Creating a new website for a client is a very hands on experience for both parties. You work hard to build a design and a web of content that meets their brand and vision. Throughout this process you clients feels very connected to the project and its timeline but then it goes into development.
The process of development can seem lengthy and confusing to clients, sometimes it can be beneficial to explain the process to relieve some pressure. We’ve broken down the steps that go into custom web design to ease pressure you may be feeling from clients while their website goes through the design and development process.
In the first step in the process of development is to plan for the website. This includes answering the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the website? What should this website accomplish?
- What is the target audience for the website? What kind of content should you be providing the target audience on the website?
- What are the company’s competitors? What are their websites like?
- What can be improved on the current website?
There are several smaller steps within the design and development process steps in order to create the perfect design of a website. This begins with brainstorming ideas for the website based on what the research indicates that the client is looking for. They will create a prototype, or multiple prototypes, of what the website will look like.
During this phase, communication between client and developer is crucial to ensuring the final website is what the client wants, and answers all of the questions asked in the research steps ofthe process.
After brainstorming and creating prototypes for clients, designers will create workflows for the website. They will create a list for each section of the site, with brief amounts of information regarding the content that will be on the pages. This will once again need client approval.
Wireframes, which are similar to a blueprint of what the website will look like, focus on the placement of different elements of the website design. They are used by designers to describe content that will be on each page (such as social buttons or sign up buttons).
Once a wireframe is created and evaluated for UI/UX, designers turn that wireframe into a mockup design. This design helps the development team get all of the features done right. If there are custom features within this design, the developer will let the marketing team know, this may tack on hours to the overall project timeline.
Once the mockup is approved by the client the work moves to a developers desk. The development steps are the actual creation of the website. The prototype and wireframes are taken and used to make the actual functional website. The web designer will also take the content clients want on their website and distribute it onto the right pages.
The timeline of development depends on if the website is built on a template or if a custom template needs to be made. Timelines expand when custom features are needed because the developer will need to build them from scratch. Timelines also expand dependent on the size of the website, the pages included and the page design manipulations needed.
Testing & Delivery
In this step of the process of development the website is tested for the functionality of the website for all pages, and for compatibility issues by testing the website in multiple browsers to ensure that the website works for all of the clients desired target audience.
Throughout this testing stage, communication is still key between the project manager and the developer. Once the final approval from the client has been sent, the developer will take the website live and publish all approved content.
From an agency standpoint, hiring a web developer can be a stressful process, especially because we rely so much on communication. We can help build a bridge for our clients understanding by knowing what goes into development adn what may push a website redesign project longer. Communication between the client and the marketer or project manager is crucial to successfully creating a website.