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Website development

Every company or organization should have a modern website as the solid foundation of their web presence. Online visitors might judge the quality of company’s products and services by their experience with the website, which in turn might lead to bad sales. In Ideaz Web Agency we put a lot of attention to detail when creating websites for our clients, and, most importantly, keep them fresh and updated after publishing them.

In this article you can find out how to build a great website, what kind of website should you choose, and also take a peek at the development process at Ideaz Web Agency.

What are the basics of a modern website

Here are some of the most important features of professionally created websites, offering a great user experience and performing very well in visitor acquisition, which in turn leads to increased conversions and sales.

Mobile first

Over 50 percent of website visitors use mobile devices, which is why we must offer them the same experience as the visitors on bigger screens. Ideally, the mobile version of the website should not sacrifice any content or visual elements when being displayed on smartphones and tablets. The design should be fluid and reponsive and adapt to any given resolution. Redirecting visitors to mobile versions of the site is often considered bad practice and introduces unnecessary complexity.

Visible content prioritization

Optimization of resources and using good programming practices enable us to show most of the visible content in less than two seconds. Additionally, setting proper content compression can help us to cater the users with slower mobile connections. In summary, these enable us to assure good user experience and as a bonus: better search engines positions.

Coding perfection

As some businesses rely heavily on their web presence, it should be self evident that their website shouldn’t contain any bugs. Bad practices and errors in the code can lead to poor performance and visible glitches, which will drive visitors away and penalize you in the search engines. Furthermore, good code is easier to debug, to modify and it’s simpler to add new features to it, which makes it also cheaper to maintain.

Great user experience

Visitors nowadays expect to get their information fast. It has been shown that the average visitor should be able to get all the info he needs in no more than three clicks. This is even more important for mobile users. We follow current design guidelines when designing new websites because the visitor feels more comfortable when he’s interacting with familiar elements on the web page.

Conversion-friendly

Business websites should try their best to trigger a desired reaction of the visitor – for example purchase, submitting an inquiry, making a phone call or browsing through key content. Therefore, they should be made in a way that encourages user actions and doesn’t make them harder (which is, sadly, a common occurrence).

Professional content

On average, you have less than three seconds to impress the visitors with content, otherwise they will leave the page. All the content on the page – texts, photographs, illustrations, graphs, videos, and animations – needs to be precisely crafted and well placed to be eye-catching.

Most common types of websites

Below we list four most common types of websites which have different purposes and goals, and which also differ in the complexity of their creation.

Company websites

Company websites

This is the most common type of website and the basis of the Internet. It links businesses to the public interested in them. They range from most popular basic versions, usually containing four to six web pages, to more complex ones, which can have 10, 20 or more pages. They are mostly used for collecting inquiries, presentation of offers and basic company information.

Usually they contain contact forms, social network plugins, photo galleries and embedded videos.

View Example

Information web portals

Information web portals

Their purpose is to give information to key user groups rather than making sales. Usually they consist of a certain number of basic pages (from five to eight), a large number of news articles and, in recent years, contain a substantial amount of multimedia content.

Usually they use modules for displaying news, banners, most popular content, social network plugins, and locked content (for example paywalls).

E-commerce sites

E-commerce sites

E-commerce sites are designed to sell products or services, with numbers ranging from single type to thousands of them. As the number of products increases, the page performance can suffer, and also presenting offers and content management can pose a challenge. The largest e-commerce site we created in Ideaz Web Agency contains more than 8.000 products but it’s still as fast as much smaller e-shops.

Most commonly used are payment modules (credit cards, PayPal) and in some cases also modules for increasing sales (for example modules for resolving cart abandonment).

View Example

Landing pages

Landing pages

Landing pages are designed for promotion of new products or for testing new (foreign) markets for an already existing product or service. In essence, they are simple and thus are faster and cheaper to build. By attaching an advertising campaign to them, we can quickly test how markets react to our products or services.

If a product or an idea we test with a landing page proves to be interesting for the market, we can later transform the landing page into a more complex website.

 

In Ideaz Web Agency we are creating, refining and editing web pages on a daily basis. We have several years of experience and during many successfully completed projects we developed a extensive development process, which enables us to finish projects on time without sacrificing quality.

Our process of creating websites

Creating a website is a multi-layered project which includes a variety of people from both, the clients and the contractors side.

Since there are different interests involved – the client wants the best website with as little work as possible for his employees and the provider wants a smooth and fast development process – it is essential that the goals and plans are clearly set before the development begins. The communication between parties must never come to a halt during the development process, because the transparency might get lost which in turn can lead to significant delays.

In Ideaz Web Agency we successfully completed more than 100 projects of different complexities. We have learned a lot during our work with our clients, and this extensive knowledge was combined into our 12 step process of website project management.

Website development process

Project meeting Wireframe model Design draft Programming Adding content Quality assurance Website launch Help and Support Additional content Additional data sources Training Website hosting

Project meeting

Project meeting

At our first project meeting we get to know our client better by using a questionnaire which serves to define goals, design guidelines and client’s requirements. We review and analyze the available market and his competition. We set target audience. We review client’s strategic guidelines and values. We determine an approximate scope of content on the website and rough milestones.

Wireframe model

Wireframe model

Our experts start working on a wireframe model of the website immediately after the meeting. Our primary focus at this point is how to clearly present key content and how to build a clear outline of the site. The former also serves as the foundation for strategy of search engine optimization (SEO).

For larger sites we often construct an interactive wireframe which behaves as a linking portal to key sub pages and enables the client to “click through” his future website.

At the end of this stage we work closely with the client to review the wireframe model and further improve it.

