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    5 min read

    The Website Design and Development Process: Step-by-Step

    By Latoya Bryan

    A website is a critical digital space or storefront for your business in an increasingly burgeoning online marketplace. Getting a website up and running may seem easier and more affordable than creating a physical space. However, with billions of sites globally, competing for the attention of potential online customers is not as easy as it might seem. This makes the website design and development process rather crucial.

     

    The design and functionality of your website will define your success in the digital world. Apart from driving sales, your website’s design may also affect your brand image, in-store traffic, and reputation. Here are the key website development process steps for creating a successful website.

     

    web development process

    What Are the 6 Stages of Website Development?

    Creating a website is a multi-layered process that may involve your team as well as third-party professionals. Website development is the process of bringing a website to life, from conceptualization to publishing. Market research, branding, design, web development, coding, content creation, and other vital tasks form a part of this process. What follows are all the steps of website development, from start to finish.

     

    Step 1: Market Research

    One of the most important steps in launching an eCommerce store is to define your niche. You may better define this by doing market research. A famous saying in retail revolves around the customer being right at all times, and it rings particularly true when it comes to the website design and development process.

     

    You may have a good idea of how you like your business website to look. However, this vision might not truly represent what your potential customers or visitors want and need. If this is the case, your website may not bring you as much traffic or sales as you desire, no matter how much you love its design.

     

    Carrying out market research will help you find out what your customers want. Here are a few key areas to address before the web development process gets underway, along with the reasons why they need your attention.

    • Your target demographic. Find out the age, gender, sex, and other notable statistics and preferences of your ideal customer, in addition to the types and look of the websites and apps they engage with most. You may use this information to create a website that can attract and retain your target demographic.
    • Your competitors. Look at competitor websites and outline any weaknesses that you may improve upon. Any of the web development steps its creators might have neglected gives your website an opportunity to shine.
    • Your website goals. Defining your goals is a key step in starting an online store or launching a new website. Is its purpose to drive sales, subscriptions, readership, participation, or something else? Regardless, you should streamline your website to achieve its specific goals.

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    Step 2: Website Conceptualization

    Your business website is essentially the essence of it and what your team does. When conceptualizing your website, you want to make sure you get your brand across clearly. Combining your identity with customer preferences learned from your market research is critical to creating a successful website.

     

    User-friendliness also forms part of the website development and conceptualization process. Most business owners are not web designers and have no idea how to map out a site’s look, feel, and flow. This is why partnering with a professional web design company is the ideal way forward.

     

    The website development process flowchart that a design company follows typically includes the following steps.

    • Set up a sitemap and page wireframes. The design team may map out a sitemap for all the pages on your site. It may also set up complementary website wireframes for each page and its content, including images, buttons, icons, and text.
    • Apply branding. The design team may apply elements of your branding to your initial website wireframe designs. Doing so during the conceptualization process of website development is important as it ensures a clean and uniform design later on.
    • User experience (UX) design. A UX designer applies UX best practices during the initial conceptualization process. Creating custom user-friendly wireframes and layouts ensures an enjoyable experience for your website’s visitors.

     

    Step 3: Visual Design

    After the mapping out of your website’s basic building blocks, it’s time to bring it to life with visuals. You may already have an existing logo and branding, including brand colors and fonts. However, there might be a need for a few additional elements at this point in the web development process.

     

    Examples of additional assets include website icons, buttons, blog images, photos, and page backgrounds. During the visual design process, a graphic designer may create, source, and edit these custom elements for you.

    • Branding & logo design. If you do not have an existing logo or branding, it’s time to call in a branding agency. It may design a sleek logo and pick out matching and impactful brand colors and fonts to use for your business and website.
    • User interface (UI) design. A UI designer builds visual mock-ups of your website based on your website wireframes. These are the initial designs produced at the beginning of the web development process, not the final website. When developing your website, a developer will use these mock-ups to write the supporting website code.
    • Iconography and graphic design. Many websites utilize unique buttons, icons, and images. Custom designs not only keep your website within the brand but also make it exciting for viewers. A design team will create these assets for you, matching the designs to your branding, and then go on to create a seamless appearance.

     

    website development process

    Step 4: Web Development

    Once your website framework and visuals are in place, it’s time to make your website a reality. Technical knowledge of coding and software engineering is necessary at this point in the web development process.

     

    If you have no knowledge of web development or coding, it’s advisable you talk to a web development company. This is because it would have professionals, such as frontend and backend developers, skilled at coding and software engineering. Its process will vary depending on the type of website you want developed.

