I have my general idea and a note / sketch of my website aims / design then I purchase my domain, implement the design get some early feedback and make a few further alterations - upload, release and bug my mates to refer traffic .
a. Determine your website needs. Is this a personal website, a business website, will you be streaming media, etc. Capture your requirements before you proceed with choosing products so you can buy the products and services that best meet your needs.
b. Choose a Site Concept. You should research your market, determine best keywords to use, what your site is going to say, and start mapping out content. You should not pick a domain name or start building pages until you've nailed down a solid concept. This is the most important step of getting a successful site online. Don't come up with the plan after you already are down the road a bit and have to make major course corrections.
c. Choose a domain name. Use registrars and thesauras to research available name combinations. Keep it short, make it .com, make it memorable.
d. Register you domain name. Choose a domain registrar to register your domain(s). You may want to purchase additional aliases or variations that will point to the same domain. Note that this step might be included for free with your Web Hosting company. Don't pay for a domain name if it comes with your web hosting package.
e. Choose a Web Hosting company. Choose a web hosting company and a plan that meets your website requirements.
f. Build your website. Using an HTML editor build your website content. Preview your page regularly using multiple browsers. You may also want to consider website templates or even professional web design depending on your needs.
g. Upload your website. Using an FTP client, upload your website to your web server. Your site is now online and can be viewed on the Web.
h. Promote your website. If you build it, they will not necessarily come. Learn about search engines, Pay Per Click networks, and how to make your site sell.
Rich WebsiteMaven - Web Hosting Reviews, Guides, and Advice to Build and Promote your Web Site
1. Figure out what the site is about
2. Draw a sketch on paper, keeping in mind things like ad placement
3. Make the images in photoshop or paintshop pro
4. Make the HTML template with the images
5. If it's a dynamic site, I'd make the scripts now aswell.
6. Test everything locally using different browsers
7. Find some hosting & a domain
8. Upload everything via FTP
9. Link to it from various places and submit to search engines
10. If I wanted to, I'd probably make some adverts and advertise now
Here's a copy of the typical design process I keep online for clients to reference:
1. Brainstorm ideas, concepts, etc. with client.
2. Begin generating content.
3. Create wireframes of site pages.
4. Diagram the site's general navigation structure.
5. Determine and document site style, such as fonts, colors, visual themes, etc.
6. Create visuals for final mock-ups.
7. Generate templates, combining visuals and wireframes.
8. Edit content into final draft form.
9. Populate templates with final draft content.
10. Perform testing procedures (this is ongoing, but at this point, final testing takes place before tweaking)
- Code Validation
- Search Engine Compatibility
- ADA Compliance
- Speed Check
- Platform/Device/Browser Check
- International Accessibility
11. Tweak visuals, navigation structure and content based on testing.
12. Content tweaking for maximum search engine exposure.
13. Set up hosting, register domains (if necessary) and update DNS information.
14. Launch site.
15. Write style guides and other instructional materials to aid in the ongoing maintenance of the site, if client is self-maintaining.
This is quite oversimplified, of course. For instance, testing of all types is ongoing - it happens in nearly every stage of a site's development. Support materials are drawn up through the course of the engagement and released after launch. The process changes depending on the needs of the client.
I'm ok with all of the above except the actual design part. That to me is a nightmare even coming from a visual person like me (photographer). The idea of drawing something out on paper never occurred to me. I'm going to try that.
Very good answers. I can add:
1. have a look at other sites, studying their layouts, codes, contents and think about your project. I'm not suggesting to steal, but to learn what can be done and how others solve design problems.
2. find a graphic concept to present your company (logo or logotype)! Don't decorate, but think about your philosophy. Take Ferrari: their horse means agility, power, proud, speed and they did not use a car as a logo.
3. Whatever you do, keep it compliant to W3C. Your website must work with IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.
4. Create good contents that no one else offers.
5. Texts should not be too long but straight to the point, split in chapters. Avoid full page, left to right texts like
6. Structure your informations through visual packets (chapters, titles, bold, etc.)
7. Do a smart use of colours, avoid strong ones!
8. Let the user choose what to do: avoid pop ups, windows' auto resizes, midi music and blinking stuffs all over.
9. Once you've a layout, keep it on all your pages!!!!
Michele Bugliaro Goggia, designer SUP in visual communication