This has led to more webpages getting more dynamic, responsive and aligned with user needs. However, for no business owners looking to build their first websites, the web development process can come off as challenging.
While most of them know that coding is an integral part of the web development process, they are essentially unaware of the rest of the parts of the process or how their progression works.
In this article, we will give you an overview of what a website development cycle looks like, but first, let us briefly talk about the website development timeline.
What is Website Development Timeline?
The cost as well the project timeline of creating a website are two main concerns for any web development services agency. Both of these factors, however, depend heavily upon the size, diversity and scope of the website being built.
Before building a website, web developers create a website development timeline where they add tasks in order to set up milestones for their projects.
The tasks are then assigned to professionals for executions. Building a website development timeline is the best way to track progress and meeting strict deadlines. The following are the major steps to follow for the best website development timeline.
The Website Development Cycle
The website development cycle ranges from the initial planning stages to final deployment of the website, so to make you understand this process in detail, here is a step-by-step guide of the various stages in the website development cycle.
Now, this is the first and most crucial stage of website development. Information gathering is where the foundation of your website is laid. Information gathering means you need to have the information to provide you with an excellent understanding of the purposes of your future website.You need to set your goals as per the web site’s needs and decide the target audience that you want to attract.
The average time for gathering information is around a week or two. If the information gathering is done effectively, it could help develop an excellent strategy for your website development project. This is because the information gathered in this stage will help you team in delivering top notch web development services.
Planning and Creating Sitemap and Wireframe/Mock-up
Once you’re done with the information gathering, the next step in the cycle is the planning. This is where a developer technically creates an outline of a website so that the customer can judge what it will look like.
Based on the gathered information, a sitemap is created.This sitemap effectively includes the interconnectedness of your webpages. This makes it easier to judge what the final product will look like from the user’s end. The purpose of making a sitemap is to create a user-friendly website that is easier to navigate.
Now, you will create the wireframe for your website.Sitemaps allow you to understand the structure of your websites but not the interface.This purpose is addressed by creating wireframes or mock-up.
Wireframes and mock-up are a visual representation of the interface that you are going to add on your website pages. Keep in mind that wireframe and mock-up don’t contain design elements like logos and color schemes.
Designing Page Layouts and Review Cycle
This is the stage where your website typically gets its shape.From the images to the responsive design elements, every visual element is created during this stage of the process.
Once again, information gathered in the first stage comes in handy, because you have to design the website by keeping your target audience in mind.
The website layout is created to visualize the content and demonstrate the functionality of the website. The website layout also contain the visual elements like colours, logos, images and videos to get an understanding of how the final product will look like.
The layout is then sent to the client for review. If the client has any issues regarding the design, the layout is created again and sent for the review. This cycle is repeated until the client is fully satisfied with the design.
Those with insufficient knowledge about web development often underestimate the role of content writing, but that is not the case, as content writing in most cases, overlaps with other stages.
Content writing includes adding new text, compiling old texts, adding catchy headlines etc. which is time-consuming and takes quite an effort, because it has to be written with an essence of communication with the audience to add a strong call-to-action.
This is among the most crucial stages of website development. Coding is the stage where you start creating the website itself.The visual and graphic elements created in the previous steps are used in this stage to generate a webpage.
The developer creates the home page first, and then the sub-pages are added as per the grading made in the sitemap. It is always a good idea to implement CMS and framework to ensure the smooth installation on the server. The webpage elements that were previously designed in the layout and wireframe are also created and tested in this stage.
Another important of this cycle is search engine optimization (SEO). Technically, it is the optimization of elements like titles, descriptions and keywords to help the website rank well on search engines like Google and Bing.
Testing and Launch
This is the final stage before the website goes live. In this stage, every link is tested to make sure that there are no broken links.Spell-checkers are used to correct possible typos, and code-validators are used to check if any codes do not keep up with the current web standards.
Once you’ve made sure that there are no mistakes, the website is then deployed to the server through file transfer protocol (FTP software). Here, a final test is done to ensure the files are correctly installed.
Regular Updates and Maintenance
The most important thing after the website goes live is to update its content and core regularly. This helps you gain more audience, and latest core updates help you prevent the hacking attempts made on the web.
The feedback system is added to the website to check if there are any problems faced by the users, in case there is one, you should get it resolved immediately.
A successful website is developed when developers have keenly focused on all areas of development to create an agile and user-friendly experience for the surfers.