Web Development
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By  Rank Grow Digital

What is Web Development

To demystify web development, it is the process of building a new website, or a web platform, to achieve a goal. This is always an ongoing project, as new ideas or business requirements continuously emerge after the site is initially completed. For most, the website is a means of gaining traffic and conversions, as one aspect of a larger sales campaign.

Everyone who wants to run an online business efficiently has to create their platform. Many companies solve a problem for consumers, small businesses, corporations, or even enterprises. How they go about doing so depends on many factors, since every business is different.

The website has to be maintained as any business must. It should react to changes in the industry as well as technology. Regardless of the goals of the particular company, the one clear target is undoubtedly revenue. Attaining the desired result requires a process that is best followed by certified professionals.

The Process

The goal of the web development process is to get from A-Z so that an idea or problem can be solved that will generate revenue for a business. Much of web development is abstract, and none of it can be physically touched. However, we understand the steps and are prepared for pretty much anything.

Business Goals

Every step you take should lead you to your business goals. The answers to the following questions should help you establish some of your main goals:

  • Do you have a new idea, see a problem that can be solved or see a better solution to an existing problem? 
  • Would you like to generate leads and acquire more revenue for your current business? 
  • Do you already have a solution, but think it can be improved all around, or maybe start over and build something new?
  • Do you have an internal system or service you want to streamline, or even replace?

You could go in-depth with the goal-setting, but these few questions will get you started toward the main objective of building a fast, fully-functioning website. Web development is the process of “getting it done,” so without knowing your goals, a developer wouldn’t know how to build to suit your needs. 

This step is essential since it will shape the direction of your business!

Planning

Now that we know your goals and purpose, we can start planning and figuring out what we need and how to get there. When planning, you are deciphering the building blocks of the system. You are figuring out how everything you want should work or behave.

You need to decide if you want to use components or part of an existing solution to help or create something unique to your business requirements. At this point, some technicals may be decided, but for the most part, it is all high-level planning.


Once everything is mapped out, we can focus on actually building it.

SEO & Design

To start building, we often will look first at what we can visually see rather than what we can not. Assuming this project is meant for customers or leads, it also needs to convert them. 

Having something that looks bad will mean leads will bounce out, and you will not get ROI from it. It needs to be easy to work with and not frustrate the user. It is often said that if a user thinks something should happen when taking action, and it doesn’t, the design (both visual and big picture) has a flaw.

We also need to ensure that the design is SEO friendly. This means your website layout should be both intuitive AND appealing to search engines. You may be surprised, but search engines are getting as smart as humans with artificial intelligence. This enables them to judge a site just as fast as a user against their own rules. If you don’t rank because they are not happy with your site layout, then you don’t get customers, and of course, no ROI.

An example of a typical situation is during a project when the designs are “ready,” but are lacking the ability to convert both users and search engines. While a website should be friendly and attractive, it needs a bit of SEO to get real, sustainable results.

We know search engines and SEO, so with our certified specialists’ assistance, your website will be built and maintained with care and precision. 

Content & SEO

After we have everything figured out in regards to how it looks, and where things should go at a high level, we have to create the content for the site. This includes any marketing, services, products, images, and things in general to attract leads to buy.

At the same time, the content needs to be SEO friendly. It is not enough to help a lead feel confident, make a decision, and get them to buy from you. You also need to get search engines to feel you are worth sending traffic to. The traffic they send are THEIR customers. They will NOT send their clients to anyone whom they think will give a bad experience, not provide value, or give the visitor no resolution to their problem. In reality, the search engines are the customer you have to satisfy first, so you can get them to send you leads to get conversions, and thus revenue.

This also ties into SEO & Design. A common mistake that businesses make is having no content, bad content, or irrelevant content. They have an excellent SEO-friendly design, but they stop there. This is a 2-prong situation that can be avoided with the application of our process and specialties.

Architecture

Now that we have the content and visual aspect worked out, we get to the more abstract parts. This is that mysterious stuff we know is there but cannot be easily seen. Your site’s architecture, combined with your SEO, content, and design, will ensure that as more traffic comes, they will not leave due to technical problems. This is very common in membership or eCommerce platforms.

An excellent example of a technical issue is the system breaking down from too many users on a platform that wasn’t built with volume in mind. This is why your structure is so important, and as long as you follow all steps, you’ll have a higher chance of success.

At this stage, you’ll be asked to make decisions on a direction based on business requirements. You may have done high-level planning with us to figure out what should be done from the business’s perspective. Either way, this part will be mostly technical, while adhering to the business’s needs.

Some potential issues we focus on are performance, scalability, and efficiency of the platform. Keep in mind that rebuilding a foundation isn’t an easy task. It can be very costly, so building correctly the first time is undoubtedly the goal here.

