The Development of a Web Site Starts on Paper
Creating a site is not only to organize the texts and images in HTML pages. Some details are very important, and if they are not well-defined before development begins we can lose a lot of time redoing the work until you get to that the client wants.
Most of the times, the client already has a logo, and identity visual of the site should follow strictly the visual identity of the company, even though the developer let your style stamped on it in the project. Many sometimes, when we need to develop a layout, we run to the computer and we hope the idea get – when our tools come to the that the computer offers, our creativity is limited by they. Therefore, the best way to plan a site, it is in the role. Literally.
Scribble on, to say the least, set your imagination free. Keep a list of sites that you like as inspiration, go visit them constantly and keep up to date about new technologies, new ways to use what is already there and, especially, trends layout.
Know your customer, understand what he wants to promote
The planning of a site is also very important to get to know the client and their product. We need to define the focus of the project first of all. If you do not have contact way enough with your client, you will have more difficulties to understand their needs.
It is fundamental to define the expectations of the client and the goal of the site *before* starting the development. When we define the focus of the site, we can set deadlines, resources, information necessary and even cost, if you already developed other sites of the same size. Even the layout is developed more easily from this.
What services the site will provide and what is the target audience are some of the factors that must be well clarified. Only then can we design a visual identity appropriate, that has “the face” of the company or the service that is being circulated on the Internet.
So, even if your job is outsourced, try to understand “who” is this web site. Your job will be easier and your customer, the more satisfied.
Development of the site: backup, testing, and feedback
Murphy’s Law says that “if anything can go wrong, will”. The computer professional knows how much this is true, especially when it is in the middle of a project with a deadline tight.
Imagine the following situation: you spent the last two months developing the site of your client. The layout was wonderful, the animations have given a tremendous amount of work to get the result desired and… your computer pifa. Yes, because computers pifam, in a large company or in your home, and this is a reality.
This time I really hope that you have a backup (copy of security). You know, a backup *away* from your computer, because the version of the site that you have already published to the client approve is there, but if your computer tape printer fouled up, the chances the login and password of the FTP are, for example, in a client e-mail inaccessible, now they are great.
Personally, I do backups – weekly or every major change in the project – a CD for each client. Sometimes, also use a GMail account for backup, but with the full consciousness if the problem is in the lack of connection I will need of the offline files.
Test your site, and then test a little more
During the development, it is expected that the site will be tested:
- Must in more of a browser;
- In a variety of screen resolutions;
- On computers with different configurations;
- Preferably, in more than one operating system;
- If possible, on mobile devices, and adapted computers for users with special needs.
- But be sure that your website works on any device does not guarantee that it is functional for any user. If you can, ask friends or relatives who have basic computer knowledge to browse and, in a loud voice, say what you are thinking. Sometimes, what seems obvious for the developer it makes no sense to the end user, and we know how easy it is to leave a site uninteresting If possible, also make some tests with the target audience of your client.
- When the site is ready, do a final walk-through testing links, pictures and looking for small errors of Portuguese. In the case of dynamic pages, it is important to test the scripts in all possible situations. Here also it is interesting to have the help of someone outside of the project: sometimes you can’t see your own error because have already gotten used to it, and you don’t want to an error to be pointed to by your client. Or worse, by the customer the customer!
- After you publish your site, keep doing tests to make sure that your pages behave the way you expect, if the images are in the right place, and if the dynamic pages (especially with database) work.
Your work does not end with the publication! That is, they will think that you publish the site is the final part of your work. Updating a site is as important as developing it. Sites that are left without update for a long period seem abandoned. A website needs to always display information updated, after all, the mark of the Internet is the agility in the information, and this is why it is important to convince your customer that the maintenance on the site is essential – it does not need to be monthly, but it needs to happen.
It is also important to listen to the comments of the visitors to know the expectations of the target audience are being met and if the site has errors that have gone unnoticed, by this is a form of contact is crucial. Forms are important because through it the visitor will tell you exactly what you want to know. But it is also important to know what he wants to say, and besides, some people don’t like forms. Therefore, always have an e-mail as a way contact.
Talk with your client and ask for a copy of all messages that relate to the site. It is important for the developer know what the target audience thinks, since the site was made for him, after all.