According to Wikipedia, “A corporate website or corporate site is an informational website operated by a business or other private enterprise such as a charity or nonprofit foundation.” Thus, the key words are “informational” and “business”. As a rule, a corporate website contains the company or the site’s owner profile, a list of provided services or goods, sometimes a pricelist, the firm logo or brandmark, contact information (address, telephone, email etc.) and a feedback form.
Like any project, website creation is a complicated process with its own stages of development that can be specified as follows: 1) conceptual stage; 2) building stage; 3) finishing stage, each of which containing numerous specific steps.
Conceptualization or Planning is the first and the most important stage in creation of a successful website, as it involves a concept and understanding of what should be done. Actually, the Conceptual stage can be subdivided into Information gathering and Specification building.
An information gathering is a very important part, before even beginning making a plan. It will help you give a complete picture of what you want to see on your site.
It’s also important to conduct a competitive analysis to know how your competitors are doing.
At this stage it is essential to gather, analyze and generalize all the information needed, beginning with the purpose and goals of the website, to the target audience, and ending with the content clarification.
It is time to develop a consistent sitemap, including general layout,easy to understand navigation system, visual design and content, both textual and graphic. During this stage it is decided what technologies should be implemented.
The most usable technology is WordPress. WordPress is a unique free and powerful platform that allows you to easily publish content. WordPress comes with a ton of great default features and the ability to extend the core in many ways. At this stage it is also necessary to define the project concept and terms.
After all the necessary information has been gathered and all preliminary tasks have been fulfilled, the Building Stage comes. It includes the following steps: design, development, content, testing and launching.
The design is important aspect of your website. A good design can help you to get new visitors, just like horrible design can repel people before they even get to your content.
It is a stage when all pictures, illustrations, photos and other graphic content that need to be implemented are discussed.
When designing a site it is necessary to take into account a great number of factors. One of them is the target audience, color scheme and graphics used, SEO Friendly Architecture, overall look and feel.
To create a really good design it is also important to know the technologies of search engine promotion and crossbrowser compatibility.
The overall look is one of the key points here and it often implies the skin and includes the colour, the font and the typography for your site. Logo design should also be underway by now for it is the actual representation and face of your business.
It is the stage where the website is actually created. It is a very important, challenging and timetaking step of the website development.
The technical part includes such pivotal issue as writing valid XHTML/CSS code that conforms to current web standards, maximizing functionality and accessibility for as large an audience as possible. HTML5 and CSS3 Latest HTML proposed standard combined with the latest proposed standard for CSS natively supports much of the client-side functionality provided by other frameworks such as Flash and Silverlight. To overlay a website easily over top of the developed HTML Pixel Perfect will be of use. If needed, responsive web design is also done. Template framework as well as CMS modules and components implementation is another indispensable part of developing a website. In parallel the database with all the data structures and sample data will be prepared.
An important factor at this stage is to combine the technical side of your website and design ideas. It is best to use the WP in this case. Because you can use free or premium WordPress themes for unique and creative design.
Themes are the skin that covers the WordPress software which is powering your site. They make it look good and provide many additional features to increase usability and function. There are thousands of themes to choose from, both free and paid, so it’s a good idea to find the one that meets your specific needs. As it is just a skin of your website, you always can change it at any time. It is very easy and does not require much effort. All answers to your questions about WordPress can be found in the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation.
Once we are talking about design, it’s a good moment to mention responsive web design. According to Wikipedia, “Responsive web design (RWD)” is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors). So users can visit your website from mobile browsers to netbooks and tablets and it will look great without any problem. You can deliver great quality to your users no matter how large (or small) their display may be.
Content is a soul of your website. It is all information on your corporate site. But it is not so hard to add content if you use WordPress. Text, images, video and audio can be added directly in the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. The built in WYSIWYG editor allows ease of use and management. Also you can add the new information without any problem or restructure the old content. Functionality on the other hand is added with plugins and widgets.
This is your chance to check the site before it goes live and the public can see it. So make sure you are happy with all the content (read everything), navigation, image and functionality of the site. What you see is what you get!
Also a developer should make some tests. These tests ensure that the website is cross-browser compatible, is basically error-free, is accessible and usable for every type of visitors.
The checklist also involves validating both HTML and CSS scripts, ensuring the website will run and display as it was intended to.
At this point, your web designer will attend to the final details and test your web site. They will test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, as well do the final testing for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), ensuring that your web site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions.
A good web designer is the one who is well versed in current standards for web site design and development. The basic technologies currently used are XHTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). As part of testing, your designer should check to be sure that all of the code written for your web site validates. Valid code means that your site meets the current web development standards – this is helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as mentioned above.
Everything has been checked, tested and double checked and tested. So now it’s time for the world to see your new website!
To upload the website files to your server an FTP program is used. Nevertheless, the website can’t be launched without a registered domain name and web hosting chosen. As soon as these issues have successfully been done, the site should undergo the last runthrough just in order to make sure that all files have been uploaded correctly. This is just precautionary, to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional.
This stage implies the website Maintenance and Promotion.
You have thought it is the end?? But, not. This stage involves support of the website after its launch.
Maintenance is the neverending task once a new opportunity or issue is identified, another loop through the development process begins. All in all, your website will surely need some updates to keep it fresh, that is why maintenance is a very important step in the process of a website development.
Promotion phase involves performing on-page SEO, which means adding description and keywords on each page, which will help search engine to identify each page as unique and which will help your website achieve higher rankings in the search engines. It is a very important step. Because even though you now have a web site, you need to make sure that people can find it!