Introduction

Remember the time when you make any food item to eat, the first thing that you do is to gather and align all the usable content? In the same way, while developing a website, you need to gather all the components first and then give equal attention to every component. Website development is not just about coding. It comprises of a comprehensive understanding of the business requirements. A website is the first digital identity of any business and a good web development solution provider understands this very well. Business websites may be as complex as an ERP system or may be as simple as the single-page website. But on every scale, the basic parameters stay the same.

Websites are a vital part of any business and now that you have decided to build a website. Here we will be focusing on the most important factors of website development according to the industry experts. 

For the consistency in the development and ensuring the completeness of the project, a methodology must be followed by any scale of the web development company.

All scale of web development is distributed into the following phases:

Planning

  • What is the main purpose of the web project or website?
  • Who are the users of the website?
  • What is the required computing environment of the website?
  • Who owns the website and who authorizes the information?

Analysis

  • What information is useful for the end-user of the website?
  • Where do you want the users to route through your website?

Design and Development

  • What is the recommended UI/UX?
  • What is the preferred layout for the website?
  • Which multimedia can we use in the website?

Testing

  • Are images and content of the website are appropriate?
  • Are website components working correctly?
  • Are users able to find the relevant information?
  • Are website navigations working correctly?

Implementation and Maintenance

  • How the website will be deployed?
  • How to update the website?
  • Who will update the content and how frequently?
  • Website development versus web application:

 Often, non-technical business owners get confused between web applications and websites. For hiring a web developer, you must be well acquainted with the latest development trends, otherwise, you may end up losing a great investment of time. This is helpful to clear the difference between both.

Often people are confused between a website and a web app, and here we are going to clear that doubt for you.

Website vs. Web app: The Difference

Website

A website is a web page or a set of web pages, which are built for marketing purposes. The target of the website is to market the product and attract the customers for purchasing the service or product. The website is a powerful medium to reach the end-user and make them know the USP of your business on a mass level.

More the traffic on your website, higher is the popularity of your business.

Web application

Web applications are the software deployed and implemented over the web. The concept of web applications comes from the web development solutions which used to run on the desktop. That desktop software needed to be downloaded on the individual systems, whereas web applications are deployed on the web and anyone can access the software without actually downloading them on the physical storage. The web application can also be called as a web-based software.

Here if you are looking for web development solutions, it is an imperative decision to take note of the latest trends. Now the websites are made scalable and therefore the latest architecture is followed. This allows you to increase the size of the website and integrate it into the advanced tools and other software.

To give you a clear understanding about, here are the two most popular web app architectures: 

Server-side Rendering

When a user visits a website, the request is sent to the server from the client computer. After the request is received and the processing is done, the server renders HTML, CSS, and Javascript files for the page content. For every click a similar request is made, the processing takes the respective time.

Pros:
  • SEO is better in the SSR. Because search engines can easily crawl them for the content.
  • The page-load is faster initially.
 Cons:
  • The model is great for websites running with static content
  • Page load is slow with high quality images.
  • Entire web page is reloaded with every request.
  • Website is less interactive.

Client-side Rendering

In the client-side rendering, when a user clicks or makes a request, a single request is made for loading the skeleton of the web application. The web content is then automatically generated using JavaScript.

Pros:
  • Sites are interactive
  • The website is loaded fast and looks more interactive.
  • CSR is beneficial for web apps.
  • Preferred by an innovative web design company.
 Cons:
  • SEO is affected if it is not correctly implemented.
  • The first load is comparatively slow.
  • JavaScript loading may require the external library.
Read Also: Web Portal Development Cost and Features

Stages of Website Development

Usually, the total number of stages of development varies from 5 to 8 according to the project handled by a web development company. But it does not compromise with the quality development and it remains the same. So let’s take the average route of development stages. Here are 7 main stages:

1) Gathering Information

 2) Effective Planning

 3) Design

4) Content Writing and Assembly

 5) Coding

 6) Testing, Review and Launch

7) Maintenance.

Timeline of Website Development

While thinking of website development, every time the whole process revolves around two fundamental factors, Time required and the price paid.

These two factors possess an effect on your project. But these completely depend on the scope and size of your planned project.

So, to plan the entire development process, it is quite better to create a timeline for website development, adding complementary tasks, and determining milestones for the project. It is a much better way to optimize your tracking of the project implementation. Hence, it becomes possible to keep the project with the deadline.

Here, we have managed to develop a comprehended description of the entire web development process, steps, and their estimated time and more importantly a checklist to check any mistake or omission. Let’s dive in for it:

Web Development Life Cycle

Website Development Life Cycle

Step 1: Gather Information about Objective, Fundamental Goals, and Targeted Audience

 At the initial stage, it’s called to be a stage where there is a need to cement your relevant information about the project. Here you discover and research the important points like the basic goal and purpose, future website purpose, and importantly about the targeted audience for your website. So, here the perfect website development questionnaire assists in developing the best strategy to manage further projects.

Every website has a different niche, visitors, and performance. The news portal is entirely different from entertainment or health websites, while education websites have an informative and learning niche. So, websites vary with functionality used according to the pre-determined purpose.

