Websites have become more than tools for business. Folks can now use websites for virtually anything ranging from socializing and meeting friends to passing information and teaching. There are various tools out there that people use to create websites. Content management systems such as famous WordPress and websites builders such as WIX are some of the easy means of getting a good website up and running. While the platforms mentioned above most certainly make it easy for one to set up and host a website, they do have their shortcomings. This is why hand-coding and develop websites from scratch is often recommended when one wants to make an outstanding website.
Why Build Your Website from Scratch?
By definition, building a website from scratch is synonymous with hand-coding a website. This is a fairly technical endeavor. Thus, it is advised that building website from scratch is best left in the hands of an experienced web developer.
Benefits of Building A Website from Scratch
- The website gets its own unique custom design
- No ads will clutter the site
- The site comes with its own unique domain name
- The website will be fast with pages loading in under 1 second
- The site can easily be tweaked to rip the benefits of SEO
Requirements for Building A Website from Scratch
Preparedness is key to coding an excellent website. A developer therefore, needs to at least have the
following before work begins:
- An understanding of HTML as well as syntax and tags
- A code editor
- A software for working with layouts (like Photoshop or Sketch)
- A good browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
Choosing A Domain Name
This is a crucial part of the journey. It creates a brand for the website. A good SEO-specialist will make the domain name memorable. Important points that he may tell you are that:
- You will have to pay annually to maintain your domain name
- EDM (Exact Domain Match) is an offense for which a google penalizes a site. It occurs when the domain name contains a keyword but the content of the website is poor
Typical Steps Followed When Building A Website from Scratch
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: Designing the Layout idea
Every website has four principle elements; the content, header, sidebar and footer. For a streamlined
workflow a web designer blocks out the design on paper or image editor.
Step 2: Creating the layout for The Website
Using photoshop or any other good image editor, a web designer may perform the following tasks.
- Choose the ideal resolution and website width
- Create a nice website background
- Create a header and highlight it
- Create a navigation bar
- Create a footer
- Create a logo and tagline
- Create text boxes and fill them with dummy content (this will later be replaced with actual web content when the site is complete)
- Create a sidebar
The PSD file from the image editor is then sliced into small usable pieces. These small pieces are later exported to the web.
Step 3: Working in HTML
The web developer now turns to the code editor for some HTML. This is what he or she may do:
- Set up the site folders
- Set up the index.html file
- Add content to the page setup
Step 4: Adding CSS
Next, the web developer:
- Creates a style.css file in the site folder
- Links the style.css file with a “link href” tag
Step 5: Styling and polishing the Page
This comes next and may involve:
- Header placement and design
- Logo image replacement
- Floating the tagline
- Modeling the navigation bar
- Setting content font, spacing, and color
- Floating the sidebar
- Footer placement and design
When the web setup is complete the web developer and designer may now polish the finer aspects of the site such as:
- Adjusting the default font, content resolution and text spacing
- Using CSS reset to get rid of messy browser margins.
Step 6: Validation
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. It includes HTML validation, and CSS validation.
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 for launch. Here’s what a model timeline might look like.
- 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 competitor analysis among other things. During the Discovery Phase, 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 into 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 for the site to launch.
- 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 aim of this articles was to highlight some of the things that a web designer may do when building you a website from scratch. Of course, different designers have their own preferred way of coding websites. However, it is evident that this is quite a technical field and the success of any project relies heavily on how skilled the designer is. Consequently, the rule of thumb here is; Always go for a web development agency with the proper knowledge and skill or else you’ll end up with a big disappointment of a website.