Every website should be aesthetically pleasing, abide by brand guidelines, provide a seamless user experience and meet the goals of the business or brand. Various factors are integral to ensuring complete website success, and by following a web development checklist you can be sure to deliver a high-performing final product.
A web development checklist helps you to stay on track and is a concise way of ensuring all touch points are completed successfully and efficiently. In order to hold yourself, or your team, to account during the development phase follow our web development checklist:
1. Secure the web domain
There’s nothing more frustrating than establishing a business or brand and realising the domains are unavailable for your brand name. Acquiring your domain name as soon as possible can help to mitigate risk and reduce the likelihood of entering frustrating bidding wars and paying a higher price for the domain of your choice.
2. Set up the SSL
SSL certificates are essential to consider in the initial phases of web development, particularly as Google has confirmed that a secure website with an SSL certificate will have an advantage over other websites that are not as secure and encrypted.
3. Arrange a hosting provider
During the development phase, setting up a hosting provider is standard practice and simply refers to a company that houses your data and manages the demands of your traffic. Compare providers, do your research, outline your budget and see which ones align with your technical requirements.
4. Optimise your website for SEO
Ranked by the quality, quantity and relevance of content and keywords, SEO (search engine optimisation) is essential to a website’s growth and performance. Choosing the correct keywords requires a solid understanding of your target audience and including this in your copy makes an easier process for both Google to crawl your site and your visitors to engage with the content you create.
5. Generate an XML sitemap
Generating and maintaining an XML sitemap works hand in hand with an SEO strategy, simply because this acts as your website’s roadmap, leading Google to all your important pages, even those buried within your site. For new sites, a sitemap can speed up the process of Google recognising that your content has entered the digital space and can be served to a user for their relevant search query.
6. Map out the design
Web design refers to the look and feel of the site, as opposed to the functionality that comes under web development. Taking design into consideration focuses on the user experience and the interface elements which may include drop-down tabs, mega menus and data fields to name a few. Once the desired design has been established, a developer can ensure the site’s infrastructure can accommodate its planned design features.
7. External tools and integrations
During web development, consider any external tools you may require to improve your workflow, design, or user experience. Consider the intentions of the website and research relevant tools that enable your site to perform as intended.
8. Prepare for errors
Coding can be complex and even expert coders can be faced with errors and bugs. Preparation is key. When errors appear in code, have a plan in place to tackle them and fix the issue to avoid downtime or inaccuracies on your site. Web development is always ongoing; even if a site is perfectly developed now, the digital landscape is always changing, which is why you should keep on top of its maintenance to ensure performance stays high.
9. Optimise security settings
Protecting your site from potential threats is critical, as without sufficient security your website may become vulnerable to hackers and other malicious users. Poorly coded sites, out-of-date software, weak passwords or an unsecured hosting provider may hinder your security and compromise your site.
10. Analyse performance
Analytics gives you a systematic way of identifying weaknesses within your site, forming one of the final stages in web development. Analysing key metrics is important for understanding how your site is performing. From page speed tests to evaluating the readability, usability and responsiveness of a site, testing ensures you can continue to deliver a high-performing site with quick serving content and an elevated user experience.
Web development can range from developing a simple static page to a complex website application. Whatever the web development task it can be a long and complicated process when either dealing with clients, writing code or programming and testing. There is a lot to keep track of. A web development checklist can help to deliver a higher standard of a website without overlooking the fundamental components that help a site perform to its optimum and stand out in comparison to its competitors.
If you need a helping hand getting your website up and running, why not see how our web development team can help you? We can even promote your new website through our range of digital marketing services. Contact us today to see how else we can help.