Creating a website is a multi-step process. Before you start it, you should know its details. We have described for you the individual steps that you need to follow to build a new website.
Parts of the website development process
Before creating a website, you should carefully plan it. For this purpose, the website contractor will analyze your requirements. If the website is more complex, it may be necessary to conduct design workshops.
Thanks to the design workshops, the contractor can answer the basic questions about the future project in a more complete way. Their advantages are:
- Getting to know the client’s company
The contractor must find out what the specifics of the client’s business are. He will get answers to the questions about what distinguishes the company’s products or what characterizes its industry. In this way, he will find out what the website is supposed to sell and what advantages of the ordering party’s offer should be emphasized.
- Competitive Research
Studying the solutions of competing companies gives the contractor the benchmark. He can get an idea of what the industry standards are. It is also an opportunity to see the suitable solutions of the competition and their weaknesses. Thanks to this, you can often gain a competitive advantage, or at least not be left behind.
- Target analysis
The contractor should know to whom the website is addressed. Personas, i.e. exemplary users, are created and discussed. Each of them is defined by demographic data or desires and needs. This will make it easier to get a good UX.
- Refinement of the idea and choice of technology
During the workshop, the contractor will not only learn about the client’s idea for the website but also can propose his own solutions based on his experience. He will also offer you the technologies he considers optimal for implementing the project.
- Determining the schedule and budget
Only by knowing the client’s requirements and selecting the technology, the contractor can determine how much the project will cost and when it will be completed. At this stage, you can also choose the model of settlement with the contractor.
Fixed Price, most often used for website development, means that you will pay a specific price for the entire product. Time & Material is a settlement for working time and costs incurred.
- Information architecture and mock-ups
The contractor needs to know what content should be on the website. For this purpose, he creates the information architecture, which defines the structure of all content. This involves creating its categories and hierarchy. On this basis, the site map with navigation can be drawn. It’s the simplest scheme of the website, allowing for further planning.
The next step is building UX mock-ups. UX design is about providing the user with a positive experience when interacting with the product. Its priority is to let the user quickly and easily achieve his goal on the website. The course of this process is defined by the user journey map.
UX specialists prepare lo-fi mockups, which means with low detail. They present a simplified shape of a website with content blocks and navigation. To create such mockups, designers use such programs as Balsamiq Wireframes, Mockplus or Axure RP.
Next, User Interface (UI) mockups are created. They are more detailed and present similarly how the page will ultimately look like. Target colors or elements of interaction appear there.
Such a model is shown to the client who will be able to test it. It is also subjected to internal tests. Hi-fi mockups are created with software like Sketch, Figma or InVision.
The knowledge gained from the design workshops and the website mock-up are enough to start creating website content. This means texts in the first place. They should be written using the language of benefits, which means focusing on the customer’s needs. It is more important rather than “what the use of the product gives the consumer” than “what the product is like”.
Content creation is also a complement to UX design activities. Good UX writing is allowing the to quickly and conveniently lead the user to the website’s goal. The content also includes photos or infographics. Thanks to them, the website can better convey the strengths and values of the company. The website becomes attractive and users are more likely to use it.
The copywriter must ensure that the texts are understandable. He should use short sentences and paragraphs. It is also important that the texts are consistent with the brand voice.
3. Graphic design
The quality of the website’s graphic design affects its UX. The design should be legible, without unnecessary elements that would distract the user. Minimalism is an ever-popular design trend. Websites of this type achieve high UX because the user can focus on the most important elements.
There are many trends in design, the use of which allows make the website more attractive and give it a unique character. It's for example popular to use massive fonts on the home page or 3D elements.
The impression of three-dimensionality can also be obtained thanks to glassmorphism, which is based on the website’s elements as if suspended in space. It is also worth using unique illustrations in the design. This is a great way to introduce a brand hero that will be associated with the brand and make it more friendly.
During the development of the website, its back-end and front-end layers are created. With more complex websites, separate specialists or teams deal with this. There are also full-stack developers who program both layers.
During the development of a website, its back-end and front-end are created. The back end is the internal layer of a website, which means everything that the user cannot see. It concerns operations that take place on the server side, website functionality, databases, and API (an interface that allows interaction with other websites and services).
The back-end decides all the output the user will see. It deals with data processing in interactive elements, such as calculators, or collects data in surveys and forms.
Back-end development technologies are usually languages such as PHP, Java, Python or C#. Programmers use frameworks (sets of tools that facilitate writing code) and libraries (collections of code snippets). All this shortens the time of creating a website.
The front-end is the layer with which the user has direct contact, i.e. what is displayed on the screen. It renders the application and works closely with the back-end that provides it with data.
The course of development depends on the adopted methodology. For larger projects, agile methodologies such as Scrum work well. Development is divided into iterations. During each of them, the set goals are achieved, and then the effects are assessed. The iteration is repeated if necessary.
Scrum and other agile methodologies allow for greater flexibility in web development. The website will also better meet the expectations of the client, who can observe the process of its creation and submit his comments.
Before launching a website, it should be thoroughly tested. With agile methodologies, tests take place throughout the entire development period. This is handled by the team, as well as designated persons on the client’s side.
When testing a website, it is important to check its operation in different browsers and on different devices (that means its responsiveness - how it is displayed on smartphones, tablets, and computers).
Thorough testing includes repeated execution of all actions that a user can take on the website. Thanks to this, the operation of functionalities and processes can be checked, such as the use of interactive elements or making purchases.
6. Launch and maintenance
Deployment of the site requires the selection of a hosting service. The contractor should take care of proper server performance and memory resources. A suitable solution is cloud hosting, which allows flexibility to increase server resources. Thanks to this, the website can be developed or can handle a periodically high load. This is important, for example, with online stores during the sale season.
After implementation, the website requires retesting to ensure that it works properly. Then, the contractor monitors its functioning, responds to bug reports, and implements necessary corrections.
He also develops the website by introducing new functionalities or designing additional sub-pages. However, with CMS systems such as WordPress (or e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce or Magento), users can, to a large extent, change the website themselves without the help of developers.
The length and complexity of the web development process depend on the size of the website. With small ones, it takes a relatively short time and does not require the work of many specialists. If you need to create a simple website to present your company, you do not have to consider the need for large expenses.
However, the more complicated the website structure, the more work it requires. It should be carefully planned and a larger team of developers needs to be created. You also have to test it carefully because any bugs can mean losing customers. Therefore, it is important to choose an experienced contractor with a qualified team.