Smoothly run website development projects follow clearly defined steps – which all take time. To create a great looking, robust and secure website which offers an exceptional user experience, is not going to happen overnight.
Wow betide any company that tries to cut corners along the way to placate an impatient client – tears and tantrums from designers, coders and the client are sure to surface on a regular basis.
If you run a web design company and need to explain to your client why their project may take several months, use this great infographic from New Design Group.
1. The Brief
Your client must prepare a detailed brief to form the strong foundations of a successful project. They should define the target audience and goals of the site. They need to work with the developers to agree on the technical specifications of the site. And only then can you provide the final project timeline and budget.
The web development company will carry out research and outline first concepts for the website. They will define how a someone will navigate the website, ensuring a pleasurable user experience.
Wireframes and mock-ups must be reviewed carefully by the client, so necessary adjustments can be flagged; any requests for significant changes later on will be costly in time and money.
The creative juices of the web designers now get into action. They will identify the color scheme to match the company’s brand color palette. They will design headers, buttons and animations if required, and identify the best typography for the site. And throughout this stage, they will be planning a design which appears correctly on different devices – from small smart phones to large desktops.
After the design prototype is approved, an appropriate framework or Content Management System (CMS) will be identified for the basis of the website. With customization, the final look and functionality of the website can be created, whether it’s an informative site or requires complex eCommerce functions. Then content can be integrated and search engine optimization (SEO) activities can be implemented.
During this phase, site performance must be reviewed: loading speed should be fast, all aspects should function as expected, and private content should be made secure.
After final testing, the website will be transferred to the live server. The client should help in the quality assurance testing of the site, looking out for glitches or typing errors that need correction.
If necessary, the web development company will provide training and documentation to enable the client to make simple updates themselves.
A good web development company will provide support post go-live and help troubleshoot any issues encountered, and furthermore will help implement design, functionality and content updates.
The more your client understands the web design process, the better. They will realise significant changes late in the project will cause major delays, and will fully appreciate why they can’t have a nice, shiny new website after just a week.