STAGES OF DESIGNING A SITE
Site development at the company “Orientir” has several stages:
- Analysis of demands and opportunities for designing a site;
- Projecting a site structure and work;
- Information site filling
- Development of site web design;
- Writing a program code and site construction;
- Testing – a final stage of designing a site.
Additional stages that start after launching a site are site advancement and support.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that at all stages of designing a site with the exception of writing a code our work goes on in close interaction with a customer. It should not be thought that a customer’s function in such an important business comes to a telephone call and bill payment. The more information is given by the customer, the more actively he will take part in designing a site, the more chances he will have to obtain what is necessary for him. Don’t give the work with site developers for complete control to an ordinary manager or secretary; accept a site as your own new structure unit, the design of which requires a market analysis, capital investment and creative approach.
1. Analysis of demands and opportunities for designing a site.
To sum up, a certain venture applies for you with a request to design a web site for it.
At this stage it is impossible to have a talk about work costs. If, when you apply for the first time for a site firm-developer and ask a question “How much does the site design cost?” you are told of the sum, it is worth being on guard. The site may be very costly, and one can define it only after carrying out a certain complex of investigations.
First of all, we make an analysis of competitors’ market, i.e. we consider what sites on the given theme are displayed in the Internet, which of them are the most successful and why. We gather information on those activity types which a customer fulfills, and here his assistance is simply indispensable.
It is impossible to design a site without information that only a customer can present.
The customer must clearly conceive what he wants to receive from a site, and if at the moment of applying for our venture he has not formed his site vision yet, our specialists will help him make a choice. It is possible only by carrying on a dialogue when a customer tells about his venture, and an executor who is an expert in Internet technologies advises how it is better to present it in the Internet.
By that it is necessary to answer a number of questions:
- What category of visitors is the site intended for?
- What information should be presented at the site?
- What are the means by which the given information may be presented?
- What means will communication (information exchange) with site visitors be supplied by?
- Is the company ready to provide enough amount of money for realizing the first four items?
- How much money is the company ready to invest into further site development?
One should compare wishes in relation to a future site with financial opportunities. It is impossible to invest a minimum sum of money into the site and receive a grandiose efficiency.
After making a market analysis and clearly setting aims and site message one can select a domain name and storage for it in the Internet (hosting).
The domain name is a site address in the Internet to find it. The domain name must be simple and memorable, for example, www.gramota.ru. As a rule, the domain name is chosen in compliance with the company name or, more seldom, with the main activity type.
Hosting quality depends on the server speed on which the site is stored, and traffic capacity of conducting Internet lines.
2. Projecting a site structure and work.
This is one of the most important stages in site designing. On the basis of the data gathered and the client’s wishes we elaborate a site conception and technical task. In principle, a technical task is to be prepared by a customer, but in practice it occurs very seldom, since a customer, as a rule, rarely has at his disposal specialists necessary for developing a technical task. The technical task must reflect all nuances: a site structure, technical characteristics, color solution, adaptation according to certain browsers and monitors. The customer must coordinate a technical task by giving his consent to a site structure.
On the basis of the technical task the site project is written in the framework of which a functional site structure (navigation) is developed, it is defined what pages will be static or dynamic.
Site designing types are:
- Static pages, which a specialist does not make but, in case of need, brings in changes himself;
- Sites, administrators of which without any special knowledge can independently bring changes into the page content, but are not able to change either a site structure or its design;
- A site, to which a customer can add pages and units, by changing design.
A project is a step-by-step guidance for programmers, designers and writers who, on its basis, start realizing the following stages.
And here is the last thing. It is not worth feeling pity about the time spent on development and coordination of the technical task and project. You ought to understand clearly that this is the foundation of the future site, and how much conceived and coordinated documentation will be, the quality and quickness of fulfilling work depend on. Don’t sign thoughtlessly a technical task. Read it attentively, since having signed it, in future you will not be able to lay any claims to an executor concerning the fact that the ready-made site does not correspond to your wishes if they were not fixed in the technical task. It goes without saying, in the process of developing a site, you may happen to change your final aims, but take into consideration that under considerable changes such inconsistency may entail an extra-sum of money and will lead to the deadline delay.
