Web Site Design and Development Stages
The best designers should work closely with you designing your site, keeping you informed along the way. Accessfull LLC will work with you throughout the whole process to ensure you get the design and functionality that meets your business needs and draws people to your site.
1. Gathering information - During the first stage of the design process, one must consider a great many factors to make the website successful. The more information you can relay about what type of website you'd like, what functionality you must have, what is your expected demographic, and what your expectation are for the website, the better the end result is likely to meet with your expectations.
2. Planning - Designers often consider the planning stage the most important stage of the design process. Decisions made here can impact your site all the way through the process. Limitations of the design can often be traced to this stage. Such things as layout, navigation, design aesthetics, web accessibility considerations, useability, target audience, scripting/prograaming language, among many other aspects of the project all need to be researched and well thought out before any designing of the site is begun. Lack of considerations or mistakes made here will follow the design throughout the process and can limit the project, and greatly impact the final design.
3. Design - During this stage, prototypes or mock-ups will be done to get a sense of how the design may look. The designer will present these protoypes to get a sense of whether or not they meet the design aesthetic of the company or person the page is being developed for. Communication is crucial in this step, as a design can be derailed at this stage if the designer and the client are on different pages as to the design's "look and feel".
4. Development - This is the stage when the web design is actually created. The design mock-up has been agreed upon and all the components of the previous steps come together to make a cohesive site. The website is actually coded during this stage. The website is usually staged on a development server at this point to give the designer and business easy access to communicate design element changes. A development server or "staging server" is used to prevent search bots from indexing site data until final page copy is complete and on the production server.
5. Testing and Delivery - This stage is when coding and scripts are developed to provide functionality to the design elements. Things like email forms, storefront elements, and compatibility with different browsers and viewports will be addressed. Although best addressed thoughout the whole design process, web accessibility and search engine optimation are often finalized in this step. The website is then loaded onto the production server and domain where it will be hosted. The site is fully tested to make sure it's functionality and design work properly for the target audience.
6. Maintenance - While the design may be complete and the website fully operational, the process is not actually complete. To keep the pages and site relevant and pertinent, changes will need to be made to keep the information timely. Patrons to your site will easily recognize a site that is not being properly maintained. Also, security considerations need to be addressed as new vulnerabilites are brought to the forefront. Security patches to the server as well as to scripts and applications to the pages must be performed on a regular basis to ensure the pages are not compromised by hackers or spammers.
The bottom line is your website is the first window most people see into your business, and a good impression is certainly of paramount importance.
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