During my career I’ve seen the web transform in a number of ways. In that time, a lot has changed – the technologies we use to build websites, the way we approach web design, how SEO affects traffic, the devices we use to browse the web.
One thing that doesn’t seem to change is the understanding of how websites are actually created… Or rather that lack of that knowledge. Whether it’s clients or young designers and developers who lack the necessary experience, there are still many preconceptions about what creating an effective website actually entails – preconceptions that many people working in the industry unfortunately enforce.
My goal is to explain that building a website is a tad more involved than just mocking it up in Photoshop and turning that design into a WordPress theme.
This series will be divided into multiple articles and those are going to tackle one or two aspects of the process at a time, in a fairly condensed form. I want to make it accessible and brief, yet detailed enough to illustrate that it’s not just about code and images.
Be aware that I will not be discussing marketing strategy and SEO, as I’m not qualified to do so. I will try to find people who will be willing to provide some insight on those topics, but I will focus on the production side for the time being.
Let me also stress that I’ll be focusing on commercial websites for the most part.
Before I start with the specifics, let me set up the tone of the entire series a bit.
I have always been a strong believer that as far as web design and development goes, quality is paramount. The “release now, fix later” may work for large services with a phased launch, but for most web projects, I feel that releasing a finished product is the way to go.
Quality however isn’t innate; it needs to be developed and refined. That takes focus, effort, coordination, but most notably it takes time. And, as the saying goes, time is money.
Therefore a simple equation depicts this dependency.
Quality = Time = Money
Affecting one component of that equation will automatically affect the other two. It’s important to have that equation in the back of your mind at all times when reading the subsequent articles in this series.
It’s worth noting that the money component doesn’t only mean money the client will need to pay for the website, but also money they can make with it.
Below you will find a table of contents which I’ll be updating with links to the articles as they are published.
In the series you’ll learn about:
- UX Design and Wireframing
- Design Concept
- Design Proper
- Front End Development
- Back End Development and Content Modelling
- Optimisation and Testing
- Hosting and DNS Propagation
- Launching the Website and Training
- Post-Launch Support