10 steps to create a site (for the client)

    When you decide to create a site, you will encounter a number of problems, usually related to the question - what exactly needs to be done, how and in what order?

    If you already have a functioning site that doesn’t suit you with something, you can be considered lucky - you have invaluable experience that can be analyzed, appreciated the advantages and disadvantages of the old site and formulated wishes for a new one. If you order a site for the first time, it will be a little more difficult for you. However, in any case, it is better to have at hand a specific plan of action, acting on which you can really get the result that you need.

    Ask yourself the first question - what do I want to get? Often there is a statement of the result "I want a site in general." In this case, one can count on a “result in general”, which cannot be measured either by money, by time, or by assessing goals achieved. Therefore, the first step in your plan will be:

    1. Presentation of the result.
    Imagine your site is ready. What basic information does it contain? How is it structured? What is the general impression of its visitors when they enter the site, what should they feel or think? Which of the sites you know is similar to?

    Do not be afraid to formulate answers to all these questions in an unprofessional language or somewhere to make a mistake in the wording. You do not have to own the terminology, you need to try to describe at the level of actions and emotions the result that you are striving for.

    For example:
    The site should cause visitors a sense of solidity, stability, perhaps some conservatism. Basic information - a brief description of our market position, pricing policy, contact information and a prominent section with a product catalog. Upon reaching the site, the visitor should quickly and easily find a link to the order form and, after filling out the minimum required fields, send a request.

    2. Goal setting
    Be honest with yourself - why does your organization need a website? If it is fundamentally important for you that your partners in billiards at the next meeting flatteringly commented on its design, so write. Or maybe you have plans to squeeze your main competitor from the Internet market, providing visitors with a more convenient online service. Or do you plan to use the site to work with potential customers in other regions, creating a kind of virtual office and serving their needs using the site?

    Formulate one main goal, which should be achieved as a result, and do not have illusions that with the help of one resource it will be possible to solve all the tasks that you can imagine. If you plan to get an image resource with spectacular graphics and lots of animation, then it is unlikely that it can be an online store for the supply of electrical equipment or a powerful news resource.

    Very important: the goal must be measurable. That is, a specific number of visitors, specific actions of these visitors on the site, specific money for which your turnover will increase. If, due to some incompetence in the topic, you raise your expectations, they can be adjusted and brought closer to reality later, when discussing the task with a web studio.

    3. Target audience.The next step is to identify potential visitors that your site will be targeted at. It is very important to understand for whom this is all done. If you have a good idea of ​​the target audience of your site, describe it briefly and in simple words, this information will be needed in the future when filling out the brief of the web studio. Are they men or women, how old are they, what is their social status? Where do they work and how do they relax? What topics do they most likely care about?

    Introduce the most typical representative of your target audience and talk about it. Suppose this is a young man of 23-26 years with a higher education who is interested in career issues, has no health problems, chooses night clubs as a vacation, and prefers to relax in Europe. Or is she a working woman of 30-40 years old with 1-2 children, living in a small town and paying great attention to the improvement of her home.

    So, the result is described, the goals are set, the audience is determined. What needs to be done to achieve all this?

    4. Understanding the process.First you need to at least in general terms imagine what is going on in that black box, on the one side of which you will put the terms of reference and money, and on the other, after a certain time, the finished site will appear. Therefore, the next step in our plan will be to make this black box more transparent.

    In order for your site to start working, three conditions are necessary:
    1) the site itself must be ready as a set of specific files and functions,
    2) it must be hosted so that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and
    3) it must be the domain name by which users will access it.
    Most often, the company where you order a site can help you register a domain name and host your site, so we’ll leave the second two points to the stage of interaction with a web studio, and at this step we’ll look at creating a site.

    Several people will work on your site. First of all, it is a project manager who will discuss and agree with you the nuances of the order, set tasks for the executors, follow the deadlines and serve as a kind of translator from the client’s language to the language of the web studio and vice versa. After the manager gives the project to work, the content manager begins to deal with it. A site is primarily information, therefore, at the very beginning of work on it, it is desirable to have all the necessary texts and illustrations. You can provide ready-made information, or you can order the writing of texts and the preparation of photos and illustrations of a web studio.

