Building an effective website is not an individual’s task but a whole collection of different skills get to
involve in the process. From typography and copywriting to layout and art, they all combined together to develop an
interface that not only featuresa pleasant aesthetic but that communicates function and facilities easy access to its content. It takes creative efforts to make a website so easy to use that your visitors will love and come to visit again and again as the experience is simple, less complicated and quick. But in order to achieve successful results you should have a clear direction, a direction that will guide each and every aspect of your design towards common goals. You must think strategically and homework is must before getting started. Proper planning, staging of events and right flow of ideas are some must to follow elements for building an effective website. Here you
can read the different stages for developing an effective website-
Stage 1- Information Gathering
Stage 2- Planning
Stage 3- Design
Stage 4- Development
Stage 5- Testing and Delivery
Stage 6- Maintenance
Information Gathering- You need to start by collecting information about the business of your client and their organization’s goals. Communicate more with your client and understand what exactly they want in their website. It will not only make your task easy but also help you in building right website. Ask your client, your project manager or yourself what are you trying to achieve with the new website or redesign? What is the website’s main purpose? A clear direction is essential if you want your design to have a purpose. Your website should represent the brand for which you are working. Your initial research on company’s plans and reasons behind developing a website will help you in operating and digging into the internal value dynamics. The more you communicate the more you will be able to understand the purpose, goals, target audiences and content on which the whole idea of the business is based.
Planning- After gathering all the required information about the project you need to move on with a brilliant planning. Your planning should be based on elements like, who your website will target, what is the agenda of the website, what theme and technology will suit the most to the website and many more. As the audience play a big role in how your website should look and function, you need to plan about demographics here that can influence your design, ones like age, gender, profession and technical competency. A serious business journal for an entrepreneur needs a different style and theme than that of a computer game website. Remember, usability should play a bigger role for older and less technically savvy audiences. A properly structured planning would also help in creative judgment as you would be confident with the process chosen and applied.
Design- Combine the information with your planning before developing the web design. Your focus should be on the brand and requirements. You need not to follow the latest trends and then implement them without thinking first about what sort of image they really should be conveying. Glossy buttons, gradients and reflective floors may work for some websites, but they may or may not be right for your brand. Just start-off with a theme in mind and start building your things sticking to a tone. Start with a sketch, try to mix ideas to create variations and build a couple of design prototypes. Make a balance between color and images. You need to think about the emotions you wish to elicit on the website. Your design should embody character of your brand. Everything has a brand; even if you don’t sell a product or service. For example, if you run a blog, your website still has a certain feel that makes an impression on your visitors. Decide what that impression should be.
If talking about technical aspect, than you need to prepare mock-ups starting from the most important pages that would represent and lead the entire web profile. You need to work in a close proximity with a team of technical experts who would help you do the required CSS and XHTML.
Development- Next important stage of building a website is developing the code for the home page and to create a shell for internal pages. It would work as a template to refer for navigation and functional facets and help you build the web architecture for the entire website quite confidently and easily. Mark all objects and features that need to serve the entire web framework with resources and facilities. If it’s an ecommerce cart website it needs to have a complete presentation schema and the integration of the web elements done with adequate scalability and security measures in place.
Testing and Delivery- Quality assurance testing plays an important role in developing an effective and creative website. There is no website comes out perfect in the first go. No matter how carefully you do your task still there are chance of bugs and limitations left when you develop a website. It is important to go step by step following a proper testing guide and apply those using test cases putting quality checks at multiple levels for the website to meet all the validation and compatibility measures. Every client demands his website should appear on top of search engines, so you need to stuff it with relevant keywords while you are adding titles, meta-tags, h-tags and content. At the end you can deploy your website on a safe server and get a domain name registered for it and you are done with a perfect delivery.
Maintenance- Like your home and car needs regular maintenance, website also needs continuous improvement using small steps. You can always make improvements, and the very nature of a website will allow you to introduce these at any time. This is because a website isn’t a magazine that you print and sell: once a magazine copy is out of your hands, you cannot make any changes or fix any spelling mistakes or errors. A website, however, sits on your server: if you find a mistake, you can fix it right away. In the same vein, you can introduce gradual improvements and updates to make your website more effective in serving its function.