Are you thinking of developing a website?
The first thing you need is to create a proper checklist incorporating all the aspects you need to address when creating a smooth, error-free, and well-organized website that meets all your purposes and goals.
Here, we’ve put together a comprehensive website development checklist for you to use as a starting point when building your website.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to our discussion.
What Is a Website Development Checklist?
A website development checklist is a comprehensive list of tasks and considerations that must be included in the development of a website. This list helps a website designer and developer keep track of the important elements they should incorporate in the development process to ensure the successful formation, launch, and management of a website.
The checklist, which can also be called a roadmap, includes the following:
Development and coding
Launching and testing
Maintenance tasks, and so on.
Why We Use A Web Development Checklist?
Website development is a complex process. There are hundreds and thousands of tasks and considerations that make a website work effectively and turn visitors into customers.
A website development checklist helps website developers identify the missing tasks that can make their hard work go to waste. Also, an organized checklist contains the tasks chronologically. This helps the developers stay on track and make sure that everything is moving along on schedule.
To put it simply, we use a website development checklist to ensure the website development process is efficient, systematic, and organized. Moreover, it assists in maintaining the quality of the website, minimizing errors, and ensuring the successful development and launch of the website.
Website Development Process Checklist
In the following section, we’ve created a comprehensive website development checklist. Let’s check it out:
The first step in creating a website development checklist is pre-development planning. To ensure the success of your website, include the following in your pre-development planning.
Define Your Website Goals
Every website is created with a specific goal in mind, whether it is to increase brand awareness, build community, educate the audience, or generate sales.
Each of these goals would need different measures and considerations. For instance, an eCommerce website interface or working process is completely different from a portfolio website or corporate website. So, to begin the website development process, you must first clearly define your goals.
Carry Out User & Market Research
After defining your goal, you must conduct market and user research. The success of every website somewhat depends on the number of visitors it receives. However, to attract visitors, you must first understand how your target audience behaves.
For that, you must carry out market research to understand the trends, how your target customers interact with others, and what steps you should take to ensure that your website meets the needs and expectations of users.
Next, you must conduct competitor analysis to understand how your competitor is performing in the market and how you can create a strong position among them.
As a part of competitor analysis, you can include the following:
Website user experience
Content and marketing strategies
Identify strengths and weaknesses
Any gaps that can give you an upper hand, and so on.
Project Estimation & Effort
Next, you must consider the complexity of your project, your budget, the expertise of your team, and other factors to determine the estimated time required to complete your website development process and launch the website.
Working with a deadline allows you to stay focused on your work and track your progress. Besides, it helps you determine your budget as you will know for how long your team will be working on your project and what expenses you have to bear to keep the team active.
Remember to make your project estimation flexible, as everything never goes according to plan. Be prepared to experience unforeseen issues and keep time to make sudden adjustments.
Register a domain name and purchase hosting
The most important step in pre-development planning is registering a domain name for your website and buying hosting from a reliable provider.
The domain name is the identity of your website in the world of the internet. That’s why it’s crucial to select a domain name that is unique and related to your business. Keep your domain name short, avoid symbols such as hyphens or slashes, and use extensions such as .com, .net, or .org, to increase the credibility, SEO rankings, and visibility of your domain.
To store your website data and ensure security, speed, SEO rankings, and other factors, you need to purchase hosting from a trustworthy hosting provider. When choosing a hosting provider, make sure to consider factors such as disk space your website data may need, bandwidth as per the amount of your expected traffic, uptime, customer support, and so on.
While purchasing the domain and hosting, choose the one that fits your budget.
The second step in creating a website development checklist is deciding on your website design. The website design is the appearance and visual elements your website visitors will experience after landing on your website.
Here is a list of tasks you should include in designing your website.
Pick a Design Template and Wireframing
To begin with website design, you must choose a design template. When choosing a template, make sure it has all of the features and pages you require.
You can try out free templates or purchase premium templates that offer customization options. You can also ask your designer to prepare a customized template. However, using a pre-built template can save you the time and effort of designing from scratch. Make sure the template you choose is compatible with every device, including a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
Along with deciding on the design template, wireframing is a must to identify the usability of the website and fix issues in the development process. When wireframing, keep your focus on factors such as user experience, website navigation, and other factors that influence user engagement and satisfaction.
Choose typography and color scheme
Every brand uses specific color and text styles to represent its brand. On that note, choose the typography and color that resonate with your business and give your brand unique brand recognition.
