What’s the website's goal? Who’s the target audience? What message do you want to send? Solid research is the fundamental first stage.
Tasks, Deliverables, and Timelines need to be planned. Visualizing the timeline helps to estimate how long the project will take. Many web designers use Gantt charts for themselves and their clients.
The wireframe is the blueprint for the site. Wireframes are the visual planning of the structure and placement of elements on the site. Also, a site map at this stage will help to organize the hierarchy of navigation.
The website design is often created using webdesign software. At this stage of the visual design process there needs to be significant input from the client. This involves creating/modifying and achieving client approval.
Following design approval, the coding proper begins - this can be the most time-consuming step and is certainly the most important. The development process involves: developing new content, refining old content, creating media and developing functionality.
Site testing before launch is critical. There are always last minute issues and bugs that need to be addressed. The website is tested thoughly; preferably also by outside testers. All the content must be grammatically correct.
Congratulations! The site is launched! But the work doesn't stop just yet… Dealing with user feedback is important now. Visitors also need time to adapt to the new site, so providing support for a short period is ideal.
Maintenance is the last step and, in fact, is ongoing — involving updating content, fixing links, updating plug-ins, CMS, etc. Maintenance needs to operate on a weekly basis, ensuring that you keep abreast of the fast pace change in web technologies.