It is impossible to imagine modern businesses surviving without a website and/or a mobile application. From hospitality and retail, manufacturing to education, every domain is plush with businesses competing with each other by creating highly engaging websites and apps.
Given the extensive reach and visibility that websites and applications offer, having your own business website and a mobile app is a no-brainer today. However, simply creating one for the sake of having it does not suffice. If you consider building or revamping your own website, quality is of paramount importance.
So, who makes these websites and applications?
You would be surprised to know that a lot of entrepreneurs have tried their hand at designing and developing their own websites. The emergence of several DIY platforms has allowed individuals to explore this process firsthand. However, in most cases, the end result has been far from what they expected.
Most enterprises outsource the web development process to companies that specialize in providing these services. Full-service web development companies usually have a team of managers, software engineers, coders, web designers and marketing professionals who work closely with their clients to bring website and mobile app ideas to fruition.
What does a web development company typically do?
The primary scope of work for a web development company includes ideating, designing, creating and maintaining websites and applications. Let us break this down further:
- Website development services
As is evident from the millions of business sites on the internet, websites come in a variety of styles and sizes. A website can be custom-built by a web development company to suit the unique needs and preferences that a business has. Unlike the websites developed during the last decade, these days websites are created taking a mobile-first approach. This means developing your website for smaller (handheld) devices and then adapting it for access on a laptop or PC. The approach a web development company takes to create your business site would depend on a range of factors that include the following:
- The type of business (B2C / B2B)
- The industry or domain that you operate within
- The geographies and audience demographics that you cater to
- Your budget for the creation and maintenance of the website
- Your objectives and goals (both short term and long term)
- Mobile application development services
Business owners have realized the need to adopt a mobile-first approach. Trends and studies point towards the fact that audiences spend the majority of their time on their smartphones. Just like websites, applications are also created primarily for mobile usage. Here are a few factors that determine how the app development process will pan out:
- Platforms where you wish to make your business app available (iOS, Android, etc.)
- Type of business and the industry you belong to
- Target group demographics
- Purpose of the application
- Your budget for building and maintaining the app
Typically, a web development company will help you build an app and/or website by engaging in the following activities:
- Ideating and freezing the framework, architecture, and navigation
- Coding and programming the back end
- Integrating media elements like videos, images, and audio
- Publishing content and optimizing it according to best practices
- Working on designing the User Interface and User Experience at the front end
- Testing the website and app before it goes live (beta testing)
- Identifying problems and fixing bugs
- Conducting speed and performance testing
- Implementing codes and going live
- Maintaining and updating this online real estate on a regular basis
The web development process involves several other steps, most of which are taken care of by your outsourcing partner along the way. Some companies also offer to design and build a site or app using an online Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla, WordPress, Magento, or any other from the host of existing platforms.
In essence, a web development company works with its client and design team to provide end-to-end website creation and app development services.
Web development project journey and process
Image source: https://www.qualdev.com/web-development/
The steps that the website development company follows after they receive a request to build a website or a mobile app include the following:
- Setting up meetings or calls to understand the scope of the project and to identify the needs of the client. Once the initial discussion takes place, the web development company sends a quote.
- Discussing the approach, scope of work and finalizing budgetary aspects. The development process begins after a formal contract or agreement is signed.
- Project planning involves setting a timeframe, outlining the project plan and beginning the work on wireframes.
- The tech assessment phase involves mutually agreeing upon the technologies, platforms, and techniques that will be used for the creation of the website.
- The web development company then creates and shares mockups or prototypes to give the client an idea of how their end product would look.
- Once approved, the next step is designing the look and feel of the website and application (UI and UX). This includes creating signage, graphics, icons, buttons, effects, transitions, color schemes, etc.
- This is followed by the programming and coding of the different aspects (back end development, as mentioned above).
- While quality control is an ongoing aspect of web design and development, this step basically ensures that thorough quality checks are done before deployment.
- Once the website or app is ready to go live, the web development company deploys it on the predefined platform.
- Client training comprises of explaining the functioning of the website and application in detail. This is an important step in the process since the client’s team needs to know how the site works and what aspects they can handle at their end.
- Once the app and website are live, the web development agency is responsible for providing ongoing support according to the terms mentioned in the contract. This involves weekly or monthly calls/meetings, backend support, troubleshooting, re-optimization, and data reporting.
Are you looking for a web development partner?
If you intend to partner with a web development company to build your website or app, make sure you look at aspects like their past work (project portfolio), experience, capabilities, process workflow, and pricing. If they tick all the right boxes and offer value addition in terms of creative inputs, 24×7 support, and quick turnaround, you have yourself a winner!