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Lifecycle of Developing a Website

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					  Lifecycle of Developing a Website


Chapter 2 – WDLC
Part 1
                                         Think…

 Designing and maintaining a website for a
  company is not that big a deal...

 … or is it?

 Considering that you are getting paid to make a
  website that thousands of people might
  eventually visit…

 … the first impression of the site could mean the
  difference between a potential customer and a
  lost sale.
                         Website Development
                                    Life Cycle

 The website development life cycle
  consists of four phases:
     Data Hoarding
     Site Design
     Going Live
     Site Maintenance
                                          Data Hoarding:
                                          Web Site Goals
 Data Hoarding is the first phase of the WSDLC.

 Find out if website is really feasible for the
  company. How?
      Get basic information about the company:
         What does it sell?
         What does it provide and how?
         What do the customers expect from it?
      Find out what the managers expect from the web
       site.

 Provide feasibility analysis report to managers.

 Managers decide on whether to go ahead with
  site or not, and if any changes are necessary.
                                  Data Hoarding:
                                     Gather Data

 If directors give you the go-ahead, then…
  … gather all material necessary to plan and
  build the website!

 This includes:
     Compiling notes, charts, sales, profiles of
      customers, pictures etc.
     Interviewing company employees and giving out
      surveys.
     Learning who the competitors are.

 Remember: the website must accurately reflect
  the company’s image and purpose!
                                     Data Hoarding:
                                      Organise it All
 By gathering information and then spending 2
  hours everyday just trying to find the relevant
  data is just wasting company time...
  … hence become organised!

 Some tips:
     Filter out data you won’t need.
     Outline relevant data and file it in folders.
     Keep a notebook with schedules containing
      deadlines and appointments.
                              WSDLC Phase 2:
                                 Site Design
 The next phase of the WSDLC after Data
  Hoarding is the designing of the site.

 Deals with the overall planning and roughing out
  of the site.

 Here, site design must be approved by the site's
  owners before any actual coding is done.
                                  Site Design:
                             Material Checklist
 Gather materials necessary for designing
  and administering the site:
     Pencil and paper (for sketching)
     HTML editing software
     Image editors
     Browsers
     Website validators and analysers
     Web Promotion tools
     Website specs gathered in 1st phase
                                  Site Design:
                      The Layout of the Site …
 Every web developer usually develops his own
  way of designing a site.

 One effective way is to sketch out the site layout
  on paper.
     By laying out the pages on graph paper you can
      get a good idea of the site’s structure.

 Another effective way is to create a flowchart-
  like layout.
     This allows you to view the site as a whole and
      foresee any structural problems.
                                Site Design:
                       …The Layout of the Site
 After sketching the layout of the site in terms of
  link structure…

 … you should then sketch out the actual content
  of the web pages:
      Deciding where the information/content goes;
      Deciding where the images, charts , graphs go;
      Deciding where any advertising banners go; etc.

 You should have a good idea of the structure
  before you do any coding so make sure that the
  layouts are thorough.
                                    Site Design:
                             The Look of the Site
 The overall look of the site should reflect in
  favour of the company.
      Image isn’t everything, but it’s the key
       ingredient in getting somebody’s attention.

 Use the company’s image and blend it with
  what users would consider as pleasing:
      Good graphical design and homepage layout
      Small attractive Flash animations

 Site design should first be approved by the
  company directors before the next phase
  can be started.
                              WSDLC Phase 3:
                                  Going Live
 The next phase of the WSDLC after Site Design
  is the implementing, hosting and testing of the
  site…

 … as well as going live through the use of
  advertising and search engines.

 Site owners usually give a lot of importance to
  this phase, so make sure that you clear out any
  issues you have pending before you actually go
  live!
                                       Going Live:
                                      HTML Coding
 After site design has been approved, coding of
  the website is initiated. How?
     Coding the content using either a WYSIWYG
      editor or a text-based editor.
     Making and editing images for use on site.
     Fixing up and pruning existing images.
     Keeping file names simple and consistent in order
      to reference them easily later on.
     Organising web pages in a hierarchy of folders.
     Having a common folder for all images used in
      site.
     Backing up, backing up, backing up!!!
                                                Going Live:
                                               Beta Testing
 Beta Testing implies putting the website through
  a rigorous routing of testing and error detection.
  These include looking for:
      Dead links
      Broken images
      Missing tags resulting in a mass page deformation
      Correct spelling and grammar
      Browser compatibility
      Other web page oddities.


