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The main steps of building your website
Different businesses will follow different processes involving different groups of people when designing, developing and implementing a website, but regardless of the approach you choose to take, how formal or informal the process, there are a number of key stages that generally form part of any web development project:
- Planning: establish your goals for the site; analyse the competition; define who your target market is, how they will find you online and what they will be looking for when they arrive; map out a schedule and decide who will do what and when.
- Design: decide on the ‘look and feel’ of the site: colours, graphics, information architecture (the arrangement or structure of the information), navigation, etc. The way that information is arranged can have a big impact on a site’s usability and its perceived relevance and authority both for users and search engines.
- Development: putting it all together, taking the agreed design and constructing the actual pages of the site, crafting the content, links and navigation hierarchy. ● Testing: making sure everything works the way it should before you let it out onto the big bad internet. ● Responsive web design (RWD) – if your customers are mobile then you would probably be wise to design your site with mobile screen sizes and functionality in mind (more on this later in this chapter).
- Deployment: your new site becomes live on the internet for the whole world to find… or not, as the case may be. Before you start Know why you are building a website ‘What is my website for?’ It’s a simple enough question, yet you might be amazed at how many businesses have never asked it. They have a website because everyone else has one and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The result is a site – invariably an isolated little island in the backwaters of cyberspace – that brings nothing to the business but the expense of annual hosting.
Then Build Your Channel 47 and maintenance. Ideally you should have a clear idea of exactly what your organization wants to achieve from a website before you start to build it. Know who your website is for Knowing who exactly you are creating your website for is also crucial to its success. Yet, surprisingly, it is another thing that is often overlooked in the process.