Whether starting a new project or updating an existing one, most people want to know the process behind the curtain. Well, here it is.
5. Testing and Deployment
And here is the detail.
Phase 1: Information
This is the most important step as it lays the foundation for
all that is to follow. We need to understand you, your
business, and what you want to accomplish. Basically, we need
to answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the site?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- Who is the targeted audience?
- What specific content will your targeted audience be looking for?
- Who will update your site's content?
- What 3 sites do you like? What 3 sites do you not like?
Phase 2: Planning
Using the information gathered from phase one, it is time to put together a plan for your web site. 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 the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system.
Throughout the entire process, the end-user must be kept in mind when designing your site, its menu system and all interactive areas. We will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented, such as interactive forms, ecommerce, flash, etc.
Phase 3: Design
Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, it's time to determine the look and feel of your site.
Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration. As part of the design phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as the company logo or colors to help strengthen the identity of your company on the web site.
We will create one or more prototype designs for your web site. This is typically a .jpg image of what the final design will look like or a link to a "sandbox" site where designs are stored.
Either way, you can view your project throughout the design and development stages. This gives you the opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the site design.
In this phase, communication is crucial to ensure that the final web site will match your needs and taste. It is important we work closely, exchanging ideas, until we arrive at the final design for your web site.
Phase 4: Development
This the point where the web site itself is created. 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 web site. Once the shell has been created, we will take your content and distribute it throughout the site, in the appropriate areas.
Elements such as interactive contact forms, flash animations or ecommerce shopping carts are implemented and made functional during this phase, as well.
This entire time, your in-progress web site is available to you for viewing, so that you can suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
Phase 5: Testing and Deployment
At this point, we attend to the final details and test your web site. We will test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, as well last testing for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), ensuring that your web site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
Once you give us final approval, it is time to deliver your site. We also offer domain name registration and web hosting services. Once these accounts have been setup, and your web site uploaded to the server, the site should be 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.
This marks the official launch of your site, as it is now viewable to the public.
Phase 6: Maintenance
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. We specialize in Content Management Systems (CMS) where you can make the majority of content changes. This allows you the freedom to update your site whenever you like, without waiting on someone else.
With CMS, you are given access to a back-end administrative area, where you can use an online text editor. 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. And don't worry, we will provide training and documentation on the entire process.
If a CMS is not in the cards, the we will be more than happy to update the information on your web site. We offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your web site.
It's really up to you as far as how comfortable you feel as far as updating your own web site. Some people prefer to have all the control so that they can make updates to their own web site the minute they decide to do so. Others prefer to hand off the web site entirely, as they have enough tasks on-hand that are more important for them to handle directly.
Other maintenance type items include SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SES (Search Engine Submission). This is the optimization of you web site with elements such as title, description and keyword tags which help your web site achieve higher rankings in the search engines.