When it comes to having a website there is a great deal to take into account. Not every person has the ability to customize or design a website from scratch and even fewer people can do this well. Another important fact to remember is that this is something that, if done right, will never have to be done again.
Can You Do This Yourself?
The easy answer is yes, anyone can do their own website. It can be a great deal of work and the less knowledge that a person takes into the project will increase the amount of time that it takes. There is more than just the learning curve for the programming itself, there is a learning curve for experience that cannot be gotten around.
There are a number of issues that a person can run into during the development of a website. Many of these issues can take a person back to square one in a very short period of time. It is the experience of a dedicated web developer that makes the difference when it comes to issues of this nature.
If I Pay to Have a Website Done, What Do I Get?
The first and foremost activity is the Discovery Meeting. This is a crucial part of the entire process, because this is where your web developer finds out what it is that you want. All of the information is laid out and it is gone over and over until the developer knows exactly what is wanted. A few of the details may be left until later to be looked at in a real time environment.
This is also where the developer is doing his or her planning. There will be questions that are designed to narrow down many of the options that can arise with the development of a website. It is also the time to determine what type of package that you are going to need. These will vary depending on a good number of criteria.
This is the best time to ask questions of the development team. There is no question that is too small and any website elements that are added later in the game will be more difficult if not discussed ahead of time. There is such a large variety of options that there is no way that a developer is going to be able to guess what a client wants.
This is a big phase in the development process and where the majority of the work gets done. Artwork is created during this phase as well as the website style itself. This style can be anything from the basic style applied to a CMS package or an entire development phase from the ground up. Bear in mind that while cost is going to match the amount of work done that your developer is not going to attempt to create extra work just to increase the end bill.
This is not the phase where the actual website itself is developed. This is the phase where the look is developed. That does not simply mean writing down on paper what the website should look like, there is actual programming that creates the look and feel of a website, it’s “style.” This is developed at this point and is just as important as the framework that the site is built around.
Artwork is something that even an experienced web developer may have to have another person take care of. The artwork is developed at the same time as the style because the two go hand and hand in the creation of how a website is going to look. There is a back and forth workflow in this phase where the artwork must work within the style and the style makes room for the artwork. ‘ There will be a good amount of communication between both client and members of the development team for feedback. It is important as a client that honest feedback be given to the team. There is no reason to look years later at a website and wish that the logo was done in different colors. This is the time to make sure that you are completely happy with the look.
Coding and CMS Integration
The final phase is where all the hard work comes together and meets with a whole new world of hard work. The style and artwork are brought together with the CMS and the coding process begins. Different clients need a different amount of coding. Sometimes the CMS simply does not have a function that will meet all of the needs of a client and that portion must be written from scratch. Other clients may simply need the new style and artwork written into the CMS and that is all.
There is not a great deal of feedback needed from the client needed during the coding phase of web development. It can be a long and arduous process for the developers, with a great deal of testing and retesting. It is important that any issues be discovered at this time, rather than once a website has been launched. The biggest place where a developer is earning their fees is during the artwork and the coding phase. Coding is difficult and requires a great deal of programming knowledge, added to years of experience in what does and does not work.
There are several ways to do certain things and it is experience that tells the developer which way works best. Near the end of the process, the developer will need some feedback before the final launch of the website. There will indeed be a few changes that need to be made. The more effort that was put into the first phase will make this one go more smoothly. The client needs to be sure that everything is how they want it and then the final launch is made.