Start a web project: a step-by-step guide
If you’ve been living under a rock, then you should remind yourself that businesses can no longer afford to stay offline. Digital buyers all over the world are consistently growing in the billions and neglecting that hard fact can mean that you’re missing on a lot of opportunities for your business online. In fact, nine in ten consumers visit websites for reasons other than making a purchase, which they rarely do unless a particular website has an incredibly amazing sales pitch. So whether you’re a totally new online business or an old business that is new in going to an online audience, you have to start a web project from scratch and it takes a lot of time and effort.
While there are websites and applications that allow you to create a website using template designs, nothing beats the accomplishment one feels after creating and running a website from scratch. Of course, I’d be lying if I said that starting a web project would be a piece of cake. Websites, like Kandio’s, involve a lot of work from the ground up, along with scores of planning, designing, creating, and testing. While our website may boast a simple web design, believe me when I say that it took months before we got here.
How do you start a web project?
Now, some of you may already be asking: how do we start a web project? Fortunately, the first few steps of developing a website can be done without any professional help. People often think that to start a web project, one must either learn how to code or program a website, or hire a professional developer to help you. This is where most web projects go awry. When they jump right into building a web project without having a concrete plan.
Proper and meticulous planning is the key to the success of any web project and it doesn’t have to involve a web developer at the get-go. Instead, you can strategize your web project plan with these steps:
Step 1: Do your research first
Just like you did when first starting out your business, you must first find a target market for your web project. You’d be surprised to know that the typical buyer in a brick-and-mortar store can have a totally different buyer persona online. So whether it’s an online business or a traditional business that is going online, you need to do your research first and understand who your audience is.
This can be conducted through several means. Don’t overwhelm and intimidate yourself. You don’t need to do a 50-page research paper complete with hypotheses and results. It can be as simple as making an online survey and sharing it with your everyone you know. 50+ survey respondents are good enough to gain information or insights. Another reasonable method is interviewing. Try tapping into your personal network and gather 5-10 people for a more personalized and in-depth approach. Interviewing each over a cup of coffee will help you gain valuable insights about your plans.
Doing your research helps the classic business conundrum: to create a solution to an existing problem or to create a solution to a problem nobody knew existed until your discovery.
Step 2: Conceptualize
Again, a background on web development is not a requirement in conceptualizing the outline or framework of your website. All you need to determine is what your website will do, what will it look like and how it will serve your visitors. The sky’s the limit when it comes to conceptualizing when you start a web project. Whether it’s creating a website that focuses on entertainment or a website that creates a technology to solve existing problems, you can conceptualize anything and turn it into something. With the help of your research done in step 1, you’ll be able to conceptualize an idea that’ll help you start a web project.
Step 3: Prototyping
Once you’ve prepared your concept for your web project, start bringing it to its initial life by making a prototype. Prototyping is a simple way of testing out your web project in a controlled yet realistic environment. This is a necessity when you start a web project because it helps you avoid the costs associated with developing too early, whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself.
Prototypes need not be perfect. It just has to serve its core function for early testers to try it out. It can start with a simple wireframe that shows buttons and their corresponding actions when clicked. You can use mock-up apps like this one. If you’re not keen on spending on third-party apps, you can simply get a paper and draw your prototype with some wireframes. This will be the framework of what will soon become a functional website, so make sure to treat it as such. This brings the actual phrase: “start from scratch” to really starting from scratch. Go get a piece of paper and start sketching how your website roughly looks like, how it interacts with button clicks, and any other website feature that you might have in mind.
Step 4: Testing and asking for feedback
The actual process of creating a website will involve a lot of back-and-forths, with tweaks and fixes being suggested and implemented. This can be a time-consuming and costly ordeal, especially if you lack a framework to work with. Asking for feedback early on in the planning process can save a lot of time and effort once the actual development starts. Think of it as cooking. As a chef, you don’t just cook something then serve it without trying it out. So for this case, you can start testing your prototype by using it yourself and asking for feedback from some people in your personal network. Remember, when dealing with your personal network, remind them to be critically constructive with their feedback. It’s better if your mistakes are first discovered by people you know rather than strangers who might grow a negative first impression.
Step 5: Start with the actual development
By now, you probably have a solid grasp of how you want your website to appear, down to the most intricate details. You’ve finally reached the point where you can enlist the help of the professionals!
Again, any web project is time-consuming and costly, but you can make sure it goes as smoothly and less costly as possible by getting the right people. How to get the right people, you may ask? One way is to give online assessment tests to determine someone’s capability on web development skills, like Java, HTML, and C++, which are some of the most commonly used programming languages for building website projects.
Step 6: Launch! Then start over again
With the right people in your team, you’re sure to launch the website that you’ve envisioned. Keep in mind, though, that websites need to be reviewed and refreshed every now and then, so be prepared to go through this process once more, and over and over again.
We wish you the best of luck in your upcoming web project, and we hope to visit your website soon!