run. This is just precautionary to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional.
This marks the official launch of your new website, as it is now viewable to the public. Ohh, I almost forgot, time to pay-up.