Work Distribution

  • Business Requirements  [BR]
  • Design & Development  [DD]
  • Create Content  [CC]
  • Test & Adjust  [TA]
  • Go Live!  [GL]

Business Requirements

The first step in the process of creating a website is to contact us for a free, no-obligation meeting at your place of business. The meeting has several objectives.

  • Risk assessment: Are there any potential issues (people, politics, technology, schedule) that could hinder progress or threaten the success of the project? Now is the time to discuss these things.
  • Live demonstration: We will demonstrate several scenarios of how website administrators can create user accounts and how easy it is for non-technical people to edit various kinds of content. If you are impressed with this technology and the possibilities it offers to your business then we can then move to the next step.
  • Purpose and top-level features: We must understand the purpose/vision of the proposed website and establish a list of top-level features needed to satisfy the business objectives.
  • Essential requirements: Associated with every feature is a set of requirements. The task at this stage is to collect the functional and supplementary requirements without going into detail.
  • Customer questionnaire: We have prepared a list of questions to ask such as: What is your budget and time-frame? How much time can you contribute to the project? and so on.
  • Estimated cost & schedule: The information gathered in this meeting should enable us to provide you with a written offer within two or three of days.

If the project is authorized and a contract is signed we will have the opportunity to refine the requirements in subsequent meetings as we iterate over the BR, DD, CC and TA steps of the process.

Design & Development

At the beginning of the design and development phase we work closely with you to:

  • Review and refine the “project charter” which documents our understanding of the vision, objectives, features, target audience and people assigned to project.
  • Determine the structure, functionality and usability of the website. Other important issues are the color scheme, the logo, and the overall look & feel.
  • Refine the structure and position of elements on each webpage using an interactive a program to create and edit wireframe mockups which are approximate/colorless models of the finished product. Wireframes allows us to focus on the fundamentals of what we want to build without investing too much effort in visual details that are likely to undergo significant changes later.
  • Create the skin based on the wireframe model, color scheme, esthetics, logo, and other design artifacts established in previous steps.
  • Select, install and integrate modules into the skin to provide the functionality behind with each webpage interface.
  • Collect feedback from stakeholders who have experimented with the prototype. It is essential to analyze and act on information obtained from each incremental release since early feedback is the key to avoiding delays and rework.

A key principal that influences the design phase is “form follows function”. After all, you would not use a template designed for the insurance industry as the basis for a restaurant website. Another important consideration is the fact that emotions invoked by the website will influence decisions. It is our job to ensure that those decisions benefit the website owner.

Create Content

A strategy and a holistic view of content creation is needed to produce

  • An engaging, informative and valuable message for your target audience. It is important to engage and empower your customers with the option of leaving comments or answers to questions posed by other customers in the forum section of your website. 
  • A high-ranking with search-engines. There was a time not long ago when SEO specialists could “game the system” in order to obtain a high-ranking by illicit means. Fortunately, this questionable practice is coming to an end as search engines become more sophisticated. In fact, websites that try to cheat their way to the top of page-1 are now getting penalized and in some cases even black-listed. What this means is that for website to be easily found it has to contain quality content and respect search engine rules and guidelines.
  • A measurable return-on-investment for the business. Aside from an increase in revenue, another valuable measure of success is the volume and duration of traffic on your website. This information is made available to you in a monthly analysis report. You can use this information to fine-tune the content of your website to obtain the best result.

A strategy for creating content must include the following subjects.

  1. Substance: topics, style, tone, the core message and a call to action.
  2. Structure: how the content is prioritized and divided into building blocks.
  3. Workflow: the process, tools and people used to create, maintain and authorize content.
  4. Governance: consistency, integrity and quality control.

The content of a website is strongly influenced by the design. Therefore, the content and design teams must work closely together to produce the best result.

Test & Adjust

The test and adjust activity begins as soon as there is something to test and effectively continues for the lifetime of the website. The objective is to get the quality up to 100% and keep it there. Hence, there is no “big-bang” testing activity; it’s a continuous process. The emphasis on testing and adjustments depend on the development phase of which there are four: Inception, Elaboration, Construction and Transition. For example, the resources allocated to testing peaks towards the end of the construction phase.

Our websites are rigorously tested for the following aspects:

  • Functionality
  • Usability
  • Compatibility
  • Performance
  • Security

By using a strategy of incremental-releases and overlapping-activities, the development state of each website presented to the customer, from simple to complete, is free of defects and therefore ready to perform. The feedback obtained from each website demonstration is used to drive the development activities for the next incremental release. Eventually we reach a state where the release is feature-complete and ready for transition into production. Final adjustments to configuration settings and environment variables occur when the website is deployed to a staging area on the webserver. At this point the website is not visible to the World Wide Web. In other words, the website has not yet gone live. That is the next step.

Go Live!

Once the website has been approved by the customer and is authorized to go live, we proceed with pre-launch activities and final quality-control checks in preparation for the launch event. Here is the basic check list:

  • Register website with all major search engines.
  • Protect the Google PageRank state for a migrated website.
  • Configure Google Analytics module.
  • Create backup schedule and setup recovery mechanism.
  • Turn off verbose warning and error logging.
  • Provide mobile numbers for automated status alerts.
  • Register and configure all website and email accounts.
  • Setup social marketing channels.
  • Run final stress-test.
  • Make the domain name visible to the World Wide Web.
  • Transfer control to our business partner in the Swiss data center.

Once the website is in production and serving the needs of the customer, it must be constantly monitored and periodically maintained on the webserver. These kinds of activities fall under the category of support, which is an integral part of our business.