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Author Topic: Website Development and Design - 5 Basic Stages  (Read 1981 times)


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Website Development and Design - 5 Basic Stages
« on: November 07, 2009, 06:55:57 AM »
A typical website development and design plan should lay a solid foundation for the execution of the new site. The project should include the following key stages:

In this phase, the website owner should meet with the team or designer who will be implementing the site in  to hammer out precise details governing the site's true business goals, functionality, appearance, and options for future development. Brainstorming or planning sessions are key to keeping the project on-task and heading in the right direction.
Extensive online research should be performed with a formal feature-set survey of comparable websites within the targeted industry. This phase of website development will help determine the ways in which competitors have succeeded and/or failed in certain aspects of their own online presence. With this information you will be able to avoid mistakes and see what the "best of the best" are doing to achieve their success.

Strategic Brief
Before actualizing the website development plan, a formal, written "Strategic Brief" should be compiled. This document should lay out in substantial detail the manner in which the project should and will unfold in terms of project management, deliverables, timetables of start and finish dates, functionality, design considerations, possible future needs and expansion options, etc.

Site Map
A detailed, written "Site Map" document should be created giving a bird's eye view of the site's planned structure, navigation schema, and the inter-relation of content.

Content Creation
'Content is King' when it comes to a website's effectiveness and its ability to convert customers while also being recognized by search engines. During this stage, content will need to be gathered, refined/reassessed and authored where necessary. If the website development and design team does not have an SEO (search engine optimization) writer on staff, it may make sense to outsource one. Most SEO copywriters are experienced in all forms of direct marketing writing, and writing for search engine visibility is an advanced skill set. An experienced search-marketing copywriter will view the product or service's benefits from the customer's perspective and communicate that excitement to prospective ers-all while still gaining the search engine ranking the website requires.

Additionally, SEO copywriters will seamlessly weave crucial keyword phrases into new marketing text without sacrificing a conversion flow, and they will strategize how new pages should be structured for maximum keyword saturation. Especially for time-challenged marketing departments or individual entrepreneurs, finding SEO expertise outside of the immediate website development team can significantly help increase the site's return on investment and search engine rankings.

As soon as the content has been authored and refined, the new site should be populated with the content and launched as soon as possible.

Beyond Website Development
Like any business model, website development and design is a cyclical process of monitoring, assessment and redevelopment if necessary. However, if substantial time and effort is invested into a website's initial planning, the website development team's work will be minimized greatly during the monitoring phase.

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