If we keep the conventional wisdom aside, coding is not the most important part of the website development life cycle. Actually, it is secondary. What is more important is the planning and strategizing the entire process and ensuring that it meets the client’s need.
The planning and strategizing play an important role as they define the timeline of the website development. From this timeline, the cost of building an app can be derived. So, if you plan your website development properly, you make a profit and if you fail to do so and keep on extending the timeline, you make a loss. It is as simple as that. This makes us realize how important it is to follow a process.
Talking about the process, we need to be careful about each and every step involved in the website development life cycle. A step missed will result in an extended timeline and you will have to face the consequences of the delayed launch of your website.
If you are looking forward to building an app or a website but are confused on how to approach the elephant in the room, here are the detailed steps to go by and complete building your app.
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Phases of Web Development Life Cycle
Below are the 12 detailed phases for building a website. This will begin right from the time you get your requirement to the time of final deployment.
Study these 12 phases carefully and you will be able to build a great app.
1. Requirement Gathering
Once you are clear about your website idea, it is time that you address some of the important questions at the start of website building. Know what is the main purpose of the website. Get a clear idea about the users. Run a demography test and define your targeted audience. This will help you design your website as per the taste of your target audience.
Understand the purpose of the website and plan for the features of the website. This way you will be able to ensure that there is no forceful functionality stuffing in your website.
2. Design Strategy
For building a full-fledged website with good features and functionalities, it is important that you meet the demands of your target audience with your website design. If your website is mundane, you will be able to capture not the user’s attention but the increase in the bounce rate.
So, it is crucial that you keep in mind the business goals to reflect the brand image. Also, the elements that you plan for building your app should talk about the vision of your website. This will help you engage your users as well as keep them aware as to why they are on the website.
Add to that your content marketing strategy and your sales will be sorted.
3. Technical Strategy
Once you are sorted with your design strategy, it is time that you plan for your technical strategies. It will consist of the decision related to the features and functionalities that are to be added to the website.
On the basis of the features and the overall aim of building a website, base framework, database architecture, security in each tier, front-end development modules, back-end development, etc. will be decided.
Thus, technical strategy becomes the base for building a website.
The branding stage is where you maintain the essence of the website’s purpose and blend it with the company. This means that when the user looks at your website or uses it, your website should connect with your user as well as the branding should be registered in the mind of the user.
Whenever he comes across the color scheme of your website on Social Media Platforms or just your web page, he should be able to recognize your brand.
For this purpose, you need to have a connection between your website’s logo, business cards, web pages, Social Media Channels and any sort of advertisement along with the website’s design, color palette, favicons, taglines etc. for creating a strong impression in the mind of the user.
5. UI/UX Design
You have a great website. You have good marketing strategies. Your content is engaging. You are very excited about the user interaction with the website. But it never happens.
Because you didn’t guide your user properly and so the user bounced off from the main page itself. All your strategies went in vain.
This is the importance of a good UI/UX design. For building a website, you need to connect the specification of the website and blend it with the design in such a manner that your user finds it easy to use your website.
You can make the look and feel of the website engaging by trying your hands on animations and designs such as mood boards, style tile, etc.
6. Navigation Module
Agree or agree?
You are building your website with the sole aim to attract the attention of users across the Internet and turn them into repeat users.
If this is your aim, the entire onus of your website development relies on the navigation module. Design a navigation path that can connect your users easily with their desired page. Use chatbots to know their expectations and drive them to the page they wish to be on.
The easier the user will find to be on your website, the easier it will be for you to drive business.
7. Concept Testing
So far we were into the planning and strategizing stage. Now is the time to put your strategies on the litmus test.
Take a step back and revisit your strategies all over again. Think over the purpose of your website and then see if the strategies are helping it get discovered.
If you feel a disconnect, go ahead and create a new plan. Repeat the same till you find all the strategies in line with your overall business idea.
This is how you can eliminate all the issues that pop-up during the initial stage of your website development life cycle.
Now is the time to bring your website into the real world. The development stage is where the coding begins.
In this step, you need to code and create frameworks, define stacks, and algorithms for the functionalities. As the list goes by, logic is developed for the features and separate codes are written for different functions.
This way algorithm are created to make the page more functional and perform the tasks specified at the start of the website development phase.
9. Database Architecture
For storing the data, a database is a source. After the development of the functionalities, you need to focus on developing the database architecture.
Again, this will be done on the basis of the website requirements. This will cover the important modules such as designing of the physical and functional capabilities of the database, flow of the data in the system, recalling information, strategies for reuse of the data structures, etc.
This way the functioning of the website can be ensured.
Once this is done, it is necessary to carry out a database assessment check of the data storage. Here the capacity of the data storage is to be checked along with data quality and data security.
10. Frontend and Backend Development
For bringing the functionalities into the real world and to deliver an engaging design for the users of your platform, make sure that you develop an intriguing front-end design.
This is the time of mobile. You need to make your website responsive enough so that even your users can access your website independent of their devices.
It is time to pick up the pieces and solve the puzzle. This is how you will be able to see your complete website getting into shape.
During the development phase of the website, whatever modules were built and coded, they are integrated together to form a module. This way a larger module is built and ultimately features are built.
This can be done in two ways – either you can combine 2 modules at the same time or you can combine all of them together and test it all at once. But for simplifying the process, it is recommended that you go piece by piece and test it.
Here the process involves connecting all the modules along with any third party API and database.
Once the integration is done, the website needs to be tested for the requirements. whether it meets your expectations.
Test for all the forms, links, its landing pages, HTML/CSS functionalities, navigation testing, cookies testing, database testing, relevancy of content etc. Compatibility testing is to check whether the website is used on all the platforms and supports all the technologies. Also, in regards to the mobile and other devices.
Security testing we test the web applications for various test cases such as authentication credentials, URL of any page should not open without login, a record of all the errors and security breach attempts.
Integration testing is to test the behavior of the website in case of any undesired situation such as interrupt in connection, abort the process, etc.
Performance testing is to test the performance of a website, one is load and the other one is stress.
The website is not only about coding and it does not end after your release. Web development is a journey. You make it better and better every time you face an issue. Same is the case with building an app. It is not about what you do at the start of your app. It is how you maintain it by continuously updating it.
You need to be experimenting as to what your users like and what they dislike. The initial phase and the life cycle will help you through the process.
Again, if you are worried about the cost of building an app, do not worry at all. Just keep your requirements minimum at first and then keep on upgrading it.
This is the ultimate secret to developing any website or app.