Whether your company is big or small, the website development is going to be an essential part of your business. Depending on the size and specifics of the company, the needs and requirements might vary from consulting services to the actual site development and maintenance. The services provided will also depend on the contractor you hire. Anyway, whatever you need, everything starts with the scope you create.
What Shall You Prepare Before Contacting a Contractor?
First of all, you will need to do some planning. This is the first step in any process, and it might save you time and money in the future and help to avoid misunderstandings. So, let’s see, what should your preparations include.
- A clear understanding of what you need. It will be much easier and faster to communicate with the team you hire when you have a good understanding of what has to be done. It can also help you in the choice of the contractor, as different companies have different specialists available.
- Decide on your budget. Retrieving the funds available for the development might be a complicated decision for a startup as well as a big corporation. The decision is just made on different levels. While startups might simply have small budgets in general and might need to cut their expenses sometimes, the big corporations might need to get approvals from various executives. Whatever the size of your company is, after prioritizing the tasks, you should distinguish at least the range of your budget, if you can’t name a particular number.
- Decide on your level of involvement in the process. Perhaps, you have an in-house development team that can take part in planning or realization of your ideas. This may go two ways: it can either help you cut the costs and time required, or it can complicate the process if the teams have different visions or problems in communication. Also, you need to distinguish who is going to be responsible for the process.
- Unless you are very familiar with the development process yourself, you should define the purpose of ordering the service. It can happen that your vision of the required actions will not correspond to the vision of the team you are hiring. For example, you are aiming to improve your security process, but the methods you have chosen are not enough for the level of the security you want or too extensive.
- Surf the market in search of contractors. Don’t just go with your gut, ask for recommendations, look through reviews or case studies of companies. It might be a good idea to find case studies similar to your project and see the job which has been done.
- Be flexible in the communication. You should know what you want, not to get caught up in a situation of non-required services being forced upon you. But, you are looking for professionals to guide you through the process and assist you. They have a certain experience and might notice some things you are not aware of or didn’t realize you need.
Five Phases Of The Website Development Process
Another tip before we dive into the process itself is to get offers from several companies. Providing your data and asking for the plan and pricing is not binding. You should review the info from several contractors and go with the one you find most suitable. Now, for a better understanding of the process, let’s look at the five stages of the website development.
Information Gathering. At this step, the team you will be working with, will collect all the necessary details from you to perform an assessment of tasks, create a scope for work, and provide you with the costs for the development. If you have a representation of how your future website should look like, it will be a great help in the development process. For example, you found a website that you like so you can suggest it as a reference to the team. The discussion process is not a one day job and can take up to several weeks before everything is finalized.
- Design and Planning. The first thing that is done in the design process is creating the basis, the wireframes for your future website. This includes the architecture and the content structure. This is only done once the quote has been approved. Different companies have different approaches to the payments.In Webcase, we have two possible payment options: Fixed Price and Time & Material. The Fixed Price model is generally used for projects which require a set of services the price for which can be calculated in advance. The Time & Material approach is used for the regular type of services or in cases when the number of hours required is hard to predict. In this case, you will be paying an hourly rate for the work done.This stage of development also includes further design as soon as the basic layouts and processes have been approved. If required, a Content Manager or Copywriter can help you with the creation or update of the content for your project. The design will be then approved with you before further implementation.
- Web Development. This is where the coding begins. All the information gathered and the design project gets forwarded to web developers for implementation. The first stage of the process will be front-end development. As soon as it’s finished, you will be able to test the material, to make sure everything was done as expected. Once the front-end part has been approved, the back-end development begins. The process duration depends on the technologies used. However, this is the point where all the functionality is implemented and your site gets a digital view.
- Testing & Delivery. At this stage of the process, your website is almost ready. To ensure the proper functioning and absence of any bugs in the system, the team will perform their testing. But, you will not be excluded from the process as well. You will be able to try out your future website from the customer’s point of view to see if there are any processes or features that are not working properly or are simply inconvenient. After the testing is done, you get the end product.
- Maintenance of the website. This step might be excluded or simplified if your budget does not allow you having a development team at hand at any time, or if you consider that no work will be required for the website in the near future. However, we would advise you to keep in mind the team who developed your website, as they will have the best knowledge about everything there. And, thus, they will be the best help if you get any trouble or need any updates or improvements.
The website development process is not always easy and might be time- and money-consuming. But, it’s always a smart investment into the business. Your website is your business card and is often a reason for people to use or drop a service. That is why a professional development team, creating your site is always a good idea. You will get a quality advice from people working in the field and can save a lot of time as you get to focus on other tasks.