Thursday, August 7, 2008

Web Site Development

A system development process can follow a number of standard or company definite frameworks, methodologies, modeling tools and languages. Let us see the steps involve in any web site development.

1. Analysis:
Once a client is started discussing his requirements, the team gets into it, towards the preliminary requirement analysis. As the web site is going to be a part of a system, it needs a complete analysis as, how the web site or the web based application is going to help the present system and how the site is going to help the business. Moreover the analysis should cover all the aspects. The first important thing is finding the targeted audience. Then, all the present hardware, software, people and data should be considered during the time of analysis. The analysis should be done in the way, that it may not be too time consuming or with very less informative. The team should be able to come up with the complete cost-benefit analysis and as the plan for the project will be an output of analysis, it should be realistic. To achieve this analyst should consult the designers, developers and testers to come up with a realistic plan.

2. Specification Building:
Preliminary specifications are drawn up by covering up each and every element of the requirement. For example if the product is a web site then the modules of the site including general layout, site navigation and dynamic parts of the site should be included in the spec. Larger projects will require further levels of consultation to assess additional business and technical requirements. After reviewing and approving the preliminary document, a written proposal is prepared, outlining the scope of the project including responsibilities, timelines and costs.

3. Design and development:
After building the specification, work on the web site is scheduled upon receipt of the signed proposal, a deposit, and any written content materials and graphics you wish to include. Here normally the layouts and navigation will be designed as a sample.

There can be a lot of suggestions and changes from the client side, and all the changes should be freezed before moving into the next phase. The revisions could be redisplayed via the web for the customer to view.

Throughout the design phase the team should develop test plans and procedures for quality assurance. It is necessary to obtain client approval on design and project plans.
In parallel the Database team will sit and understand the requirements and develop the database with all the data structures and sample data will also be prepared.

4. Content writing:
This phase is necessary mainly for the web sites. There are professional content developers who can write industry specific and relevant content for the site. Content writers to add their text can utilize the design templates. The grammatical and spelling check should be over in this phase.

5. Coding:
Now its programmers turn to add his code without disturbing the design. Unlike traditional design the developer must know the interface and the code should not disturb the look and feel of the site or application. So the developer should understand the design and navigation. If the site is dynamic then the code should utilize the template. The developer may need to interact with the designer, in order to understand the design. The designer may need to develop some graphic buttons when ever the developer is in need, especially while using some form buttons. If a team of developers is working they should use a CVS to control their sources. Coding team should generate necessary testing plans as well as technical documentation. For example Java users can use JavaDoc to develop their documents to understand their code flow. The end-user documentation can also be prepared by the coding team, which can be used by a technical writer who can understand them, writes helps and manuals later.

6. Testing:
Unlike software, web based applications need intensive testing, as the applications will always function as a multi-user system with bandwidth limitations. Some of the testing which should be done are, Integration testing, Stress testing, Scalablity testing, load testing, resolution testing and cross-browser compatibility testing. Both automated testing and manual testing should be done without fail. There are certain testing tools as well as some online testing tools which can help the testers to test their applications. For example ASP developers can use Microsoft's Web Application Test Tool to test the ASP applications, which is a free tool available from the Microsoft site to download.

7. Maintenance and Updating:
Web sites will need quite frequent updations to keep them very fresh. In that case we need to do analysis again, and all the other life cycle steps will repeat. Bug fixes can be done during the time of maintenance. Once your web site is operational, ongoing promotion, technical maintenance, content management & updating, site visit activity reports, staff training and mentoring is needed on a regular basis depend on the complexity of your web site and the needs within your organization.

The above-mentioned steps alone are not strict to web application or web site development. Some steps may not applicable for certain tasks. Its depend on the cost and time involved and the necessity But even if you are a small development firm, if you adopt certain planning along with this web engineering steps in mind, it will definitely reflects in the Quality of the outcome.

Our team can design, build and deploy web systems that meet the customer's specific business needs from the ground up. Web applications designed by PNT Global help our clients to solve business issues in the most efficient manner, e.g. to reduce operational costs, improve workflow, or to find cost-effective ways of carrying out business.

Web Site Development

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