Before any work can begin to design a website, a web developer needs to understand your business and/or purpose for your website. Discovery is the process of getting everything that’s in your head transferred into the hands of the resources building your website.
Once there is a clear understanding of the website project, a website plan is created. The plan will include the basic structure of the website, how many pages, what those pages will accomplish, the navigation, and the basic layout of the website theme. The plan should also include the intended flow of a visitor to guide them to a conversion goal.
A good website development company will encourage breaking up the plan into multiple phases which will proceed in iterations. Each iteration of work will add to the website until the ultimate goal and complete website is accomplished. It is best to design a website in small stages, continually improving on what you have every step of the way. Learn more about using iterations to design a website from our previous blog “The Best Website Design is Iterative”
The website designer takes the website plans and turns them into mock-ups, or drawings of the web pages. It may look like a complete website at this point, but its just a picture of what the website will look like.
The design may go through a number of iterations ending with a complete set of mockups that move on to development.
At this point a web developer and copywriter will take the website designs and turn them into fully functional web pages. All of the pieces of the website design need to be cut up and configured into a language that web browsers understand to render what looks like the artists original intent.
The initial build of a website is usually done on a private server called a staging environment. Your real domain name still does not point at your website. Publishing your website is the process of configuring your web hosting service to point your domain name, www.yourname.com, towards the server that will host your website long term.
Any good web project will go through iterations of successive improvement after the initial launch. New features, pages and content can be added continually to your website in small incremental steps. The timeline to design a website never really ends, a great website continues to grow and improve over time. We can help you do this easily and make it extremely cost effective.