As you have learned, the pre-production phase is the all-important preliminary phase of website development (see Figure 4-7). The pre-production phase includes making initial contact with your client, assessing the client's needs, and developing ideas to best present the client to the world. During the pre-production phase, you determine a budget and schedule, collect and organize the functional requirements of the website, configure a project flow chart, develop a proposal, and sign a contract with the client. When this is accomplished, the production phase can begin (see Figure 4-8).
Figure 4-7 The Pre-Production Phase
Figure 4-8 The Production Phase
After the proposal to your client is accepted, you are ready to begin the production phase. With the extensive planning in the pre-production phase, the production phase should flow smoothly, with a minimum of backtracking or unnecessary work. Chapters 5-9 covers this phase.
The final aspect of website development is the post-production phase, which involves testing the site, making it live, and advertising it. See Figure 4-9.
Figure 4-9 The Post-Production Phase
A site must be thoroughly tested by several individuals to ensure that it is free of errors, broken links, or operational deficiencies. All the text in the site must be proofread. Each element and link should be tested in both Windows and Macintosh platforms using multiple versions of each browser. At this point, feedback from the testing phase will result in the need to make modifications to the website. The site is then uploaded to a server, tested, and retested. Finally, the site's pages are indexed to search engines such as AltaVista, Lycos, or Yahoo!. Other marketing strategies, including banner advertising, link sharing, and cobranding are employed to draw users to the site. Chapters 10 and 11 discuss the post-production phase.