We’ve spent the last couple of weeks discussing web design and development, and to wrap things up, it is time to take a closer look at development. Last week, we talked through our process when it comes to web design. Once we get an approved design, it’s time to build the actual website. Here’s a look at how we handle this process.
Beginning to Code
Approved web designs are passed along to our web developers who begin to prepare the actual code of the website. This is made up of several web “languages” including HTML, CSS, and JS. What is used for a particular website is dependent on what the client wants and the type of functionality that has been determined for the given website.
Our web designs come to us in the form of image files, typically PSD files, that then need to be transformed through a process called slicing. Slicing involves taking images and dividing them into sections which can load one at a time. Programs such as Photoshop allow developers to slice images and provides them with the necessary HTML and CSS code required to allow this slicing process to happen.
This is important for several reasons, one of which is to help reduce the time it takes for a web page to load. As you likely know, this is one of the main reasons users decide to abandon a website. In fact, research shows that 40% of users abandon websites that take longer than three seconds to load. These are things our web developers are constantly keeping in mind in order to deliver a final product that users will enjoy.
At this point we are also developing the website’s database architecture and are beginning to work on PHP functionality. These functions are created to help speed the coding process along and can be called upon when needed to execute certain actions, or functions.
Preparing the Backend
Another important part of web development is to prepare the backend properly so that the client can access it in order to make any changes. At this phase we are preparing administration functionality in PHP and are also ensuring all text and images are editable.
Websites are frequently developed using a CMS, or content management system. There are numerous advantages to using a CMS, and one reason in particular is that it makes things easier on the client’s end when they go to make any updates to the website. A popular CMS is WordPress, which provides a fairly easy to use backend. You will find this to be especially important if you are planning to frequently update your website. A common example of this would be running a blog and publishing new posts. With WordPress’s backend, it is easy for a client to go in and publish new content or make changes to existing content.
Creating Ecommerce Functionality
This step won’t be present for all websites, but is an important step for ecommerce sites. If you have an ecommerce component to your website, we will take time during this step to establish secure payment and shipping methods. All other ecommerce components will also be set up during this time.
The ecommerce industry is continuing to see massive growth, with an 8-12% growth rate projected for 2017, and we are proud to have a team capable of developing ecommerce platforms of all sizes.
Optimizing for Mobile
It is crucial that all websites developed today are easily accessible via mobile devices. Internet usage time via mobile devices has surpassed desktop usage time, now up to 51% of total time, as seen in the chart above.
Websites should not just be mobile friendly, but should be fully optimized for mobile to ensure an equally positive user experience. By this phase all website functionality is finished and we will now work on developing mobile size screens to make sure the website will look and function properly on mobile devices.
Final Phase: Test and Launch
Finally, once the website has been fully developed, we begin the final phase. This phase involves testing the website and correcting any errors. After extensive testing, it is time to launch. We host websites on our server and provide our clients with full access and send over all project files.
If a client chooses, we will continue to work with them to perform regular maintenance to ensure the website continues to run smoothly. We can also easily take care of any content updates you wish to perform on your website.
We hope this series has helped you understand the differences between web design and development, and how we at Uhsome handle each aspect. If you are looking to build a new website, or redesign an existing one, we hope you will contact us to receive a free quote. For more examples of our work, take a look at our portfolio.