Are you looking to establish a powerful online presence via a persuasive website? In this blog, we’ll guide you through the ultimate website development elements to help you gain a competitive advantage in today’s competing market.
In today’s digitally-evolving world, a website is considered your company’s online face, thus having one has become necessary. With that being said, businesses of all verticals are leveraging professional web development services to win more customers, resulting in a more significant web presence and higher revenue.
There are over 1.7 billion websites in the world right now to compete, and the numbers continue to increase every second. Amidst the severe competition, how would you build a website for your company that will put you a step ahead of your competitors? With an in-depth understanding of website development. Read on to know more!
What Is Website Development?
Firstly, a website collects linked web pages containing text, images, and all multimedia types accessible to the public. Any individual, group, or business can build a website and maintain it. A convincing website has the potential to turn your visitors into prospects.
But, what exactly is web development? Website development refers to the building and maintaining websites to help it look appealing and perform well with flawless user experience. It mainly includes website designing, programming, publishing, and database management.
Why Is Web Development Crucial for Businesses?
Website development is a rapidly expanding industry, the employment of web developers is expected to grow by 13%, and that’s faster than other technology careers. Contrary to what most people think, website development is critical for any business, especially from the marketing perspective.
The rise of the internet has significantly changed our lives. Now, a website can create an impactful online presence and effectively speak for your brand. It also helps you maintain ownership, increases brand awareness, communicates with your visitors effectively, creates a content hub, attracts search traffic, and more.
What Are the Key Building Blocks of Website Development?
A domain is the unique web address of your website (for example – grovention.com). A domain name is essential for your website as it is complex to remember websites from their IP addresses, thus helping your users find your site. A short and unique domain name is the first step towards your business’s memorable web presence.
Web hosting is a crucial investment when building a website as it makes your website accessible to the world and maintains the uptime for you. Speed, security, and location are some other key reasons to get web hosting on the spot. It would be best if you look around for different managed and unmanaged web hosting options. There are mainly five types of web hosting to choose from:
- Shared Hosting: It is one of the most cost-effective options for low traffic websites.
- Managed Hosting: Ideal for non-technical users who’d instead submit the more technical tasks to experts.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting: The best option for websites that have outgrown shared hosting.
- Cloud Hosting: Works best for sites that are increasing and need scalable resources.
- Dedicated Hosting: Expensive option for large websites where you need to be in control.
Mobile-First & Responsive Web Development
Designing a website that can drive substantial leads and sales is what every modern business dreams of. Mobile-first and responsive web development are the two best approaches in today’s ever-evolving digital time that can turn this dream into reality.
Mobile-first website development is about coding the website for smartphones, or let’s say the smaller screen resolutions first. While a responsive approach adjusts the web page elements for the different devices, people use these days while browsing the web. It changes the layout to offer experience adapting to the screen size and make the website easily accessible.
Front-End and Back-End Development
The front-end is the part that users interact with first when they visit your website. Front-end development also refers to ‘client-side’ development, mainly focusing on your website’s visual aspects. Front-end developers are responsible for a website’s look and feel, thus developing the visual features, including the layout, navigation, graphics, and others, to make an aesthetically-appealing website.
Back-end development also refers to a website’s server-side, usually consisting of a server, an application, and a database. Users cannot see the back-end work, but this code communicates the database information to the browser. Back-end developers are responsible for working in systems like servers, operating systems (OS), APIs, databases, and managing the site structure.
Best Development Methodologies for Quality Website Development
Even if you have an expert team that is well-acquainted with the latest web technologies and cutting-edge platforms, you need a robust web development methodology. A development methodology help manage the workflow and assures your product success. There are mainly three widely used web development methodologies:
- Agile Model – This one is a conceptual framework ideal for the projects where requirements shift in no time. This model allows for direct communication to maintain transparency and involves continuous development and testing.
- Scrum – This model uses an iterative approach in which the team is front and center-experienced, as this requires self-organization and self-management. This incremental method promotes quick changes and development and adds value to complex projects.
- Waterfall Model – This model follows the sequential web development approach and ideal for small projects as the vision in this is clear and has low requirements. Also, it’s easy to manage in one go, easy-to-understand, and function.
- Feature-driven development – This is an iterative and incremental approach to website development. FDD follows the client-centric process and focuses on the goal of delivering working software frequently.
- Dedicated Model – This methodology is ideal for you if you want easy functioning and instant scale-up. This model gives complete liberty to developing websites entirely based on your requirements.
Custom vs CMS Based Website Development
Some of the main concerns any web development clients have are the control over website customization, flexibility, and cost. Whether you need to revamp your website or create it from scratch, the above factors are always in mind. Should I go with custom development or a CMS based? So, let’s find out!
We all know that custom website development gives more control over design aspects, features, and overall flexibility. Even custom development is on the costlier side; it tends to be more lucrative over time. Why? The custom development approach allows businesses to have a more secure and scalable solution with customized CMS systems.
The major reasons for the popularity of building websites on CMS platforms are less time to market, in-built dynamic logics, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. A CMS is a must-to-have for users with little or no programming language as CMS platforms provide it at no cost. The best example of a CMS is WordPress; it allows you to control your website’s content (adding/modifying/removing).
What to Consider While Getting Your Website Developed?
Other than the building blocks of websites and the development approach mentioned above, there are a few crucial components that you must take into consideration to build a website with great speed and performance. What are they? Let’s have a look!
Google Developer Guidelines
Google developer guidelines say that a delightful web experience’s core foundations are fast and responsive, well-integrated, reliable, and engaging. As per the Google web fundamentals, you should always focus on great user experiences, compelling design with better accessibility, easy integration and engagement, enhanced performance, and improved security.
