A Beginner’s Guide to Design and Develop a Website
You want to create a website but you don’t know how to design and develop it. then, this blog is for you.
This blog is a complete guideline to design and develop a website. I have started designing and developing websites five years ago. In the beginning of my web design and development career I struggled a lot to find how to design and develop a website. After years of experience now I have pretty much knowledge. I will explain everything I’ve learned so far from design to development of a website.
Everyone has different way of creating websites but after a lot of efforts there is certain way which can help you create fast and better websites.
What you are expecting?
I have written this blog considering every kind of audience in mind. Possibly you are one of them.
1. You just wants to learn.
2. You wants to design a website.
3. You wants to design and develop a website.
4. You don’t wants to create website on your own but you want to learn about the process.
Well this blog is for every one of you.
I am explaining everything by step by step. You can skip the steps that are not relevant to you.
1. Have an Idea
First step to create a website is to have an idea of what it is about. It can be your blog or eCommerce website or any other idea. But before going to next step it is must to have an idea of what it is about.
2. Research about your idea
Once you have proper idea of your website than you can go on this step which is to research about the idea. Research as much as you can about your idea, you can use internet, your friends or your family for exploration of the idea.
You need to find out the answers of following questions. These questions are the backbone of your business.
Know your audience: You need to know about your audience. You need to find out that, for who you are building the website? And who will use your website?
Once you find out about the answers of these questions then you need to know as much as you can about those users their age, expectations, gender, geography, economic status etc. These things will be the ground for next steps.
- How much it will cost you: Having basic idea of cost and expenses is must. Cost of creating a website includes Domain, Hosting, Images, and SMS API. If you are hiring a designer and developer for the website then, you will be needing money to pay to web designer, developer and marketing expert.
How much time will it take: Study about how much time it will take to create the website? You need to estimate time for each steps separately.
If you know how to create a website then you will know how much time it will take.
If you do not know how to design and develop a website then, first you need to learn. then, you can know how much time it will take to create a website.
- 3. Know your competitors: Know about who are your competitors and what they are doing and how popular they are? Know what is similar and different between you and your competitors.
3. Purchase domain and hosting
Purchasing domain and hosting before starting to create website is helpful in many ways. An older domain helps improve your page rank on search engines.
While deciding the name of your domain you need to understand these things. Mostly you must have seen two types of domains, one which contains some common words and other which don’t contain any word. So which one is better for you.
Both kind of domain names have their own pros and cons. Here’s the pros and cons for both kind of domain name.
1. Domain which contains common word.
Helps page ranking on search engines
Doesn’t have brand impression.
Confusing to remember because other website can use those keywords
2. Domain which don’t contain common word.
Do have brand impression
Easy to remember if you chose catchy names
Doesn’t help page ranking on search engines
Now you knows the Pros and Cons of both kind of domain names. You need to decide which one is better for you.
Once you’ve bought domain and hosting now setup coming soon page.
4. Setup accounts on social platforms
Create accounts on major social platforms including Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quara and whichever platform is relevant to your business.
While creating accounts Use same name and username you used for your domain name. After setting up the accounts get likes and follower however you can get. Every kind of user who liked your page is beneficial for you but try to get users who you think potential user for your business. Alongside keep posting about your website, business, deals etc.
5. Create Wireframe of whole website
Wire framing is the basic skeleton of the website. Wire framing is important before starting to design and developing a website. When I started to work as a web designer and developer I used to skip this step. Skipping this step makes the whole process of creating a website messy. Before going to next step create wire frame for the whole website. Every page, popup, dialogue should decide in the wire-frame.
Create wire-frame for all sized devices. Don’t just create wire-frame for desktop. There is two way to create website for different sized screens.
Create responsive website or create different websites for different screens. You can choose whichever suits best for you.
You can use simply your pen and paper or wire framing software. It’s up to your comfort-ability.
If you wants to use software for wire framing then, try these software.
6. Make Designs of created wire-frames
Once you have done with creating wireframes, now you need to design those wire-frames exactly how they will look after the development of website. Don’t go to next step until you finished with the all designs. You have created wire frames for different sized screens, now design them for different sized screens.
I strongly suggest you to design every single element of the website before developing them. If you design everything perfectly and you are satisfied with your design, only then the development phase will be fun and perfect.
HOW TO DESIGN?
Design of a website is the combination of Colors, fonts, images, contents, navigation and actions performed by users.
