What makes a good website?

what makes a good website

Making a great website takes a lot of time and planning. In other to accomplish this, one needs to follow seven steps or guidelines. For the developer to manage his/her time wisely, a timeline must be developed using the Gantt Chart (Svetlana, 2015). If the steps listed in this discussion are appropriately followed the end product will be a good website.

A Gantt chart is a form of a bar chart which illustrates the project schedule displaying timeframe and milestones, defined by dictionary.com. Once this is completed, and the developer has a timeline of which he/she can use to output a good website.

1) Information Gathering

Information gathering is the first and most critical stage of the website creation process. Proper research is needed to determine the purpose, the primary goal, and the target audience of the website. Once done correctly, the developer will be able to decide on the functions, and technologies needed to produce a great site. The developer can now move to the next stage in the development process which is called the planning stage.

2) Planning

In this stage of the development, the developer used the information gathered in the first stage to design an outline structure of the site. This outline structure is known as the sitemap and after a wireframe design of the website is constructed to give the client an idea of how the final product would be. The sitemap shows the relations between the main page and the rest of the site, also showing the relationships between pages on the website. The wireframe is used to illustrate a mockup layout of the site, and how information would be displayed on the finished product. Selection of technologies which would be used to develop the site will be accomplished in this stage as well.

3)Design

After the stage of the process, a prototype of the website is created with the use of graphics displaying the visual layout, photos and sample contents of the site. The prototype will also be able to demonstrate some of the functions of the website. The prototype is then shown to the client for inputs, changes will be made until the client approves that it is what he/she wants, and it will be moved into production.

4) Content Writing and Assembly

The best time to start content writing is usually during the designing phase of the website creation. At the stage, it is essential to write all the information the site would like to communicate with its audience.

5) Coding

During this stage, the developer starts to turn the mockup design of the website in a real product by use of HTML, CSS, Javascript and any other technology required to achieve the goal. Usually, the homepage is the first section of the website created, and by following the sitemap, the other pages of the site constructed. All the functionalities, graphics, and written contents are done to produce a fully working final product.

6) Testing, Review, and Launch

This stage is pretty routine, and the section speaks for itself for its importance. After the coding of the site, all functionalities and pages are tested to make sure function as intended. Bugs in the system are found and fixed. A review of the contents on the site is done to correct typos, and grammar errors. Once the testing and inspection are completed, and the website is transferred from the development server to the production server. The launch of the site is ready when it has migrated to the production server.

7) Maintenance

The stage or phase of the process is an ongoing process to make sure that the final product is functioning correctly. Keep in mind when developing a website, keep in mind that it is more of a service than a product. Always be ready to improve and solve problems encountered by the users. It would keep the website up to date, and less prone to security threats.

Conclusion

Adequate research is needed to determine the purpose, the primary goal, and the target audience of the website. Iron out the layout, relationship structure of the pages and how they connect to each other. A mockup or prototype design of the site should be created and shown to the client, to see if there is a need for changes, and after approval, we can start to write the contents for the website audience. With those few phases completed, the developer can start coding the actual website and test it out to see if all of the functionalities of the website is appropriately working as intended. The site is migrated from development server to production server and goes live for the world to see and use. Maintenance will be conducted to keep the website updated, fixed bugs, improve site based on users reviews or comments. If all these are done well, the end product is a good website.