If you have never been involved in a project like this before, you might be wondering just what steps are taken, what goals are set, and other details that all go into the beginnings of a web site.Not knowing what you might be getting into is not very comforting when you consider the potential expense that can be tied to something like this.
Below I try to outline the basic steps taken into making each and every decision along the way. These steps are closely followed resulting in a minimum of delay and miscommunication for the overall project. The order in which the items are listed do not necessarily represent the actual order in which these tasks are completed. Obviously, some tasks need to be done before others, but each web site is different and many variables will effect the order in which these jobs will need to be accomplished.
Define goals and objectives for web site.
What do you wish to accomplish with this web site? Inform your audience, sell a product or service to them - or something else?
Identify the target audience of the site.
Who is going to be your main audience for this site? Who will have a need that your site can fill?
Define the content of the web site.
How many pages will we need to have? What will the main content or topic of each page be? Will we need alot of graphics or photos, or mainly copy? Mostly information, or will there be lots of thumbnail pictures of your products?
Develop a marketing strategy.
Do you wish to have marketing over and above the simple basics we provide with our services? If so, a search will be conducted on your behalf for the right person or firm to aggressively market your website.
Register a domain name and secure a domain host.
Most people want a domain name (yourwebsite.com) and all domain names require a domain host in order to display a website on the internet. There are many different features that you may wish to have on your web site which could have an impact on the type of hosting you need.
Setup a merchant account.
If you plan to accept credit cards directly online, you will need a merchant account. This is something that applies to "brick and mortar" store owners also, not just web site owners.
Design the layout.
The actual page design and general color scheme is decided here. This step precedes the next two steps.
Develop the content.
Internal pages are named and the actual copy is created, proofed and edited. Links are determined in addition to the installation of a tracker for traffic to the site.
Design and create graphics.
Any graphics for the site such as logos, menu tabs or buttons and other artwork, including photo editing and placement.
Test and debug.
The site is tested and debugged at this point. Final submission to client for approval comes after this step.
During the construction of the website, client will have a link to be used for review of the work being done. As soon as there is something to see I will send you a link so you can check in at any time on my progress.
Upon final approval by client the site is formally launched. Any additional marketing that client has decided to implement is started at this time. submissions are done also.
If you have any questions about the steps listed above, or any steps you might wonder about that were not included here, please feel free to let me know.