Step-by-step guide to launching a website
The internet has always been one of the best ways to represent your product. Whatever product you make, your startup should have a website that represents your company and its solutions. For software startups, the platform is the perfect marketplace to grow your business.
Meanwhile, the internet works around web development frameworks. Many companies are migrating their activities to the Internet. It is therefore essential to learn about web design development to explore its opportunities. This article provides a step-by-step guide to building and launching your websites.
Let’s dive in!
What is Web Development?
For a layman, web development is an incomprehensible line of letters, numbers and symbols. But this section will give you a general picture of web development and how the system works. Let’s look at some terms in web development software.
Websites: how do they work?
Websites are just a collection of files stored on a server connected to a giant network – the Internet. Based on user’s search queries, search engines like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox request files from these servers through the internet. Then they help you view those files (websites) on your computer or phone.
Your browser must communicate with the server to access information from the website and display it on your screen. This communication is the basis of what web development entails.
Frontend and backend development
The terms frontend and backend development are the areas of client-server communication. This forms the core of website and software development.
Front end development: The front end is the part of your website visible to users and visitors. It deals with the visuals and effects that the end user sees and refreshes when they log into a website.
Back end development: Backend manages the background functionality of your website or software. It is part of the website that relates to the server. It stores your information and manages the communication between the client (browser) and your server.
For example, when you upload your photo to your Instagram feed, the software and the website save your photo. And watch it with your friends. The backend development framework stores your information and photos on the Instagram database. It also helps your friend to fetch those images based on their search queries
Meanwhile, with the front-end development framework, your friends can browse your page, view your photos, read your bio, and more.
Step by step process to follow when building a website
Even for someone starting a software business, the software and website development process is not as easy as it seems. Yet, you can develop your website without having extensive coding experience.
So how do you create websites that are perfectly suited to your business goals, target audience, and budget?
Define your business goals
You don’t write vague goals like “I want to generate more online customers”. Instead, write action plans that fit your specifics. Your goals go a long way in determining how your website looks. You can set goals such as;
- Generate traffic with organic SEO
- Generate leads and sell online or create funnels
- Build brand loyalty and repeat sales for my clients.
- Offer 24/7 customer support with a messaging feature. Etc.
Create a plan
After knowing your website goals, you can put realistic plans in place to achieve them. So call your partners and your team together and deliberate on
- What are the essential functional requirements of the website?
- Who is your target audience? What solutions do you want to offer on your website?
- What essential services will you provide on site? Is it a blog, an online marketplace, messaging features,
- What is your budget?
- What are the content management requirements for the website? What types of content do you post? videos, articles or surveys?
- Which website setup will give your users the best experience?
- What is the integration of new technological features that you can seize to improve the user experience?
And much more.
Answering these questions will help you determine what your website will look like. You can also make informed decisions based on your budget and marketing goals.
Design a plan
Also known as wireframes, website maps help you understand what your website will look like before you build it. With wireframes, you can determine the placement of text, images, graphics, and visual elements on your web page. It gives you a completely front-end idea of your website.
You can draw your website plan with specialized wireframe tools like MockFlow, Slickplan, UXPin, etc.
Set up a sitemap: A sitemap is a written blueprint of your website’s framework. It guides the developer while building your website. When setting up a sitemap, it is essential to contact your SEO strategists. These specialists can provide you with information on how best to organize and link your website to rank well on Google. A sitemap includes questions such as
- How many pages do you want on your website?
- Which pages are most important for management and user experience
- How do you want to organize the pages
- How do you link the pages
- How do you organize the pages in order of importance?
Code your website
Get a web development expert to write the code for your website, preferably a web development agency that provides such services to startups.
Developers help you create your web applications by writing different computer languages. These languages access information, build functionality and design your website. Web application development involves front-end and back-end.
Back-end: Back-end development serves as the foundation for your website. The backend of your websites includes
- Database: Stores and organizes files that servers easily retrieve for browsers and display to the end user. Database management code includes MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, No SQL, and MongoDB.
- Servers: Servers help you send and receive files and create logic and functions through their programming languages. These programming languages help the server to communicate with the client and the database. Major programming languages include
- Rubies on the nails
- JS node.
Front end: Frontend is the font, typography, and layout that users see on your website. The programming language for front-end development includes
- HTML: This is the basis of all websites. This is the original file, uploaded to a website without the special effects. Hypertext markup languages use tags to identify different types of content forms.
- CSS: The Cascading Style Sheet makes your HTML files visually appealing. CSS helps you change fonts, create shapes, add colors, layout, and many more.
These are the three main languages used for client-side development. Others include
- Typescript etc.,
Content management system: Instead of developing front-end solutions, the CMS can be useful as an alternative. Although it gives you less flexibility, the CMS is easier to use, cost effective and has website hosting features.
With CMS, you don’t have to give up some essential features. You can manage the blog and landing pages, collect user information, and build a contact list. You can also forgo backend development with CMS solutions. Some less complex use cases provide back-end plugins. These plugins handle your server-side code without coding from scratch.
Hubspot, Open Source WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Grav, etc. are good examples of CMS solutions.
Get a domain name and a host.
Domain names are unique addresses that visitors can use to locate your website. GoDaddy, Domain.com, Hover, and Google Domains are good places to buy domain names. You get an ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Name And Numbers) and register on your website.
Getting a good web host is also crucial for your website. But before you call a hosting package, you need to ask some important questions about the host and your website. Are you going to download videos or texts? How much traffic will the website handle? Does your hosting company have scalability plans? What are the features of the host? It is therefore crucial to do adequate research before purchasing a hosting package for your website.
Major hosting companies today include HostGator, Hostinger, Bluehost, GoDaddy, Wix, and Network Solutions, among others.
Launch your website
As soon as you have a domain name and a host for your website, you are ready to launch.
But not yet. It is essential to perform a final round of checks on your website before launching. Once you are sure there are no glitches, take your site live.
Web development training and resources
You might want to learn more about website development. Check out the following online courses
- Treehouse Team
- Jonas Schmedtmann on Udemy
- YouTube courses
- Complete the Java Developer Course on Udemy
Yes, more than half of the world’s population uses the Internet. And the numbers are growing every day. Believe it or not, the best time to adopt a web solution for your startup is now. There are many more target audiences on the internet. And you can take the first step by creating your website.
But you still don’t know which web solutions are best for your business. Contact a software development company like Emphasoft now and let’s work out the details for you.