My Web Design Process: Ep 5 - Website Development & Launch

Web Design

In the fifth and final episode of my web design process series, I outline the website development and launch part of the process.

In this series's first and second episodes, we saw how a web design project kicks off and what is usually involved in the discovery stage. Then, in episode three, I explained how the website content is developed in conjunction with low-fidelity mockup sketches & mid-fidelity wireframes. The fourth episode outlines how the design is finalised with a high-fidelity mockup that acts as a blueprint for building the website. Episode five is where the next stage of the web design process kicks off: the development and launch stage.


Web Design – Domain, Email, CMS & Hosting

If it hasn't been purchased before now, the domain should be purchased using a reputable domain registry service, like my preferred Irish provider, Spiral Hosting.

Some domain and hosting services I've dealt with in the past have truly been awful to work with without naming names. Spiral Hosting, by contrast, are a breath of fresh air. They provide a fantastic service and have a helpful, friendly and highly responsive customer service team.

Some domain and hosting services I've dealt with in the past have truly been awful to work with without naming names. Spiral Hosting, by contrast, are a breath of fresh air.

Once you have purchased your domain, you will probably want to get a professional email that ends in your domain, like my aidan@aq.ie email. Getting a custom email instead of a free email like @gmail.com will set your business apart as professional.

If you don't already have a custom email, you can use a service like Google Workspace to secure one account for about €55 per year. Alternatively, you can purchase a cloud hosting plan with Spiral Hosting that will allow you to set up multiple emails for your business for about €60 per year. This is handy because you can set up new emails as required. You might want to go with this option to set up a no-reply email for your newsletter to be sent from or to provide staff with their own personal email.

We discussed the CMS and hosting as part of the website strategy during the discovery phase in episode two. In my case, the preferred CMS provider is Webflow because of these three great reasons.

Web Design – Asset Export

Once the domain and email are sorted, you can begin with the asset export and optimisation. This involves exporting every image, graphic, video, and animation from your software so that it can be uploaded into the CMS and designed. Once exported, the assets need to be optimised for page load times so that visitors will get a speedy website experience, even when visiting using mobile data.

Web Design – Style Guide & CMS Placeholder Content

Next, I'll set up a website style guide to make building out the content and styling it more efficient. Then I'll populate the CMS's database for items like blog posts, filling it with some placeholder content that I can use when styling the pages where it will appear.

Web Design – Development, QA & Testing, and Launch

Once this groundwork has been done, I'll build out the website, making sure to test it's responsive design while building it so that I can be sure it looks good on mobile, tablet and desktop. Once built, I'll perform Quality Assurance and cross-device testing, and send it over to the client for them to review.

After implementing two rounds of revisions for the development, the website will be ready to launch. To do this, I'll simply update the CNAME records and hit publish on the website. And voilà, your website will go live usually within a few hours!

Check out the full video below to get my Web Design Review Trello board template:


Why Bother With A Web Design Process At All?

The answer is simple. Following a defined web design and development process makes it easy to deliver consistent results, project after project, which is why I follow this process.

For me, it provides a familiar structure that allows me to put my complete focus on the strategic, creative, and technical parts of the project. For my clients, it gives them peace of mind that I've got a tried and true system to create beautiful websites and that nothing is left up to chance. Are you ready to start a website project? Drop me a line here.

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