Website design/development projects can be roughly split into 3 phases: Web Design, Web Development and Software Development. However, there is also a project research phase and it is covered in the presales stage. It is equally important and the whole project is based on the information obtained during this phase.
As mentioned above, project research is, unfortunately, something clients might not be aware of and some might not consider it a part of the website building process, but it is there and might be one of the most important phases of the project. The reason is simple – if things go wrong here, the whole project might be compromised, potentially causing a web design agency to have to completely redesign the website, which might result in clients missing the expected website launch date.
During this phase, a web design agency needs to find out what their customers want in terms of the design, what message the website layout and design need to convey, and it would be extremely useful to find out what websites the client likes and why. The questions asked in this phase should be used as a guide through the whole project.
Web design phase typically takes a few business days – 2 or 3 days, depending on the complexity. The homepage design is probably something the clients are most excited about – this is when they first get to see what their website looks like. For this phase, it is important to understand the requirements and the sitemap well.
Web development starts after the design concept is approved and depending on the project complexity and the number of pages needed, it usually takes from 2 days to up to a week, including gathering the client’s feedback and possibly making the necessary amends. No layout changes should occur in this phase, but these do happen in reality. The web development phase starts with the homepage demo and once this is approved, the inner pages can be built.
The most basic software development example is building a content management system, and this takes about 1 business day. Having a content management system is extremely helpful and allows clients to update the website and create fresh content once the website is live. There are some instances of more complex software development which usually takes a few additional days to do.
Content, Review and Feedback
If we try to simplify things, we can say that the design phase takes 2 – 3 days, web development takes 2 – 3 days as well and there is also software development (content management system) which takes about 1 day. But in reality, it is not that simple and the whole process lasts a few weeks with the following schedule:
The challenges that web design agencies usually face are gathering the feedback and content from the clients. But with good planning, this can be prevented. When building a website for Abbey Masterbatch Ltd, a major masterbatch manufacturer and supplier, the client was very responsive and proactive, which enabled us to deliver the project within the predicted timelines.