Websites help you offer a strong digital presence and build a reliable identity in the target market. There are hundreds or thousands of companies providing the same products/services like yours. How will your target prospect decide that your organization is better than your competitors? The answer is a well-designed website. A dynamically designed website is the perfect solution to grow your market share by attracting potential customers. It is a 24×7 salesperson that interacts with your clients, customers, or prospective buyers. Users can understand your products/services, experience, contact details and more.
Website design and development is crucial but it may not be your core strength. To deliver a high-quality website, you need web design and web development experience. Or you can hire an agency that provides web design services.
A custom web development company like Nimblechapps has a consistent workflow that provides efficiency in website development at a cost-effective rate. As a professional development company, we follow a dedicated website development process and we will share it with you. Our website development process is an extensive look into how we break a project into intuitive phases.
The exact structure of our process has evolved over the years, which has brought us to the format in the infographic below. You do not need to necessarily follow the same process to achieve success. But, following a detailed process will provide you with better results in the long term. Let’s check our web design and development process in detail:
1. Discovery Phase
The most important part of any web design process is to figure out client requirements. All other steps are based on this particular step. If you falter at this step, chances are you won’t succeed in getting the software right. The aim of the website, the goals, the target audience – it is important to discuss these with the client to identify the requirements are crucial. In the initial parts of the requirement discussion, try to organize as many meetings or calls as possible to get a clear picture of the requirements. Also, bear in mind, the more detailed this stage will be, the more precise the cost and time estimation will be.
2. Simplified Requirement Document
Once your team gathers the requirements at a primary level, it needs to be documented. A good business analyst aims to identify the business requirements and then translate them into an SRD or BRD (Simplified or Business Requirement Document) that would be a starting point for the development process.
SRD should always be precise, unambiguous and easy to understand. It is the bible that developers will go back to when they face any development issues. Hence, it must contain details and breakdowns where necessary. Try to include as many possible deliverables and constraints as possible.
This step helps provide a smooth website development process without exceeding cost and time constraints. The entire website development process must stick to this document and any new changes will need extra effort, in terms of time and money.
3. Website Development Planning
Once you know what needs to be developed and have detailed documentation of the same, the next step is project planning. Before the coding starts, it is critical to identify the tasks and manage the allocation of resources. This step consists of:
- Defining website architecture
- Choosing the technical stack
- Milestone bifurcation
- Identifying resources and cost estimation
The primary step of planning must begin with wireframing and understanding the website architecture. It is crucial not to begin designing or developing a website without a wireframe and sitemap.
A Sitemap is a hierarchical list of all the website pages and it assists the development team to work. The designers and developers get a clear understanding of the structure and the total distribution of pages in the website. Without a sitemap, your website will be clearly unorganized and messy.
A wireframe is an ideal way to visualize website design at the structural level and is important to identify any usability issues. It also assists in visualizing the user journey and choosing suitable UI elements. Basically, it is the foundation of your website and if you have a weak foundation, your website will collapse sooner or later.
Project planning is based on everything needed for successful project completion. Project planning helps in the proper utilization of the resources and ensure that the time allocated for each phase is utilized properly.
4. Design Phase
Good design doesn’t mean how it looks, but how user friendly it is. Your website design is more important for conversions than you think. Once the wireframes and website architecture are sorted, the design team will start working on the visual elements.
In this phase, the design team starts working on the visual identity of the brand. It is possible to visualize how your website will look. The website layout, the screens, buttons, headers and footers, navigation, photos, videos, and other elements are included in this phase.
As mentioned above, the design team needs to keep the target audience in mind and design the website accordingly. The website layout has to be discussed with the client and customized according to their preferences.
5. Development Phase
Once we have designed the UI, we need to start working on the development and convert your static webpage into a functional website. Basically, there are two parts to software development:
- Front-end Development – It is also known as “client-side” development. It is something that the users see and interact with on the web browser. The primary factor here is user interaction. Essentially, the front-end developers do not design the website but are responsible for bringing the design to life. They use all the static elements and convert them into a dynamic website.
- Back-end Development – This part of the website is not seen by the users. The backend communicates with the front-end and shares information so that users can work with the website features. The backend development team ensures that all the business logic and data storage is implemented. This step includes Database creation, API development and integration and Security checks.
6. Testing and Deployment Phase
A product should be thoroughly tested before deploying so that the production is not threatened by bugs. Hence, having a proper, streamlined testing process is important. A website must be thoroughly tested before making it live.
Website development companies use various types of testing methods like User acceptance, Beta testing, Functional and Performance testing, White box or Black box testing. The idea is to get rid of bugs that might affect product quality.
Once you receive a green signal from the testing team, the code is sent to production. Ensure a re-test on production too. Always maintain a staging server backup so if there is any issue after deployment, the backup can be used to restore production.
At Nimblechapps, we carry out intensive testing after every milestone. If the bugs are identified early, it is easier to fix them rather than fixing these bugs when the whole website is live. It will help you reduce web development costs significantly.
The web development process doesn’t complete with deployment. Maintenance has an integral role to play in the complete web development process. The aim of maintenance is to modify and updating software apps to correct bugs, enhance capabilities and include features to enhance system performance.
Any changes or modifications will be considered as a change request and will not come under free maintenance. However, bug fixes and patches will be included in this phase. Nimblechapps provides 60 days of free bug support.
Dhruvil is a marketer for Nimblechapps, an app development solutions company joining December 2014, based out of Sydney, Australia. He has worked briefly as a Branding and Digital Marketing Manager before moving to Australia. At Nimblechapps, he worked on Social Media Marketing, Branding, Email Marketing and Blogging. Dhruvil studies Business at University of Western Sydney, and also handles Operations for the company in Australia.