Very often, websites are given a purely visual focus and then are handed off to be built using the most economical route without any value assigned to how well they will actually operate. If a platform looks incredible, has excellent content, but then quits on you when you need to onboard customers and get sales, it’s pretty useless and a terrible investment.

The same level of care (sometimes more) needs to be given to what’s behind the scenes as well as what you can see. Otherwise, you will be spending more money longterm on the upkeep of a lousy investment. No one wants to do that!

Web Hosting/IT

Now we get further technical regarding the platform. This is often a 2-pronged step with architecture as they are very related even if still distinct steps. Web hosting can be considered the same as the foundation of a house. If the foundation is unstable, low quality, or has issues in general, the repair is possible, but won’t be easy.

Trying to save on the infrastructure that provides the resources to operate your platform will doom you before you get off the ground. It can be another costly and time-consuming mistake to correct. 

Your hosting, along with architecture, is where common errors occur. If an awesome platform is built, but then it’s put on a low-cost infrastructure, it will fail, along with your investment and marketing campaign!

Even those trying to find the best host who are willing to pay what is needed often overpay for an underperforming infrastructure. They don’t get what they need or otherwise buy into marketing that is misleading and does not deliver to their business requirements. 

This is where you will also get specialized expertise and value from us to avoid this entirely. You will grow, not flop. We offer a business hosting infrastructure that will put you on the path to success. 

Implementation

We have gotten all of the planning done, worked with you on the content, design, and how the system will work, and how the infrastructure will work to perform and service the site. Now we have to put everything together and build the engine to run it all.

There is often a lack of value on the importance of having this done right. You may have a proper foundation, and planning for how the site will function, but if you have lousy execution, it will STILL fail. 

A few, or even one poorly chosen component, or a compromise made on an element, can cause complications and directly affect your customers and thus revenue! Experience matters the most to know what does and does not work. The correct internet standards need to be followed when implementing any technology or component of a technology.

The bottom line here is that experience matters the most. We will deliver the expertise and value your business deserves to ensure everything runs as smoothly as expected! 

Growing

We have launched the platform with you, and you are starting to get sales! Congratulations, your investment is paying off! Now you have new ideas, want to add new things, or get even more customers. You also do not want the next steps to impact your investment negatively.

Here are some questions to ask before making any changes:

  • Does your idea make sense? 
  • Will it harm the platform? 
  • Will it help you grow? 
  • Do you need help to know what your next steps should be? 

This is also a specialty that we provide as value to you, to ensure you don’t make any missteps after you have launched. 

Scaling

You have gotten many customers on your platform. You need to ensure that future growth will not negatively affect the ability of the infrastructure to hold everyone. You have a solid foundation, but you are getting to the point it needs to get bigger, and you need to expand it.
Does IT need to change? Do you need to just invest in more resources?

You do not want the platform to fail when it has finally gotten successful and is driving in revenue!

Our Web Developers are happy to assist, so this does not happen to you!

eCommerce Development

What is eCommerce Development?

eCommerce development is the focus of building a platform for selling services, physical products, or downloadable products. It is web development for making a store or membership platform. 

We at Rank Grow Digital, are huge fans of both WordPress and WooCommerce for achieving this. Easy Digital Downloads is also an excellent option for selling digital products.

eCommerce requires special care as it is often more demanding than a blog or news site. It can have many demanding complexities, and users are often price shopping, even if some have brand loyalty.

A common example is ensuring payment integrations like PayPal or Stripe do not malfunction or cause delays for the customer. Any delay could cause them to abandon their order or have a bad experience. 

What is Full Stack Development?

Full-Stack Development is an often-used buzzword when it comes to hiring skilled engineers/developers. 

What does it mean? 

In short, everyone who does development ends up specializing in a particular area or niche and does it very well. However, some developers only work with ensuring the site looks good, and the UI functions as expected. 

Some developers ensure that the backend, or what often is not seen, functions properly and efficiently. If you do not see any issues, it means they are doing their job well. If you do see problems and they get resolved quickly, they are staying on top of feedback and ensuring the platform is in working order.

Full-stack developers focus on front-end and back-end. They may also specialize in one area but can handle the platform in a big picture way.

What is Responsive Development?

“Responsive” is another often-used buzzword. It means making use of CSS media queries to show a different UI to the user, based on their device.

The old website building model meant having a unique mobile-only version, which often meant extra overhead and complexity. This model has mostly been abandoned since it is assumed any website that is made will be responsive, as it is now considered standard.

If you are investing in a platform that is not responsive, you are working with the wrong team!

Technology and Results Matter

We have summarized web development and related types of development. We have defined what it means to us and our process for your project. Most importantly, we have shown you how we can deliver results, and without that, your investment is wasted.

Would you like to put your next business idea into motion?

Turn your next business idea into a reality with us!

Let’s talk!