Completion of any web project depends upon several key factors, namely, project size, content availability, and the overall purpose or goal of your web site. Proper time and cost estimates require a preliminary conversation regarding each of these factors, however, most web projects can be broken down into three primary phases:

Build

The tasks and time requirements associated with this phase depend entirely on the goals and objectives outlined in the Planning Phase. Your particular web project may include design, coding, or content migration/creation. Each of these components can be broken down into their own set of processes and steps.
Create database(s) and associated table(s)
Custom content management systems, modules, and applications require database design and implementation. Information obtained during Phase I will be used as the source for the overall design.
Develop and customize web application modules, plugins, and classes
Classes and variables are defined for custom web applications. Custom plugins and modules for content management systems (CMS), such as Drupal or WordPress, are coded according to best practice standards established by the CMS. Additionally, any required libraries will be downloaded and installed.
Prepare mock-up
In an effort to ensure accurate design translation, measurement data is recorded in pixels, including margins, widths, heights, and even character spacing. Corresponding hex codes for colors are also noted and relevant images are converted to sprites or png files.
Convert design
Mock-ups are converted into CSS/HTML and will conform to W3C accessibility guidelines. Moreover, should your web site solution employ a content management system (such as Drupal or WordPress), the templates generated during this phase will be coded accordingly.
Develop content strategy
In the event you prefer to outsource content gathering and/or creation, a content strategy will be created for your review:
  1. An inventory of content will be assembled based on current web site content, brochures, or marketing materials.
  2. A content gap report will be created and uploaded into the project management tool for your review.
  3. Based on the goals set forth during Phase I, a Content Overview Report will be created and uploaded into the project management tool for your review. This report will outline your goals, risks, restrictions, and more.
Prepare existing content for migration
Content that exists in a structured form (e.g., lists, tables, directories) will be converted into a standard CSV-formatted text file, which will allow for easy import into the database. Unstructured content (e.g., contact page, about us) will be organized into a plain text document and reformatted for database insertion. Files (e.g., images, PDFs) will be organized into a folder structure and uploaded accordingly.
Identify content gaps
Lorem ipsum text will be used for any missing textual content and generic images will be used for missing graphical content. These content gaps will be listed in the project management tool for your review. Once created, you will be able to upload the newly created content directly into the tool.
Import / create content
Finally, all content (both existing and new) will be imported into the database. You will have the opportunity to review, proof, and edit the content on the development site.
Set-up project management tool
In an effort to foster ongoing communication, clients are provided access to an online project management tool. In addition to calendaring, to-do lists, and online file management, you may also opt to receive daily progress reports.
Install and configure relevant programs
Web projects are created on JFWD's development server in a private, secure location. Any necessary programs, applications, or modules will be installed and configured and access will be granted to project members.
Set-up sandbox accounts
In some cases, third-party sandboxes (such as PayPal or Authorize.net) will be established for use during development.

Launch

The final phase of a web development project involves testing, finalizing content, and lastly, deploying the site to a production server of your choice.
Assemble hosting information
Prior to actual site launch, information regarding your hosting provider must be supplied. At this point, you should have purchased your domain name and setup DNS, however, if you require assistance, help will be provided.
Backup current site
In some cases, you may have an existing web site, in which case, a complete backup of the web site and database is created and stored, just in case.
Compress development site and transfer to live server
Finally, the development site is compressed and transferred. Once the files have been pushed to the live server, testing is repeated to ensure that the site functions in the same manner as the development site.
Identify content enhancement opportunities
Content optimization is key to improving your search engine ranking. The amount of time spent enhancing your content greatly depends on the volume, but is an important step and should be given careful consideration.
Ensure content is directed towards a reader, and not a robot
Though it's important to repeat relevant keywords throughout a particular page, it's far more important that it flows in a natural manner, one that is appealing to a real person.
Identify inbound link opportunities
These days, exchanging links will work against your overall page ranking. It is better to simply provide compelling reasons for other site owners to want to link to yours. Whether you choose to write an article about a client or publish an industry-relevant whitepaper, the more pertinent the information you provide, the better your inbound links will be.
Optimize image and page attributes
Graphic elements are reviewed, and captions, titles, alternate text, and descriptions are added or enhanced. Meta data, titles, and contextual tags are also reviewed and optimized.
Eliminate duplication
Repetitive content, whether internal or external, will hurt your ranking, thus, content should be reviewed to eliminate any duplication.
Review code
Technical code is reviewed to optimize performance and to verify the site performs according to the project definition established during Phase 1. Additionally, CSS/HTML code is validated based on W3C standards.
Review content
All content is proofread for any grammatical or spelling errors. Additionally, content styles (e.g., headings, margins, fonts) are scrutinzed to ensure consistency throughout the site and adherence to style guidelines established in Phase I.
Test usability and interface
A quality assurance checklist depends on your particular project and its components. Typically, elements such as structure, navigation, performance, accuracy, and response time are tested in a variety of browsers to ensure the user has the same experience regardless of their operating system, device, or browser.
Test functionality
Forms, field validation, links, dynamically-generated content, and database interaction are tested in a cross-browser environment. Additionally, each coded task is assessed for performance.

Plan

Communication occurs throughout the web development process, however, a project cannot begin without a clear understanding of goals and vision. It is the first and most important step to any web project.
Outline tasks
The information you provide during our initial discussion will be used to generate a complete set of tasks necessary for project completion. A time and cost estimate will be provided on a per task basis, which will help establish priorities.
Provide contract
Once you have had the opportunity to review and approve the task outline, it will be incorporated into the web development contract.
Gather client content
Gathering content occurs at various points in the process, however, any images, text, or logos readily available will be collected and incorporated into the web site planning document.
Deliver wireframe & site map
JFWD will provide a wireframe or basic outline of your web site This document does not reflect an actual look-and-feel and should be considered a "blueprint" of site flow, functionality, and general layout.
Generate design concepts
Once you've approved the wireframe, you will be presented with three design options. Each option will contain three mock-up pages: the home page, one static page (e.g., "About Us"), and one additional page (most typically a product, gallery, or contact page). Once a mock-up has been selected, it will then be revised in order to reflect any font, color, or layout changes you would like to make.
Discuss target audience and web site goals
Your input during this phase is crucial to creating a site that will effectively meet the needs of your company and your users. JFWD's Needs Assessment Form can help guide you through this process.
Discuss technology requirements
It can be difficult to assess your needs on your own, particularly if you're unfamiliar with web technology or industry jargon. Based on the needs, content, and functionality of your web site, JFWD can devise a technological solution that will be clear and easy to understand.