In step 2 I’ve mentioned about researching about users, idea etc. Now step 2 helps a lot in design. Design should be created for users.
Keep these in mind while designing
Colors: Decide the colors for the website. Usually one or two colors are great for the design of a website. Choose colors based on your business and users. Decide what kind of colors are suitable for your business and your users.
For example let’s say you wants to design a wedding blog then, which colors should you use? In the USA colors for a wedding is white and sky-blue, but in the India colors for a wedding is Red and Yellow.
Colors in a website should represent about your business. It’s very important to consider both business and users in mind while choosing the colors for the website.
After selecting the colors, create color pallet which contains up to 5 colors. This color pallet is the color theme of your website. Now use these pallet for background, text, button, icons, images etc.
- Fonts: Fonts also depends on both your business and website visitors. Fonts should be readable. Use same fonts for whole website if possible. Using the same fonts reduces cognition loads. There’s a lot of fonts out there, some of them are free and some of them are not. Choose which suits the best.
- Contents: Make your website descriptive. If a user wants to know about something than give them something to read. Try to use icons and images for explaining what you wants to tell them.
- Navigation: Navigation of a website is also the part of design. You should’ve decided how the navigation will work before next steps. Try to keep page loading smooth. Maybe you won’t be able to represent the animations but you should have the ideas in your mind.
- Actions: If your website contains popups or any other kind of interactions then you can use animations for it. Again maybe you won’t be able to represent the animations in the design but you should have the ideas in your mind.
WHICH SOFTWARE SHOULD I USE FOR DESIGN?
There are many awesome software to design the website. Some of them are free and some of them are not.
Here’s the list of the popular and great software:
- Sketch (For Mac)
- Axure RP (For Mac & Windows)
- Adobe Experience Designer (For Mac & Windows)
- Adobe Photoshop (For Mac & Windows)
Which is best for you. Every design can be created with every one of them. But which one is hard to use and which is easy that’s all matters.
Best way to decide which one you should use is to try each one a little and then you will know which one is suitable to you.
6. Development of website
You have made the designs, now the development comes into play. You have created good designs now what should you expect with development? Good development. No, there is no such thing as good development.
Your aim should be to achieve following tasks with development of the website.
1. Neat and Efficient Code
2. Fast page loading
3. No bugs
But before achieving these tasks you need to decide what text editors and technologies you should use for development.
WHICH TEXT EDITOR SHOULD I USE?
There are lots of text editors out there but which one is best for you. Maybe you have already chose yours. Every programmer loves their text editor. If you haven’t chose yours Here’s the list of text editors for programming.
Which should you use? I think the best way to know is to try and chose whichever you likes most. Personally I love Sublime Text and Atom the most.
HOW TO DEVELOP?
There are two ways to develop a website. Write your own code from scratch or use development tools to help develop it.
Both ways have their own pros and cons.
1. Develop from scratch
There will be no restriction in writing code
You can use your choice of programming language for backend
You can develop fast website
Develop it in your own way
You can develop Single Page Application
You will learn more
Will take more development time
Blog section will be hard to manage
Only developer would be able to update the website
1. Use CMS for development
Anyone can update the website
Will take less development time
Blog management would be easy
Your website can slow on loading
You will need to learn the CMS
You will have to code the way a CMS Wants
You can’t use your choice of programming language for backend
Very hard to develop Modern Single page application
Which way is best for you, you decide. Using a CMS makes easy when you have blog in the website and if the website needs to be updated by someone who doesn’t know much about web development.
If you don’t want to use CMS but your website have blog than you can develop your website from scratch and use CMS for only blog section.
SHOULD I DEVELOP SINGLE PAGE APPLICATION (SPA) OR MULTI PAGE APPLICATION (MPA)?
You should decide which type of application you want to develop. There are two types, single page application and multi page application.
If the functionality is the main part of your application then you should go for Single Page Application but if your application is static content based and do not have much functionality then, you should go for Multi Page Application.
WHAT LANGUAGE SHOULD I USE FOR BACKEND?
There are many languages out there. You can use whichever you finds easy to use.
I have only used PHP so I don’t know much about other languages but I don’t think any language is good or bad. PHP is easily accessible. Every hosting providers supports PHP. There are lots of Plugins available for PHP. If you haven’t chose yours then, you can go for PHP it won’t disappoint you.
8. Marketing of website
You have created the whole website but now you needs to reach to your users. There’s many ways to increase your reach. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is most effective and non-paid way of marketing.
Read Effective tips for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for more information about SEO.