1. INFORMATION GATHERING
The first step in designing a successful website is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when the look and feel of your site is created.
Certain Things To Consider Are:
What is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a productâ€¦ ?
What do you hope to accomplish by building this website? Two of the more common goals are either to make money or share information.
What kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site? Are they looking for specific information, a particular product or service, online ordering.
Using the information gathered now is time to put together a plan for website. This is the point where a site map is developed. The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics, if applicable. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. The end-user of the website and your Client must be kept in mind when designing your website. These technique will help to create an easy user interface so that the end user and your client will easily understand the functionality of the website.
Now it is time to let the designers be creative! Review the project brief, sitemap with the designer(s), than give them free reign to brainstorm solutions and develop the different visual designs. At this point, the designer(s) has a clear idea of the purpose of the site, the content that will comprise the site, the site architecture and the elements that need to be on each page. Designer will create one or more prototype designs of website and you can show these prototypes to your client and know everything is going ok.
Some clients may be interested only in a full functional prototype. In this case we may need to show them the interactivity of the website. But in most of the cases, the client may be interested in viewing two or three design alternatives with images and navigation. Be prepared to note down quite a lot of suggestions and changes from the client side. All the proposed changes should be finalized before moving into the next phase. The revisions could be redisplayed via the web for the client to view. This is the most vital stage in the project life cycle to gain client trust that the project is in capable hands.
In this stage, communication between the client and your designer is crucial to ensure that the final website will match your needs and taste. It is important that you work closely with your designer, exchanging ideas, until you arrive at the final design for your website.
Now, it's the programmers turn to add his code without disturbing the design. Unlike traditional design, the developer must know the interface and the code should not disturb the look and feel of the site or application.This calls for the developer to understand the design and navigation of the site. If the site is dynamic then the code should utilize the template. The developer may need to interact with the designer, in order to understand the design. The designer may need to develop some graphic buttons whenever the developer is in need, especially while using some form buttons.
5. TESTING AND DELIVERY
There Are Few Types Of Testing
Test All Links:
Test the outgoing links from all the pages , test all internal links ,test links jumping on the same pages , test links used to send email to admin or other users from web pages , test to check if there are any orphan pages. Finally link checking includes, check for broken links in all above-mentioned links.
Test Forms In All Pages:
Forms are the integral part of any website. Forms are used for receiving information from users and to interact with them. So what should be checked on these forms?
First check all the validations on each field. Check for default values of the fields. Wrong inputs in the forms to the fields in the forms. Options to create forms if any, form delete, view or modify the forms.
Data consistency is also very important in web application. Check for data integrity and errors while you edit, delete, modify the forms or do any DB related functionality. Check if all the database queries are executing correctly, data is retrieved and also updated correctly.
Content should be logical and easy to understand. Check for spelling errors. Usage of dark colours annoys the users and should not be used in the site theme. You can follow some standard colours that are used for web page and content building. These are the common accepted standards like what I mentioned above about annoying colours, fonts, frames etc. Content should be meaningful. All the anchor text links should be working properly. Images should be placed properly with proper sizes.
After all above testing steps now it's time to deliver the website to your client.
6. MAINTENANCE AND UPDATING
Websites will need quite frequent updates to keep them fresh and relevant. So at this stage some client wants to update his website. So many website companies offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your website.
In such a case, we need to do analysis again, and all the other life-cycle steps will be repeated. Bug fixes can be done during the time of maintenance. Once your website is operational, ongoing promotion, technical maintenance, content management & updating, site visit activity reports, staff training and mentoring is needed on a regular basis, depending on the complexity of your website and the needs within your organization.