Web development is a field that is constantly evolving and being supplemented with something new. New technologies, trends, and, consequently, new approaches to solving various problems appear in it. Although the main stages of site development have changed little since the beginning of the 2000s, some conditionally new stages have appeared. All this is important to keep in mind to make the site easier to maintain in the future, and also to avoid situations where it has to be redone due to the fact that some new technology is not supported.
Next, we will consider what are the stages in web development in 2023, what new technologies are used, and in general what are the trends in modern website building.
The main stages of web development in 2023
In general, they have not changed much compared to previous years, but the principle of their implementation has changed. Next, we will analyze each stage in detail.
Stage 1: Problem statement
First, figure out why you need a website and what kind of functionality you want to implement on it. First of all, you decide which type to choose. If the site is needed for one or a small number of related products, then it is better to make a landing page. To sell several products, it is already better to create a multi-page online store.
The task setting may change somewhat in subsequent stages. However, the basis will remain in any case. For example, you need to sell goods, therefore, it was decided to create an online store with filters, menus, product cards, and more. However, in later steps, you may decide that the store doesn’t need filters or that the product cards need to be redone. Nevertheless, the correct statement of the problem will help to understand what to do next.
Stage 2: Formation of a unique offer
Uniqueness in 2022 is very important, but it’s not exactly what business owners and some webmasters think about. You can achieve 100% unique text on pages using several verification services, take author’s photos, outline your own icons and logos, but your site will not be unique from the visitor’s point of view. He has already seen these sentences and similar pictures on other sites, so there will be little sense from the fact that you made the text unique from the point of view of anti-plagiarism. The essence will remain approximately the same.
There are examples where standard icon packs and photos from stocks are used, but the site has a high conversion due to a unique offer. However, the task of a web developer is not in the formation of a unique offer, but in its technical implementation on the site. As a last resort, the developer advises marketers and business owners, as some unique features can be very difficult to implement on the site, and sometimes even undesirable.
Stage 3: Create a moodboard
This stage appeared not so long ago in the process of developing the site, but it greatly simplifies further development. The bottom line is that the team makes sketches of their ideas on a common board. For convenience, they are divided into several categories, but this is not necessary. This stage is the most important for marketers and designers. The developer here has more of an advisory function, although he can offer his own ideas.
Absolutely any idea can be added to the boards: screenshots of competitor sites, product photos, color blocks, icons, and so on. Then, based on it, it will be easier for the designer to create a prototype, and then a full-fledged website design. The developer will be ready to work, as he himself took part in the design stages.
Stage 4: Prototype development
At this stage, you need to schematically draw the pages of the site. This is not design. Just an approximate arrangement of blocks and elements. This step is often the responsibility of the designer, but it can be outsourced to a developer or marketer, as they sometimes have a better understanding of the order in which elements should be placed on the page. The prototype is made in the form of a black and white scheme (although no one forbids the use of colors). The most important thing is to show a more or less exact location of the elements that will need to be placed on the finished design.
There are many programs and services for rapid prototyping. They are either free or a subscription to them is inexpensive. Here are the most popular prototyping tools: Mockingbird, Figma, Pencil, HotGloo, MockFlow and so on. You can still use professional tools like Photoshop, but it will be more convenient to design in special services.
Some may think that creating a prototype is a waste of time and that it is better to start designing right away. This approach is already outdated and here are the reasons:
Difficulties with agreement. The client sees the location of blocks and elements on the site in one way, and you in another. This leads to difficulties and waste of time for additional approvals. In a prototype it is much easier to change the arrangement of elements, therefore, the development process will move faster.
It’s harder for a designer to work. It is much easier for a person to understand what they want from him when there is a detailed diagram in front of his eyes, where and how to arrange the elements. Having a ready-made prototype in hand, the designer only has to beautifully arrange all the elements.
