At Little Ripple Marketing we have a team of web developers that have been smashing out projects for many years. Over the course of our time in the industry we have honed the process of website development. We have broken down the creation of a website into 6 unique steps.
1. Goal Identification
This is where it all begins. A quote we live by at Little Ripple Marketing is “A problem well understood is a problem half solved.” Courtesy of the great American inventor Charles Kettering this quote exemplifies the first stage of web development. During this phase we need to understand the inner- workings of the client so that we can create a product that is going to perform. It would be easy to get to work straight away and develop a generic website, but such a website will not be customised to clients individual needs. The identification of specific goals is the first step towards realising the perfect website. An example of what we discover during this phase includes:
- Who is the site for?
- What do they expect to find there?
- What will they do there?
- Is this website’s primary aim to inform, to sell, or to amuse?
- Does the website need to clearly convey a brand’s core message, or is it part of a wider branding strategy with its own unique focus?
- What competitor sites, if any, exist, and how should this site be inspired by/different than, those competitors?
These are just dome examples of what we need to discover during this initial phase. Any single client will have their own unique conditions, needing unique identification.
After the identification of goals, it is important to understand the scope of the entire project. This step is built upon the first and is deeply related to the specific goals that we have identified. This is a formal process of scoping the development of the website so that costs and timings can be agreed upon that both we and the client are content with. If the project isn’t clearly defined there is an increasing possibility of extra work. While it is important to be dynamic, it is essential that the project is scoped as accurately as possible. If the client is constantly changing their mind or developers are not completing work it is important to be able to point to a single agreed upon source to get the project back on track.
Once the initial scope has been defined its time to get to work on wireframing. Wireframing allow designers to map exactly what they want a website to look like and smooth out problems before putting concrete code into place. This allows for an inexpensive way to figure out problems before they arise.
4. Content Creation
Content is everything. Without content a website is nothing, the content of a site drives user engagement. Good content compels users to engage in the website and shapes the experience of users towards end goals. Whether you are advertising, selling or informing your website has specific goals, content needs to work towards these. Content involves a mix of writing, graphics and design. These elements need to work together seamlessly.
As well as engaging visitors content also helps to attract them. SEO is crucial to a websites visibility and perfecting SEO involves creating good content. In this day and age if you are not popping up on search engines, you may as well not have a website. As such SEO, and good content, are necessary. At Little Ripple we have expertise in maximising visibility using SEO and as such design websites with this specifically in mind.
Before we release a website we thoroughly test for bugs and errors. There is nothing worse than releasing a product to consumers and it not working. Nothing is different with websites, although there will be a need for maintenance, on release the website needs to work as intended. For most users you will only get on chance. If your website is not working, they will go look at the competitors instead. A thorough testing stage may add extra time to development, but for long-term return on investment is well worth getting right up front.
It’s go time. We have put our heart and soul into the project and now its time to let go. Like a teenager leaving home we say farewell with relief and nervousness. Also like a teenager leaving home we realise the job isn’t finished yet. Maintenance will be required, as no website is ever ‘completed.’ It is important to track the website and make sure that it is functioning as intended. This can be done through several analytical programs.
A website is a dynamic and evolving product, there may be needing to pivot in the future or add new features or increase the size. Whatever the business, there will always be challenges that arise. Your website needs to be able to adapt to these challenges.
These are the 6 steps to creating a dynamic and successful website. If you need help designing and building a website, get in touch with our team at Little Ripple Marketing. We have a history of producing quality websites for a range of diverse clients.