By Nikhil Malhotra
The new website as a whole should be included in the project thinking as it is of great importance. The website that is created must be unified in optimization, usability, experience, functionality, design and content. A streamlined process should be followed. The same strategy and process should be followed for all the web projects. This will help in keeping you faster and organized and will also avoid confusion when the new website is being launched.
Lack of communication is definitely a very big problem when it comes to web projects. The web is a very fast moving element and sometimes, quick turnaround is expected by clients. Most of the times, clients ask for the project on an urgent basis. Although it is unreasonable, you take it and work as quickly as possible. The more the work is done quickly, the more are the chances for mistakes. Although you are a web professional and a good communicator, there are chances of important information being missed. The first meeting with a new client must be full of questions and a detailed one. Important questions include who is the target audience, what is being promoted or sold by the client, what are the goals, what is overall purpose etc. If these problems are not solved in the start, there is a risk of having to make several changes once the website is fully built.
Once the business of the client is understood completely, it is time for researching the industry. Find out what can be created for the clients so that they stand ahead of the competition. Research is a very vital aspect of a web project. Help should be provided to the clients with search engine optimization as well. However, you don’t need to be an SEO genius or professional for this. There are many resources on the web where things can be learnt about website optimization. Google has a Webmaster section which is simply great. From here, several tools that will increase search ability and traffic to the site can be accessed. If the client is having a site, the ranking should be found out. Woorank and Website grader are good option for getting a score on the implementation of current SEO.
Meta data research
As there are several updates in the world of SEO, page titles, descriptions and keywords are not so powerful as they used to be before. However, a lot of difference can still be made. Time should be taken for finding out what the visitors are typing in. The Google AdWords Keywords tool is a good tool that will help to find out what is being typed by people. It will also help in finding out competitive keywords.
Other SEO elements that can be taken into consideration are:
1. Google site verification
2. 301 Redirect
3. Image Alt Tags
4. Google Analytics
5. XML sitemap
6. Architecture and wireframes
After communication with clients and making a research, the formation of the base of the website should be started. The architecture of the website should be laid out at first. The pages that will be available on the website should be known. The content that will be housed by the website should also be decided. The website should have an incredible and a great look. Plenty of tools can be found online to help you. Wireframes can be created manually in Adobe Illustrator as more control can be exercised. A good strategy should be formed for the homepage as well as interior pages. The elements in the pages should be established before moving to the designing process. This will help in saving time and staying organized.
This is the step wherein you will have to use everything that is strategized and researched. The designs should be created in accordance with the wireframes. Depending on the discussions with clients in the start, there may be one, two or three designs for the homepage. Once the design is chosen by the client and modifications are made, the interior pages should be designed. If the website is very simple, only one template needs to be created. If the website is little complex, several templates may be used. Designing multiple interior pages may consume lot of time.
After the approval of designs and architecture, it is time for building the functionality. The notes should be very clear and full understanding of what the client looks for should be developed. Knowing the facts such as what the users and admin are able to do is of great importance before the website is built. This will give 100 percent positivity about the success of the website.
After the functionality part is over, it is time to test the website. It should be tested in all the major browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and Safari. There are many resources available online for testing the websites.
Before the website is launched, a checklist should be made. This list may include factors like:
1. Design and development
2. Addition of SEO data
3. Addition of Google Analytics
4. Completion of testing
Since every client is different, there would be changes in the strategy as well. These are basic steps that should be included while designing any kind of website.