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Web Style Guide

The site development process

Every significant Web project poses unique challenges, but the overall process of developing a complex Web site generally follows six major stages:

  1. Site definition and planning
  2. Information architecture
  3. Site design
  4. Site construction
  5. Site marketing
  6. Tracking, evaluation, and maintenance

Developing a large Web site is a process that may have far-reaching budgetary, personnel, and public relations consequences for an organization, both during the development of the site and long after its successful deployment. Too many Web sites begin life as ad hoc efforts, created by small interest groups working in isolation from their peers elsewhere in the organization and without fully considering the site's goals within the context of the organization's overall mission. The result of poorly planned, hasty development efforts often is an "orphan site," starved of resources and attention.

As you consider the development process outlined below, note that the construction of the pages that make up the Web site is one of the last things that takes place in a well-designed project. Consider each step in the process, and its impact on your developing site specification plan. Think before you act, and make sure you have the organizational backing, budget, and personnel resources you'll need to make the project a success.

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