Website development from planning to launch. What is hidden behind a convenient site?
Visiting a web resource, visitors do not think about what efforts were spent creating the site. The main thing is that the site is convenient and understandable. In fact, in order to make the resource look convenient and attractive for the visitor, you need to work hard on it. The process of creating a quality website consists of large blocks. In the article, we will analyze what stages the site goes through to its final, presentable appearance.
7 Steps to Create a Better Website
Website creation. Stage 1: Filling the brief.
The brief is filled out by the customer for the design agency (or freelancer) in order to determine the concept of the future resource, the main wishes of the customer. This includes general information about the company, project objectives, requirements for functionality and design, promotion and other issues.
When creating a site for designers and developers, it is important to understand what the client really wants. Often, customers come in and they don’t have a clear idea of what kind of web resource they want to have, what it should be – this is where phrases such as “add something”, “play with color/font/ whatever” comes from. In such cases, it is better to order the site not from a freelancer, but from a web studio, because the employees will help to understand together the ideas, goals, ideas of the customer about the ideal site, and will not release it until they get to the point.
At the same time, both the studio (they have clear tasks) and the client remain in positive territory: now he not only decided on his desires for his Internet resource but also reduced the time for designers to work on additional layouts, various improvements, etc.
Also at this stage, the target audience and competitors are analyzed. These points should not be missed, because they affect the conversion in the future.
Website creation. Stage 2: site architecture
The architecture of the site is called the interaction of its pages. The transition from one page to another, return to the main screen, the search bar – all this is equally important for the visitor to the resource, and for the robots that index your site.
The site architecture (or information architecture) can be compared with the library catalog. Each book has its own individual number and cards: one with the name of the book, the other with the author. In the library, anyone can find his book among a huge number of other materials, as well as the information structure helps with a convenient search. Some web studios start by thinking over the site’s style, colors, where which elements to place. And this is fundamentally wrong. Site architecture is what you should take care of before development in the first place.
What are the advantages of information architecture:
• Raising the ranking of search engines. It is necessary to divide the site into sections: important and secondary. Search robots calculate the relevance of pages based on which keywords, page names, directories, files are used.
• Improving usability. Of course, if the basic navigational elements are correctly defined, then it will be much easier for the designer to work with the prototype of the web resource in the future.
• It will be possible to add new materials. Here you can save a lot of time: in order to add something, you do not need to delete the entire section.
Website creation. Stage 3: creating a prototype site
If information architecture is a certain drawing of a house under construction, then a prototype of a web resource is already the foundation. The prototype is presented in a schematic form, i.e. it reflects all the buttons, text blocks, menus, banners, and other elements. Although this is only a sketch of the site, it will help prevent many unpleasant moments. For example, we want to place two banners together, but the prototype clearly shows that the banners do not look on the page. Or we want to create some kind of text block on the right, and when creating a prototype we understand that it will look much more harmonious on the left.
This is what the site prototype looks like.
Prototypes allow you to get a clear picture before your eyes, this is such a scheme that you need to focus on (and with a clear plan it is always easier to work with). They help to determine the necessary elements and unnecessary details.
Website creation. Stage 4: Creating the main page
The main page is the starting point of any web project. Interaction with the visitor begins with it, so it should have a pleasant impression and at the same time be functional.
What characteristics should have the main page:
1. The main page should contain basic information. Here should be answers to questions of interest to visitors:
• What is a company
• What are the company’s products/services
• Why it is beneficial to deal with you.
2. Usability. A person should understand where which sections are located, how to register, how to order a product. The easier it is for the visitor to understand the site, the higher the conversion
3. The appearance of the main page. Of course, first of all, a person pays attention to how the site is designed, so it is important to interest.
4. Bright and clear headlines. Here you can use values, appeals, even intrigue. It’s important that the headline is “catchy.”
5. On the main page, there must be a call to action: a button for registration, recording, purchase, etc.
And there is one point that website creators sometimes forget: do not overload the main page with additional elements, unnecessary information. Cut texts, give them value. Based on an example from our experience, we can say that an image sometimes carries more appeal than a pile of text.
Plastic Surgeon Home Page
The audience of this resource is mainly women, so a photo of a well-groomed, satisfied (of course, the services of a plastic surgeon) young girl was chosen. The page presents what the company offers (plastic surgery), contacts, call to action, navigation sections of the site are defined. Nothing superfluous and disturbing perception.
Website creation. Stage 5: creating internal pages
Sometimes internal pages are built according to a single model, and sometimes for each page, its own grid of information is created (for example, when there is text on one page, photo materials on another, third blog, etc.). At the same time, it is important to observe a single style: colors, graphic design, logo, menu.
Typically, internal pages are built on the principle of hierarchy: from a category of products, you can go to subcategories, from subcategories to a page of a specific product. If there are more than four levels, it will be difficult for both readers and search robots. Each page should clearly define the tasks for which it is defined. The decoration also has an important role, but here it is no longer paramount.
Website creation. Stage 6: HTML site layout
Layout – the most time-consuming process, which takes most of the time creating the site. The layout of the site is built on a layout; a graphic template made in Photoshop is usually used. The typesetter creates the page code using markup languages: HTML and CSS.
Also, web studio can offer the client:
• Original fonts
• Cross-browser layout (the site will be “read” on different browsers)
• Adaptive layout (the resource will be equally correctly opened from any mobile devices)
• Integration into CMS and more.
It’s precisely from the customer’s wishes that the price of developing the site is built, and the web studio can already tell you how much it costs to order a site depending on the criteria listed above. If the site has a poor layout, it will take a long time to load, it will look different than you would like, it’s a bad function. Therefore, it is important that the layout is done by a competent person, and it is better that he interacts with the designer, as happens in the studios.
Website creation. Stage 7: testing the finished product
Finally, the final stage of creating the site. Testing the site is necessary to avoid further improvements, user dissatisfaction and financial losses (due to modifications and low conversion).
There are several types of testing:
1) Usability testing. This is a site check for convenience, navigation, and visual appeal.
2) Load testing. It is usually checked with the help of programs and determines whether the site can withstand the high pressure of visitors (for example, you spend tremendous discounts on goods)
3) Checking the interface. This is testing compatibility with any browsers, checking the operation of the site at different screen resolutions, on different devices.
4) Vulnerability testing. Simply put, checking if a site is susceptible to viruses and malware.
In the article, we examined the main stages of creating a site, starting from creating a brief, ending with testing. Creating a high-quality site consists of many – large and small steps, of which you can not miss a single one. And what is a quality website? These are high traffic, high conversion, an increase in orders – and an increase in profits. Your profit.