August 01, 2016
In our last post we explored the different types of website platforms that are available. Once you have decided which platforms best suit your business and help you achieve your overall goals, it’s time to get down to the actual process of building a successful and working site.
At the start of any web project at S&B a variety of documents (including an interactive strategy brief, scope of work, technical requirements and timeline) are gathered and approved. These documents guide our creative and development teams while the site is being concepted, designed and developed.
After the initial documents are approved, the framework of the site is developed. This includes the SEO strategy, sitemap and wireframes. Imperative to the success of any web project, big or small, is outlining how the site will be seen to Google. The SEO strategy drives content, design and behind-the-scenes technical considerations, so it’s important that all parties agree on this strategy early on.
Next, content areas are determined, a sitemap (or outline of pages on the site) is created and wireframes are built. The wireframes and sitemap are incredibly important because they outline all content that is to exist on the site. It is easiest to move pieces around and make changes while still in this phase. Think of wireframes like a blueprint for a house. They outline all of the areas of the site and show where certain pieces of content will go once all of the building is complete. It’s much easier to move a bathroom and make a kitchen larger before any drywall is put up.
After the framework is agreed upon, design concepts are created. This usually entails creation of a homepage and several interior pages to show what the look and feel of the site will be. Once a creative execution is selected, the creative team executes all remaining page layouts, develops any necessary assets (videos, content, imagery) and prepares files for the development team. This includes page layouts and designs for desktop, tablet and mobile screens to ensure your site performs perfectly on any device. Depending on the site, these mobile versions require reordering content pieces or creating new assets entirely.
As the site is coded during the development process, it is tested and reviewed to ensure expected functionality is working and that the design vision is executed properly. Content is added, pages are created and more testing is done. Once final approval is given by the agency team and the client, a website is born.
Just like Rome, websites aren’t (and shouldn’t be!) built in a day. In fact, on average it takes between 6-12 months to complete a website development project. Because it’s such a long process and a big investment, it’s important to work with a stable, established partner that you can trust and rely on.
When building a website, make sure you’re always considering the bigger picture of how, when and where this website will be used today, tomorrow and next year. If you’re not sure where to start, we’re happy to help.