    • The WordPress website development process. If you plan to launch your website on WordPress, you may use pre-designed templates or hire a team to custom-design a WordPress site. The custom WordPress website development process involves coding to build a unique design.
    • The standard website development process. Standard websites for sharing content and business information are simpler to design. The design process for these types of sites involves coding various pages and forms that make up your website.
    • eCommerce website development steps. If you are launching an eCommerce store, the development process is more complex. This is because your team may need to integrate stock counting software, payment gateways, and listings into your site.

     

    Step 5: Website Content Creation

    The process of website development is not complete without content. In fact, it does not make much sense to launch your website without suitable content. Team bios, photos, videos, information about your business, contact details, location, and other relevant details are necessary. In the case of eCommerce stores, they also require listings and high-quality product images.

     

    During or prior to the process of developing a website, it’s advisable to collate this information. You may do so along with your team. However, you may also need to hire third-party professionals such as a content writing or marketing agency and photographers to handle your visual marketing.

     

    Here are a few examples of the types of content you should display on your business website.

    • Business information. Listing your contact details and address or locations on your website helps visitors find you in the real world. Sharing more information about your business or organization builds trust and rapport. If you sell products or services, including details about these assists customers in making buying decisions easily.
    • Written content. Many feel content in the form of blog posts is optional for websites. However, this type of content is a vital yet often overlooked part of the process of developing a website. When written in accordance with SEO best practices, topical content may improve your website authority, search engine ranking, and visits.
    • Visual content. Photographs, illustrations, and other types of 2D visuals make your website pop. Remember that your website is the canvas on which you get to advertise your products and services, and put your business on display, front-and-center.
    • Interactive content. 2D content is excellent at getting a viewer’s attention. However, recent web development innovations see interactive content growing in popularity. Forms, questionnaires, games, and other interactive elements allow users to engage with your website in new, memorable, and exciting ways.
    • Videos. If you turn to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you’ll find that videos and animations are excellent ways to market your brand. These may include product reviews, walk-throughs, animations, adverts, self-help tutorials, and more. This type of content gives your customers a real-life view of what you do and have to offer.

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    Step 6: Website Maintenance

    At this point in the website development process, your website should be up and running. However, the process of developing a website is never truly complete. This is because a website is an asset that needs regular maintenance, just like a company’s cars, buildings, or equipment.

     

    Maintenance includes routine updating and addition of website information and software, site testing, and repair. Fortunately, a website management company can help support you with all your technical website maintenance needs. Aside from technical support, it will likely take on some of the key responsibilities listed below on an ongoing basis.

    • Routine website maintenance. New updates for the software and plugins installed on your website are available regularly. However, a maintenance technician may need to routinely update these manually, as well as optimize your website and take backups.
    • Website testing. The majority of the code and software behind your website is technically invisible, making regular testing necessary. Trained technicians will test for and fix any website bugs and issues.
    • Website security testing. Security testing is another maintenance step that you should add to your website development process checklist. A security technician should regularly test your website because vulnerabilities may put it and its data at risk to third parties, hackers, and malware.
    • Updating and adding new content. Aside from technical website maintenance, it’s important to keep your website fresh with new content. Enlisting writers, publishers, and other professionals to create, update, and add new content for you is crucial.

     

    Website Development Process Checklist

    Now that you’ve looked at the steps followed during the website development life cycle, take some time to understand key website development goals. Here’s a birds-eye view of what a website development company’s process checklist may look like.

     

    1. Develop a Relevant Website

    No two websites are the same. Each business has its own goals, purpose, and needs. Developing a relevant on-brand website that meets business-specific aims is one of the main goals that custom website design companies have.

     

    website development process steps

    2. Create an Eye-Catching Website Design

    Visuals are crucial to attracting, capturing, and impressing your website’s visitors. An eye-catching, professional, and unique website design is not only memorable but also builds trust and rapport with potential customers.

     

    3. Make Sure the Site Is User-Friendly

    Good looks and relevancy don’t account for much without functionality. From the web development process perspective, it’s important to ensure that all website information is easily accessible. Your website should flow seamlessly and be easy to navigate.

     

    4. Ensure the Website Functions Properly

    Bugs, slow loading speeds, broken links, dysfunctional payment gateways, and other technical issues are a big no. These problems make a website frustrating or nearly impossible to use and may even affect your sales and reputation. During the process of website development, it’s critical to ensure minimal errors and maximize site speed.

     

    Conclusion

    Having looked at the steps involved in the website design and development process, you should have an indication of whether you can build a result-driven website on your own or if you need the help of experts. More often than not, partnering with a custom web development agency is the best way forward, mainly because of the widespread competition. After all, you want to give your audience a good reason to turn to your website and an easy way to do this is by using the services of professionals.

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