A Website from scratch is a custom designed and hand-coded website. This simply means that the site is meticulously constructed according to the clients’ needs, and their specific business requirements.
Websites have become more than just simple marketing tools for businesses. Nowadays, people can use them for virtually anything, ranging from socializing and meeting friends to passing information, trading, teaching and many more. There are various website builders, that could be used to create simple up and running websites. However, those web builders have their shortcomings and present many disadvantages. That is the reason why hand-coding or developing a website from scratch, (CMS based) is strongly recommended to business owners or professionals who are looking to build outstanding ones for their business or themselves.
WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH vs WEBSITES BUILDERS
As opposed to Custom-made websites, Website Builders and template websites come with a set of inbuilt features, that are most of the time more than what your website needs, and as a result, end up having a bad effect on the performance your site. The rule thumb is, If you have much time and want to create web pages or a blog just for your hobby, go ahead and try it with the help of some website builders. Otherwise, look for a Web Development Agency and entrust your project to their experts.
ADVANTAGES OF CREATING A SITE FROM SCRATCH
- The website gets its own unique custom UI\UX design and code (which can increase sales significantly).
- No ads will clutter the site.
- The site comes with its own unique domain name (which will positively affect the growth of your brand).
- The website will be optimized for search engines, which will speed up page loading.
- The site can easily be tweaked to reap the benefits of SEO.
- The ability to easily edit and add new content to the website.
PREREQUISITES FOR BUILDING A WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH
Experience is key to coding an excellent and eye-catching website. A developer, therefore, needs to have at least the following before work begins:
- An understanding of HTML and PHP as well as syntax and tags
- Basic understanding of SEO
- A code editor
- Software for working with layouts (like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or Sketch)
- The latest version of good browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer
THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO BUILDING YOUR SITE
Creativity and skill determine the outcome of every web building process. Web designers code their websites differently based on their preferences. Though the technique may differ, typically website creation will feature the following critical steps.
Step 1: Choosing A Domain Name
This is a crucial part of the journey. While choosing your domain name, ensure that it tallies with your business activities. A domain name that matches your company name, increases awareness of your business on the internet and builds your brand. A good SEO-specialist can make the domain name memorable to generate traffic to your website and consequently boost your sales.
An important point to Keep in mind:
EMD (Exact Match Domain) is a domain that matches exactly a search query. A website can be regarded as spam if its domain name doesn’t match the concept of the company. Some firms use the EMD illegitimately by using keywords in order to show up on top off the SERP. This is can be detrimental to the future of the business as it can cause the site to be removed or placed at the bottom of the SERP.
Step 2: Designing the Layout idea
Every website has four principal sections: the header, content, sidebar and footer.
That is why before starting the design work, a designer has to create a sketch which displays the structure of the future website using a pen and paper or special software such as Axure.
Step 3: Creating the layout for The Website
The designer creates the layout with the help of software like Photoshop or Sketch. They start by choosing the ideal width and resolution of the future website, then they design every single section, placeholders and block. The navigation bar, sidebar, logo (how to create a logo: basic principles), tagline footer, text boxes are also created and filled with dummy content which will later be replaced by the actual web content once the site is complete.
Special attention is paid to the components that will continue to actively interact with the user. Section of goods, services and blocks containing a call-to-action, as well as blocks with animation, are carefully worked out.
The finished project file from the image editor is then sliced into small usable pieces which are handed over to developers, and finally exported to the website
It is important to notice that, in some cases, the development of more complex web projects require the presence of backend pages, in such cases a prototype and design for those pages are also developed.
Step 4: Working with back-end and front-end of the website
Based on the layout created by the web designer, the Front-End Developers “animate” the site by creating block by block and page by page.
The site’s structure previously specified in the project is integrated, graphics and textual content are loaded and the first prototype website ready for use is prepared.
Front-End Developers handle the features of a webpage, they are basically responsible for anything that users see once they open a web page. In other words, the Front-End Developers just focus on User Interface and User Experience.
Back End Developers are in charge of the database and virtually all the process that happens behind the scene that the user can’t see.
They are task is to write codes which allow communication between the website and server (This is done using technologies such as PHP, NodeJS, MySQL, etc.)