Undoubtedly, an adroit effort to construct a well detailed and organized plan, entirely based on pre-development data can prevent unplanned spending of extra resources to solve instantaneous issues. These issues can include leveraging with functionality or design changes.

Estimated time: 1 to 2 weeks

Step 2: Execute Planning: Sitemap and Wireframe Creation

After collecting relevant information before instituting the process of website development, planning comes in. Here comes the requirement of hiring an experienced web developer. The integrating effect will be on the performance of the website and adaptability by the targeted audience.

So, with the gathered information at the initial stage, now the sitemap is developed. With the effective representation, it becomes possible to know the usability and compatibility of the final product.

It can efficiently show the relationship between the websites’ pages. Here, sitemap makes it easy for you to judge how comfortable it will be for the targeted audience to explore the required information or get service if landing on the home page.

The fundamental reason behind the creation of a sitemap is to develop a user friendly and simple to navigate website. Sometimes, before starting to code or working over design, you experience a necessity to get a response from a customer about an ongoing process so that you can continue with the next phase of development. Here, to write off the problem a wireframe or a mock-up (visual representation of the user interface) is created.

But wireframe does not offer any design elements like logos, colors, etc. It details the elements to be added to your website’s page along with their location.

Estimated time: 2 to 6 weeks

Step 3: Design: Page Layouts, Review, and Approval Cycle

Now, in the next phase Design, the website transforms or takes its planned structure. In the design phase, all the visual content comprising photos, videos, etc is created. While creating visual content you can’t negate the importance of the gathered information at the initial stage of the web development cycle. It will be crucial in constructing a perfect design. The audience or targeted audience must be taken in mind while collating everything for design. Design is not just the part of web development, but it is an amazing tool to grab customer’s minds and hit their attention with the USP of your service or product. Expert web designers can suggest you with the ways to set up the layout and make a clutter-free website.

The designer is responsible for the website layout. The primary motive of the layout is to show the information structure, demonstrate the fundamental functionality, and visualizing the content. These layouts contain logos, colors, images, and able to give a pristine understanding of your future product.

 Now, the customer reviews the layout and gives his feedback. Here, it promises the quality of the future product, due to its repetitive satisfaction cycle. The cycle continues until the client gets satisfied.

 Estimated time: 4 to 12 weeks
Read Also: Website Design Importance for Businesses

Step 4: Content Writing and Assembly

The role of content writing and its compiling can’t be negated just for the reason it usually overlaps with other stages. At this step, it is quite necessary to ensure direct communication with the customer using Call-to-action.

 It is a well-known fact that content writing includes leveraging your messages with catchy headlines, new text, text editing, compiling texts, etc, and it costs high effort and time.

So, it is better to have all website content before or during the coding of websites.

Estimated time: 5 to 15 weeks
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Step 5: Coding

At this stage, you start creating a website and constructing the vision. All the visual content you created during the previous phases is used to create an actual website. Every consequential change is integrated into all previous phases you planned. Usually, the first page for your website is always the home page, and then other pages are added. These subpages must be according to the organized hierarchy created in your site map. CMS and Frameworks must be effectively implemented to ensure that the server can manage installation and set up easily.

Importantly, every static web page elements should be exactly created and tested, as designed in mock-up and layout creation. Furthermore, a deep knowledge with updated technology or advancement is mandatory to scale the performance and quality of the website.

In case using CMS for website creation, CMS plugins can also be installed for better functionality. The next important aspect is Search Engine Optimization, the optimization of all website elements for fetching high traffic and rankings in the available search engines and it necessitates the valid code.

Estimated time: 6 to 15 weeks

Step 6: Testing, Review, and Launch

The process of web development does not end with web designing and development, testing a website is equally important. Actually, for ensuring the simplicity, smooth navigation, and right flow of information, testers/quality analysts are hired. After coming up from all steps, testing is a mandatory part of the process. You need to test every single link to ensure that there should not be any broken links among them.

It is better to check every script, every form, possible typos using spell checking software. Check does your code follows the existing web standards by using code valuators.

After ensuring everything about your website, now it’s time to start uploading your website to a server. It is done through File Transfer Protocol; (FTP). After deploying the files, it is better to run another final test to assure that all files have been perfectly installed.

Estimated time: 2 to 4 weeks

Step 7: Maintenance: Opinion Monitoring and Regular Updating

Despite the website has uploaded, but the website development cycle is repetitive. It means you must remember that your website is more than just a product. You should make sure about the efficient functionality of the website and the satisfaction of the end-user. There should always be a possibility to make changes in the websites when it needs. It is the process of maintenance by keeping regular monitoring and updates. The website must be kept up to date. Using a CMS decreases security risks and prevents you from bugs.

Estimated time: ongoing

Takeaway

All these website development phases never just start with coding and launching your websites the next day. It consolidates a series of organized efforts under different stages from hiring an expert web developer to getting quality assured. Even the post-launch time of your website is more crucial for you. So the need for in-depth discovery, research to post-development maintenance, all must be equally managed. It will eventually avoid unprecedented troubles and ensures an efficacious approach for your websites.

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