Difficulties with modifications. It is much easier to make major changes to a sketchy prototype than to try to move blocks and elements in an already finished design. Often in this case, you have to “shovel” the entire design, and this is a big-time investment.
In 2022, all websites must be made with a prototype. It allows not only to avoid unnecessary edits, but also to immediately evaluate the convenience of pages in terms of UI / UX.
Stage 5: Design drawing
Actually, this is a standard development stage that has remained unchanged since the very birth of the web. Basically, only the tools for work changed. The stage of drawing or visual design includes:
- Selection and arrangement of fonts according to the layout;
- The choice and application of color design;
- Design of buttons, forms, blocks, galleries and so on;
- Thinking over animation and logic of interaction with objects.
Modern tools allow not only to draw a design, but also to bring some kind of interactivity into it. For example, you can show how this or that element will react when you click on it, what the button will be responsible for, and so on.
The only change that is now becoming popular at this stage is the principle of mobile first. According to this concept, the design for mobile devices is initially done, and then the design for desktops is already done. The fact is that most visitors to the site will access it from mobile devices.
At the stage of rendering the design, the web developer takes a minimal part. The maximum can make a remark if the designer does something too complicated for technical implementation.
Stage 6: Layout layout
Another trend for 2022-2023 is work with zero-code services. There is no need to be able to work with code, since everything happens in a visual editor, where site blocks are dragged and edited. If you develop a site using zero-code, then you can skip the 5th stage. True, the approach using designers, albeit very advanced ones, is justified only for small sites: landing pages, blogs, online stores. If you need to implement something non-standard, then zero-code tools will not suit you.
Stage 7: Adapting layout to CMS
Already laid out pages can be published on the Internet, but this cannot be called a full-fledged site. Such pages are difficult to manage – if you need to change something, you have to get into the code. To avoid this, the site needs to be adapted to the CMS system. It can be either written for the project itself or be a universal solution. Either a web programmer or a layout designer is responsible for adapting the finished layout.
For common CMS layouts are easy to adapt – all the necessary documentation is on official resources, there are also many guides in the public domain. Things are more complicated with CMS, individually written for a specific project.
After the site has been hosted on the CMS and published, the developer is only required to provide him with technical support: adding new pages, making adjustments to existing ones, working with the server side, and so on. The developer is not always responsible for this. The client can use the support of other specialists. Also, the site needs to be promoted – to carry out SEO optimization, add new content, adapt marketing and advertising campaigns. However, this is no longer the concern of the developer.
Features of website development in 2022
The steps to building a website haven’t changed much, but there are a lot of new concepts that developers need to follow in 2022.
Old browsers are not supported
Now you do not need to adapt your layout to old versions of browsers or to some rare web browsers. Internet Explorer is no longer used, and all other major browsers receive updates promptly. The developer no longer needs to think about where and what prefix to put in order for the site to open correctly in any browser. Modern versions practically do not require any additional adaptation.
TypeScript is gaining popularity
The rise of React.js
However, you should not refuse to study other frameworks. They also grow, albeit more slowly. Ideally, if the developer is able to interact with several popular tools. This will make it very easy for him to find a job.
Flexbox is trending
Now it needs to be taken into account when creating CSS markup. Thus, the use of Flex-elements allows you to get rid of the need to use “crutches” to adapt to different resolutions and window sizes. If you know how to work with CSS, learning to work with Flexbox will not be difficult. All the documentation is on the official website, and there are many master classes and explanations of various chips on the Internet.
Pseudo-elements become a must-have
Zero-code occupy their niche
Even 5 years ago, creating websites on the constructor was considered something not very good for both the developer and the customer. Now the functionality of the designers allows you to create sites of almost any complexity (in terms of page design). Zero-code tools will definitely occupy a serious niche in the market and will strengthen their positions.
However, the growth in the popularity of designers will be limited in the near future only to landing pages, business card sites, small blogs and online stores. A professional web developer should still be able to code, and not just drag and drop elements in the constructor.