A business website has a huge impact on how a customer perceives a company. A great business website, requires detailed planning from the very beginning. In this blog post, we explain you the phases of the website development process. We also, provide you with some tips to create a powerful web presence.
PHASES OF WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
Define the plan, the overall objective, as well as the steps to achieve that objective. Also, determine the proper budget and resources from the very beginning. Therefore, a competitive analysis using PEST and SWOT diagrams can help a lot.
User experience shows how a user perceives the website. With this in mind, define the following:
- Types of users: Types of users who will use the website.
- Intentions of the user: What tasks users want to accomplish with the website.
- User personas: Develop fictive examples of real users to satisfy the needs of that potential market segment.
- Use cases: Develop fictive scenarios of how a user will use the system to accomplish a specific goal. Describing all the actions the user takes to interact with the system and how the system responds.
Read more about user experience here: 3 step guide to a remarkable user experience.
Design the architecture
At this point the team needs to generate the set of important decisions about the site map, page semantics and technology in use. The Site Map provides the logical set of the website. It includes all the primary pages, or templates, the website contains. Given that, its goal is to create a meaningful navigation system.
In the implementation phase, developers use specific technology languages to create the website design, page templates, set the interface design and develop the entire application.
Before the system goes live, you should test it, in order to address potential issues. You can use unit testing, Integration testing, systems testing and load testing, in a chronological order.
After the design and development of the website are done, it’s time to launch the website. Make sure you have all the servers, connectivity and security determined, so that the website runs properly on all user devices.
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Gather information about the website goal. What the website is trying to achieve? Also, know the target audience. Who is going to use it? That way, you can create valuable content for the target audience.
After you have all the information you need, create a detailed plan. By the time, know exactly how to achieve the goal, target audience and content strategies you identified with the first step. Create a site map, then determine the navigation and the technology you’ll use for the website.
In the website design process, organize your website content, including: logos, slogans, website colors and other identity elements. Make sure they are as attractive to the human eye as they can be.
In the development process, you create the website. The website functionality depends on many factors combines: site map, navigation, technology, and/or technical support choices. For this reason, take all these elements into consideration. Also, keep in mind that different types of websites have different types of focus. E-commerce websites make sure the customer gets to the product he needs fast and easy, while banking wesites are extremely reliable and require intensive IT support.
Testing a website is a must if you want to provide a functional IT solution. You can test it internally, inside the development team, or externally, on potential users. The latter is especially valuable, since the user feedback improves the overall user experience with the product.
Once a website is alive, the work ain’t finished. The Internet is an agile place indeed and websites need maintenance on the long run. Adapt your website’s content and look constantly and make sure you have all the IT support resources to ensure reliability.
BUILDING A POWERFUL WEB PRESENCE
The web presence presents the company to potential clients. Additionally, it should reinforce the overall public image of the organization. Therefore, the company website should attract new visitors, encourage them to stay and explore it, and provide them with consistency and harmonic user experience.
Visitors come to a website foe many reasons. Websites are the first instance they go to, to find out more about a company’s products or services. Some want to find out more about the competition, others to establish partnership, or get contact information. Given that, a website should satisfy all these different user needs.
Flexible user interface
Interface refers to how users interact with the website. The user interface is directly correlated to the organization of details and items on the website. The goals is for the user to find information easily. Click here for some tips on user interface.
Now that the interface is done, develop the web-design. Organize the company colors, brand symbols and slogans to create a friendly environment for the user. Especially on the homepage, since it’s the first location the users land on. The website has to give a clear understanding of what the company is about. Click here to read more about web-design.
As we mentioned earlier, no website solution can do well without testing. You can test the product on focus groups – a selected group of potential users. You can also do automated testing and use a software which automates the tests. Then, compare the actual performances with the desired ones.
Last, use metrics to measure results and follow your progress. Some standard metrics are: Cost per thousand (CPM), which shows the value of the website per thousand visitors; Visits: the number of visitor that landed on the homepage; Click-through-rate: the number of clicks visitors made.
Nowadays, there are much web-based analytics to ensure better and fast measurement. Try with: Google Analytics, Piwik etc.
On the whole, developing a website isn’t just about coding, as you can notice. Keep in mind all the aspects included. Thus, you will ensure a powerful web presence for your company, and a great user experience for your potential clients.