In this section I will show you my workflow in the WordPress Web development and he development stages common to almost all Internet projects I do.
Each page is designed from scratch and to the smallest detail. I DO NOT USE ready-made templates or themes.
The Choose of the server
The first stage of web development is helping the client to choose a hosting company, this is often forgotten by the designer. Being attentive to this detail is very important because of a good server and its basic requirements depends on the functioning of all the PHP and HTML modules (among other languages) that the website will have.
A good quality server keeps its PHP versions, mySQL database always updated. It also allows FTP access and plenty configuration of the system, creation of several email accounts, MySQL management for the creation of database tables, set of ISS services, document root addresses for domains and more. All made by a control panel with friendly interface.
CMS installation and configuration
The CMS is the platform that allows, among other things, a web page to be managed by the client. Its installation depends a lot on how the chosen server is configured and updated, both in terms of security and available tools. As we have seen before, a good server must be updated. However, if we want to use WordPress as a tool for web content management the following requirements must be taken into account:
WordPress server requirements for Version 3.2 (June 30, 2011):
- PHP version 5.6 or greater
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater
- (Optional (required for multi-site)) Apache mod_rewrite module (for clean URIs known as Permalinks)
First of all, you must create a database table with a name and password. WordPress allows a secure installation if you change some parameters often forgotten. Changing the standard name admin through the MySQL database is one of the safe procedures that are worthwhile. Last, but not least, there is the perfect configuration of the program itself, with its user administration, the permanent links for good SEO behavior, etc.
Wireframes, diagrams y prototipes
Few designers “waste time” making a wireframe, that is, a rough draft of the web page design requested by the client, with a certain degree of precision about the content and the graphic structure of it without reaching the final design stage – what includes elements such as typography, colors and logo.
The ignorance of this powerful stage of creation means that the wireframe is forgotten in the vast majority of Internet projects. In addition to the substantial time savings, client and designer can make a deeper analysis of what is really necessary in the final product.
- Improve the communication between designer & client: The development of a web page begins before the design, and must be adjusted to the true needs and identity of the client. During the wireframe development stage, the close relationship and dialogue are fundamental, since at this moment it is when discussing and making possible changes in the interface.
- Time saving: TCreating a wireframe takes much less time compared to all the high quality graphics that are presented in a final design project. This time saving translates into productivity for the designer and also for the client.
- Versatility: With the draft of the structure in hands, the designer can use any design concept, even reuse the same wireframe for a new design.
- Functionality: With the wireframes the designer analyzes the design project in two parts, the functional part and the visual part, separately.
- Avoid common mistakes: In the wireframes creation phase, the client visualizes the interface and the final structure of the web page before the most elaborated design process begins, choosing at this stage characteristics such as number of columns, width of the header, among other things that they avoid later “dislikes”.
The project of creating the design of the website is much more complicated than it may initially seem. In this phase you have to take into account many details, be they technical, aesthetic or market stance. It is time for important choices: types of letters, colors that are in accordance with the client’s visual identity, marketing order concepts, how the navigability and user experience will be presented.
The client is part of all the stages of the process, until the final approval of the design proposal, allowing the probable changes and adjustments of even the smallest details to be made in a less costly way. The final project will be mounted in layers and always in extension or .PSD or .PNG for reading in programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Fireworks.
Although CMS platforms are quite intuitive, which allows users to easily use and manage this technology, initial support is essential for customers to take over the tools.
Overcoming the constant external dependence for the maintenance of your website is also a very important stage of the process. It is essential that the client understand and know how to adapt autonomously and comfortably to the use of any tool and enjoy the information technologies that he is buying.