The 5 Major Phases of a Web Development Project

Posted by Libby Fisher on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 in Freelancing, Web Design

Good morning friends! Today I am writing about the 5 major phases of a web development or design project. I think it is very important to have a plan and a routine when it comes to designing websites so today I am going to cover the major phases and over the next few days, we will dig a little deeper into each phase.

1) Meeting with the potential client

The goal of this phase is to get to know your potential client and learn what it is they want to accomplish with their website. What are their goals? What is their business like? Who are their biggest customers? Who are the customers they really want to reach?

After talking with the client for the first time, set up a consultation to discuss the project in detail, either on the phone or in person. Make sure you do a little preparation before this consultation by bringing questions and ideas you might have. Being prepared for this first consultation with your client shows professionalism and an eagerness to really work with your clients. Take good notes during this consultation and use these notes to write an effective web design proposal.  Once the client agrees to the proposal and you both sign a contract, you are ready to begin work!

Read more about meeting and collaborating with your potential web design client.

2) Researching your client’s keywords, competitors, and target market

The point in doing research before actually beginning the designing of the website is to gain a good understanding of who your client’s target customers are and how to best reach them. This is very, very important in developing a successful website. A few other important things to research are: the client’s preferred keywords, the business’s target clients or audience, and the business’s competitors.

Read more about researching a web design project – keywords, competitors, and target market.

3) Wireframes and Mockups

The objective in this phase is to create a design that will fulfill your client’s needs and goals. By creating only the designs, without actually coding anything at this point, you can make sure that you won’t have to go back and redo the coding, which saves you time. Even if you go back and forth with several different design concepts with the client at this stage (how many times you do this should be outlined in your contract), taking the time to get the design that the client wants taken care of at this point is important.

Read more about Designing a Website: Wireframes and Mockups

4) Coding a website

Once the client has approved the final design concept, it is time to code the website. How you do this is up to you and probably depends somewhat on the project. Sometimes it is wise to write your own codes completely from scratch and other times it is best to start with a template.

Read more about Coding a website: Handcoding vs. templates vs. slicing

5) Testing, tweaking and launching

Once the website coding is complete and the site is functional, it is time to test it. Check for browser compatibility, broken links or missing content, and make sure you have included everything that you agreed to include in your contract. Once you have tested the site out and are sure that it is done, you are finally ready to launch the new site!

So, that is an overview of the 5 major phases of designing a website. Check back in a day or so for an in-depth look at the first phase: meeting with the potential client to discuss their project.

If you have any questions or comments or something that you would like to add, just leave a comment! 🙂