    After the structure and content of the main and internal pages of the site are described (the interface designer can take part in this work), the web designer begins to work. He draws one or more options for the design of the site, that is, he creates the exact picture that the site visitors will see as a result. After the approval of the design, the typesetter sets to work. He translates this picture into a view that is understandable to Internet browsers, encoding it in html. After the basic website page templates are laid out, the design and content management system are integrated, i.e. the programmer sets to work. His job is to make it easy to update information on the site - edit, add or delete.

    The programmer adds and connects the necessary modules for managing the site. After that, the site is tested for performance and correctness first on the local server, and then it is configured and debugged on the hosting.

    This is a fairly rough description of the process, but it gives a general idea of ​​the stages of work on the site. Now you can determine your wishes for individual performers and prepare the necessary information or a list of questions for the project manager. It's time to move on to choosing a contractor.

    5. Choosing a web studio.In this article, I will not dwell on the criteria for choosing a web studio, I will describe only the main parameters that are worth paying attention to. Suppose you already have a list of the studios you would like to work with. Also at this stage you have already formulated the goals and objectives of the site.

    Most likely, the web studio will ask you to fill out a standard brief to get the necessary information. Pay attention to this brief. Is he overloaded with questions, the answers to which will take you a lot of time, but are unlikely to be useful when developing a site? Do you understand the wording of the questions, and if not, is it easy to get clear explanations from the project manager, what do these or those terms mean?

    After receiving background information from you and filling out the brief, the web studio will tell you the estimated cost and terms of the site development. But do not rush to make a choice between contractors only on a price / time ratio. Think with a representative of which company you had a greater understanding, where they listened to you, asked more clarifying questions, spoke a language that you understood, and quickly responded to your questions or wishes? Look again at the portfolio of these companies to make sure that you are satisfied with the level and style of their work. And most importantly - think about whether you have confidence that the selected studio will try to achieve your goals and objectives, and not just "work out the order." It’s not a fact that working with such a studio will cost less than other offers, but your task in this case is not to save,

    6. Design documentation. Website development begins with the preparation of design documentation. Sometimes it can take several tens, or even hundreds (in the case of large projects) pages. Be prepared to carefully familiarize yourself with all the documents provided, find out and clarify incomprehensible points and sign them only after that. It goes without saying that the development of such documentation costs a certain amount of money, and its structuredness and detailing testifies to the serious approach of the web studio to the process of creating the site.

    Do not save on the development of a detailed technical specifications. Firstly, all work will be carried out in accordance with this document, and after you sign it, further arguments that you mentioned or requested something will no longer be valid. Secondly, with ready-made documentation on hand, you can change your mind (situations are different) and send the order to another web studio before a large amount has already been paid. Naturally, provided that you paid for the development of the documentation of the first studio.

    7. The choice of control tools. The main and almost the only tool for controlling the process is checking all its stages for compliance with the task. Make sure that you and the contractor speak the same language, that is, you understand the terms and concepts used in the same way.

    Try to ignore your subjective perception of the project. This is not easy, but in 99% of cases you are not the target audience for which the site is made, you need to remember this.

    Since most often the client is not an expert in creating sites, there are certain difficulties with control. Therefore ask questions, specify incomprehensible moments. But do not overdo it - if you acted according to our plan, most likely your project is in good hands and you can trust the contractor. After all, your goal is not to become a web development specialist as a result of the completion of the project. If nevertheless it is, you can always discuss with the web studio the payment of additional consultations.

    8. What else to do for maximum efficiency.Follow the correct sequence of actions. To create the final design when the content (content of the site) is not ready, to write project documentation, when you have not formulated the main goals and objectives of the site, means to spend as a result 2-3 times more time on redoing the work done or getting the wrong site that you need , that is, throw money away.

    Do not change the statement of the problem during the development process, this will result in the creation of another site with other goals, so it’s better to think a little longer first, than spend extra time and money later.

    Make sure that you have a responsible person from whom the contractor can quickly receive answers to questions and necessary information.

    Follow the agreements and monitor their compliance by the web studio.

    9. How to verify that you have achieved the goal. This is easy, because at the second step of our plan you have already formulated specific measurable goals set for the site. After starting the project on your own or with the help of specialists, you can track the number of visits, analyze the behavior of site visitors, calculate the financial effect. The main thing - do not forget to check it and make sure that everything works correctly.

    10. What next? In order for the site to develop and be effective, it is necessary to place information interesting and relevant for visitors on it. Decide who will maintain and update your site, monitor its performance, appoint a responsible person and control those excellent results that will not take long.

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