Like all good things, a good website is not made as soon as you think about it. Sure, you can use a web builder to come up with a rudimentary design. But without a detailed plan, you will end up redesigning the site multiple times. That’s why a website designing and development always follows a strategic process to create sites.
The process starts with a client and an agency discussing the goals, budget, etc. before signing the contract. Once the contract is signed, designers develop rough models before working on the final version. The final version is tested and launched with maintenance going on.
The exact steps may differ based on the client’s requirements or the agency’s approach. But most experienced agencies and freelancers follow these phases:
This is the first stage of any project where clients and web designers make the first contact. The client defines the project to the agency. They need to explain who they are, who their target audience is and what they wish to achieve. For example, a PR agency may target corporates and wish to attract clients.
The client discusses the technical aspects of the website, such as what features they expect. They also let the designer know about what resources they can provide, like content, fonts, etc. The project timeline and budget are also agreed upon with a contract. This is the most important phase on which the entire process depends.
The web design team begins drafting a sitemap based on what’s discussed during the briefing stage. A sitemap is a rough 2D representation of the website. It consists of blocks that usually represent the webpages and lines that represent the path to navigate them. It can be hand-drawn, created on an app or generated by crawling an existing website.
The team expands upon this sitemap by creating a wireframe. The wireframe is another 2D representation of the website with more details. Web designers use it to create a layout that defines the placement of content, buttons, etc. It can be drawn by hand or created with design software.
This is where the fun part of web designing begins as the team starts building a template. They start by choosing a colour scheme, usually based on the client’s brand guidelines. Fonts and logos are also taken from the client. The team gathers and creates visual elements like pictures, videos, buttons, animations, etc.
Once a template is finalized, the website is created using web development tools. A server-side framework or a content management system is used for this purpose. All webpages and their features are coded. Necessary plugins and themes are installed based on the template. Content and other elements are added.
Testing is Must Before Launch
The website is tested for compatibility on different devices, browsers and operating systems. Other elements like speed, bugs, etc. are also tested. All links are tested to ensure that there are no broken links.
Once the website passes all the quality tests, it’s launched on the webserver and made visible to everyone online. After the launch, the web designer gives the client access to the CMS, web analytics, etc.
Maintenance is Crucial for Website
The web design process doesn’t end at the launch. Final touch-ups like correcting spelling mistakes, fixing broken links, are done. The agency may offer further support and maintenance based on the contract.
Many conduct A/B testing to continue improving the website’s design. A/B testing involves showing versions of the same site with slight variations. Web designers update the site based on which version works best and develop another variation.
This is more or less how web designers create websites. The exact process may vary from agency to agency. For example, some companies might begin SEO planning during the designing process for good SERP rankings after launch. As web designers and clients, you will need to decide what works best for you.
Bottom line summary of the article
The exact process for creating a website may differ based on which website designing company you work with. But the phases are somewhat similar and can help you get the best results. Hope you have enjoyed the article.