Responsive Web Design
Speedy Turtles Design builds custom one of a kind responsive design Websites that look and perform amazing on any device. With advanced technology today the mobile device is accessing your Website just as much as the desktop user. More and more people are accessing the web through these mobile devices and our Websites are designed with this fact in mind. Your Website has to give the visitor the same digital experience across all devices. You only have 1 chance to make a first impression and with the market share leaning towards 80% of mobile users you need to be prepared.
Responsive Web Design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
Most Popular Devices Used to Search the Internet
PC / Laptop0%
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6 Phases of the Web Design and Development Process
Phase One: Information Gathering
The first step in designing a successful website is to gather your information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when creating the branding for your website.
This first step is actually the most important one, as it involves a solid understanding of the company’s industry. It involves a good understanding of what your business goals and dreams are, and how the web can be utilized to help you achieve this goals.
It is important that your web designer starts off by asking a lot of questions to help them understand your business and your needs in a website.
Points to Consider:
What is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a product?
What do you hope to accomplish by building this web site? Two of the more common goals are either to make money or share information.
Is there a specific group of people that will help you reach your goals? It is helpful to picture the “ideal” person you want to visit your website. Consider their background, interests & goals; this will later help determine the best design style for the website.
What kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site? Are they looking for specific information, a particular product or service, online ordering?
Phase Two: Planning
Using the information gathered from phase one, it is time to put together a plan for your website. This is the point where a sitemap is developed.
The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics, if applicable. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand the navigational system. The end-user of the website – aka your customer – must be kept in mind when designing your site. These are, after all, the people who will be learning about your service or buying your product. A good user interface creates an easy to navigate website, and is the basis for this.
During the planning phase, your web designer will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented. Elements such as what CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress to incorporate, will any contact forms be needed, etc. are discussed when planning your web site.
Phase Three: Design
Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, it’s time to determine the look and feel of your site.
Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration. A site aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different than one meant for a financial institution. As part of the design phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as the company logo and colors to help strengthen the identity of your identity on the website.
Your web designer will create one or more prototype designs for your website. This is typically a .jpg image of what the final design will look like. Often times you will be sent an email with the mock-ups for your website, while other designers take it a step further by giving you access to a secure area of their web site meant for customers to view work in progress.
Either way, your designer should allow you to view your project throughout the design and development stages. The most important reason for this is that it gives you the opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the site design.
In this phase, communication between both you and your designer is crucial to ensure that the final website will match your needs and taste. It is important that you work closely with your designer, exchanging ideas, until you arrive at the final design for your website.
Then development can begin…
Phase Four: Development
The developmental stage is the point where the website itself is created. At this time, your web designer will take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the actual, functional site.
This is typically done by first developing the homepage, followed by a “shell” for the interior pages. The shell serves as a template for the content pages of your site, as it contains the main navigational structure for the web site. Once the shell has been created, your designer will take your content and distribute it throughout the site, in the appropriate areas.
Elements such as the CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, interactive contact forms, or E-commerce shopping carts are implemented and made functional during this phase, as well.
This entire time, your designer should continue to make your in-progress website available to you for viewing, so that you can suggest any additional changes or corrections you would like to have done.
On the technical front, a successful website requires an understanding of front-end web development. This involves writing valid HTML / CSS code that complies to current web standards, maximizing functionality, as well as accessibility for as large an audience as possible.
This is tested in the next phase…
Phase Five: Testing and Delivery
At this point, your web designer will attend to the final details and test your website. They will test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, as well last testing for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), ensuring that your website is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
A good web designer is one who is well versed in current standards for website design and development. The basic technologies currently used are HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). As part of testing, your designer should check to be sure that all of the code written for your website validates. Valid code means that your site meets the current web development standards – this is helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as mentioned above.
Once you give your web designer final approval, it is time to deliver the site. An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program is used to upload the web site files to your server. Some web designers offer domain name registration and web hosting services as well, or have recommendations as to where you can host your site. Once these accounts have been setup, and your website uploaded to the server, the site should be put through one last run-through. This is just precautionary, to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional.
Other final details include plugin installation (for WordPress or other CMS driven websites and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the optimization of your website with elements such as title, description and keyword tags which help your website achieve higher rankings in the search engines. The previously mentioned code validation is something that plays a vital role in SEO, as well. There are many WordPress plugins available that further enhance the default WordPress functionality – many of which directly relate to improving your SEO, as well.
There are a lot of details involved in optimizing your website for the search engines – enough to warrant its own post. This is a very important step, because even though you now have a website, you need to make sure that people can find it!
This marks the official launch of your site, as it is now viewable to the public. Congratulations!
Phase Six: Maintenance
The development of your website is not necessarily over, though. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. Most web designers will be more than happy to continue working together with you, to update the information on your website. Many designers offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your website.
If you prefer to be more hands on, and update your own content, there is something called a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress can be implemented to your website. This is something that would be decided upon during the Planning stage. With a CMS, your designer will utilize online software to develop a database driven site for you.
A website driven by a CMS gives you the ability to edit the content areas of the website yourself. You are given access to a back-end administrative area, where you can use an online text editor (similar to a mini version of Microsoft Word). You’ll be able to edit existing content this way, or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can even add new pages and content yourself. The possibilities are endless!
It’s really up to you as far as how comfortable you feel with updating your own website. Some people prefer to have all the control so that they can make updates to their own website the minute they decide to do so. Others prefer to hand off the website entirely, as they have enough tasks on-hand that are more important for them to handle directly.
That’s where the help of your web designer comes in, once again, as they can take over the website maintenance for you – one less thing for you to do is always a good thing in these busy times!
Other maintenance type items include regular site backups, WordPress upgrades, additional plugin installation, SEO updates, etc.