Website Design Process Simplified For Beginners

The actual process varies in complexity depending on the requirements of the project but a few fundamental concepts have been explained below.

Why would you want to understand the website design process? Maybe you want to get into the field of web development- then definitely you need to understand the overall process before you specialize. Or maybe you have a business and want to make a website. If you want your website to be a tool that brings success and is a living expression of your brand, you need to have some overall idea about the process so you can guide the developer to fit your goals.

Importance of Client Brief

Generally, the initial step is used to outline the scope of the project. Anything not identified here could change the scope and as such, impact the delivery time and budget of the project. This is an important point and one often not made strongly enough. That’s not to say you won’t want to add something extra during the build, but don’t be surprised if the developer says, “But we didn’t quote for that.”

The important thing to remember is that communication with your website developer is critical from the Client Brief through to delivery and handover. You should be well aware of the implications of additional features not indicated in the brief and the developer should help you outline the project as well as possible so this can be discussed early on in the project.

If your project requires complex navigational elements, then some basic prototyping up front can make it easier to lay out the scope of the project. This usually adds to time frames and budget, so be aware of the costs before committing to any contracts.

How Websites are Built

There are a variety of presentation and programming languages used to build websites. Most websites use a common scripting language called Javascript. Likewise, most will use programming language such as PHP in the back end to add additional features like a search. Nearly all modern websites hold the content in a database and the web programming language queries the database to determine the content for the page.

In many cases, a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Magento, Shopify is used to provide much of the basic functionality. Then the website is configured, rather than programmed, and the design is layered over the top of the CMS using HTML and CSS.

It’s hard to talk about this without using technical words and acronyms, but don’t worry if you’re a little confused. As you continue to do your research, many of the core elements will become understood and you will be ready to navigate things more easily.

The important thing to remember is that communication with your website developer is critical from the Client Brief through to delivery and handover. You should be well aware of the implications of additional features not indicated in the brief and the developer should help you outline the project as well as possible so this can be discussed early on in the project.

If your project requires complex navigational elements, then some basic prototyping up front can make it easier to lay out the scope of the project. This usually adds to time frames and budget, so be aware of the costs before committing to any contracts.

What Type of Site Do You Need?

There are a variety of presentation and programming languages used to build websites. Most websites use a common scripting language called Javascript. Likewise, most will use programming language such as PHP in the back end to add additional features like a search. Nearly all modern websites hold the content in a database and the web programming language queries the database to determine the content for the page.

In many cases, a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Magento, Shopify is used to provide much of the basic functionality. Then the website is configured, rather than programmed, and the design is layered over the top of the CMS using HTML and CSS.

It’s hard to talk about this without using technical words and acronyms, but don’t worry if you’re a little confused. As you continue to do your research, many of the core elements will become understood and you will be ready to navigate things more easily.

The important thing to remember is that communication with your website developer is critical from the Client Brief through to delivery and handover. You should be well aware of the implications of additional features not indicated in the brief and the developer should help you outline the project as well as possible so this can be discussed early on in the project.

If your project requires complex navigational elements, then some basic prototyping up front can make it easier to lay out the scope of the project. This usually adds to time frames and budget, so be aware of the costs before committing to any contracts.

Website Builders

The most popular website builders on the marketplace right now are becoming regular office-place vocabulary. Site names such as Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress are being thrown around by bloggers, chefs, writers, photographers and several other business people on a more and more regular basis. Plus, the advertising efforts of these companies has them in front of our eyes constantly.

They all have their benefits, of course, the biggest being that no technical knowledge is needed to utilize them. However, they provide very narrow parameters of what can be achieved. Adding further frustration, in most cases they simply aren’t flexible enough to do what you’ve envisioned for your website.

What this means is that if you want a very simple website that displays some information and images with very little design modification from you, it might be easy to manage a website on CMS such as Wix or Squarespace. However, keep in mind that these ready-made CMS websites come with many limitations.

If you want to create a website that completely reflects your vision and is 100% customizable, you have to make a custom website using a developer. Custom websites load faster, are more secure, SEO friendly, flexible, implement custom softwares, provide better user experience- basically it is like clay that you can shape however you want to complement your goals.

In many cases, a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Magento, Shopify is used to provide much of the basic functionality. Then the website is configured, rather than programmed, and the design is layered over the top of the CMS using HTML and CSS.

It’s hard to talk about this without using technical words and acronyms, but don’t worry if you’re a little confused. As you continue to do your research, many of the core elements will become understood and you will be ready to navigate things more easily.

The important thing to remember is that communication with your website developer is critical from the Client Brief through to delivery and handover. You should be well aware of the implications of additional features not indicated in the brief and the developer should help you outline the project as well as possible so this can be discussed early on in the project.

If your project requires complex navigational elements, then some basic prototyping up front can make it easier to lay out the scope of the project. This usually adds to time frames and budget, so be aware of the costs before committing to any contracts.

