Website Development Process
So…. Just how will your website be developed? There is a specific, tried & true,
best business practice that will be followed. The following describes the process.
Figure 1 below depicts what is known as the Website
The important point this figure represents is that the client is a key participant in the
process of building their website, as they should be. There are three critical points that the
customer must provide input and guidance prior to going further with the project.
The first is the Proposal Review and Quote that Innovation Design provides.
The Proposal describes what was learned in the Business Review and Needs
Analysis of the Customer’s business and website vision. An initial design and
outline of the website content is provided, along with a proposed website map.
The initial quote is also provided at this time.
The Proposal and Quote is discussed in detail with the customer. It is common
for the customer to envision changes in features and content. These will modify
the proposal and may adjust the quote. When there is final agreement on the
scope of the work to be done, the next stage begins.
The next critical point of input from the client is the website specifications. Features will be detailed out at this point, and a prototype of the
website will be designed. This prototype is just the User Interface with no
executing programming code or database action behind it. The Specifications and
the Prototype is discussed in detail with the customer. It is common for the
customer to envision changes in features and content at this point also.
However, it is
usually not necessary to revise the Proposal and Quote at this time if the
revisions are kept within the project’s scope of work.
The last critical point of input from the customer is to exercise the fully
developed website within a test platform. All programming, unit testing,
database development, and complete system competent testing, is now complete.
This is the time for Innovation Design to walkthrough the website with the
customer, and for the customer to spend whatever time is necessary to exercise the
website until they are comfortable with the final product. Any application
“tweaks” are adjusted. Once the customer approves of the website to
be rolled into “Production”, Innovation Design packages the final product
and installs it on the customer’s web service computing platform.
Figure 1 depicts a “Cycle”, as that is what goes on. There are always business
and technology changes that the client experiences as their business grows. The
“Cycle” depicts those changes over time.
Figure 2 depicts the Website Development Process.
Figure 2. - Website Development Process
The colored columns
are the stages of development. The white rows are the tasks of development.
It is important to note here, that the scope of the project must be “locked down”
between the end of the Functional Specifications and before the web site Design is
completed. Any additional changes mentioned or required in subsequent timeframes,
are not included in the current release of the website application, but they can be developed
after the current release is in Production. Without this “Lock-Down”, the project begins
to create “scope creep”, where the website will be delayed from being deployed, and costs
begin to rise for the customer. “Scope creep” is never good for the customer or