Web Design and Development Series – Phase 3: Development

Two desktop screens with code

This is the third of a four-part series on website design and development.

Your website project has completed the discovery phase and web design phase. This means you’ve come to an agreement with your web design agency as to the outcomes of the project, and you’ve signed off on the wireframes and design mockups for your web pages. Now begins the web development process. This is where the bulk of the work occurs; it is the most time- and resource-intensive phase. At this stage, your web development company will collate all the information and preparation from the earlier phases and begin programming, database integration, and implementing site logic and functionality. 

Web Development Basics

At its heart, the web development process involves coding. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s rule-based writing using a programming language, like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Your code powers your website and controls how it functions. If you want to change any aspect of your website, you have to alter the corresponding piece of code. 

While web designers are responsible for the design and layout of your website, web developers are your primary contributors during the web development process. Developers create code in what’s called a code editor. It’s a basic necessity of web development. Some of the more popular code editors include VS Code, Atom, Sublime Text, and Vim. This is where they’ll go to create the structure for every webpage, including the font and appearance and adding in page sections and widgets. This is the part of the web development process where your developers will add the content to each webpage, including text, images, videos, links, and dynamic content, and, crucially, ensure it’s all responsive. It’s difficult to exaggerate the importance of this step. Mobile accounts for 60% of all search volume and over 50% of all web traffic, and it’s only expected to grow from here.

Programming also involves the integration of third-party code, APIs, and plugins, which enables features such as social media sharing, Google Analytics installation, and the addition of payment gateways. It’s also where developers will enhance page-load speed, simplify navigation, and influence user journey on your website. It’s a critical step in the web development process.

Website Builder or Designer?

A common quandary for companies is whether to use a website builder or a designer for their development. Content management systems (CMS) have certainly democratized website building, to the extent that around 40% of all websites are powered by just one CMS — WordPress. However, a common handicap of most website builders is that they limit the degree of customization possible during the web development process, since parts of the code can’t be altered. While WordPress is known to afford much more leeway in this regard, if you expect your website to handle significant traffic and provide a top-notch user experience, you’ll probably need some developer assistance.

Understanding Hosting

Hosting implies storage, specifically, of your website data. It’s how your website finally becomes accessible to anyone on the internet. It’s a basic but crucial part of the web development process.

To enable hosting, you need two things — a domain name and a hosting service provider. 

A domain name is your web address. It’s indicated by the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) on your web browser. The domain name of this website, as you’ll see from the URL box above, is https://bestwebdesignservicescompanies.com/. You have to choose what your web address will be and then purchase that domain from a registry service like GoDaddy, provided it’s available. Someone else may already be using that domain name, in which case you will have to choose a different one.

Your hosting service provider offers the server space to store your website data and call it up for anyone who keys in your website URL. Often, both of these services are provided by the same company. Choosing the right hosting service needs to be a high priority for you during the web development process. Your web provider is a long-term success partner for your online business. They control the security and user experience of your website. A slow hosting service means slow page-loads for you. 40% of consumers worldwide will leave a website if it takes longer to load than two or three seconds. When you choose a provider, initially filter candidates based on their reliability. Do a reference check or look at online customer reviews for instances of downtime and security lapses. Then go on to make your decision based on the pricing and flexibility options that are offered to you. 

Server room with people

Managing the Web Development Process

Maintaining clear communication channels is a basic necessity of web development. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your developers and keep communicating, simply because your web development has entered a more technical phase. It’s a good way to keep track of timelines and ensure that your scope of work is being adhered to.

Keep them apprised of functional or strategic changes in your company that have an impact on the web development process. If you plan to transition to a new CRM or significantly expand your product catalog, let your web developers know. 

Importantly, don’t rush the work. Giving your web development team enough time will pay dividends in a sustainable code that is likely to prevent downtime and save you money in the future.

In the web development process, you build out the entire user experience of your website, directly influencing its success. Up to 79% of B2C users and 85% of B2B users say their experience with a brand is just as important for them as the products or services it sells. If your business relies on your website for core revenue generation, well-implemented development will set the foundation for all your future business initiatives. 

In the final part of our Web Design and Development Series, read the conclusion of our web design and development series, which discusses QA and management.

Enjoying this series? Let us know what you’d like to read about next. If you have specific questions about web development or how to find a reliable web design company, we’d love to hear from you.