The web development process is the action of taking your website from an idea in your head to having a finished product. Like any solid process, it’s important that each step is done carefully and in order. When done right, a new and updated website will be an investment that will pay the business owner time and time again. In this article, I’m going to outline the eight steps of the web development process for a website project.
1. Business requirements
The business requirements defines all the required elements for the website. It answers what the website needs to do and what content the website needs. It will also address what the consumers will expect from the site and finally how the pages and navigation content will behave.
2. Site map
The site map is extremely crucial because it outlines what pages are required for the site and what is a hierarchy. Not having this planned out before the development is started is a huge mistake.
Wireframes are a 3-D sketch, or blueprint of each page for the website. Each wireframe will identify what content each page requires. Some pages require more text than pictures and vice versa, but the wireframes help the developers understand each page of the project.
Now that the wireframes are complete, the attention turns to the design of the website. In this step of the process, all the colors, text, and look and feel will be identified including the overall design of the site. This is where everything is starting to be pulled together.
This is the part of the process were the real technical people go to work because code is now being developed. Depending on the complexity of the website, the coding can be simple and be done in 40 hours or less, or it can be quite complex and take hundreds and hundreds of hours.
6. Quality assurance
Now that the site has been developed, it’s time to look back and see if the finished product matched the plan. Does the site performed as outlined within the business requirements? Does it have all the necessary pages as outlined in the site map? Does it contain all the content specified in the wireframes? Does it look like the design?
This is where you run as many predetermined user scenarios that you can think of to ensure the website functions correctly. You also identify and fix any bugs that come up.
This is probably the most exciting day as you push the website from a development environment to the live URL.
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