One of the first decisions we face for each of our project implementations at Kodizy is “Which development methodology should we use?” At Kodizy, we believe that the design process is a collaboration that fuses our creative strengths with our client’s market expertise and vision to produce websites that deliver results.
Requirements Gathering and Analysis
Everything You Want To Know About Fruit. Fruits Vegetables, Weight Loss Recipes, Tropical, TreeHere we ask the big questions. Who is the target audience? What are the key features or content that draw people to the existing website? In what areas do you anticipate growth in the future? What systems will the future website need to interact with? Are there regulations and policies that need to be met? We also analyze your current processes to identify inefficiencies such as dual database entry and management, ecommerce processing, user management and content updating. From there, we brainstorm and consult with our clients to find ways to streamline, integrate or eliminate processes.
As a website (and an organization) is always changing, we also review where your website needs to be in the future and analyze what infrastructure and technology is required in order to lay the foundation for future growth and functionality.
Once requirements gathering and analysis is complete, we then create what is referred to as a ‘scope document’. The scope document is a detailed, itemized outline of each phase of development and provides clear documentation so that both Kodizy and our client are united as to the project’s goals, features, timeline and cost.
The kick-off meeting is when we bring everyone to the table to coordinate the upcoming project, discuss timelines, responsibilities, project management and reporting. It is also the time to begin coordinating the creation of the test website as well as gathering any and all assets that will be required, such as databases, new content, logos, etc.
Now the fun begins!
In this stage we begin the process of prototyping the website. This includes creating wireframes of the various page templates in order to determine the approximate layout of key elements such as navigation, search tools, social media links, primary and secondary content, etc.
We discuss colors, images and general style, as well as review comparable websites in your industry. We also look at your competitors to see what they may be doing right, and where opportunities could be found to exploit what they may be doing wrong.
From there we begin creating the initial layouts of the various pages. These involve:
Home page The focus of the page is to pull your audience in, guiding them quickly to key areas that tie-in with your stated goals. Think of the home page as a billboard where you have 3-5 seconds for your audience to know who you are, what you do, and where to go.
Landing pages These act as sub-home pages, providing a centralized location for organized content, and a simple “go to” location for your audience when it comes to information gathering and navigation.
Content pages Here the page is designed toward the most critical element of your website: your content. The content page is also designed to allow your audience to quickly access an action, whether that is contacting you for more information, purchasing a product or service, or registering for an event.
As with most websites, certain features are necessary for the client that goes beyond the capabilities of a standard CMS, whether that is direct database integration with an internal system, single sign-on capability, ecommerce reporting, user profile management, etc.
In this stage, feature-specific applications are designed and coded to meet project requirements.
This includes close coordination with our clients during the development and beta testing stages.
In this stage, we first conduct a content placement test, picking a sampling of pages, formatting them and reviewing their look-and-feel. Once the content template is approved, we begin a mass migration of all static (seldom changing) content from the old website, over to the new.
For dynamically changing content, such as news and events, content is gathered and migrated once the overall website is close to completion. This reduces or eliminates the need to track the content on each website prior to the new website going live.
Any and all new content, whether provided by the client, or created by Kodizy, is also placed at this time.
As the construction saying goes, measure twice, cut once. For website development, Kodizy performs in-depth testing during both during an alpha phase (internal testing), and beta phase (Kodizy and client testing) prior to a website going live. This includes cross-browser compatibility, content management, database integration, custom application development and more.
No one knows your business better than you do. In the beta testing phase, we work closely and collaboratively with our clients, running the various applications through their paces - sometimes in obscure combinations that only our clients, or their clients may know. From there, issues are located, documented and resolved.
Our goal is always to develop a website that can then be turned over to our clients, allowing them to manage the day-to-day operation of the website from then on. To do this takes a powerful, yet easy-to-use content management system, as well as comprehensive training.
During this stage, Kodizy performs the training necessary to hand over the wheel to our clients. This may include on-site training, remote training via web conference, or training at our facility which has the capacity to train up to 100 people at a given session.
In addition, we provide our clients with extensive online resources, including videos, on how to administer various functions on CMS systems such as DotNetNuke.
Promotion and Marketing
Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component to a website’s success. Though elements of SEO have been integrated throughout the design and development process, it is also during this stage that the final elements of SEO are implemented – both technical and non-technical.
The subject of SEO in the marketing world has resulted in a great deal of misinformation. While we don’t promote artificially manipulating the system, we do promote responsibly creating worthwhile content and implementing technical features in a manner that makes the website easy for users to find. In this endeavor, we work with our clients closely to implement an SEO plan for both the initial roll-out, and (more importantly) moving forward.
It is also during this stage, if applicable, that any new public relations campaigns are rolled-out, such as announcing the new website’s release, as well as laying out a plan for consistent and timely updating of new content for the website, including new product releases, service lines, project completions, new hires, upcoming events, testimonials, etc.
Our relationship with our client does not end when the website goes live.
Whether our clients need refresher training, a new custom feature, or they simply need a bit of advice, Kodizy provides immediate, on-going support and consulting services. In this, they talk directly to the person in our facility who knows the most about their specific question – whether that’s in design, coding, marketing, IT or SEO.