Ayesha Zerin Tasnim
01 Jun 2021
With the arrival of new technologies and digitalization, it has become inevitable for businesses to thrive without an online presence. As we progress, market competition, and the number of websites are increasing rapidly, with more than a billion on the world wide web. This makes it relevant for companies to have a website and a dedicated platform for customer interaction.
Speaking in the context of Bangladesh, the number of mobile and internet users has been on the rise. And this is exactly where the need of a website is effectively justified. A website is the face of a company, creating for itself a brand identity and aiding in the effort to combat competition. It promptly helps to earn credibility from customers that drives future growth.
Building just a website without proper planning and designing might do more bad than good. Having a structured web page design and a dedicated process gives you every reason to flourish. As one of the promising website design companies in Bangladesh, operating for more than a decade and completing over a thousand projects, we have come to agreement with a process that drives the optimum outcome in web design and development. This blog is entitled to give you a complete look at it, helping you to build an optimized website for yourself and/or your client, as it has helped us to do the same.
The success of every project starts with a clearly defined understanding of what to deliver and expect from it. A project scope helps you to specifically outline the scope of work to finish a project.
- Project Objectives
- Budget Allocations
It helps you to:
- Move forward in a structured manner
- Have clarity of the project’s processes
- Stay aligned with all the stakeholders
- Know individual responsibilities
- Assist the team to focus on common objectives
- Properly allocate and stay within budget
- Restrict expansion (of deadlines, work scope, etc) beyond the established vision
- Launch on time
How would you know about your client’s background, preferences and what they want? This is where you would need to conduct a thorough run down of your client’s background, market activities, trends, competitors, their consumer’s preferences, industry standards, etc, to properly cater their needs.
Beginning your web design and development process with quantitative and qualitative research to discard guesswork, learn about user personas and exactly what they want is a key way to establish complete clarity. Following are the key points to focus.
Any project starts with a complete background check of the customer you are developing the website for. Here, you receive some vital information that answers a lot of questions about your client’s persona, for example:
- Pain points
- Values and goals
- Industry of operation
- Target audience
A competitive analysis involves a website design company to develop a strategy to identify the major competitors, the products and services provided, strengths, weaknesses, and marketing strategies of the client’s.
To start with the analysis process, it is important that you have the following guideline:
- Identify and jot down the competitors
- List the type of products they offer and how similar they are to the type your client offers
- Point out the different items they have on their websites
- Determine the channels they use to promote their products and services to generate an idea of current market trends
- Customer segments and sentiments
A SWOT analysis refers to a company’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, which helps to:
- Get a clear understanding of the company’s current status
- Measure overall performance
- Make decisions as to how to proceed, improve and combat threats
It might also be that your client has an existing website, in that case, as a website developer it is fundamental that you carry out a UX audit to learn more about your client and identify places of rectification.
User experience audit is a process used for user interface evaluation, which helps to determine the areas of enhancement of the website you are evaluating.
To conduct a UX Audit, you need to:
- Know about the business
- Understand the products and services offered
- Identify consistency and standards
- Learn about what a user feels when they are using the website by conducting surveys
- Review analytics data and metrics like traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, etc.
User journeys identify the different ways that enable the user to attain their goal as quickly and easily as possible. Outlining a user journey challenges a website developer’s perceptions and know-how about the client’s company and its target audiences.
Customers are an asset to a company in terms of generating leads, revenue, creating brand identity and equity. Therefore, as a website design company, taking into consideration what the customers want and need prior to starting a project saves a lot of your time from uncertainties and inconsistencies.
In order to do so, it is relevant to conduct the following
Having one to one sessions with customers about their understanding of the essential aspects of their company helps to enlarge your knowledge on their core business functions. Here are some major components listed for a better comprehension.
- The product and services they offer
- Their customer base
- Their competitors
- Their objective behind the establishment of the website
- Functional requirements
- Design requirements
Additionally, we have added for you a common set of questionnaires that you, as a website design company may use on the next interview with your client.
After you have done your evaluation, taken account of your customer’s background and created a sketch of the design you want to proceed with, now is the time for an initial test of whether the design is appropriate to fulfill your client’s and the larger audience’s needs.
After you have gathered all the necessary information from your clients and completed your research, now is the time to formulate them to your design outline. At this stage, it is important to notice that you are incorporating all the necessary elements to create a visually appealing website.
