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This is the first thing you want to define clearly before any other step is taken. You need to decide what the main purpose of the website is - what you want to focus on in terms of a subject.
It is important that you define this step as clearly as possible because a website’s focus has a major impact on the whole project; this is the ‘foundation’ of the site.
A web store.
Information hub for established clients.
Choosing domian name is great part of the website because that directly focuses the purpose of your website and users can easily find your website by seaching in seach engine so first choose a good domain name and register that asap.
This builds off of the first step, where now you look at actual features that you need to implement. For example:
A shopping cart for an online store
A password protected section of the website
Again, the more detail the better.
With the first two steps completed, you’re ready to actually start mapping out the major sections of the website; drawing out quick diagrams of the website is a useful way of doing this.
A diagram can easily show the hierarchy of a website and how the various sections are related to each other.
This part is usually left to the end … then people wonder why they have to go back and rethink the structure of the site.
All websites are driven by content; it’s the content that makes a site effective and successful. As such, this part of the process is arguably the most important, so you need to pay attention to it.
At this stage of the process, you are ready to start looking at the visual aspect of the site – the design. You have a few options:
Hire a graphic designer / web designer
Come up with your own design – I’m assuming you have some artistic and design experience.
Buy yourself a website template and save time and money.
Yes, I know it seems impossible but you can finally start building the actual site at this point!
With the above questions answered and steps completed, you’ll find the process of building the website (actually writing out the code,) is much easier and you will have reduced the chance of having to go back and redo things.
Once you've built the website, you should walk away from it for a day or two. This will allow you to come back and evaluate it with fresh eyes. It might also be a good idea to get someone who has not worked on the site, to take a look as well.
Here are some of the things you should be looking for:
Clean easy to update design/structure.
Good usability in the design - and all that implies.
Fast loading 'light' pages.
Intelligent use of technology - using Flash when it makes sense not because you want a 'cool' intro!
The website’s ability to convey the meaning/message of the website quickly if not instantly.
If you’ve passed steps 1 to 8, you know you're ready to show the world the website. All that is left to do is go live:
Find a hosting company
Upload the website
The development of your web site 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 web site. Many designers offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your web site.
If you prefer to be more hands on, and update your own content, there is something called a CMS (Content Management System) that 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 site for you.
If you follow these steps, and not let pressures from your clients (or anything else) sway you, you’ll find yourself working more quickly and under less stress, while delivering a better website for your client – everyone wins.