The Stages of Web Design
Different people or businesses will have different processes for carrying out web design projects, we thought giving an in-depth look at the procedures and processes we go through for even the simplest website to ensure our customers are getting exactly what they want. This is our process strategy here at Thomas Design, there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, but this is our way!
The initial planning phase to us here at Thomas Design is an extremely important process, the plan will usually include an initial meeting with the customer and finding out their goals and aspirations for the website, we usually ask the following questions:
- What does the business do?
- Who are their customers?
- What is the target audience?
- What does the website need to do?
- What are the unique selling points of the business?
After the answers to these questions have been found, you can then move onto the planning of the website. The first step is the sitemap, this is put together before the design plan and is usually in diagram form breaking down each individual element of the site showing what needs to be done with each element (e.g. Home, Blog etc.).
The final part of the planning is a design plan, an initial draft usually drawn by hand of how the website should look, this gives the designer a general idea of how it should look when put onto computer. The planning process will end with a final “draft” of the website before it gets put onto computer.
The first stage of the design phase is transferring the initial web site design “plan” onto computer, the website design supplied by a Swansea web design company such as ourselves will usually change from the original draft for aesthetic and functional purposes. Branding, consistency, colours and imagery are all key features a designer will look to prioritise throughout the design phase.
Communication between designer and customer is an extremely important part of completing our web design and development projects, ensuring the client is happy with everything from the general look of their site to the branding throughout. The best web designers will be able to make alterations and design changes to meet the requirements of their customers, giving them full control over the project (although at times a direction will need to be given by the designer).
The design process will usually end with a “go ahead” from the customer telling the designer to take the website to the development process.
The development process starts with the designer passing the design across to the developer so they can start coding the website, usually done so on a temporary domain. The development process can be extremely time consuming depending on the size and complexity of the project at hand, but generally, a bespoke website will take between one and two weeks of development time at the very minimum.
The development process is generally completed in the following order:
- Installation of CMS (Content Management System)
- Code the HTML and CSS so the basic pages and functionality are completed before moving onto the bespoke development
- Develop or add in bespoke functionality (blog, sliders etc)
- Add content
The development phase doesn’t “end” until the testing is complete, which is the final phase of the websites design and development.
Testing is the final part of the development process, this is where the developer, designer and sometimes a tester will go through the website and make sure everything works!
The following areas are tested on the website:
- Functionality – Ensure everything on the website works, from the basic buttons on the pages to the contact forms and any other forms on the website work without showing any errors.
- Browser test – All modern browsers (yes, even Internet Explorer!) are tested to make sure the website works properly on all of the browsers.
- Mobile test – Mobile testing is usually the final test, ensuring the website works properly (if required) on mobile and is user friendly, not requiring you to pinch your screen every time you want to press something!
The maintenance is rather simple and only really comes down to the upkeep and changes required within the website, for example:
- Domain registration (if applicable)
- Website functionality updates (if applicable)
- Website design updates (if applicable)
- Content updates
- General website upkeep (little-to-no downtime)
- Hosting (if applicable)
These are the processes we carry out for almost every website we create, we treat every one of our web design projects individually or if you’re looking for web design in Swansea, feel free to contact us!