This is a crucial part as your web page design layout will evaluate whether you have properly understood your client. As a leading website design company in Bangladesh, with years of experience in the field, we have come to find that it is not only important to take into account the preferences of the client’s or their customers’ but also the larger audiences. This is because it helps to ensure that the designs that you prepare conform to the common choices and standards.
This is a blueprint of the entire web design and development, which offers a clear visual of the product’s/service’s infrastructure, features, navigation and hierarchy.
The IA process includes:
1. Site mapping
A sitemap design is where website designers clearly outline information about the images, texts, videos, number of pages and other files the website will have. It is the initial planning stage where the website design company determines the components of the website.
2. Content inventory and audit
If you work with an existing website or migrating over from to a new one, it is crucial that you thoroughly go through the contents to ensure which ones you want to keep and which you do not. It gives you a clear understanding of what gets the most traffic, which in turn helps you to forward with content creation and migration more effectively.
Wireframe is a basic web page design layout and structural guideline of the elements to be incorporated in the website and, a prototype is an advanced wireframe with more details and visual features.
Although a wireframe does not include real content which makes it difficult to establish a final layout; a prototype however, does so to give a complete idea of how the website will finally look like.
Design Sprints are a very important part for a website design company and their web design and development process, as this is where they validate ideas, solve challenges and test ideas with customers. It helps the entire website developer team to increase their focus, visualize how the actual website will look like and if it is aligned with the client’s feedback, reduce cost of failure, enhance viability, and fast-forward product into future by reducing repetitive mistakes and miscommunication.
a. Map: Mapping out the work scope and identifying problems. This helps with establishing a smooth user journey.
b. Sketch: This is an elaboration of the previous stage where designers focus on specific user journeys to come up with possible solutions for identified problems.
c. Decide: At this part, solid decisions are made to solve the problems and turn ideas into verifiable hypotheses.
d. Prototype: Combining all the inputs together, a prototype is created to give a clear picture.
e. Test: Finally, the design is tested under real conditions and with real users.
Content in a website is the main way to communicate with your customers, inform them about your brand and convince them to purchase your products/services. Therefore, it is important to put considerable effort in content writing that is engaging and well-suited to the web page design. However, just good content writing will not serve the purpose.
In practice, leading website design companies create compelling contents by maintaining a good balance of writing, photography and videography which is quintessential for a positive outcome. In such a case, they choose the right photo, right icons and create informative video content to adequately represent the brand they are working on and reach the customer base. Hence, you should give primary relevance to harmonizing these elements to establish success.
In addition to selecting the right materials and creating the right contents, it is fundamental to market them for exposure as inadequate marketing will not support the customer acquisition process. As a result, it is also vital to undertake initiatives to optimize and enhance visibility of your contents.
This is the stage where you evaluate your design to see if it has met the required standard. In most cases, website development companies ask themselves and answer the following questions to identify if the QC has been done properly. You can follow the same steps to help yourself with a smooth QC process:
- Have you incorporated all the requirements of your client?
- Have you made the necessary changes upon your client’s feedback?
- Does the design look exactly like what you had envisioned?
- Have you missed anything that was in your site map, wireframe and prototype?
- Have you missed any detail?
- Is the design user friendly?
- Are the features easily navigable?
- Is your design mobile optimized?
An important factor driving success for website design companies is the tool they are using. Here are the names of some highly efficient tools that is widely used by website developers, that can help you to craft captivating designs for your clients:
a. Mindmaster: Mindmaster is a great tool to brainstorm ideas, providing an easy and quick way to sort thoughts, create detailed mind maps and develop relevant solutions to a problem.
b. Adobe Photoshop: This software is used for digital imaging, designing, videography, photography and more.
c. Adobe Illustrator: It provides a pixel perfect design experience for designers to create crisp and clean drawings, illustrations and artworks.
d. Adobe XD: This design software offers dynamic elements that can be integrated into prototypes or mockups, allowing to create designs easily and collaborate real-time. Other efficient tools to create prototypes include Figma and InVision.
After coming across all the phases above, now is the time to bring the website to life. This is the part where a website design company is suggested to go through substantial stages of innovation to determine that the website satisfies the visitors, gives them a smooth journey and receives complete contentment towards their perceived benefit.
Front-end development is the part of the website design and development process that is responsible for the look, feel and ultimately design of the website. This is the part that manages everything that users visually see first, like information, features, animation, etc. in their browser or application. To ease and quicken this process, leading website development companies have been observed to follow some essential guidelines and utilize cutting-edge tools.
