When it comes to developing a website, technical skill is an important factor, but it is not the only one. A website with strong engagement begins with a smooth user experience (UX). To create a website that resonates with users, follow this eight-step process:
- Discovery, Planning, and Research:
Draft a project plan and research your organization’s competitors and target audience. Planning and research are essential to defining the scope, goals, requirements, and timelines of your website development project.
- Information Gathering:
Collect relevant content and data, including text, images, videos, and other media. Clearly define the navigation and user flows to build a solid structure for the website.
- Web Design:
Clarify the visual concept of the website through wireframes, or prototypes, that depict the layout, UX, and user interface (UI) design elements. Then refine these elements using feedback from users inside and outside your organization.
Provide high-quality content that appeals to your target audience and aligns with your strategic objectives. Content production includes writing and editing text, gathering or creating visuals, and optimizing your content for SEO so that it’s easy for users and search engines to find.
As you create content, make sure it adheres to your organization’s brand standards.
- Web Development:
Create the website using a responsive design that adapts smoothly to different devices, display sizes, and screen resolutions. Depending on the nature of your business, versatile content management systems such as WordPress or e-commerce platforms like Shopify might be right for your organization. Set up analytics to track user behavior and website performance.
Be aware that you don’t need to have technical expertise yourself to create a new website. A skilled development team will be able to explain technical concepts in ways you can understand; the key is to communicate effectively.
- Website Testing and Quality Assurance:
Conduct comprehensive testing before launch to confirm that the website functions flawlessly. This includes testing functionality, load times, user flows, form submissions, and compatibility across browsers and devices.
- Website Launch:
Deploy the website to the live server or hosting environment. Set up domain names, server configurations, and security measures. Perform final checks on the live site to ensure everything works correctly.
- Maintenance and Updates:
Conduct regular website security and maintenance procedures. Remember to:
- Monitor for security and performance issues
- Fix bugs promptly
- Regularly update and maintain the website’s software, plugins, and frameworks
- Back up all website data
- Monitor website analytics to gain insights into user behavior and enact informed improvements
You can make changes to your website even after launch. It’s a best practice to continuously improve content and features. Always discuss pending updates with your developers.
Your website has never been more critical to the success of your business. Visitors expect to find a site that’s attractively designed and fully functional. And completing all eight steps of the web development process will help you strengthen the user experience, meet your organization’s strategic goals, and succeed in today’s dynamic online landscape.