When someone asks how much will it cost to build website, the reply is inevitably going to be, how long is a piece of string? Web design for every business will be different. Not only because every industry is different but because every business is different too.
A restaurant website may not be very complicated at all, or alternatively it will have an online ordering system that requires verification, payment gateways and authentication systems. There is a process that takes place when a business whether corporate or a small business embarks upon a new website development. The first stage is commonly called discovery although there are other terms used for this stage by different web developers.
Discovery Stage of Website Development
Discovery starts when the client and the developers meet for the first time (in person or chat over the phone) . It’s about identifying the needs of the client to put a development plan in place. All sorts of aspects of the development will be discussed and put together. The type of site will be determined, is it an ecommerce site or an information site, or possibly even a portal possibly for education? Where will the targeted traffic come from and some demographics of the target customer base will be identified. Branding, colours and special needs will be determined. What kind of content will be needed and how will the content be hosted and presented.
Some developers will split the discovery stage from early development and other developers will include early development as part of the discovery. Early development will involve design ideas, mock-ups and wireframes usually developed in graphic format before any formal coding takes place. Depending on the size and nature of the project, will depend on how many mock-ups need to be generated.
Early development Stage of Website Development
In early development the client will select a design framework from the mock-ups that are presented. The developers will then develop the wireframe further to illustrate what the website will look like, and the wireframe will depict the different page styles. Once this has all been agreed upon the complex development will begin
Development will involve multiple considerations such as the budget, amount of expected traffic and contingencies for unexpected growth for the client. Types of hosting and servers that were considered in the early development will be prepared, although throughout development most development takes place locally with stored backups.
Every web design project will have defined milestones that will have a timeframe. The timeframe may be specific in terms of weeks or months or could be dependent on the completion of other digital projects before a new milestone can be embarked upon. The key to a smooth development is project is to keep it simple. By identifying the core needs of the client at discovery there will be less need to seek clarity constantly.
Your Website Content development
Once most of the web design has been completed, the client will usually sign off for the content to be developed. This will involve the addition of images, video, blogs, pages and other content that will be part of the site. A lot of work goes into content development and this can be very time consuming. Content must be plagiarism checked and the structure and design to ensure good search engine optimisation has to be integrated and checked.
Turnkey Process Development
Turnkey processes such as payment gateways and scripts that involve mechanisms that take place both on and off page are left toward the end of the project. This is because quite often the website has to have already been uploaded to its final server and some of the scripting has to be done or uploaded on the server where the website will be hosted.
Small business website development
The development of a website for small business may seem a little overwhelming at first but it is the discovery and planning stage that is key to the outcome. Keeping the process clear and the structure simple means that small business owners can understand the process and contribute positively to their greatest digital asset. Every stage should be clearly outlined and marked as a milestone before the next stage of development can begin.
How You Pay for Your Development
There are as many different payment structures to web design as there are websites. It usually depends on the developers that have been contracted. Some will work on a simple two-tier structure of a deposit and a final payment and others will work on payment milestones, so that as each stage of web development is completed a payment becomes due. The same developer may implement different payment requirements depending on the scope of the project and the needs of the client.
Note: We offer 60 day payment terms on all invoices
Keeping it clear and simple
Once discovery has been completed, there should be a very clear roadmap between the client and the developer illustrating the scope of the work, what the expectations are, where the milestones are defined and how payment will take place. One final suggestion.