So we’ve come to the final part of this series about the web development process from start to finish. We looked into how a website is planned and designed through the use of wireframing and illustrative tools such as Photoshop; the development stage where the design is turned into a working website; and the testing phase to ensure the website functions as intended.
This article will look into the final components and wrap-up of the project and also what comes next after the website is complete.
Completion of the Project
After development is complete, the project is then moved on to the launch phase. This stage usually involves final polishing of the design elements, deep testing of interactivity and features and review of user experience. An important early step is to move the website from it’s development environment to the final permanent designated web server. Conducting testing in the production environment is essential and highly important because different servers have different configurations and features which may result in unexpected behaviour.
If your project is not on a strict deadline and you’re not behind schedule, it’s a good idea to polish the design elements of your website as this can make a big difference. It is here that you identify which parts of your website could be improved with just minor adjustments. This could include adding some subtle animation flair to interactive elements (like button clicks or scrolls) or adding bits of colour to certain elements. It is always good to get someone who has had no involvement with the project to look over it too.
Transferring to Live Server
This is an important step as you are moving your website from a hidden development environment to the live production server. Your last chance to review the website happens now. Be sure to let the client know about this stage and also be sensitive to timing if the website already has a lot of traffic.
Finally, after the website is live, maintenance is important to keep the site running smoothly hopefully without any problems. If you are using a content management system (CMS) to manage your website it is important to keep the software and plugins up to date to prevent security flaws that may compromise your website. Sometimes clients may request small website updates after the website is live. Maintenance may also involve keeping the website content (such as blogs or news) regularly updated to ensure users know that the site is still active. Marketing and advertising of the website also fall under this category.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation is important to keep your website readily available and searchable on search engines. When done properly it can help to improve the ranking of your website and bring more visitors to your site. SEO is something that the client can do themselves, but will usually employ a third party SEO company. SEO is a long term strategy that involves making changes/additions and changes to the site on a regular basis.
We have discussed the process of how a website is built from start to finish; from the initial planning and scoping stage to the final release and maintenance of a website.
As you can see, there is a lot of work and planning that goes into building a website. Even with the simplest of projects, there will always be mistakes made along the way and guaranteed there will be problems that arise. It is how you handle these situations that will determine the quality and result of the website. The development team must have open communication with the client throughout the whole process to ensure everything proceeds as planned.
After a project is completed, keep open communication with the client. It is good to maintain a relationship with the client. Checking in a month down the road with the client to make sure everything is going smoothly is always appreciated.
So there you have it, the four major stages of web design and development.
If you have a project that you’re planning or an existing website that needs some work, give the team at Fireworks a call on 1300 660 160.