E-commerce Series Part 3: Steps in a Site Build Project
Welcome back to our e-commerce series! We’re changing it up this week – this post is still about the site build process, but it’s applicable to all types of websites, whether they’re e-commerce focused or not!
Why familiarize yourself with the site build project process?
When you first decide to create a new website for your business, you may not know what to expect. Perhaps you’ve been burned by a bad experience with a website project in the past, or maybe this is the first experience you’ve had with starting a site from scratch. Wherever you’re coming from, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the site build process. This way, you can prepare yourself and plan for these events, making sure your development team is checking all the boxes. Below, we detail each of the 6 basic steps in any web development project.
In this first phase, the developers you have engaged for the project have not yet begun work. You’ve shopped around for the right team, made contact, and started to consult. You’ve familiarized yourself with the processes and costs of the project. Your development team has gone over your inquiry and contacted you with more information.
Developing and validating goals
During your early talks with your development professionals, make sure to ask about their plans to achieve your goals for the site. If you are doing a site revamp or rebuild, you should set traffic and SEO goals that are comparable to or above those of your previous site. Be sure to clearly communicate about your design concepts and your wishes for the site. The team you have hired for the project will be able to tell you what’s realistic and achievable.
During this phase, your designers and developers will collaborate to produce design files for the site. In most cases, your project plan will include at least one free design revision, where you will be able to request any changes. The team will then come back with modified design files for your approval. At that point, you may have more revisions included in your project price, or you may need to pay an extra fee for new designs. Best practice is to request all the design changes you think you’ll need with the first round of revisions – this way you save money and time. Set aside real time to go over the designs; the later in the process you request changes, the more difficult and costly they will be to make.
Now, your team will get to work. Unfortunately (and despite common misconceptions), this isn’t a time for you as the client to sit back and relax, at least not completely. Your developers will generally need you to provide things like product photos and details, bios for team members – in short, website content. You can read more about being in the client role here.
Testing and Approval
Once the work on the site is done, it needs to be tested and approved. A development team worth their salt will have an extensive process in place for internal QA and testing. Once their analysis and final fixes are complete, the site will be handed over to you for a final once-over. If you find anything out of place or broken, the developer will work to fix it. You will eventually finalize and approve the site.
The Final Phase of a Site Build Project: Launch
After all this work, and probably after 4-6 weeks or more, your site is ready for the world! The team you’re working with will go through a final launch checklist. For your part, you will want to launch any business and social profiles associated with the site, advertise your site launch on social media, and prepare to do business!
What other posts do you want to see in this series? Let us know below!