Every website goes through a creation process known as the development cycle. The development cycle consists of 6 key steps which we will outline and explain below. Following them in order will help to keep the development of your website simple.
1. Information gathering
This is the first stage of website development. The main goal of this phase is to understand what kind of site you’re trying to create. This will involve gathering information that will help you determine how the site should function and look. Methods of doing this include:
• Researching your industry, competitors and current trends in web design to understand what works.
• Establishing brand identity through a logo, colour scheme and tone of voice.
• Defining content requirements for each page/section of your website.
Once you have an idea of your goals, it’s time to enter the formal planning phase. Planning involves creating a more structured and specific outline for your site.
One way to plan your website is by creating a visual map or diagram called a sitemap. A sitemap can be used to show how pages relate and connect to your site. It may also help you to identify any gaps in content that need filling to create a cohesive experience for users.
A wireframe is another document that can help guide planning efforts by visually depicting what elements will appear on each page of your site. This helps you to determine what text needs writing, where images need inserting and other details. This means that everyone involved in developing the site has an idea about what content they need before construction can begin.
Design is the third stage of website development. It’s where designers create the look and feel of your website. Designers work hand-in-hand with developers to ensure that everything works together seamlessly. It includes things like web page layout, graphics and fonts used in your content.
The design elements of your site are useful for far more than aesthetic purposes. When composed properly, designs should guide your users through the site in an intuitive way. Try to zoom out and think from the perspective of a user seeing your site for the first time.
The fourth stage of website development is development. This is the process of creating a website and its content. Some elements of this phase, such as content writing and image gathering, can begin during earlier phases to speed up development.
This phase also includes coding, where the actual website itself is created. Static page elements you created in the design phase can then be integrated and interactive elements or special features added. You may choose to use a content management system (CMS) to make this stage of development easier.
5. Testing and delivery
Once you’ve completed the site, it’s time to make sure that the functionality meets your requirements. Testing is a routine and methodical process where every element of your website is checked. This includes testing page links, spell checking and using code validators to ensure your code meets current web standards.
Once you have rigorously tested your website, it’s finally time to upload it to a server and launch. You can do this using file transfer protocol (FTP) software. Make sure to give files one final test after they’re deployed to make sure they have transferred properly.
Maintenance is essential for the life of your website. It’s a continuous process that gives you the option to add new features and performance improvements. You may also have to complete regular bug fixes to keep everything running smoothly.
You can also listen to user feedback through surveys and emails or chats with visitors on the site itself. When users submit their problems, the key is to address them quickly so that they don’t find an alternative site they prefer. Using a CMS will help make adjustments quicker and easier as well as reduce security risks.