1. Use of legible and easy to follow code
2. Compatibility of all browsers and devices
Responsive web design is nomore an option rather a necessity for website developers. As people use different devices and browsers to open websites, it is crucial that the websites are optimized and made compatible for use through any device or browser.
3. Not to become dependent on Libraries and Frameworks
Although there is nothing wrong with taking refuge in libraries and frameworks, it is also relevant to give attention that you do not solely rely on it as they get updated and phased out continually.
4. Consciousness about page speed
Too much loading time can result in customers bouncing off the website. Therefore, it is advised for website design companies to emphasize on the speed of the website, or else, the rate of customer retention will decrease. Hence, if you adapt this practice, it will greatly aid in the overall positive output of your website.
HTML is often the cornerstone of any website developer’s toolset. It helps to structure a web page and its contents properly and provides easy access to web crawlers to read and crawl. Apart from this, frontend developers heavily use CSS to add styles like fonts, spacing, colors to web documents written in HTML.
Alongside programming tools, some of the text editors widely used are Phpstorm, WebStorm, Sublime, VsCode, VIM, MySQL workbench.
94% of people question the credibility of a website if it does not have a responsive design. (Source: Infront)
Responsive web design is an approach that refers to the synchronization of design and development to user’s needs and behaviours. Although design and development have their differences, it is important to ensure they have a wide bridge in between to smoothly connect them, to make web pages look good automatically on all screen sizes and devices.
2. Mobile First
“61% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from mobile-friendly sites” (Source: Webfx)
Mobile phones have become a widely used device, and in most cases people use this to access the internet. Websites that are not mobile optimized end up in higher bounce rate and lower customer interaction. Therefore, if you are a website development company, optimizing your client’s website for mobile devices is imperative to establish credibility for yourself and for them among their customers.
3. Smooth animations & interactivity
Just developing static websites with no to few prominent animations have become almost obsolete. Animations help to make a website more interactive and visually appealing and that is what website development companies opt for. As a website developer, you must make sure that the website you are building for yourself or for others is interactive, easily navigable and a great way to establish that is through scrolling and other forms of animations.
4. Fast and compatible
“Decreasing load time by 0.1s led to the bounce rate of lead generation pages improving by 8.3%.” (Source: Website Setup)
Website speed is one of the most influential factors in customer retention. A slow website will repel customers more than it will attract them. Therefore, a primary way to decrease bounce rate, increase traffic and enhance the overall user experience is by making a website that is fast and compatible for all devices. A good way to evaluate performance is through PageSpeed optimization score that scores a website’s speed for analysis and optimization. This can be done by using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insight, GTMatrix, etc.
This is the place which focuses on behind-the-scenes activities. Code written by backend developers communicate the database information to the browser. It is where you also create, update, retrieve, store and delete contents on a website.
A typical structure of the back-end development process involves:
- API Development
- Website Module Development /Server-side coding
1. Codebase easily upgradable and extendable
The world of technology is in constant evolution which makes it primary for website developers to develop easy to use CMS. Hence, working with an easily upgradable and flexible codebase helps with maintenance activities, reduces security vulnerabilities and preserves sustainability.
2. CMS Security
Security plays a huge role in the entire web design and development process, as a security breach will result in detrimental consequences for you and your client. Even if you have your CMS built on an open source framework, it is vital to ensure that it is free from vulnerabilities. In order to do so, you need to have all the following checked:
- Regularly update or patch the CMS vulnerabilities, plugins and themes
- Perform routine backups
- Prevent attacks like SQL injection through parameterized queries
- Change default username and password
- Install SSL
- Rename admin directories
- Use plugins and web application firewalls
- Keep track of latest vulnerabilities and scan CMS regularly
3. Usability of the system
As code crafters, website developers might find it easy to update, store and retrieve data from CMS, however, it might not be the case with clients who come from business backgrounds. Good/Successful website development companies think of easy usability while building CMS in order to make the website handling journey easy for their clients. Therefore, it is recommended that you put considerable emphasis on this to establish the same.
4. Affordability through open-source platforms
“Open source software allows for computer programmers and website developers to “stand on the shoulders of others” and create their own software.”
(Source: Small Biz Trends)
Typically an open source platform allows the reusability and free availability of and accessibility to codebases that can be easily modified. Open source programs can easily be downloaded and edited by anyone without any licence, which is why it offers a quick, cost effective solution to website developers.
