The Site Development Process

Every web project is unique and challenge but the process of developing a web site generally follows six major stages that you should think through before finalize your project planning and proposal documents:
Developing a large web site is a process that may have far-reaching budgetary Think before you act, and make sure you have the organizational backing, budget, and personnel resources you’ll need to make the project a success

First in six step is

1.Site definition and planning
This initial stage is where you define your goals and objectives for the web site and begin to collect and analyze the information you’ll need to justify the budget and resources required. your site designers should be involved as soon as possible in the planning discussions.

2.Site production checklist

• • • • •

Will your site production team be composed of in-house people, outside contractors, or a mix of the two? Who will manage the process? Who are your primary content experts? Who will be the liaison to any outside contractors? Who will function long-term as the webmaster or site editor?

• • • • • •

What operating systems and browsers should your site support? What is the network bandwidth of the average site visitor? Will the site have dynamic html and advanced features? How will users reach support personnel? Does the site require database support? Will the site have audiovisual content?

Web server support

Will the site reside on an in-house web server or be outsourced to an Internet service provider for web hosting? o Disk space limitations, site traffic limitations, extra costs o Adequate capacity to meet site traffic demands o Twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week support and maintenance o Statistics on users and site traffic o Server log analysis: in-house or outsourced o Search engine suitable for your content o cgi, programming, database middleware support o Database support or coordination with in-house staff

• • •

What are staffing costs? What hardware and software are needed for in-house development team members? What are staff training costs?

What are the outsourcing fees?

Appoint a site editor to become the “process manager”
Every successful new web site makes a transition from a development project to an ongoing editorial process that keeps the site alive and fresh over time. A site that is “everyone’s responsibility” can quickly become an orphan. So For current content and consistent editorial, graphic design, and management policies you’ll need one person to act as the editor of the overall web site. The site editor’s duties will vary according to how you choose to maintain your site. A site editor also responsibility for keeping the site content as visible as possible in local enterprise or general Internet search engines. The site editor is also the logical person to handle the collection and analysis of web site analytics and to produce periodic reports on the usage of the site. a site editor must also make certain that the content of the site reflects the policies of the enterprise, is consistent with local appropriate use policies, and does not contain material that violates copyright laws.

Information architecture
At this stage you need to detail the content and organization of the web site. The team should inventory all existing content, describe what new content is required, and define the organizational structure of the site.

Site design
At this stage the project acquires its look and feel, as the page grid, page design, and overall graphic design standards are created and approved The goal is to produce all the content components and functional programming and have them ready for the final production stage

Whether you develop your site on your own or hire a professional web developer, you should develop page templates for your new web site. It’s much easier to add new pages when you can start from a page that already contains basic navigation and site graphics.

Making sure that web sites are accessible and usable by people with disabilities is the focus of web accessibility. The key efforts in this area arise out of the Web Accessibility Initiative. WAI efforts are focused on developing tools and best practices that promote the development of universally accessible web sites.

Site construction
Only at this mature stage of the project are the bulk of the site’s web pages constructed and filled out with content.
• • • • • • • • • •

Finished html for all web pages, all page content in place Finished navigation link structure All programming in place and linked to pages, ready for user testing All database components in place and linked to site pages All graphic design, illustration, and photography in place Final proofreading of all site content Detailed testing of database and programming functionality Testing and verification of database reporting features Testing of site user support procedures, answering email, etc. Archives of all site content components, html code, programming code, and any other site development materials

Site marketing
Your web site should be an integral part of all marketing campaigns and corporate communications programs you must look beyond getting listed in standard web indexes, such as Yahoo! and Google Local libraries, newspapers, and schools are often the key to publicizing a new web site within a specific locale.

Tracking, evaluation, and maintenance
Your web server software can record an abundance of information about visitors to your site. Even the simplest site logs track how many people (unique visitors) saw your site over a given time, how many pages were requested for viewing, and many other variables. The logs will tell you which pages were the most popular and what brands and versions of web browser people used to view your site.

As a service to customers, site hosting companies often offer reports from popular site analysis programs like Google Analytics

They can tell you what content people looked at, where your visitors are coming from, and provide a rich set of technical information on what technology your typical readers are using.

Maintaining the site
Don’t abandon your site once the production “goes live” and the launch parties are over. Your site editor will need to be responsible for coordinating and vetting the new content stream, maintaining the graphic and editorial standards, and ensuring that the programming and linkages of all pages remain intact and functional. if you disappoint them by not following through, it will be doubly difficult to attract your audience back to the site.

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