Whether it is just to promote contact details with a banner or to find a home for your e-commerce, , every business needs a website, these days.  Although an easily accessible way to advertise a company, the web design and development process is unclear for most business owners. Rather like building a house, it has many stages of development.

Stage One – Hosting and Domain Name

Finding a web hosting company is vital because they own web servers and you will need some web space from one of their servers in order to build your site. This is a little bit like getting a plot of land to build your home. There are plenty of good web hosting companies available on the Internet that on average cost around $10 a month but you can find free ones too (they just might not haveas many perks).

Next you will need an address to put on all your lovely business cards and inevitably so people can find you. So you need to get hold of a domain name that will be relevant and suitable for your company . The one you want may not be available so make sure you’ve thought of some alternative names that will be appropriate. Also, make sure you buy it as soon as you can because you don’t want it to have gone, by the time you finish building your website.

Stage Two – Wireframe

Before you build a house, you need a blueprint; and before you build a website, you need a wireframe as well as a good design brief, outlining your objectives.  The wireframe will roughly plot out the skeletal framework of the website which web designers and developers can build over. So it is predominantly about the layout and what the website’s functions are rather than what it looks like. All you need is a pen and paper to create this – no colours or graphics needed because the next step will be for the skin designed by a graphic designer.

Stage Three – Design Website

Getting a graphic designer to design your homepage is similar to getting an artist’s impression. The overall look is often reffered to as the skin and includes the colour, the font and the typography for your site – it is all about the appearance and style.With the wireframe and the skin designed, you will be now have all the visuals in place for a developer to convert into HTML tags and CSS coding.

Stage Four – Slicing and Coding

As time goes by, there are bound to be sections of the web page that you will want to change. For instance, a quote or a slogan or a phone number may need modifying as your business evolves. If the web page is not cut up (sliced) then the image for the entire web page would need recreating every time you wanted the smallest alteration.

Using the languages of HTML or XHTML, you can build the website along with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) which determines the style of your website. With this coding you will be telling your computer to make the page look like the web design you created in stage 2. The easiest way to do this is to hire a developer or a multi-talented graphic designer. If your web page is a very simple design you may just download an HTML editor and use one of the many programming  guides available on the internet.

Stage Five – Content Management System (Optional)

Whether or not you need the final component, , depends on whether you will have any changing data (e.g. a blog, a change in prices, new photographs of products), you will need a Content Management System to maintain or change the site. This is involved with maintaining the site from the backend. WordPress is a fantastic example of this – you can upload posts and pictures, edit comments etc. – in short, control the content.