Once we have the Planning documents and the Design documents (see Design the Perfect Website), both of which have been understood, agreed and approved by the client, we are ready to begin developing the Perfect Website.
This stage can be considered to be the mechanical and technical phase of the whole process. It is where the components of the perfect website are drawn together and made into a working reality that can come to life on the World Wide Web.
There are four very important components of the development phase. Each of these aspects requires the consideration of the website coder as they are developing the site.
Search Engine Optimisation is key to maximising the number of visitors to the site. However, on its own, increasing the number of visitors will not lead to a successful website.
The other three cmpomall have a direct result on the User’s experience of your website. Providing a quality User Experience that will engage is a crucial component of increasing the ‘Visitor to Customer’ conversion rate (the proposition of your website Visitors who become returning Customers and fully engaged Users).
If your website can maximise the number of visitors to your site and maximise the vistor-to-customer conversion rate, you will have hit the holy grail of the internet. Your site will engage your users and grow in popularity beyond your most optimistic of projections.
SEO for short or for an even easier way to look at it; where does your website rank in search sites such as Google! SEO is crucial to ensuring your website can be found.
After coding each and every page the MintTwist website coder must ask; “There are millions of competing pages on the internet; so how are we going to make sure that finding this page is not like searching for a needle in a haystack”?
Look and Feel
First impressions are so important. The visual design of your entire website should encompass your company brand and capture the attention of your target user audience whilst conveying key messages and leading the end user with clear ‘calls to action’. The whole site should be aesthetically pleasing. After coding each and every page the MintTwist website coder must consider; “are we putting our best foot forward”?
Quite simply, is your website simple to use?! Internet users are an impatient lot. If your website is confusing, inefficient or leaves the user feeling unsatisfied than the chances are they’ll look elsewhere. Research shows that 75% of users will not return to a website that falls down on usability issues. After coding each and every page the MintTwist website coder must consider; “Is the interface interaction engaging or annoying”?
You may be discriminating against groups of users without even realising. Accessibility standards are guidelines to ensure that the internet serves as a rich source of information for all, including those with disabilities. The way your website is coded is crucial to this cause. A site which does not adhere to W3C standards will be penalised by Google and the other Search Engines. After coding each and every page the MintTwist website coder must consider; “Does this satisfy accessibility requirements”?
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the governing authority for modern Web standards. They have a tool in their website with which any Web user can check the validity of any website’s code.
To learn more about accessibility standards and code validation, please visit: http://www.w3c.org.
In keeping with the MintTwist methodology there is a structured process that the coder will follow (illustrated below). At every step the coder will be ensuring that the key aspects that will ultimately determine the success of the ‘Perfect Website’ are addressed and at the forefront of their thinking.
• Create a CSS files
• Create server side components
• Create client side components
• Create third party utilities
• Build the pages
• Unit Test pages (SEO, Look and Feel, Usability and Accessibility testing)
• Integrate the pages
• Integration Testing
• Website System Testing (SEO, Look and Feel, Usability and Accessibility testing)
• User Acceptance Testing
Using your Website
Once complete, your Website is ready to go-live, to start helping your business to engage with new potential customers and to be used by the Internet Marketeer in the execution stages of your “Perfect Website” project – see The MintTwist Method – Web Marketing Strategy for more help on this.
This article is based on the “MintTwist-ology” for creating the “Perfect Website”. MintTwist is a London based Web Agency specialising in high quality Web Design and Development.