Elbel Consulting Services, LLC
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The website development process

What are the steps to create a website? The website development process is one that proceeds from conceptual layout to design and final implementation. ECS has a proven track record of working with clients to produce exactly the website they are looking for.

Website development process

Below are the typical steps of the website development process.

  1. Initial discussion. At this point, you are establishing communication with a potential webmaster in order to determine feasibility and cost of developing your website. You should be able to communicate the general scope and size of your desired website, and the general appearance. ECS encourages you to review this questionnaire as the starting point for communicating your design requirements.
     
    It is important for you to know and convey the purpose of your website, the intended audience of your website, and the message you want to communicate via your website. These will vary depending upon your line of business and whether you are a commercial business, or are a non-profit or political organization.
     
    It also is helpful to have an idea of your budget and also references to other websites in your line of business that you like.
  2. Initial design. This phase determines the general design and layout that you want for the website. It typically involves the web designer providing one or more comps or "comprehensive layouts". These may be simple sketches at this point. This step usually occurs prior to the initial proposal, as complexity of layout affects final cost.
  3. Proposal. A proposal will be provided to you by the web designer. It should specify:
    • The cost or cost range. This may be a fixed bid or a time and materials (hourly rate) bid. (Here is more information on cost.)
    • The initial deposit or retainer amount.
    • The layout, as defined by initial comps.
    • What website features will be included.
    • When the website will be delivered.
    • The specific material that you will provide to the web designer.
    • General navigation items and areas.
    • The amount of artwork involved to create the website, and the associated cost.
    • The number of stock and custom images that will be included, and their cost.
    • The number of stock and custom photos that will be included, and their cost.
    • What features will be included, such as content management.
    • Whether domain name registration will be included, and at what cost.
    • Whether website hosting will be included, and at what cost.
    • What contact mechanisms (email and forms) are to be included on the website.
    • What email accounts are to be established as part of the website.
    • What degree of refinements and "fine tuning" will be made per your requests to the website as part of the initial development.
    • The degree of website marketing promotion that will be done by the website designer / webmaster. This can include internet advertising along with the associated cost.
    • Post-completion enhancement and support costs and rates.
  4. Agreement of both parties to the proposal. This then becomes the development contract.
  5. Selection and approval of layout. The layout, or comp must be approved before design can begin.
  6. The client sends the web designer the initial deposit, if required by agreement.
  7. Provide the designer with the material (content or "copy", photos and images) that will go on the website.
  8. Website construction begins.
  9. Domain name(s) will be registered if part of the agreement.
  10. Establish a website hosting account.
  11. Crete email accounts.
  12. Review the initial design template (skeleton web page) as created by the website designer.
  13. Complete the website.
  14. Client review of the new website.
  15. Minor adjustments.
  16. Final approval.
  17. Make the website live.
  18. Market and promote the website. (See How do I promote my website?)
  19. Ongoing support, changes and enhancements outside of the realm of the original proposal.

It is crucial that the website be promoted once it is created. This is a shared responsibility between the client and the website designer / webmaster. It can include:

  • Publish the website to search engines.
  • Purchasing internet advertising.
  • A press release.
  • Email announcements.
  • Postal announcements.
  • Including the website URL on business cards, letterhead, and brochures.
  • Getting friendly websites to announce and link to your website.
  • Blog entries and articles.

Contact Elbel Consulting Services to learn more about creating an affordable, attractive and fully-featured web site.

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