Step 5: Quality Assurance
Quality assurance specialists ensure a complete absence of any errors or bugs on the website and make sure the finished product works in accordance with all the requirements described in the customer’s specifications.
They also make sure that the website fits any screen, and that all its blocks or sections, as designed on the initial layout, display correctly on all devices and modern browsers.
Step 6: Validation and optimization
The complete website must be validated to ascertain that it is in line with the defined norms and standard. It ensures parallel interpretation of web pages by different machines, browsers and visitors. This includes HTML and CSS validation, simple on-page SEO optimization, cross-browser testing.
How Long Does It Take to Build A Website from Scratch, And What Does It Depend On?
Building a new website from scratch is a laborious process. Always entrust this task to a professional if you want a pleasant site that serves its intended purpose.
Let’s say everything is on track, and a skilled developer is working at the helm of your project? How long will you have to wait before you can launch your brand-new website?
Every Web Developer has his/her timeline
A Typical Project Needs About 2-4 Weeks
Web development is a stepwise process. The client is usually very much involved and often has an overall say on whether or not the site is ready to launch. Here’s what a model timeline might look like for the standard website, developed and designed from scratch which has 5 – 7 pages.
- Discovery Phase (1 – 2 days)
This is a phase marked with intense research and planning. Here, the developer liaises with the client to create a roadmap for the entire project. Activities during the discovery phase include research into the target audience, the client’s need, current trends, future expectations and competitors’ analysis among other things. At this stage, the website is mostly pre-formed. The project may only exist as a wireframe with a sitemap for the proposed content structure and documentation.
- Client Revisions (2 – 4 days)
The developer findings from the discovery phase are presented to the client. The client reviews the various propositions from the developer about how the project should progress as well as the expected outcome. He/she may then voice his/her dissatisfaction, and after all the concerns have been addressed, website design begins.
- Design Phase (2 – 4 days)
Building a website begins with design work. The project’s designers bring the website’s idea to life by creating the visual elements of your site concept. They find ways of ensuring the website will be in line with the taste and expectations of the client. At the end of this phase, the web designer presents the client with a mockup of his/her desired website.
- Design Revisions (3 – 6 days)
The client is presented with a mockup of the website. Mockups are like a sneak peek of what the developers will be working on. They give the client a glimpse of what the finished website will look like. Clients are free to request for design revisions at this stage, and once they are satisfied, the project is now pushed onto the developer’s table.
- Development Phase (4 – 8 days)
We might as well say that this is where the rubber meets the road. Developers now build you a website based on your approved designs. Developers ensure that both functionality and usability will be guaranteed across all devices and browsers. At the completion of the development stage, you receive a prototype of your website.
- Testing and Modification Phase (2 – 4 days)
The prototype you get from your designer helps you review how well your website works. You can even use it to gather feedback on its usability from a few testers. At this stage, you can also ask the developer to make any adjustments that you feel are necessary for optimizing your website fully. Once everything is set, your site will be ready to launch.
- Launch (less than a day)
Launching involves moving the website onto the hosting servers and making it go live on the internet.
Three Major Things Influence the Timeline
- The Competency of The Team Members – most web development projects are divided into milestones, and each is assigned to an individual. The commitment, expertise, and experience of the person handling a particular millstone determine the speed at which that milestone is completed.
- Size of The Website – it goes without saying that a complex website needs more time to build than a simple one. Therefore, if you need a large website with many intricate features, be patient since it might take a while before launching it.
- Client Specifications – ultimately, it’s the client who dictates how fast or how slow they would like the work to progress.
Other minor elements may also come into play when building a site from scratch. However, when a reputable web agency is working on your project, you can rest assured that your project will proceed according to plan.
The article was intended to highlight the benefits custom-made websites can provide and the process to follow before creating a website from scratch. To sum up, while websites builders can help create simple websites without the need to have an IT background, they remain limited and are not fit for commercial purposes.
Custom-made websites instead are ideal for business as they are easy to maintain and contain the features which are essential to business growth. The ideal way to build business websites is, therefore, to make it from scratch, however, this requires some knowledge of the IT field. That is why it is advisable to consult a professional for advice before engaging.
It is left to anybody to decide which option is best for them depending on their purpose and expectations.