Web Content Management Systems

Web Content Management Systems (CMS) are the backbone of all modern websites, so it’s important to understand the options they offer. Most of these off-the-shelf systems allow a lot of customization and extension or systems your website developer has built personally.

The ideal CMS for your website will be one that allows non-technical users to make changes to the website’s content and for more technical users to add features or make changes to SEO configuration. There is a lot of information online that will help you compare CMS options available.

For us to include a list of CMS companies here would be futile as technologies and trends change so quickly in this field. But here’s a list of key considerations for you to review while making your decision:

  • Easy-to-use Interface (if unsure, ask for a demonstration)
  • Email Platform Integration & Optimization
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Functionality
  • Social Media Integration & Optimization
  • Analytics Integration & Tag Management (Google Tag Manager)

They all have their benefits, of course, the biggest being that no technical knowledge is needed to utilize them. However, they provide very narrow parameters of what can be achieved. Adding further frustration, in most cases they simply aren’t flexible enough to do what you’ve envisioned for your website.

What this means is that if you want a very simple website that displays some information and images with very little design modification from you, it might be easy to manage a website on CMS such as Wix or Squarespace. However, keep in mind that these ready-made CMS websites come with many limitations.

If you want to create a website that completely reflects your vision and is 100% customizable, you have to make a custom website using a developer. Custom websites load faster, are more secure, SEO friendly, flexible, implement custom softwares, provide better user experience- basically it is like clay that you can shape however you want to complement your goals.

In many cases, a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Magento, Shopify is used to provide much of the basic functionality. Then the website is configured, rather than programmed, and the design is layered over the top of the CMS using HTML and CSS.

It’s hard to talk about this without using technical words and acronyms, but don’t worry if you’re a little confused. As you continue to do your research, many of the core elements will become understood and you will be ready to navigate things more easily.

The important thing to remember is that communication with your website developer is critical from the Client Brief through to delivery and handover. You should be well aware of the implications of additional features not indicated in the brief and the developer should help you outline the project as well as possible so this can be discussed early on in the project.

If your project requires complex navigational elements, then some basic prototyping up front can make it easier to lay out the scope of the project. This usually adds to time frames and budget, so be aware of the costs before committing to any contracts.

More Than Content Management

The CMS you choose will have to do more than just manage content. It is the foundation of your site. A weak foundation would mean your site would be prone to toppling over.

Don’t hesitate to seek impartial advice to ensure you get what is right for your project rather than what is right for the skillset of your developer. In other words, don’t let the developer alter your project to best suit what he/she knows instead of providing a truly impartial opinion on the right tool for the job.

If you’re looking for some guidance on this or would like more information on the CMS providers on the market today, please give us a call. We’re more than happy to answer your questions or go over solutions that will work for your business.

The ideal CMS for your website will be one that allows non-technical users to make changes to the website’s content and for more technical users to add features or make changes to SEO configuration. There is a lot of information online that will help you compare CMS options available.

For us to include a list of CMS companies here would be futile as technologies and trends change so quickly in this field. But here’s a list of key considerations for you to review while making your decision:

Easy-to-use Interface (if unsure, ask for a demonstration)
Email Platform Integration & Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Functionality
Social Media Integration & Optimization
Analytics Integration & Tag Management (Google Tag Manager)

They all have their benefits, of course, the biggest being that no technical knowledge is needed to utilize them. However, they provide very narrow parameters of what can be achieved. Adding further frustration, in most cases they simply aren’t flexible enough to do what you’ve envisioned for your website.

What this means is that if you want a very simple website that displays some information and images with very little design modification from you, it might be easy to manage a website on CMS such as Wix or Squarespace. However, keep in mind that these ready-made CMS websites come with many limitations.

If you want to create a website that completely reflects your vision and is 100% customizable, you have to make a custom website using a developer. Custom websites load faster, are more secure, SEO friendly, flexible, implement custom softwares, provide better user experience- basically it is like clay that you can shape however you want to complement your goals.

In many cases, a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Magento, Shopify is used to provide much of the basic functionality. Then the website is configured, rather than programmed, and the design is layered over the top of the CMS using HTML and CSS.

It’s hard to talk about this without using technical words and acronyms, but don’t worry if you’re a little confused. As you continue to do your research, many of the core elements will become understood and you will be ready to navigate things more easily.

The important thing to remember is that communication with your website developer is critical from the Client Brief through to delivery and handover. You should be well aware of the implications of additional features not indicated in the brief and the developer should help you outline the project as well as possible so this can be discussed early on in the project.

If your project requires complex navigational elements, then some basic prototyping up front can make it easier to lay out the scope of the project. This usually adds to time frames and budget, so be aware of the costs before committing to any contracts.

Summary

Making sure your website developer is familiar with and apt at using more than one CMS is a good start when choosing between various web design companies. Ask for examples of their work and have some questions prepared to help you ascertain their dedication to serving your NEEDS instead of trying to alter your requirements to suit their experience.

At YippeeWeb, our approach is always to determine the goal and requirements, research the available software solutions, and develop our plan with you on board, before starting to program

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