This is the final instalment of our three-part series explaining the website development process. In previous blogs, we explained what you need to do to plan for a new website, as well as how to find, select, and engage a website developer.
In this blog, we’ll look at the build process.
Of course, much of this part of the process will be looked after by your website developer. It is important, however, that you understand key elements of the process, as well as the elements you will need to be involved in.
The Key Stages of a Website Build
- Discovery – this involves a meeting with you to decide on the scope and specification documents. This includes outlining the specific functionality you want the website to have so the developer can ensure it meets your expectations.
- Content strategy and sitemap creation – you will be involved in approving both, although your website developer will create them.
- Wireframes presentation – you will be expected to provide feedback on the wireframes and proposed website design.
- Revised designs – you will need to give your approval before the website developer can move to the next stage.
- Frontend development – this will typically involve creating a bespoke template that will deliver the look, feel, and functionality of your new website.
- Content creation – this happens in tandem with frontend development and involves writing the website’s content as well as creating other assets like images and video.
- CMS setup and third-party integrations – this involves coding the administration elements and backend of the website.
- Upload content – with the CMS in place, it will be possible to upload the content.
- Test – the developer will then test everything on the website before recommending it is ready to launch.
- Launch – this involves moving the website from the development platform to your server, live on the internet.
Key Roles at You Website Developer
Depending on the size of website developer, you may speak to several different people as part of the development process. This includes:
- Project manager – who has overall responsibility for the delivery of the project
- Content manager – this could be the project manager and it usually involves an element of SEO
- Copywriter – the person responsible for writing the content on your website
- Website designer – this person is involved in creating the website’s visual appearance
Other Things You Need to Know
- Sitemaps – sitemaps outline the navigational structure of your website. In other words, the sitemap determines how visitors to your website will find information. The importance of getting this part of the process right cannot be understated.
- WordPress – WordPress is undoubtedly the biggest and most widely used CMS in the world. It also offers significant advantages. If your website developer proposes not using WordPress, make sure you understand and agree with the reasons why.
- Content – content includes images and video as well as text. Text should always be written from the perspective of your website visitors, not from your company’s perspective. You should also consider video if it is within your budget, and images should be relevant and unique.
- SEO – your website developer should build in SEO features to your website from the start.
- Responsive website design – your developer will probably use a responsive website design. This will ensure your website looks right regardless of the size of screen. When you are reviewing the website, make sure you think about how it looks on mobile as well as a computer. This is because the developer might include design features aimed at mobile users.
Finally, you will need to have a post-launch plan for things like maintenance, website backup, and visitor acquisition. This will ensure you maximise return on investment from the website development.