If you already have a website or considering getting one, then you probably know about web development and its value for all modern industries. You’re also perhaps wondering how web development companies work and what’s the standard process of creating websites and web applications.
That’s why, in this short guide, we’ll briefly remember the perks of web development, go through the seven stages of the web development cycle, and discuss the typical web development company structure. For more info on front-end developers or the best front-end languages, head over to our blog.
What is web development?
Web development is the process of creating websites and web applications. The regular web app and web development company description sounds like that - an established business that offers services of professional UX/UI design, development, and implementation of websites, web applications, web portals, and other web solutions.
What do web development companies do?
Web development companies are experts in all things website, which, in this day and age, means mobile-first, responsive, accessible, dynamic web solutions that are adapted to your type of business and its requirements (B2B or B2C), the industry specifics, the audience you intend to cater to, plus the internal factors like your budget or maintenance needs.
Web development company structure
A standard professional web development company can have a linear or non-linear structure, which means either all roles and positions follow a hierarchy or each team member is pretty equal. Usually, it’s a combination of both.
Each team will have a project manager, a few UX/UI designers, a few web developers (front-end, backend, full-stack), also a quality assurance engineer, and looking over to the marketing department, there are marketing managers, writers, SEO specialists, etc.
Web development cycle
A web development cycle is all the stages your web product goes through during development - from the earliest glimpse of an idea to the final solution up and running. We can usually straight-up differentiate the seven stages of one complete cycle.
Every web product development begins with research and analysis. Teams gather information from stakeholders about their business, study the target market and its trends, and go over the best practices in the industry, along with the competitors’ analysis. All research findings are thoroughly documented.
Planning involves mapping out the deliverables and creating the complete road map of the future website or application combined with potential risks with some room for possible adjustments. This draft involves plans for product features, tech stack, etc. The first two stages also incorporate the product discovery process.
The web design stage first contains the process of designing and testing the layout of the user interface. The rough outline of the structure then turns into more detailed wireframes and prototypes that include all the visual elements of applications or websites, such as buttons, interactions, menus, colors, fonts, graphics, etc.
The actual web development stage comes after the team has a fully-fledged prototype, which is then translated into web pages using code. The design will be transformed into a front-end on the client side of the web product, while the back-end deals with behind-the-scenes logic, databases, and servers.
The testing and quality assurance stage makes sure your future web solution runs like clockwork and doesn’t have any bugs. Web developers usually assess the performance by testing the system’s response times, capacity limits, load endurance, and other various system behaviors.
The implementation, or deployment, is done after all the results from the previous stages are approved. After acquiring the domain, the web app or website finally gets hosted on the servers using the standard communication protocol called FTP.
One crucial step is left - maintenance. Nothing is ever static (fewer and fewer websites remain static as well), which means updates are necessary. Thanks to continuous feedback, the growth of your business, the upgrade in various web development technologies, etc., regular updates and maintenance are imperative for ensuring your product’s success.
Why would you need to hire a web development company?
To recap, both your local web development companies and remote professional agencies are skilled in the seven steps mentioned above. So, here’s what a web development company or a startup would help you with:
- The ideation process, which also involves figuring out the layout and navigation of your future website or app;
- The user interface and user experience design;
- The programming of both the front end and backend of your web product;
- The smooth integration of client-side and server-side;
- Uploading and integrating content and media elements, such as product descriptions, UX copy, video, audio, images, etc.;
- Bug fixing and performance testing;
- Maintaining and updating your web product on the regular.
If your business still doesn’t have a respectable-looking website or web application, it’s about time you get one. Nowadays, having a web solution is a number one requirement for being a legit business since customers are looking for convenience, and the first place they start is the Internet.
Now that you know more about how web development companies work, go and hire one that will best suit your business needs. We also have tips on how to do that in our Merge blog, including how to check a web development company's testimonials.