Web design projects are often complex, but breaking down the steps into easily digestible phases makes a project much easier. Below, I list out what I refer to as my Web Production Process.
The Discovery Phase is all about you and your project. During this phase, I will take the time to learn more about your company and the project, goals, return on investment desired, and much more. Discovery can get a bit monotonous with the paperwork, but I make sure the process is fun and exciting for the both of us.
Various documents will be created during this phase, such as an initial Project Evaluation, an official Proposal, and the Statement of Work (contract). This phase may also contain the delivery and examination of pre-existing assets and branding. Additionally, the Discovery phase may include consultation services.
How long will this take? For most projects, Discovery takes between 1 and 2 weeks.
Perhaps one of the most exciting phases, the Design Phase gives you insight into the fruits of all the Discovery. You'll begin to see the ideas in a visual context, noticing how the content is laid out and how imagery or structural design elements take shape. Content will take on a form factor, and the excitement ramps up.
In the beginning, wireframes may be presented to you for your approval, depending on the type of project at hand. After wireframes come fully-realized compositions, which include color, artwork, and either placeholder or real content.
How long will this take? For most projects, Design takes between 3 and 6 weeks.
Once the markup has been written, core functionality programming takes place. This programming, often utilizing PHP as the main programming language and MySQL as the database language, allows for complex functionality to be built into the site. This functionality may include the ability to create, update, display, and delete information via a custom Content Management System. At this point, you will be able to click around the site on a private Staging Server.
How long will this take? For most projects, Development takes between 1 and 3 months.
The Testing Phase is actually more than a single phase. During the Development Phase, testing has already been taking place. Incremental testing along the way keeps the actual Testing Phase much more simple. During this phase, all site functionality is scrupulously tested on multiple devices, browsers, and operating systems.
Both functionality and the presentation of data is tested, and errors are immediately corrected. Any outstanding bugs noted during Development are addressed, and monitoring tools such as Google Analytics, as well as server-side tools, are added to the website.
How long will this take? For most projects, Development takes between 3 and 8 days.
Woohoo! We have finally arrived at the launch of the project. On this glorious day, you are officially handed the symbolic "keys to city hall." The project is yours, ownership and copyrights have been assigned accordingly, and you're ready to launch. But, alas! I do not disappear into the night like some sort of mysterious novella character.
I stick around, available to answer any questions and go over site statistics and analytics with you. Depending upon our agreement, you may have the option to retain me for maintenance, ongoing analysis and interpretation of Google Analytics and other related statistics. My goal is to ensure you're 110% happy.
How long will this take? Launching takes between 8 to 72 hours.