Web portal development is becoming more popular with companies looking to provide information and resources to users in one online space. Web portals can include travel portals, e-commerce websites, real estate website, job listing websites, healthcare websites, and financial services websites. They are a great way to improve customer services while maintaining control over and security for the company data. When you are starting to think about a software project, it helps to organize your thoughts around the stages that the project will go through. Here is our process to guide you on your next software project.
Web Portal Development Steps
When working on any software project with either a dedicated outsource team or an inhouse team, success can be tied to how the project is organized and managed. Even the best developers and designers will have a hard time working in a structure that is always changing and where there is a lack of communication.
Stage 1: Project Management
The first stage of software development starts with client interviews to determine goals and expectations on both sides. This can include past successes and failures. It provides the information to determine the scope of the project and so the project manager is able to set deadlines and organize resources needed for the project.
Stage 2: Business Analysis
Once the general goals of the project are determined, we start to look at the specific business goals of the company and how the software will fit into that. A perfectly functioning web portal that doesn’t meet the business goals can still be considered a failure. Making sure that everyone is on the same page with business goals helps to make sure that nothing is overlooked or left out on the project.
Stage 3: Systems Analysis
This stage looks at the current software architecture and decides what will need to be changed or upgraded in order for the new web portal to be successful. We will examine the server requirements and make sure that the development isn’t held back by the platform it is hosted on. This stage can also include making sure the development team includes all the people and skillsets that are needed on the project.
Stage 4: Design
Once the requirements are set, then the design team can start with prototypes and wireframes. This can include changes to the company branding if our client would like to update their branding at the same time their web portal is being developed. At regular intervals, we check the design and layout with what the client wants. We are focused on meeting the look the client wants, with the function that the end-user needs.
Stage 5: Build
Our dedicated development teams start to build on the structure that the design team has set. It puts the meat on the bones. Since we have already set the pages and the functions on each page, the building has everything they need to start building without too many distractions. Of course, there will be iterations and changes, there always are. Our experienced teams expect them and welcome suggestions. With the core structure and design in place, it gives time to focus on making the prototype exactly as it is laid out.
Stage 6: Test
Once we have a development portal working, we can hand it over to our QA testing team. They will make sure that everything works as expected. With edits and changes being made, there are always links or functions that get overlooked. Our dedicated teams make sure it is working perfectly before it is handed over to the client for user testing.
Stage 7: Deployment
So we have done a lot of work to get to this stage. It seems like it would be simple to just hand over the software and everything is done. But the testing continues even once the web portal is under the control of the client. With the web portal deployed, we also make sure there is a complete user guide that provides comprehensive documentation for all functions and users. This can also include explainer videos and one-on-one training if needed by the client. After all, there is always a training period for staff and end-users where everyone gets to be familiar with the new web portal.
Stage 8: Maintenance
Since we have taken care of all the other stages, the maintenance is less about fixing something that was broken, and more about making sure it functions properly for all users at all stages. We provide teams that can answer your users’ technical questions while making sure everything is running as it is designed to. Often this will bring up enhancements or features for the next phase of development.
Web portal development starts long before we write the first line of code and extends past when it is finally launched. The quality of the preparation stages affects the subsequent stages and can impact the productivity and effectiveness of the development cycle. A deep discovery stage will help determine your ideal audience and match the design and development to meet their needs. Even after the app has launched, your project should be flexible enough to be handed over to someone on staff to manage without too much explanation. Each stage has its own value and builds on the stages before, and prepares for development at the next stage. With everything taken into account, we deliver a mobile app that excites the clients, while solving problems for the end-user.
WebCreek specializes in custom web portal development for our clients presenting their data in beautiful and functional ways. Let’s talk about your next big idea.