Website development refers to the tasks involved in building a website and a bespoke website is one that is tailored specifically to meet the requirements of the assignment in hand.
Whether that website is a single page of information or a multi faceted collection of data and interactive functions our basic approach in creating a holistic solution is the same.
How does Mornington Software provide you with a bespoke development service?
Well, basically this is our area of expertise.
We don’t simply throw a website together using off the shelf components because doing that results in a website that has no character, looks just like any other, and will lack any specialist features.
No. We proud ourselves in understanding your unique requirements and providing an equally unique solution.
We are Software Engineers at heart which means we understand the fundamentals of the mechanisms behind websites and are more than capable of programming features that make up a bespoke website.
We have found that WordPress (the worlds most used Content Management System, CMS) is so customisable and extendable that we have had no problems building a CMS based website to meet most website requirements.
But if WordPress isn’t the best solution we will investigate other technologies that would be a better fit. That may well be the case if the website requires complex data management, or is a real-time or batch based processing system. These are our Web App solutions
Regardless of the site requirements, or the eventual solution, our process is basically the same:-
1. Same Page
Any project relies on all key parties fully understanding the requirements for the website and appreciating how tasks are broken down and scheduled. We must all be on the same page.
This is very much a two way process which takes place in the early stages of the relationship. We need to fully understand the purpose of your website, your expectations. Only then can we set goals and milestones to match the budget.
We do this over a coffee, a pint, a curry, or a Zoom session. We’ll fit in with your time schedule and way of working.
After some follow up emails we will start the creation of The Specification.
2. The Specification
There’s no point in randomly pushing pixels around a screen: aimlessly adding blocks, pictures and text. That’s not structured or planned. That’s why we write a Website Specification document.
There key sections to the Website Specification are:-
- Site Map: a simple chart showing the pages that the site will have, the page types and any special features of each page.
- Wire frames: for each different page type we will create a wireframe . A collection of placeholders (simple outlined shapes) representing components on a page and their relative positioning.
The wireframes allow us to sit with the customer and walk through the ‘flow’ of the website; to test the User Experience.
The website specification also lists metrics; goals of the website that allows the efficiency of the website to be measured.
Style Guide and Mock Ups
Important parts of the Style Guide include the site colour pallet and typography.
If your site is brand new (we are stating from a clean slate) then we will work together to create the ideal colour pallet choices for your site.
If you have an existing Style Guide then we will work to be compatible with that. Your Style Guide might be in the form of a Logo. We can work with that. Or you might already have stationery or even an existing website that portrays your Brand. We can work with that.
The Style Guide is a very important starting position for creating consistent and coherent site mockups.
Mockups take the wireframes to the next level by using the Style Guide and sample images and content to demonstrate what the site will really look like.
We find that this stage of the process is most exciting as we can share realistic representations of what the site will really look like and you can even click through the page links to see how the site will behave for your site visitors. The User Experience: UX.
At this point we will walk thought all the page designs, making amendments and tweaks as we go so that we conclude with a stable design that can be developed into your real website.
The development phase is when we build the website pages and features that you require. This usually involves creating a WordPress Theme for your site and coding to store, manipulate and display specialised data for your site.
The development site is built on our internal servers, but from time to time we will release built states to put staging server where you can monitor progress and interact with the site as it grows.
Only when you are 100% satisfied with the staging site will we move it to your live hosted server.
Some will think that going live with the website is the end of the story. No way!!!
Take a quick scroll down and you’ll see we are not finishing soon.
Depending on the size and complexity of your site we often release milestone build to the live server. This allows you to advertise the fact that your site is live while we work on additional features or content for your site.
For example, if you require a web presence by a certain date we can release a phase 1 site that has a subset of the pages in the site map while we continue with features that are not so imperative at that time. That maybe a membership area, a client login area, a display of data that can only be built top with site use.
Going live can be put simply as moving the website files and database entries from the development or staging area to the live server that is using your domain name.
There are many methods for making a site live and if you wish to dig deeper into the details for doing this you can refer to our pages Preparing a server for a WordPress website and Migrating a site to Live.
Once up on live the site needs to re-tested again we have checked all the site settings; to make sure all values are using the correct domain name.
Then we switch off all development and staging sites. That’s to ensure nothing on the site is referring to any resources on the pre-live sites.
Post live configurations
Only when the site is running on the live server can we setup and configure any external tools and services.
This usually involves setting up Google Analytics, Email servers, payment gateways, Search Engine Optimisation tools.
This list depends on the features required by the site.
WordPress is being continually improved upon, extended and patched to address any new security issues. This means the guys over at WordPress will release new versions from time to time.
And when WordPress is updated it is common to find Plugins are updated soon after to keep up with new features made available to them. Also, Plugins will be updated from time to time to offer their own new features.
WordPress and Plugins can be configured to update automatically, but we find it prudent to make sure all the updates have succeeded, that any licence packs are correctly installed and applied and that no functionality is broken as a result of any changes.
Usually all goes well, but if any issues are a result of an upgrade we are own the case to remedy the situation. That cannot be done automatically.
Sites hosted through us will have Update Management included in the fee.
Of course, technology is constantly changing and there might be a new service that becomes available that the site might benefit from.
Or a new feature is identified that the site would need to be added.
And of course, SEO monitoring and maintenance is a continual ongoing process that is required to keep your ranking, or improve it.
We provide services for all the above tailored to suit your budget and expectations.
I hope this has given you an insight about bespoke website and how Mornington Software can help you with your bespoke website.
Every project is unique and may require additional steps in this procedure. Nothing is set in stone.
We have many years experience in software engineering/development and 10 years with WordPress.
We are passionate about or customer care service. We will not be pushy and giving you the right solution for your requirements is our primary goal.
So, start that conversation about your website requirements by contacting us via the usual means.