Whilst every project may differ slightly, most will travel through the same stages. This infographic has been designed to illustrate what you should expect from your website development project.
Whilst every website project may differ slightly, most will travel through the same stages. Here, we will take you through each of the seven stages so you know what to expect and when to expect it.
1. Partner Selection
The first stage of any new website project, choosing the right agency, can often be a daunting one. Think about creating your shortlist and then how you want to approach the selection process. You may consider a number of routes to seek your ideal partner from chemistry meetings, support or help in creating a brief, issuing RFPs and/or concluding with holding a formal pitch. The selection process you ultimately decide to embark upon will very much depend on what works for you and your organisation. Remember you need to work together for the next 3-5 years, so do your due diligence and choose carefully!
2. Workshops & Research
The key objective of the initial workshops is to gather outline information which will be detailed further. Workshop activities are highly collaborative and will capture your business, brand, marketing, technical, and user requirements. This is when your personas are identified and the user journeys are mapped out. At this point, guidance will be provided on content curation and your success criteria, KPIs, objectives, and outcomes will be defined together with an outline solution requirements list.
Depending on the level of information available, sometimes further research (qualitative or quantitative) may be a useful exercise to undertake to de-risk and gain a better understanding of specific unknown elements and fill in any gaps.
3. Discovery & Planning
This next phase is about honing the detail and the necessary planning to prioritise and formulate the main functional requirements specification for your website. Further technical understanding of any 3rd party integrations (ecommerce and often CRM systems), and CMS functions will be conducted. The overall information architecture, data, site proto-content assembly approach are created. The architectural UX wireframes (sketches and indicative template and page layouts in responsive multi-device states) or sometimes prototypes are also created at this stage.
4. Visual Concept & Design
Once the blueprint for your website has been finalised, the next step is to disseminate your brand essence and explore a concept visual style before the main key templates across mobile, tablet, and desktop variants are fully designed.
5. Technical Delivery
The main site technical build can now commence, catering for the determined hosting environments. Further in phase planning will be undertaken (stages of work known as sprints) for both front-end, transforming designs and turning them into beautiful pages, and back-end development, ensuring your website is engineered with the right foundations and quality assurance to allow the platform to function as per your technical requirements.
6. Testing, Training, & Go Live
Functional testing is performed as part of Quality Assurance, to ensure the delivered solution meets the agreed requirements. Testing is undertaken with technical and browser compatibility support. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) takes place once QA is happy that the exit criteria has been met.
Once final hosting environments are set up, any further additional security, load/performance, and/or specific user testing, supporting the key functionality can be undertaken in preparation for 'go-live'.
Prior to the website being delivered, a full training programme will be developed for any members of the organisation who will need to manage the content or administer the website.
7. Support & Optimisation
From the moment the website is launched you should consider which services you will need to support, measure, and improve its performance.
Support contracts are strongly recommended to provide peace of mind and manage the smaller updates you may require. Depending on the level of your in-house resources and skills, you should also consider reporting and analysis retainers to provide insight to help maintain performant ROI and stay ahead of the competition ongoing.
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