Having an online presence, either on a website or web app, is important for any business in today's digital climate. Most business owners would say it's a necessity. In the past, this was as simple as creating a static website with content about your business and maybe a few forms for visitors to contact you.
However, this is no longer enough. According to many studies, it takes less than a second for viewers to form an opinion about your website. They expect a fast, well-designed site that provides a good user experience. It encourages them to stay longer and could even convince them to do business with your company.
This is why web development is important to every business. Web development involves every step in the process of building a website, from the idea to the design to development to deploying the final solution, so your visitors can use it.
Web development refers to all the steps that go into creating a finished website or web application. This starts with the first idea for the site. A project plan is created using this idea as a starting point. Then web designers create a design for developers to use as a guide for developing the site, which will be thoroughly tested before the final product gets deployed to production.
Web development differs from most other types of software development because it specifically focuses on creating applications users access in a web browser and requires the internet to function. Most other types of software development services focus on creating apps that will run on a specific operating system or device.
In business, web development is important for many reasons, including:
Because the unique structure of websites and web apps requires code that runs both in the browser and on the server, there are three broad types of web development.
The back end of a web application or website provides the data and resources, like images that the front end needs to function. Back-end development involves writing the code and working with the databases that provide this functionality. Back-end developers ensure that server-side scripts and APIs function according to requirements, perform well, and are secure so the front-end experience remains user-friendly.
Full-stack development combines both front-end and back-end development, providing a complete solution for web development projects. Full-stack developers are the jack-of-all-trades in the web development industry. They understand both front-end and back-end technologies, which means they can design, build, and deploy complete websites from start to finish.
Each type of web development has its own pros and cons, and the best approach for your business will depend on the specific needs and requirements of your project. Most web development projects do require both back-end and front-end development (i.e., full-stack development), but the amount of work needed for each will vary depending on the type and complexity of the project.
If a business already has databases and APIs available that a web application can use or wants a static website, then the amount of back-end development may be minimal. However, if the web application needs to access new data sources or requires back-end processing, there will be more back-end development involved. Full-stack development is ideal for projects that require a complete solution and a more comprehensive understanding of the entire web development process.
The web development process will look slightly different depending on the complexity and size of the project and the size and type of development teams. But it can generally be described with the following six steps.
In the idea or research phase of a web development process, questions like the following get answered:
The answers to these and more questions will inform the next step.
The next phase is planning. In this step, the design, technology, features, and content for the new site are solidified. A team will be formed, and each member will be assigned tasks they will complete. Once these details are worked out, the team estimates timelines and defines deliverables.
The design phase is where you begin to see what the finished product will look like. Web designers will use the details from the planning phase to create wireframes and style guides that stakeholders can use to preview the finished product and that web developers will use to guide them in the next phase.
Actual "web development" doesn't happen until the third phase. This is when front-end developers work on the user interface, and the back-end developers build the server-side scripts and databases necessary for a functioning website. This is easily the longest part of the development process.
Testing the web app or website is an important part of this process because there will always be bugs. A quality assurance team will go through the app to ensure every feature works as it should. Developers will fix any issues they find before the project gets released to end users.
Deployment means launching the finished website on a production environment so end users can use it. This could be as simple as clicking a button if DevOps engineers have automated the process, or it could involve several manual steps. This step also could also include ongoing website maintenance and support, including bug fixes, security updates, and the addition of new features and functionalities.
The internet changed business. Almost everyone has a smartphone and internet access. Without a website, it is hard for a business to reach these people and survive in this technological age. But with the right web development team, you will not just reach them. You will provide them with an experience that makes them want to do business with you.
There are several key benefits to investing in web development services, including:
If your business isn't online, your potential customers won't be able to find it, and if your website is not up to date, many visitors will leave for your competitors. Investing in web development services can fix both of these problems and make it easier for customers to find and interact with your business.
Users have high expectations when it comes to their online experience. So your website design is something you don't want to leave to chance. A professional web development team will make sure your web project is functional and intuitive and provides an enjoyable experience for visitors, which will help your business build brand loyalty and retain customers.
Another benefit of web development services is that they will allow your business to gather and analyze data on user behavior and interactions. With the right analytics tools and business intelligence (BI) processes, you can gain valuable insights into how users interact with your website, allowing your company to make data-driven decisions and improve user experience along with ROI.
The benefits we have already listed lead into this one. A well-designed website can affect your business's bottom line. It will bring you more traffic, more leads, and ultimately lead to increased sales and revenue.
Finding the best web development company to build your website or web application requires research and due diligence. There are many to choose from. Here are some tips to ensure you narrow down your list of potential candidates to the one that will work best for your business.
Before you look for web development services, it's important to evaluate your business needs. If you know what type of website or application you need, you will be better prepared to find a web development services provider that fits your objectives.
Once you know the basics of what you need in a website, you can start looking for web development services based on your needs. Here are some steps to take in your research.
Take a look at each provider's past clients, portfolio, and case studies to get a sense of their experience level and their track record for delivering web projects for companies similar to yours. Also, take a look at online reviews and ask people in your professional network which web development services worked out well for them.
You can get some information from reviews, portfolios, and provider websites, but to get down to the details, you will have to ask the provider during a consultation. Once you have narrowed down your list of providers, set up meetings with them and be prepared with a list of questions. Here are some to help you get started:
Budget is an important consideration, no matter what size your business is. Thoroughly review the provider's price structure to make sure it fits your budget. In the next section, we'll look at those factors that will affect the cost of your project.
The cost of web development services can vary depending on many things. On average, the cost of web development can range from a few thousand dollars for a simple website to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a complex, multi-faceted platform.
Before you even start planning a new web development project, it is important to know what will affect the final cost, so you can make informed decisions and keep the project within your budget. Here are some factors to consider:
Once you've settled on what type of web project you're building, it's important to set a timeline and a budget that is clear to stakeholders and your web development team. It will:
Web development is something that all businesses must consider because it allows them to reach and engage with their increasingly digitally connected audience. It can increase a business's online visibility, provide a better user experience for its customers, supply customer insights through analytics, and increase the business's sales and revenue.
When considering web development services, first determine your budget, timeline, and what you need in a website or web application. Then vet web development service providers based on those factors and the experience, portfolio, and process of the provider. And when you choose a provider, make sure that your budget, timeline, and requirements are clear to everyone involved.
With over three decades of experience helping businesses bring their web projects to life, we have the knowledge and skills to do the same for your business. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Right from the start, we really liked ELEKS’ commitment and engagement. They came to us with their best people to try to understand our context, our business idea, and developed the first prototype with us. They were very professional and very customer oriented. I think, without ELEKS it probably would not have been possible to have such a successful product in such a short period of time.
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