Web Designing & Development
Website Design and Development Process
Whether you are starting your website from scratch, or just want a new look to your existing site, we will work with you to create a website design that matches the image of your company, at a price you can afford. From custom web designs to website templates, brochure websites to e-commerce sites to business blogs, the options are endless.
There are numerous steps in the website design and development process. From gathering initial information, to the creation of your website, and finally to maintenance to keep your website up to date and current.
Testing and Delivery
Phase One: Information Gathering
The first step in designing a successful web site is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when the look and feel of your site is created.
This first step is actually the most important one, as it involves a solid understanding of the company it is being created for. It involves a good understanding of you – what your business goals and dreams are, and how the web can be utilised to help you achieve those goals.
Certain things JN2T Studio considers are:
- Purpose What is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a product et al?
- Goals What do you hope to accomplish by building this web site? Two of the more common goals are either to make money or share information.
- Target Audience Is there a specific group of people that will help you reach your goals? It is helpful to picture the “ideal” person you want to visit your web site. Consider their age, sex or interests – this will later help determine the best design style for your site.
- Content What kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site? Are they looking for specific information, a particular product or service, online ordering?
Phase Two: Planning
Using the information gathered from phase one, it is time to put together a plan for your website. This is the point where a site map is developed.
The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics, if applicable. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on your site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. The end-user of your website, that is, your customer – must be kept in mind when designing your site. These are, after all, the people who will be learning about your services or buying your product. A good user interface creates an easy to navigate website, and is the basis for this.
During the planning phase, JN2T Studio will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented. Elements such as, what CMS (content management system) (like WordPress) to incorporate, will any contact forms be needed, etc. are discussed when planning your website.
Phase Three: Design
Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, it is time to determine the look and feel of your website.
Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration. A website aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different than one meant for a financial institution. As part of the design phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as the company logo or colours to help strengthen the identity of your company on the website.
We will create one or more prototype designs for your website. This is typically a .jpeg image of what the final design will look like. We will give you access to a secure area of our website meant for customers to view work in progress.
JN2T Studio will allow you to view your project throughout the design and development stages. The most important reason for this is that it gives you the opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the website design.
In this phase, communication between both you and your JN2T Studio is crucial to ensure that the final website matches your needs and taste. It is important that you work closely with us, exchanging ideas, until you arrive at the final design for your website.
Then development can begin…
Phase Four: Development
The developmental stage is the point where the website itself is created. At this time, JN2T Studio will take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the actual, functional site.
This is typically done by first developing the home page, followed by a “shell” for the interior pages. The shell serves as a template for the content pages of your site, as it contains the main navigational structure for the website. Once the shell has been created, JN2T Studio will take your content and distribute it throughout the site, in the appropriate areas.
Elements such as the CMS (content management system) like WordPress, interactive contact forms, or e-commerce shopping carts are implemented and made functional during this phase, as well.
This entire time, JN2T Studio will continue to make your in-progress website available to you for viewing, so that you can suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
On the technical front, a successful website requires an understanding of front-end web development. This involves writing valid HTML / CSS code that complies to current web standards, maximising functionality, as well as accessibility for as large an audience as possible.
This is tested in the next phase…
Phase Five: Testing and Delivery
At this point, JN2T Studio will attend to the final details and test your website. We will test things such as the complete functionality of forms and other scripts, as well as testing for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), ensuring that your website is optimised to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
A good web designer is one who is well versed in current standards for website design and development. The basic technologies currently used are HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). As part of testing, we will also check to be sure that all of the code written for your website validates. Valid code means that your website meets the current web development standards – this is helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as mentioned above.
Once you give us final approval, it is time to deliver the site. An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program is used to upload the website files to a designated server. Once uploaded to the server, the website is put through one last run-through. This is just precautionary, to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional.
Other final details include plugin installation (for WordPress or other CMS driven websites and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). SEO is the optimisation of your website with elements such as title, description and keyword tags which help your website achieve higher rankings in the search engines. The previously mentioned code validation is something that plays a vital role in SEO, as well. There are many WordPress plugins available that further enhance the default WordPress functionality – many of which directly relate to improving your SEO, as well.
There are a lot of details involved in optimising your website for the search engines – enough to warrant its own post. This is a very important step, because even though you now have a website, you need to make sure that people can find it!
This marks the official launch of your website, as it is now accessible to the public.
Phase Six: Maintenance
The development of your website is not necessarily over, though. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. Most web designers will be more than happy to continue working together with you, to update the information on your website. Many designers offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your website.
If you prefer to be more hands on, and update your own content, there is something called a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress can be implemented to your web site. This is something that would be decided upon during the Planning stage. With a CMS, your designer will utilize online software to develop a database driven website for you.
A website driven by a CMS gives you the ability to edit the content areas of the website yourself. You are given access to a back-end administrative area, where you can use an online text editor (similar to a mini version of Microsoft Word). You’ll be able to edit existing content this way, or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can even add new pages and content yourself. The possibilities are endless!
It is really up to you as far as how comfortable you feel with updating your own website. Some people prefer to have all the control so that they can make updates to their own website the minute they decide to do so. Others prefer to hand off the website entirely, as they have enough tasks on-hand that are more important for them to handle directly.
That is where the help of JN2T Studio comes in, once again, as they can take over the website maintenance for you – one less thing for you to do is always a good thing in these busy times!
Other maintenance type items include regular site backups, WordPress upgrades, additional plugin installation, et al.
JN2T Studio will work closely with you on a very similar process to the above mentioned phases. We develop a good working relationship with our clients, including an open line of communication, which is important to ensure that we create a successful website that will help your business grow.
We follow this same processes as a rule of thumb – a process we have been using and refining over the last 15 years, through the websites we have designed and developed for our clients. If you are in the market of a new or updated website, and like our design style, please don’t hesitate to request a quote – JN2T Studio would love to hear from you!
Are You Ready to Design (or Re-Design) Your Website?