How we monitor the website development process
Solutionists’ ecommerce website development follows an extremely well planned and well documented process. This is to ensure that you understand exactly what you are getting from your website, and that we understand exactly what you need from it.
Before the website build even begins we will have several meetings with you to create a customised Functional Specification document. This document outlines what every page of your site will look like, what functionality each of these pages will have, and exactly what your site will be able to do once we have finished. Any changes to this document are closely controlled, and the website build will only begin once you have signed and approved the final version. Once the build has begun its progress is monitored in a task management system, so at any stage we can tell you exactly how far through finishing your website we are.
Our website development process enables your business to manage risk and ensures you know exactly what you are being delivered.
Solutionists Website Development Process
1. Investigation and proposal
a. Define Business Objectives:
We will meet with you to find out your business objectives, and give you an idea of how we can help you achieve these. This initial meeting will lay the groundwork for our proposal, and serves the purpose of helping us find out as much as possible about what you need in terms of an online solution, so we can figure out how to achieve this.
b. Develop a proposal:
After the meeting we will develop a proposal which outlines what solution we will use to achieve your website objectives. A site structure plan and pricing estimate will be included.
2. Website Specification and Design Brief
We will have one or more meetings with you before the website build begins to create a detailed plan of exactly what your website will entail. From these meetings we will compile a 'Functional Specification' document which details what every page will look like and what functionality it will have, using blueprints (wireframes), descriptions, and action lists. The wireframes are the “working drawings” for the website and it is very important these are checked off carefully by the client. It will also include a map of the site structure, an action list of everything the site can do from the user and administrator’s point of view, a module breakdown, and your final pricing estimate. The client will sign off this Functional Specification document as part of the web development contract. During this process a design brief document will also be created. This document contains wireframes, site examples, colours, feel, branding, logos etc. and it used to guide the designer on the design work. Only once the client has confirmed and signed off the design brief will it go into design. Once the client has signed both of these documents, the estimated hours, design, and site layout/workings are now fixed.
3. Website Build
Solutionists developers now commence building and testing the website. This may take 2 to 4 weeks depending on the complexity of the work. On completion, the website will be made available to the client for viewing on our server.
4. Content Entry and User Acceptance Testing
Before making your website “live”, all the site content (text and images) is added to the website. During this process we will train you in how to use the content management functions of the website. You will also need to carry out the vital User Acceptance Testing (UAT), this is the last opportunity to ensure that everything in the website meets the specifications before it goes live to the public. You will generally use the Functional Specification action list to test that the site does everything that has been promised. Any issues will be recorded into Solutionists task management system and addressed before the website “goes live”.
5. “Go Live”
Once you are happy with you website site you will sign a “Go live” document”. Once this is signed we move your website to the publicly available web address and it will be officially live. The process from the initial meeting to the signing off of the "Go Live" form can be expected to take around 12 weeks, although this can vary largely dependent on the complexity of the site.
6. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The live website is now available to anyone who knows the address, but to gain high visibility, the main search engines such as Google and MSN need to review and rank all the pages. Solutionists offer several levels of web marketing services to help build increased traffic of your target audience to your site. Read more about our SEO here.
7. Software Upgrade Services
Solutionists are consistently upgrading their modules so that your technology remains competitive, and your user experience is constantly improving. We are also continuously working on new modules, so that our webstores always contain the latest best practice ecommerce standards, and these modules can be added to your webstore as you choose to purchase them, provided you have the most recent software upgrade.
Key Benefits of software upgrades:
- Latest versions will included new features and functionality not available on older versions
- Ensures your website administration software is the latest version to remain competitive
- An upgrade will fix minor bugs, compatibility with other software, stability issues etc.
- Improved user-interface
- Does not require any action by the client
- No effect on the website design skin, content or any custom developments