What is the way to avoid any mistakes and to use every important details in order to launch a website or app successfully?
We start a new business, plan a pivot or create a new branch of a successfully expanding business. In any case, nowadays a website, as a “window” into the global network, is an integral part of the strategic development plan.
When creating something new, we are not bound by confines of an already existing product (say, as in case of the redesign). We have the opportunity to start from scratch and create, we dare say, an ideal product. Or the product, which is little short of the ideal.
If you have no website development experience, or if you want to implement an idea, which is totally new to you, it is better to seek help of professionals.
Regardless of the project scale: from a landing page to a huge online store, you have the opportunity to get it right the first time, so not to re-do it later. Why not take an advantage of it?
Website development is a complicated and multifaceted process, which requires serious preparation and monitoring.
Just imagine: this is not one or two people who will work on the product.
Depending on the project complexity, goals and scope, the work may involve:
The larger the project and the tighter the deadlines, the more specialists are engaged in the process and the more things one should know when building the website.
Proper environment shall be arranged for the experts, and namely:
This sounds complicated, doesn’t it? But is realizable.
You just need an effective approach and modern methods and tools.
Checklists present a simple and efficient way to control and organize work (in any field).
Checklist is a list of items/questions/positions used to check whether the work/task/procedure is performed correctly.
Checklists allow the following:
Checklists have long confirmed their practicability:
The Internet offers a lot of checklist templates and even tools to create them for every occasion.
In our work, we also use this convenient technique (both generally for the project and individual checklists for each person engaged) in order to:
We have developed our own checklist specifying the basic process for developing websites and apps, which:
Please, consider that all checklist items are closely interconnected and overlap.
For this reason, we do not offer any fixed items order: study them carefully, and in the process of project implementation consider them all in general while focusing on the one, being most significant at the definite moment.
Start by setting goals and defining specific tasks.
In fact, it is very difficult to factor in all the intricacies of the future process, especially if it is completely unfamiliar to you.
We in Umbrella always support our clients. We are ready to help and give advice, starting with the very first call and/or e-mail, because we are aware of the significance of a proper start is.
But this is you to make the decision:
The more specifically you define the goals and requirements, the higher the probability is that the end result will meet your expectations.
When selecting a team to work on your project, you fix the time for the first call/meeting.
You get acquainted with a solution architect or analyst who will run your project, discuss the product’s general idea and submit any pre-designed and pre-defined requirements, specifications and sketches available: any information that will help the team to understand what you want to get at the end.
Following several such communication sessions, you decide on which team to choose. And the team, in its turn, draw conclusions as to what they can offer you.
The final results of the work largely depend on the choice you make at this stage. You should consider all the information about the team that you can get.
Be sure to check the following:
In no way the fruitful cooperation always mean joyful and optimistic regular reporting. You should be aware not only of the progress but also of the challenges and the ways to overcome them. You should have a feeling that you can trust the team in any situation. In this case, you are practically guaranteed to successfully launch the website.
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After you have made up your mind about the team to entrust your project, the predevelopment begins.
To help the specialists to understand what you want your future website to be like, you need to answer accurately and concisely to some organizational and technical question. Thus, the team will get the full picture of the future product and final detailed requirements thereto.
From our experience we have formed our predevelopment checklist and offer it to you as an extra aid:
Yes, right you are! There are many questions (and this is only a rough list). At this stage, you will need to work profoundly with the team. Nobody but you can explain what exactly you want to get at the end.
It is up to you to choose the form to present the questions and answers. We are client-focused: questions can be offered in writing or you can discuss them with our architect.
As a result, after a joint discussion of ideas, options, and possible risks, the team will start working on their more visual form.
A mind map is a schematic representation of the future website functions grouped by blocks. This is kind of a function guide.
When you receive a completed map, you should compare it with your idea and adjust, if required.
Do not be afraid to ask. The more things you discuss at the initial stage, the easier it will be to work further on and the lower is the risk of errors and rework.
After the mind map is approved, the team makes a preliminary estimate of the works to do and the timeframe.
Again, you are actively involved in the process to discuss and agree upon the result achieved
We have already told you in detail in our article how mind maps and wireframes are developed.
Whether any wireframe prototypes will be developed or not and at which stage (before signing the contract or after), it depends on what is optimal for your project.
As the estimate and the scope of functions are agreed upon, you can proceed to sign the contract.
A contract for website development is the similar legal document as in any other deal or business. Therefore, it is recommended to involve lawyers prior to entering into it.
But there are aspects that should be paid special attention to:
In any other matters, follow generally accepted practices, which you are accustomed to.
There are several options to work on the design:
Depending on the situation, the activities aimed to develop, approve and coordinate the design may be summarized in another checklist to be fit into the overall project work plan.
More details as to what happens in the designer workshop you can find here.
As soon as everything is agreed upon and signed, the creation process begins. At this stage, you will enjoy the results of the job achieved in collaboration with the team starting from the day one.
PUSHING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Following signing the contract, you receive a welcome letter with a notification that the project is sent to development. The PM will be your contact person, responsible for organizing and coordinating the project activities.
The PM provides you with a detailed schedule of all activities to be performed (roadmap).
The document specifies:
Such specific and detailed visual information helps all parties involved in the process to understand exactly what is happening at the moment and what is planned next. Naturally, in the course of the project, the schedule can change depending on the progress, external impacts, etc.
Simultaneously, tools are adjusted and configured to track execution of the tasks (we use Trello). Based on the work schedule, the PM distributes tasks among the team members, transfers them into the system and constantly monitors their progress.
The process of coding and testing runs in three environments:
As the work progresses, following the production phase various services are connected that allows you to assess the performance of the product created:
The documents under the project are executed throughout the whole process. This is an important part of the work, which shall not be underestimated, because you may need all descriptions, test results, design options, codes, etc. in the future.
Search engine optimization is required to ensure that your website is in line with all requirements of search engines and, as a consequence, ends up at the top of search results.
To make the search engine optimization really effective, you need to start working on it in advance, as you start thinking over the concept, and continue in the process of coding. The relevant requirements are set to:
When the project enters the production phase, the page loading speed and indexes are checked. After such tests, adjustments are made, if required.
Why is it important?
One way or another, you will need to deal closely with the search engine optimization later on, in order to bring the website conversion to a proper level, so that it would meet the goals set.
SEO specialists prepare and implement the optimization strategy, and if the relevant requirements are met at the development stage, they can act more efficiently, without being distracted by the need to change the code, etc.
Completion of the project is another major milestone, for which both parties involved in the process should be prepared:
After the contracted activities are completed, you may be offered some hardware and software support
Thus, you will always have “assistants” at hand. It is up to you to decide, whether you need such services or not.
We have told you about 10 key items that should be included in your checklist to launch a new website.
And here is a traditional bonus from Umbrella – we always give our clients more than we promise.
Here is one more, eleventh point in your checklist.
No doubt, the website or application will play their part in your business development, and the user behavior can be easier tracked on the web resource if compared with mobile apps.
But in the current context, as the mobile users share is constantly growing, this is unreasonable to ignore that huge market. That’s why we recommend to initially think over the further extension of your web product through a mobile app. We will tell of the way to do it in our next article. Follow our new publication on our site!
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