Try out various color schemes to determine which colors make the background, heading, link, navigation, text, logo, banner, and other elements of your website complement each other. Make sure to select easily readable fonts and eye-soothing colors.
Create A Responsive And Adaptive Layout
To make your website layout usable for any device and screen size, make it responsive and adaptive. A user-friendly website layout promotes better engagement and increases the likelihood of ranking higher in the SERPs, which drives organic traffic to the website.
Website Content Strategy
A website without content is like blank paper that does not serve any purpose. Similarly, a website with unorganized and irrelevant content confuses website visitors and damages the brand’s reputation. That’s why it’s important to come up with effective content strategies to ensure your business goal is met.
So, what is content strategy and how do you create a good content strategy?
A content strategy is a comprehensive plan for content marketing that includes everything from creating content to distributing it across multiple marketing channels and tracking its performance in meeting expected goals.
To create an effective content strategy, include the following:
Set your goals and KPIs to measure the effectiveness of the strategy
Consider your target audience’s needs, interests, and pain points when selecting topics
Identify the marketing channels for content promotion
Create customized content for different marketing channels
Maintain content calendar with topics, schedules, and platforms to maintain consistency
Track performance and optimize if needed
SEO best practices
Every business aims to increase its visibility among its target audience. The most effective way to stay ahead of the competition and appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) is to create content that follows best SEO practices.
Here are a few SEO practices you should ensure while creating content for your website.
In the vast ocean of data, attracting a target audience to your content is difficult. However, quality content is always appreciated by the readers as well as the search engines.
Follow these guidelines to create high-quality content:
Write on topics relevant to the needs and interests of your audience
Create informative and well-researched content
Maintain clarity to make the content easily understandable
Comprehensive content containing all aspects of the topic adds value to the readers
Use up-to-date information from trustworthy sources to increase credibility
Make sure your content is unique and error-free
Make sure your content is plagiarism-free and AI-free
Ensure content accessibility and readability
To keep the readers hooked on your content, you must adhere to SEO practices that maximize the accessibility and readability of the content. Here’s how to optimize content readability and accessibility:
Clear and concise language
Simple and short sentences
Write in active voice
Use headings, sub-headings, bullets, bolds, and spaces
Use transition words to maintain coherence and cohesiveness
Use a clear font in the appropriate size
Optimize images and multimedia content
Visuals are one of the most important elements that draw readers in to read a piece of content. Thus, it is important to follow SEO guidelines when optimizing photos and other multimedia components.
The best SEO practices for image optimization are-
Use HD quality unique images or other multimedia content, such as gif
Resize images as per the marketing platform guidelines
Rename file names using target keywords
Make images compatible with every device
Use alt tags
Include image-structured data, and so on.
Now comes the technical tasks of the website development process that make a website stable, visually appealing, and user-friendly. These tasks include both the front-end and back-end development processes.
Let’s explore these tasks.
Create the HTML structure
First, you need to create the HTML structure for your web pages.
So, what’s HTML and why do you need it?
HTML is the standard markup language used in the creation of web pages. Whatever we see on our screen is the result of the use of HTML structure. The HTML structure determines how the content will be displayed on a website page.
So, create HTML structures the way you want to organize your content on your web pages.
Build the CSS styling
Cascading Style Sheets, in short, CSS, is a language used to style a web page. That means CSS is used to present the HTML elements on the screen. In other words, CSS determines how a webpage will appear including the layout of the web page, the size and color of the text, images, and other elements present on the web page.
There are mainly 3 methods for CSS styling, which are:
Ensure cross-browser compatibility
Cross-browser compatibility of a website refers to the ability to access a website from all browsers, especially the major and most popular browsers. As your target audience may attempt to visit your website using various browsers, you must ensure that your website is accessible in the majority of browsers, including updated versions.
Conduct code reviews and testing
You must conduct a code review to identify issues such as bugs, security problems, and so on before you introduce them to the codebase. To conduct code reviews, humans must be used to find bugs, rather than any tool.
This step is important because if your website visitors have a bad experience because of bugs, it will create a negative impression of your website.
Implement SEO best practices
Implementing SEO practices in your website development, such as in coding and other technical tasks, helps search engines understand your website better. As a result, your chances of ranking higher in the SERPs increase. Professional web developers always give SEO practices the highest priority when developing a website.
Performance & Page Load Speed
Page load speed is the duration it takes for a website to load after visitors click on the website link or web page. The page load speed is an important aspect of website performance.
Visitors are likely to become frustrated and leave a website if the page load speed is slow. So, to ensure better website performance, user experience, and visitor engagement, you must include it in the web development checklist.
