In the previous part of this series, we looked at how a website is designed. In this article we will look at the next stage of the web development process; Development.
What does Development Involve?
Development involves the majority of the programming work done as well as loading content onto the site. When in development it is important to keep the code organised and commented so that when the site is passed on to the client or future third-party developer they can get easily see how the site is built and structured and quickly pick it up.
Setting up the development environment
Most web development companies have their own development environment set-up to handle multiple platforms and frameworks. The development platform and framework for the client’s website would have been established during the planning stage. For example, a basic blog website might be built using WordPress as its content management system (and framework). In this case, the development environment will be set-up in such a way that WordPress can be easily run (and moved across to different servers) with ease.
If the project requires the use of a more complex, custom build (using a programming framework such as PHP’s Laravel), then the server will need to be configured appropriately to ensure that it will be able to handle the installation of the framework. All content management systems and web frameworks have specific server requirements for them to be able to work, and it is important to correctly configure the server environment in order to avoid unwanted issues arising during development.
Coding the templates for pages
Websites consist of many pages (e.g. home, about, blog, contact) that can be based on a single or multiple templates. Creating templates is good practice to avoid repeating yourself whilst coding. Content Management Systems usually come with some pre-built templates which may fulfil some or most of your needs but usually you will have to customise the templates according to the client’s needs.
Integration of special features and interactivity
Here is where all the fancy elements come into play. Interactive elements such as contact form validations, click and sliding menu animations, page element transitions and image sliders are coded onto the website.
This is probably the most tedious part of the development process but it has to be done. Inputting all the content provided by the client or writer may be mundane but even the simplest of pages requires tight typography and careful attention to detail.
After development is well under way it is good to do some testing to make sure everything works as intended. Forms must be checked that they validate and submit as intended, structure and content elements are well placed and are aligned correctly, links are working correctly and go to the right place. Basic testing should be done throughout development and not just right at the end.
Once development is fully completed it is time to do a full quality assurance test of the front and back-end of the site. We will cover this topic more in-depth in our next part of the series: The Web Development Process Part 3: Testing.
At Fireworks, we develop websites to suit the needs of you and your business. We make sure your site will look amazing and how you envisioned it to be! To get a quote or talk to someone about setting up a new website or upgrading your current site, give Fireworks a call today on 1300 660 160.