The Website Design and Development Process

4 Minute Read

Your website is ground zero for just about everything your company does. It’s often the first interaction customers have with your brand, and it’s where your content, products, and services live. Sales, marketing, social interactions, communication, and recruiting are just some things your website can do. Designed well, it will deliver a significant return on investment as you evolve and grow.

 Now, if you’re like most other businesses, you’ve probably spent a lot of time coming up with kick-ass branding, mission statements, business plans, and ways to delight your customers like no one else can. But if you want all that effort to matter, you need to put it all together in a cohesive, dynamic, and visually appealing way that not only drives traffic but also delivers the data you need to improve continually.

 Knowing they need a website, many new companies start by launching something simple just to have an online presence. But as your company grows, you’ll likely discover at some point that you need more flexibility, capability, control, and customization. Web development is the logical next step.

Today, we’ll outline the website design workflow, outlining the web design step-by-step process we apply to give you a functional, modern website that will carry you into the future.

 Working with a design studio like Costello Creative Group gives you access to the latest technology and trends in website design and development. Understanding our web design workflow will help to move the process forward in an agile manner, ensuring you achieve the high-quality results you need.

 

The 10 Steps of Website Development

 1. Research

We always begin with a conversation. The discovery process involves speaking with company leaders and stakeholders to understand the business, its personality, its people, where you came from, and where you envision yourself in the future. We like to know what you hope to achieve with the new site and understand the competition—what they are doing right or wrong, where gaps in the market exist, and how we can fill them.

 2. Define Goals

We like to quantify every project. We start with well-defined goals so we can measure success. Examples of website goals could be increasing organic traffic, lead generation, improving rank in your niche, boosting sales, collecting data, or improving the user experience for your customers.

 3. Planning

Next, we perform a site audit. During this phase, we review current content, reorganize what’s salvageable, create a sitemap, and develop site navigation. The audit will tell us what parts of your website design work and which do not contribute to your stated goals. It will also reveal gaps in functionality that we might want to add in development.

 4. Copywriting

The sitemap we create in step three forms the framework for the site content. The copy we create then informs the wireframes and design. Our copywriting team applies industry knowledge, branding, and SEO principles to create compelling, engaging copy designed to encourage interaction.

 5. Wireframing

The wireframe is a detailed structural roadmap that indicates where content will be placed and what functionality is required. Content is adjusted to fit the wireframe as needed. The wireframe enables us to visualize the customer journey and is essential in crafting a good user experience. It must take place before the visual design can happen.

 6. Visual Design

Once the wireframe is complete, we create design concepts built from brand assets. Every brand has an identity, an aesthetic, and a voice. The visual design communicates those aspects visually, so it’s critical to work with a creative marketing agency with experience in branding so they can interpret your vision accurately and appropriately. The visual design creates a mood and sets a tone. It’s emotional, attaching a feeling to your brand that will linger with site visitors long after they click away, so you need to make it count.

 7. Site Development

During the site development, we integrate your design into a content management system CMS), which will help you create, manage, and maintain your website content. We work on all aspects of functionality and technical development to best serve the new UX/UI focused design. 

 8. Technical Checklist

Before we launch, we’ll gather DNS, and domain details, and install Google Analytics/Search Console so we can track technical data.

 Items addressed under the technical checklist include:

  • Ensure no broken links
  • Check website functionality and appearance on all browsers
  • Mobile testing
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Page speed
  • Optimize headers
  • Optimize images
  • Optimize URLs
  • Search Features
  • Snippets
  • Meta tags
  • HTML validation
  • Accessibility validation
  • Secure connection
  • Content Security
     

 9. QA Testing

QA stands for quality assurance. At this stage, your designers and developers will test the website to ensure everything works as it should. The client simultaneously reviews the website and provides feedback. Based on that feedback, issues are addressed, resolved, and retested as needed. QA testing is an iterative process that requires working closely together with stakeholders to ensure expectations are met.

 10. Site Launch

Once all issues are addressed and functionality is confirmed, we connect the domain and DNS and your site is launched to the world. Even if we are replacing an existing site, downtime is minimized as much as possible. We monitor site performance and usability for the first few days and address any coding concerns as needed.

 Final Thoughts

While the website design workflow and web development process might seem complex, working with a capable creative marketing agency is your key to success. Since 2012, Costello Creative Group has consistently delivered top-notch results that look great and provide the performance and ROI our clients need to grow.

 

Set up a call today, and let’s talk about possibilities.

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