 Time spent on making corrections usually
  depends on how much time was spent in
  designing the site.
                                                Going Live:
                                            Hosting the Site

 Once the site is created, you’d want to put it
  on a web server so that it can be accessed
  by everyone in the world.

 Hosting space can be either gotten for:
      Free – colleges, ISPs, commercial sites etc. can offer
       limited free space to clients to post their pages.

      A yearly fee – hosting services can provide clients
       with large amounts of space, special options and
       reliability. Hosting services also give you the ability to
       use your own domain name (your own unique URL).
                                          Going Live:
                                     Hosting Services
 Some hosting services available:
     http://www.tripod.lycos.com/
     http://www.homestead.com
     http://www.cjb.net
     http://www.doteasy.com
     http://www.brinkster.com

 And a site which gives reviews about a lot of
  hosting services which are good but not that
  common:
  http://webhostinggeeks.com/
                                 Going Live:
                     Registering the Domain
 Visit the Accredited Registrars page at
  ICANN.org.

 At any of the listed web sites, check on the
  availability of domain names.

 Purchase the domain that you want, if available,
  or choose another one.

 The cost for an annual contract is usually less if
  you have a hosting service in place already.
  Most hosting services will also register your
  domain name for you.
                                    Going Live:
                            Flipping the Switch
 Simply putting the site online won’t get you hits.

 The main methods people find web pages are
  through advertising on other web pages (also
  known as ‘banner exchanges’) and through
  search engines.

 You can also decide to advertise your domain
  name on different mediums such as TV, radio
  and magazines.
                         WSDLC Phase 4: Site
                               Maintenance

 This is the last phase of the WSDLC.

 All you have to do is sit back and nit-pick at the
  site when the company requests any changes.

 This phase takes up the rest of the WSDLC and
  ends with the request for a new site.
                            Site Maintenance:
                          Site Documentation
 Making and maintaining accurate documentation
  is very important.

 Documentation can be consulted by others
  when developer is absent.

 Can serve as a reference guide for you to use
  when planning changes or additions.

 Should consist of the company’s basic
  information along with site goals, target
  audience, design notes, samples and layout
  specifications, resources etc.
                       Site Maintenance:
           Search Engine Rank Managing
 Due to other sites pushing yours out of rank,
  you’ll have to regularly resubmit the site to
  search engines.

 Some of the search engine submitters have rank
  managers built in to them.

 They usually also have <META> tag optimisers
  that can edit the site’s web pages.
                         Site Maintenance:
                Site Changes and Additions
 While a site is still in existence, changes and
  additions to it are inevitable.

 When this happens, make sure to record the
  changes in the documentation in case someone
  else ends up maintaining the site after.

 You should also keep up-to-date backups in
  case the server crashes or a hacker breaks in
  and ruins the site.
                                   Summary…
 The website development life cycle consists of
  four phases:
      Data Hoarding
      Site Design
      Going Live
      Site Maintenance

 Following this lifecycle properly will ensure that
  the site is designed and maintained as it should,
  such that visitors are not left with bad
  impressions!
                                   Summary…

 Data Hoarding phase consists of:
     Identifying the website goals. Is the site
      feasible or not?
     Gathering all the necessary data about the
      company, including the website specifications.
     Organising all data gathered by filtering what
      is relevant to the website and filing them for
      easier access later on.
                                    Summary…

 Site Design phase consists of:
     Gathering all software and materials
      necessary for designing and administering
      the site.
     Designing the layout of the site:
        Linking structure between pages, images…
        Actual content of pages, images, adverts…
     Designing the look of the site:
        Colour scheme might be taken off the logo.
        Small Flash animations for appeal.
                                   Summary…

 Going Live phase consists of:
     Coding the website, designing images,
      organising content in folders and backing up.
     Beta testing: checking for flaws in the
      website and correcting them.
     Hosting the site, either freely or with a
      hosting company for a yearly fee.
     Registering the domain with ICANN.org.
     Advertising your site via banner exchanges
      or on other types of media, and by
      submitting your URL to a search engine.
                                   Summary…

 Site Maintenance phase consists of:
     Making and maintaining accurate site
      documentation.
     Resubmitting occasionally your site to search
      engines to manage your ranking.
     Providing for any site changes and additions
      while updating the documentation
      accordingly.
     Keeping regular back-ups of the site.
                                            References

 Designer Resources, “Web Site Development Life Cycle”, 2000,
  [Online]
  http://html.megalink.com/designer/intertut/wsdlc1.html

 Brain, M., “How Web Pages Work”, 2005, [Online]
  http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-page6.htm

				
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