Web Performance (Pagespeed Insight, Web.dev, GTMetrix)
Today’s customers expect fast online experiences from websites; thus, your website speed matters much. Users don’t wait for more than 3 seconds for a web page to load, so it’s crucial to test your website in performance testing tools and improve its performance.
GTMetrix, Google PageSpeed insights, Web.dev, Pingdom Tools, and WebPagetest are some of the popular tools to test web page performance. They offer an analysis of your website performance in a real-world environment, based on user browsing data, performance on specific locations, best practices, and more.
W3C Validated Codes
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) validation is checking whether a website code follows the right formatting standards or not. It is crucial to ensure web pages’ technical aspects, resulting in your website’s prevention from errors, poor formatting, readability, and code quality metrics.
Why is W3C validation needed? It helps improve your code quality, enhances user experience, makes website browsers-friendly, ensures that pages function everywhere, and more.
SEO Semantic Coding
Semantic coding makes your website content aesthetically appealing to search engines. SEO semantic coding is structuring your website so that the code reinforces the semantics, is descriptive, and the right SEO tags for the contained information. Using a structured and validated code is one of the best strategies for ensuring your web content is useful and visible.
Why should you care about SEO semantic coding? There are three main reasons: SEO, accessibility, and maintenance, so that your website becomes readable for humans, machines, and search engines.
What Are the Different Types of Websites?
- Blog Sites – A blog is an online journal, discussion, or informational website regularly updated with articles, photos, or videos. It usually displays posts in the reverse chronological order, with the latest appearing at the top.
- Portfolio Sites – A portfolio website is a platform for professionals to showcase their work. These websites are perfect for writers, designers, artists, and others.
- E-Commerce Sites – E-commerce website is an online store where users buy products/services from the company. These websites work as a virtual store and help you sell products without any physical involvement.
- Business/Corporate Websites – A business or a corporate site is a clear reflection of your company and values. It gives your potential customers relevant information about your business.
- Media/Entertainment Sites – Media websites usually update content on their sites related to current affairs, sports, entertainment, and others that are informational and new.
- NGO/Non-Profit Sites – A non-profit website aims to provide information on a charity and a way for people to donate. It promotes its cause, obtains donations, and builds a community.
- Educational Sites – A website that offers online courses, and shares some educational information, falls into the category of education sites.
- Social Media Sites – These websites are specifically designed to connect people and share user-generated content worldwide.
- Forum and Community Sites – Forum and community websites let users publish and interact with online content. Reddit and Quora are the most popular forums today.
Top 8 Biggest Website Development Technologies
HTML and CSS are the building blocks of developing a website, but development technologies also play an integral part in web development. They build up the logics and functionalities for the websites. So, let’s get to know about some most popular and demanding web development frameworks.
This framework lets you create properties out of functions, and this feature comes in handy while working with bindings. Ember has a stellar reputation in the market, and big giants like Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Heroku use it.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a free, open-source MVC back-end web development software. It helps beginners to start with website development faster. It has emerged as one of the favorites among developers as it provides a predefined solution that allows them to perform repetitive tasks hassle-free.
Ruby on Rails runs on Linux, is efficient, fun to work with, and remarkably quick in getting you through the planning stage and on to the development stage. Some of the big names built using RoR include Airbnb, Shopify, GitHub, Hulu, SoundCloud, and Basecamp.
Django is a free, open-source model-view template framework that uses Python language for creating high-quality websites. Developers prefer Django because it is quick, secure, scalable, highly versatile, and has many built-in features.
Django is widely adopted for fast back-end development, APIs, and web applications with minimal coding. Renowned websites like Google, YouTube, Instagram, Quora, and Pinterest are developed using this framework.
Laravel is a PHP-based MVC architectural pattern framework beneficial for building fast and fully-packed websites and delivering exceptional results for developers worldwide. If you want to take care of your back-end e-commerce tools, Laravel is the best suited to add in your toolkit.
Laravel is one of the essential frameworks for building an e-commerce website. It offers a well-equipped system with a dedicated dependency manager and helps in web maintenance and deployment.
AngularJS is highly recommended to businesses that want to build an e-commerce site. They must have this framework in their toolkit if they wish to have higher results. Google, Microsoft, Paypal, and many others leverage AngularJS.
React JS is mainly an e-commerce website development tool. Its virtual dom makes the dom-manipulation much faster, and it’s relatively easy to pick up. React JS is developed by Facebook, and used in two big projects – Instagram and Facebook.
Today, Express.js is becoming one of the most looked-after frameworks, thanks to the popularity of Node.js. It is a flexible and minimal framework that provides developers several features and some core functionalities for website development.
The best thing about this framework is the mean software bundle, efficiency in building APIS, and compatibility with other frameworks such as Kraken, Sails, and Loopback. Express.js is well-known amongst big companies like Accenture, IBM, and Uber.
Essential Steps While Publishing Website on Production Server
Having an excellent website for your users is not just picking the right methodology, design, and development technology. The delivery of your new website matters a lot. Here are a few things that you must consider while publishing your website on the production server:
- Test the UX and UI of the website well. An automated plus manual approach is always considered best.
- Make sure to update the website’s meta data; it helps your user understand the page well.
- Your favicon is part of your branding; never push your website live with developers’ default meta.
- Update database paths as soon as you move the website to production.
- Test the UX/UI again on the live server following the automated and manual approach.
- Use the web.dev, GTMetrix, and page speed insights tools to check the website’s performance and optimize it.
- For sure, you will get many improvements. Fix and repeat.
With this, we’ve come to the end of our ultimate guide to web development. These are some of the essential components that you should know if you’re thinking of developing your website. Hopefully, you’ve learned some valuable things about website development via this guide, and now it’s time to apply those learnings in real. So, are you ready?