Building websites is hard work. And a lot of it isn’t that much fun.
To help explain the process, we’ve put together this tongue and cheek post that explains how we typically feel during the various stages of a web development process. Since we build sites for clients, this post if from the point of view of a web development firm. Clients will likely experience similar mood swings, but at different points.
(1) Award of project…
As a web development firm, having people hire us to build websites is a pretty critical part of our business model. The process of signing up new clients can be time consuming and stressful, so it always feels great to get a win.
(2) Awesome kick off meeting…
The beginning of a project is always sunshine and rainbows. Energy and focus is high and everyone is full of hope about the outcome. We are all in sync and working well together.
(3) Presentation of initial design work…..
The design process usually starts out well, with a well received initial design set. We’re feeling confident.
(4) Reaction to design edits, round 10….
In an ideal world, we just go straight from step 3 to step 5. But sometimes things go off the rails, and we’re hearing the intern’s opinion on san serif fonts ten edit rounds into things. When this happens, Tom may do his Bobby Knight impression.
(5) Design is approved…
The sun is shining and we’re feeling optimistic again. With the design approved we’re free to start turning the design comps into a working website. A big hurdle has been overcome.
(6) Testing on mobile phones and tablets…
At this point we’ve got a draft of the site that works pretty well on our desktop computers. On average, 20% of visitors to our client sites come from tablets and mobile phones. Given that, pretty much all the sites we build are responsive, ensuring they work well no matter the screen size. This sounds pretty easy, but the reality is that getting sites to work well on mobile and tablets kind of sucks.
(7) Internet Explorer testing and debugging…
As hard as testing on phones and tablets is, debugging in Internet Explorer is much, much worse. It is soul crushing. If you say the words “Internet Explore 7” to a web developer they will either burst into tears or punch you in the face.
(8) Writing and editing site content….
Content is important. It seems obvious, but on many web development projects it is treated as an afterthought. If you have ever had to write the content for a website, you know that at certain points the only rational thing to do is assume the fetal position.
(9) Powering through final tweaks before launch….
The really, really hard work starts after you have shown the client a working draft of a site. Working through those final edits and details is death by a million cuts. We need whiskey.
(10) Process of actually launching the site…
After months of work launch day arrives. No matter how much you plan, there are always a few last minute hurdles to overcome and things don’t go quite as smoothly as you’d hope. And somehow you get things done and things work out in the end.
(11) Reaction to successful launch…
And we’re back to sunshine and rainbows. The launch of a website is a new beginning.