3. Information site filling.
When the project is ready and it is known what exactly pages will be present at the site, one can start creating content, i.e. information site filling.
The content is very important for the site. Let’s repeat – a lion’s share of users “come” to the Internet for information. Nobody is interested in the empty site which, except a brief history of the company, service types and contact information, does not contain anything more, even if it has got a truly impressive design.
It is impossible to create a site content without the customer’s participation. The company “Orientir” provides services of writing texts, but only if there is all customer’s available information about venture activity, photos and the material alike, that can be used as the foundation for writing a content.
It is desirable the customer should provide information at the stage of analysis and development of the technical task.
Information at the site may be given in the form of a text, tables, graphics, photos, audio- and video-materials – all depends on the material presented by the customer. In case of need, some of these materials (for example, photo, video or writing articles) can be fulfilled by the company “Orientir”.
The content cannot remain unchanged in the course of all the site existence; it should be periodically changed, added or widened even if activity types of your venture remained unaltered.
4. Development of a site design.
One can also start developing a site design immediately after writing a project.
Developing web design is a creative and rather captivating process when unimpressive words of the project take a visible form. By site design we mean not only a cliché but full-formed site pages in the unified style. The main page here is of primary significance. It presents a company image, it is this page which is actually seen by all site visitors, it is the first visitor’s impression of your company.
In the working process at web design a customer must first of all express his wishes. The designer can not know your venture in the same way you know it and web design reflects in many ways the firm specificity for which a site is being created. Therefore it is not worth shifting work of creating design only to the designer. In his work he must rely on something, let it be your venture’s firm style or your personal preferences adapted to Internet requirements.
A site is not a picture. Not everything that a painter can draw on the paper fits a web site.
If you are interested only in a beautiful picture, say that, we will make a nice visiting-card for you consisting of one page with the content of approximately the same size of visiting-cards you have in your wallet. But a very beautiful one! However, remember, tastes differ, and the thing you consider to be a masterpiece will not attract the other person at all, and you for this sake will sacrifice content and navigation convenience.
To that, sites have a tendency to “get old”. This means for efficient work it is necessary to carry out a site re-design once three years as a minimum.
In the opinion of the company “Orientir”, site design must be:
- Stylish and correspond to the venture image;
- Functional in the view of navigation and monitoring;
- Compacted in the right way;
- Corresponding to the sphere of company activity;
- “Easy-working”, i.e. a page must be loaded quite quickly;
- Harmonious according to color solution.
5. Writing a program code and site construction.
By writing a code we mean programming a site and its construction.
At present no one site can do without program developments. These are electronic catalogues, forums, visitors’ books, and a great deal more. Programming use permits to make a site more interesting for a visitor and also, that is of no small importance, to simplify its further functioning, since programmed sites give their owners an opportunity to manage a site individually.
A site construction denotes a process of integrating a text, graphics and program elements into the totality. It is the construction which gives a site its final type that will be seen by visitors at the site. It imposes a particular responsibility on the developer because a plain, inaccurate construction is able to spoil a site appearance. It is necessary to take into account tiny, and at the first sight, meaningless details that improve a site appearance: inscriptions under the pictures, correct filling-in meta tags, setting the fixed size of all page elements and so forth.
In writing a code we take into consideration that in future other people, possibly, will deal with the code, therefore we try to make necessary explanations and commentaries.
6. Testing – a final stage of designing a site.
This stage presents a quality control of the work being fulfilled. Everything is verified: navigation convenience, work efficiency and availability of all necessary links, orthography and punctuation. Page optimization is carried out according to peculiarities of concrete browsers, peculiarities of page representation are considered at various tunings of color depth and screen vision.
For testing a site, as a rule, is given to people who did not take part in its design as in the working process mistakes become unnoticed, and a fresh view is simply of necessity.
After the site is tested and mistakes are corrected, one can display it in the Internet.
Now the most interesting thing begins –site support and advancement.