Backend development ensures the functionality of the website and therefore, to establish this, it is a prime factor to use modern technologies. PHP is a widely used open-source programming language for backend development and this is because it is compatible across all platforms, flexible and secured, easily integratable with HTML, CSS, etc. Some popular PHP frameworks include Laravel, Yii2, jQuery which quickens custom web application development, simplifies maintenance process and offers other benefits to ease the overall website development process.
For IDE/text editor tools, backend developers use Phpstorm, WebStorm, Sublime, VsCode, VIM, MySQL workbench, PyCharm, Aom by GitHub, RJ TextEd, NetBeans, etc.
While building a Content Management System (CMS), it is essential to keep in mind that you may build it from scratch or use an open source content management system. A list of CMS with their respective market shares is listed below to ease your development process.
No development stage is complete without ensuring the overall quality of the website is maintained. At this stage, developers check whether everything is running smoothly and those that are not, are identified and corrected.
A typical quality check goes through the following process:
1. Requirement testing - It checks whether the website incorporates clients’ requirements and meets their expectations
2. Design testing - This involves the checking of the look and feel of the website and that it is in line with the proposed design and layout.
3. Functionality testing - This part ensures if all the buttons, forms, links are clicking and redirecting to the pages they are supposed to.
There are millions of websites in the world today, so are there millions of cyber thieves ready to take every chance to hack them. As much as security breaches harm companies whose website has been hacked, it has tantamount implications on the website design company. It will lose its credibility and reputation in front of the client company which will have a long term effect on its operations.
In order to prevent this, here are some risks to look out for to consolidate web security:
a. Injection: Injection flaws like SQL, NoSQL, OS, LDAP occur from unreliable data being sent to an interpreter as part of a query.
b. Broken authentication: This results from authentication and session management implemented incorrectly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords and other confidential information.
c. Sensitive data exposure: Exposure often arises from web applications and APIs not properly protecting sensitive data such as financial, healthcare, PII, allowing attackers to steal and carry out credit cards and other types of fraud.
d. Broken access control: No proper restrictions enforced on what authenticated users are allowed to do and what not results in such type of risk.
e. Security misconfiguration: Security misconfiguration is a very common issue arising from insecure default configurations, incomplete or ad hoc configurations, open cloud storage, etc.
There are many other types of risks that as a website developer you should be aware of. The OWASP web security checklist provides detailed knowledge on the various risks.
A key accountable stage for the overall success of the website is quality control. This is a very crucial stage in a sense that, without proper quality control, not only will you be unable to deliver an optimized and result-driven website, but will also be questionable for your credibility.
This part involves creating a structure as to how to proceed as a well-outlined documentation aids to build efficient communication within the team. Here, developers usually establish the different types of tests they are going to perform, for example, functionality testing, usability testing, etc, the scope of the tests, a clear procedure and strategy.
Unit testing is where a website development company tests individual units and sections of the websites. They scrutinize each and every single component to ensure that everything is in place so that a small problem might not create a big issue in the further stages of development.
Integration testing as the name suggests is the testing process where it is checked whether the integrated or the combined units are functioning smoothly. It aims to detect the flaws in interactions between the sections within a module. There are two methods to carry out this test: bottom-up and top-down.
At this part of the process, a website development company checks the whole system to identify and rectify problems and maintain the predetermined or expected standard. Here, the product’s compliance is verified with the functional and technical requirements.
A part of QA is UAT where the comfort of end user’s are checked under real life scenarios. This process helps to identify and solve discrepancies, improve software quality and overall acceptance and cuts down costs that otherwise would have been incurred as a result of recurring fixing and maintenance support. A UAT includes design testing, usability testing, functionality testing and finally security testing.
Finally coming to the review stage, website development companies undergo a thorough checking of the website to assure everything is working properly and seamlessly.
The final stage of the website development process involves deployment. This is where you hand over the project to your client and the website is ready for launch. After you have carried out the User Acceptance Test, and verified and rectified the places of problems, now is the time to go live with the website and for people to use in real environments. Coming to this stage means you have successfully understood and implemented your clients’ vision of their website.
At this stage, it is also relevant to provide clients with a secured web hosting service which makes a website available for viewing online. Typically, a hosting provider allocates space on a server for a particular website they are hosting, storing files, codes, images, etc. Therefore, in order to ensure proper functioning of the website, it is essential to provide a fast, reliable and secured web hosting service.
