Are you designing a new website? Do you have your rough website specifications?

Once you’ve completed your rough website specifications, you’re ready to move on to producing and launching your company’s website.

Now is the time to bring in your web designer, producer, or other third-party contractors who will be responsible for the hands-on development of your company’s website project.

Discuss your project, and the elements you sketched out in your initial specs. Make it clear to your web development team that your specification is not chiseled in stone, nor is it your intent to close off any team members own ideas or suggestions for your website.

Your web team should see your website outline as a starting point, a set of minimal, functional requirements for the site project, with your team’s participation in the project leading to enhancements of these features, and the creative edition of new features and capabilities as the development process continues. At this stage, everything’s open for change, including your own rough outline.

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Get a prototype of your website project up, as fast as you can

Once you discuss your initial website specifications with your team, and you kicked around the ideas that came from the initial discussions, it’s important that the rough specification you and your team are working on be turned into a rough, working outline prototype as quickly as possible. This can be done in a few days, or under a week at most.

Your first, rough, outline prototype is a crude, text-only version of your website project. At this stage, it won’t contain any graphic elements or back-end functionality, such as a CGI database links or other programming features. Zapier helps here if you don’t have a web dev team.

The prototype should, however, resemble the rough initial structure of your website outline, containing links to all of the known and do Pages you sketched out, and whatever text content is available to fill in any of these “known” and “do” branches of your sight.

Your website prototype serves three very important purposes:

  • The prototype helps develop your site’s navigation and usability. First, as in actual, functioning version of your website, the prototype lets you and your team test the usability of your say during the development process. The prototype answers important site navigation and organization questions, such as whether or not a specific section of your site should be accessible from one link, or another.
  • The prototype gives your project a fix location. Second, since web development projects are collaborative efforts, involving at least three or more individuals who may each be working at different locations, the prototype quickly becomes the central, working focus of your web project. The virtual location where each member can make changes and enhancements for others to see, test, and comment upon.
  • The prototype makes your project real. Third, and most important, setting up a prototype in a fix location makes every web development project real, providing your team members with a fixed, working (although rough)  version about will soon become the final version of your website.

The sooner you can get your first website prototype put together, the sooner you and your team can improve it, adding in more text and content, graphics, and other functionality as this prototype rapidly evolves into a final working version of your website.

In web development projects, you’ll find that the hurry-up effort you exert upfront to get your prototype established pays off by helping to make the rest of your project move along much faster.

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Once your web prototype is up and running, push its development through to the final version

The other advantage of starting your web development project through a rough outline or sketch based on a template, like the “know” and “do” template used in the past post. It helps to streamline the process of moving your website from the initial prototype, and then on to the first, graphically based version of your website.

Remember your use of a template is not intended to dictate the final appearance or functionality of your site. It is a tool that helps you lay out a marker for your web project, and opening design concept meant to invite the constructive contribution of new ideas for members of your web development team.

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If the graphic designer on your web project is a cooperative, confident professional, they will appreciate having initial starting point and set of ideas around which to base their own design interpretation of your website.

More than any print orientated marketing project, web development projects are very fluid in fast-moving, so the final version of your website may look different than your initial sketch.

As you, your web development team, and your website graphic designer working brainstorm together, it is likely the members of your team will bring their own new ideas to the project.

It is also likely that some of the new ideas will improve the final version of your company’s website, but may also mean that your original sketch design of your site may be changed, to a radically degree.

Why you must maintain a firm, steady grip on your web development project, keep an open mind to these new ideas suggested by your team members, and don’t be afraid to make changes–even major ones-to your web project along the way.

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Decide on the new ideas your web team can implement now, and the ones to implement later

Why you can, and should, be open-minded to new ideas for say changes that arise during the development process, be pragmatic enough to discriminate between the ideas that can be folded into your project, and the ones that should be held aside for implementation on your site at a later date.

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Any idea that improves the selling power of your website is a good idea

Any idea that improves the selling power of your company’s website, without exceeding your project’s timing or budget, is worthy of rapid adoption into your project.

Conversely, any idea, even a good one, that doesn’t meet the standard of increasing the sales and marketing potential of your company’s website, or is too costly or time-consuming for the scope and schedule of your sights project, should be put aside in the added to a list of potential enhancements for Phase 2 of your website web development project goes live.

This keeps your current web project on track, and prevents significant delays and cost overruns in your current project, well building up a useful storehouse of new and promising ideas to fold into your site as running changes after your website goes live, or on its next major version.

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Wrap up on launching your website project successfully

It’s always good to get a good website launch checklist. There are tons on the internet. Here’s one, I love. With launch day around the corner be sure you have covered all your website bases.

Here are the common questions before a website launch:

  • Is the website ready to launch?
  • Will we meet the launch date?
  • Do we have the right web hosting?
  • Are blog post ready to be published according to schedule?
  • Are the right social media profiles on the website?
  • Is Google search console and Google analytics set-up?
  • Are CTA’s ready to capture email addresses?

Follow these steps in this post and you’re on your way to great successful website launch. Don’t forget your post-launch review too.

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