Third-party integration is an important step in building a connection between your website and others. You may need to use different types of APIs, and plugins as per the needs of your website. For instance, social platform logins, payment gateways, etc.
Testing and Deployment
The next step after website development is website launch, which allows users from anywhere in the world to access the website. However, you need to take the following into account when launching your website.
Set Up Website Backups
Setting up website backups is important to store and protect your website data, such as files, emails, database information, website page details, and so on. In case your hosting server fails or data disappears due to software error, human error, or hacking, you can restore it from backups to reduce downtime.
Configure SSL Certificate for Security
To ensure the security of your website, you need an SSL certificate. Secure Sockets Layer certificate, in short, SSL certificate, is a digital certificate that establishes and ensures a secured connection between a browser and a website.
The encrypted connection protects data and assures users against data breaches and other security threats. As a result, users feel safe transmitting sensitive information such as personal data, credit card numbers, passwords, and so on.
Set up a staging environment
This is another important step before launching a website, which helps identify bugs and fix other issues. You can ensure whether the newly added features or other adjustments you made during the development process are perfectly working or not. As per the observation, you can make further adjustments to make the website perform smoothly.
Deploy the website to production
Deploying the website to production refers to adding new features, codes, or services to your website that users can access live. For that, you need to first back up your existing website and then conduct a deployment to check if the new features are working properly and how they’re performing among the users.
Perform final testing and quality assurance
Another important task is quality assurance for your website. You can test the user interface (UI), user experience (UX), code quality, content quality, and others to measure the functionality and performance of your website. Based on the result, you can take the necessary steps to make your website better.
Post-Launch and Maintenance
Launching your website to the public does not mean your work is done. You must maintain your website regularly. Here is a list of tasks that must be completed to ensure proper maintenance.
Regularly Update Content and Features
You need to check your content performance and keep track of changing trends. If your content becomes outdated or does not include current information, it will not perform well. So keep updating your content regularly. For that, you can add new information or change visual elements, layout, and other aspects.
Monitor Website Analytics and User Feedback
Website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, can be used to track your website’s traffic, performance, conversion rate, visitor behavior, and other factors. You can collect user feedback through website surveys, heatmaps that show where visitors click, and other methods.
You can measure your progress and identify areas for improvement if you constantly monitor your website analytics.
Perform Security Audits and Updates
To keep your website safe and secure from hackers, cyber thieves, malware attacks, or other potential threats, you must carry out security audits regularly and keep your website updated.
Back-Up Website Data Regularly
Every now and then new data will be updated on your website. As a result, you must back up your data on a regular basis to avoid losing any of your data and struggling in an emergency.
Plan for Scalability and Future Enhancements
You need to grow your website over time. For that, you need to think and come up with ideas that will contribute to improving your website’s performance. To plan for scalability, you can study your current needs and potential future needs to identify how you can add more value to your website.
Address Technical Issues and Bugs Promptly
Technical issues, such as bugs, can occur for a variety of reasons, including coding errors, design flaws, and so on. Fixing bugs is one of the most important website maintenance tasks. To fix bugs and issues, you can use the following methods-
Reproduce: Identifying the conditions that created the bugs
Root cause: Analyzing multiple aspects to identify why the bug was created.
Resolve: Fixing the issue
Regression: Checking out whether the issue has been resolved or a new bug has been created
Retrospect: Reviewing the fixing process to avoid making mistakes in future.
What is a checklist in website design?
A website design checklist is a document that contains a comprehensive list of tasks required for designing a website. Usually, tasks and considerations such as design, layout, color, font, images, wireframes, mockups, navigation, etc., that are related to the look and user experience are included in the website design checklist.
What are the 7 steps of web development?
The 7 steps of web development include- conducting research, creating a plan, selecting the design, website formation, content creation, launching, and carrying out constant maintenance.
What makes a good website checklist?
The qualities that make a website checklist good include organized and comprehensive information, clearly mentioned tasks, being adaptive for customization, best SEO practices, tasks for performance optimization, and post-deployment measures.
So far, we’ve discussed all the aspects that need to be addressed when you are developing a website.
We hope that our comprehensive website development checklist has given you an idea of the tasks you should consider when creating your checklist, as well as their importance.
Wishing you the best for your upcoming website.
Monoarul is a skilled web developer with a passion for crafting exceptional digital experiences. With several years of experience under his belt, Monoarul has honed his skills in front-end development, back-end development, and everything in between. He is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to improve user experiences and build engaging websites.