As are the other stages of the website design and development process important for lead generation, increased traffic and overall sales growth; so is the website maintenance process at ensuring the sustainability of it. It helps to preserve the smooth journey of customers in using the site.
How your website might be affected as a result of irregular maintenance? It will be subjected to:
a. Security breaches
b. Identity thefts
c. High spam distributions
d. Failure of outdated plugins
e. Lower ranking in search results
f. Increased time
g. Costs incurred in fixing outages
h. Unhappy customers
Why is it important to maintain your website?
a. Improves security
b. Boosts site traffic
c. Optimizes visitor experience
d. Strengthens SEO and Google rankings
e. Increase customer interest
How can you maintain your website?
a. Thorough review and test of the entire website
b. Testing of all Call To Action (CTA) and Point of Contact (POC) sections
c. Review KPIs, SEO and analytics reports
d. Security updates and bug fixes
e. Checking backups
f. Testing of browser compatibility
g. Update dates, copyright notices and legal disclaimers
Website is a long-term investment which generates recurring revenue. You can and/or help your client earn a fortune without spending a fortune. While sitting to do the budgeting as to how much it would require to make a website, it is important to first define what type of website you want, what features will it have and the industry you are operating in or making for. Having a clearly defined set enables the cost allocation process easier.
It might be that you are on a strict budget, however, you want to create an enriched web presence. In such a case, you might take refuge on open-source platforms like WordPress, go for shared hosting services, use pictures from free sites and reduce the number of web pages.
On the other hand, for a flexible budget structure, you will be able to create a visually refined web presence through features like mobile friendliness, responsiveness, single-page application, innovative web page design, content with high quality images, videos, highly available cloud servers, progressive web apps, etc.
Both the budget and features of a website complement each other, depending upon how much of each you have or want; and determining the overall allocation and development process. In order to gain a detailed insight, you can contact Dcastalia, a prominent Website Design Company in Bangladesh having served thousands of national and international companies through its operation for more than a decade.
Many times we consider a website to automatically attract customers, generate leads and increase retention rates, once it is up and running. Well, it is true but only partially. A website will help you to attain all that has been mentioned, initially but not continually. This leaves us the need to consider investing time and effort into certain activities to establish brand continuity.
SEO is one of the most important and effective ways to make your website visible among your audiences; and a key way for your business to thrive in the market. It helps to build credibility, increase engagement, drive traffic, gain opportunities, convert prospects into customers.
In the midst of staying occupied with our routined activities, it might happen that we continue to run a website with an obsolete design or something that would not appeal to our customers anymore. Therefore, it is essential to keep an outlook that your website is not sitting in the 2010s while you are in the 2020s.
As the design of a website requires upgradation, so does its contents. Since, contents are the foundation of communication with your audience, it must be looked into that the information provided is congruent with your product and service offerings.
Additionally, content also aids in SEO activities, hence, having a well outlined content strategy will do wonders to attracting, acquiring and retaining customers.
Social Media platforms have emerged as a strong, result-oriented tool for online marketing. After having launched a website, it is key to identify and market a brand through popular digital channels.
As mentioned above, maintenance is a key aspect when it comes to fostering sustainability of the brand. It is a great way to analyze and fix discrepancies to ensure a smooth user journey.
How would you know if you have to improve? Or where are you lagging behind? These questions will not be answered unless you run a performance analysis and evaluation. To do so, you can use the following tools and optimize your website’s performance accordingly.
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Page Analytics by Google
- Google Search Console
Websites play the most important and influential role for a company’s online presence. It promotes your brand, creating an identity for itself that no other means can do for you. However, just going about designing a website without proper planning and analysis can do you more bad than good. Before anything else, you must know the purpose of taking your brand to the digital world, and define how it might help you to reach your desired outcome.
To start and finish the process smoothly, you must move forward in a structured manner to ensure that you are not missing out on anything. Here, you might also consider seeking help from a professional to guide you through and build for you a functional and visually appealing website.
We are one of the leading website design companies in Bangladesh, fostering innovative solutions for each of our clients. In addition to website design services, we have a remarkable track record of providing website development, digital marketing, content marketing, SEO Services and other solutions to businesses of diverse markets. Through a decade of operation, Dcastalia have had a substantial impact on driving positive change in the digital industry. So, do not let your competitor take you over and crash you down. Let us start this wonderful journey towards growth together and make a lasting impression among stakeholders.