Design draft

Design draft

Wireframe model approval is followed by the design phase in which ideas and information, collected up to that point, come to life. We usually prepare two or three versions of website design. We stick to design platforms and corporate identity (CI) of our clients, but at the same time we are not afraid to experiment and breathe new life into them.

A group of our design team members works exclusively on designing websites which enables us to always stay in contact with global trends, and, at the same time, to quickly produce high quality designs.

At the beginning of Ideaz Agency we relied on pre-made theme templates, but after some bad experiences with the included source code we decided to abandon them in favor of our own work. Since 2014 we have been developing templates ourselves, which enabled us to fine tune the websites to the wishes of our clients and also provide great performance, which in turn results in improved user experience.

Programming

Programming

We carefully choose the right building blocks for each type of the project.

Most of our websites use PHP in combination with MySQL. We usually use the WordPress CMS as our framework to simplify the development process. The large amount of plugins allows us to quickly add new functionality to the new site and provide solid foundation for our modifications. Why reinvent the wheel and build a custom e-commerce software if you can use the reliable and opensource WooCommerce plugin? Need multilanguage support? Use WPML. Want to collect customer feedback? Try out Contact Form 7. The list can go on and on.

For the frontend we use HTML5 which in combination with CSS, which allow us to build anything our visual team designs. Greater interactivity is achieved with use of JavaScript or the JQuery framework, whichever we think gets the job done better. Our websites are usually designed around the Bootstrap grid, which provides a simple and effective way for a page to be properly displayed on every resolution possible: mobile devices, tablets, laptops or desktops. In more demanding projects we also use other software, like SASS CSS preprocessor, Python, Bash and Node.js scripts, and others, which can greatly speed up some tasks.

We strictly adhere to the W3C standards when writing code, because this saves us a lot of time and makes the development process significantly cheaper. Since most of the modern browsers render the created site flawlessly out of the box, we can focus on performance and SEO optimization instead of debugging. Well written code also allows for fast backend modifications on our or the clients side.

Adding content

Adding content

In most cases we are in charge of adding content to the website. In case the amount of new content is vast (large e-commerce sites or catalogs with hundreds of items), our clients usually do it themselves since the process is simple and intuitive. The WYSIWYG visual editor TinyMCE is provided for text and multimedia formatting needs, and can be extended on demand with custom buttons and capabilities. We also provide custom fields for multimedia content (photographs, videos, galleries) which gives our clients almost complete control over all of the visual content on the website.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance

We thoroughly test the website before launching it to find any potential flaws, vulnerabilities and display glitches. Rendering is checked in all of the most popular web layout engines (Blink – Google Chrome, Webkit – Safari, Gecko – Mozilla Firefox, Trident – Internet Explorer) in different operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, Android, iOS). We pay a lot of attention to backend debugging and fix all (even non-critical) errors and warnings immediately, since we are aware that they can pose problems in the future and prevent the website to display or even work properly.

In Ideaz Web Agency we developed an internal quality control process with more than 50 different points with which we guarantee a high level of security for our clients. Because testing is also conducted by team members which weren’t developing the site, we can find even the tiniest bugs and eliminate them.

Website launch

Website launch

After the testing phase is successfully finished, we deploy the website to the production server and give full control to the client. Launches are always preformed with latest version of all used frameworks (a rolling release) because that is the only way to achieve maximum security of the published website.

Help and Support

Help and Support

Our sysadmin team provides full support to all of our clients. They take care that any problems are solved in a timely manner and that content is always up to date.

We try to solve most of the non-critical problems the same day they arise, on the other side the urgent ones are fixed immediately. Minor corrections are carried out directly on the live page, but in a way that does not affect visitors. Major revisions are done on a mirror copy of the site and pushed back after a thorough review.

Additional content

Additional content

Web pages and advertising campaigns can’t be appealing without good content and that’s why we considerably expanded our content creating team. They assist clients with editing or writing texts, translations, making or buying images, creating custom visual content and with production of videos and animations.

Additional data sources

Additional data sources

We can also provide our clients with integration of data sources, including, but not limited to card payment systems, ERP systems, CRM systems, product configurators, remote sites or databases. Our programming team has also a lot of experience with analysis and processing of large amounts of data.

Training

Training

At our client’s request we also provide courses on how to use the user interface for adding and modifying the content. This way client’s employees can preform some maintenance themselves.

At our practical training we explain how entering and editing news is being done, how can you edit texts and images on the subpages and how to add multimedia material. Our furthermore we try to show the users it is not that difficult to edit pages.

Website hosting

Website hosting

Most of our clients host their websites on our fast servers connected directly to the backbone network, where we routinely perform maintenance and create backups. We do not mind if the client wants to host the newly created website on their own server, since some companies are bound to requirements of their IT departments or their parent companies.

The basis for all web pages hosting on our server, is properly configured and well optimized software. We use a stable and reliable operating system GNU/Linux, running the nginx web server.

Website showcase

Here are some of the web pages we are especially proud of.

Website

Website steviesalas.com

For the successful entrepreneur, TV star and one of the best guitar players in the world, we created a website that represents his work and at the same time serves as his sales channel.

Read more

Online store

Online store opremisidom.com

After a few years of cooperation with the client in the field of online advertising, we all agreed that it was time for a complete renewal of the online store.

Read more

Why trust us with web page design?

In Ideaz Web Agency we develop websites methodically and systematically, because that is the only way to ensure a smooth workflow and a high level of quality, additionally this enables us to finish on time.

Get in touch us with your project wishes. Together we will discuss your starting points and requirements. We will pass you our relevant experience, and we will analyze ideas for improving your presence on web. Furthermore, we will give you a cost and time estimate of realization of the project.