We are a St. Louis digital marketing agency who specializes in website development. Our custom-built websites are engineered with precision to create a seamless front-end experience for your users. This means making sure that your site is functional, responsive and accessible to all.
Equally as important is making sure that your team is able to easily update and manage the back-end of your site. You should be able to quickly and easily make edits to your content without wanting to throw your laptop across the room in frustration. We do this by creating custom templates on WordPress that provide you with an easy-to-navigate user interface and virtually limitless plugin integrations. Simply put, we make website management easy.
What is Website Development?
Website development is the process of building a website which often includes technical tasks such as setting up hosting, configuring network security, creating a staging environment, and writing markup and programming language. Now before your eyes start to glaze over too much, we’ll break these tasks down into real human language:
- Hosting – This is the process of setting up your website on a server where files such as code, images, and content live. Similar to building a new home, you must first find a suitable plot of land before construction can start. The same goes for websites except that the plot of land is a web server.
- Network Security – This is the process of making sure that your website is secure and isn’t prone to data breaches. It’s basically like hiring an invisible squad of digital security guards to prevent unauthorized access, misuse, or theft.
- Staging Environment – This is essentially your website in its final form before it actually goes live. A staging environment allows us to enter content and deploy changes without it ever touching an end-user.
- Markup Language (HTML & XML) – This is a computer language that uses tags to define elements within a document. It’s readable by both humans and machines meaning that it uses standard words such as <head> and <body>.
- Programming Language (C++, Java, Perl, and PHP) – This language consists of a set of commands, instructions, and other syntax used to create a software program. This is usually what most people think of when they envision “code” which often looks like some kind of crazy gibberish or alien language.
Congrats you’re now a developer! Just kidding… If only it were that easy. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but at least now you have a better grasp on the basics. Think of it this way – the design is the blueprint or building instructions, then development is the process of putting all the pieces together to create the actual structure.
Our Website Development Process
Our goal is to help break down each phase of our website building process in a way that is easy to understand and digest. With that being said, development is usually the most challenging to break down due to its technical nature. We’ve done our best to outline each step in our process, but if any part below doesn’t make sense, we encourage you to reach out to us so that we can help provide further clarification.
We start with a “Discovery” phase which is where we’ll dig into your current website to unearth any technical issues and get a better understanding as to how it functions. We’ll follow up this research with a series of questions to help us further dig into these findings. During this process you can expect to receive technical recommendations as we uncover them. These are often recommendations for how to improve user experience and functionality via technical improvements that will be implemented later on during the development phase.
After the discovery phase, we move into design. This part of the process is led by our design team but includes check-ins with our other teams including the content, SEO and development teams. This collaboration allows us to make sure all our i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. In other words, we want to ensure that all aspects of site structure, accessibility and functionality are implemented from the start since it’s much easier to make changes up front rather than after-the-fact when everything has been hard-coded.
This is the part of the process where our development team slides on their headphones, queues up their favorite deep focus playlist and gets to work on the construction of your website. We want to let you know that it’s normal to experience limited interaction during this phase. You can expect a few timeline updates from our digital producers or clarifying questions from our development project manager, but that’s about it. This is usually when clients are encouraged to focus on content gathering so that we can transition smoothly into the content entry and testing phase.
Once the site has been built and the staging environment is open for business, we’ll then move into the content entry and testing phase. Our content team will transfer all your content from the folder system we set up during the content gathering phase to your new site. We’ll then do some internal testing to make sure everything is displaying and functioning properly. Last but not least, we’ll hand over the site to you for client testing. We want to make sure you have plenty of time to navigate through your new site and make note of any outstanding issues with the design, function or content. Once we’ve received your change requests, we’ll implement everything and move into the final stage – LAUNCH!
What Makes Our Website Development Services Different?
There are a million and one ways to develop a website. The decision of which method to choose and how to make it happen is the job of the development team. Your job is simply to choose a team that you want to hand over that responsibility to. Well, maybe simple isn’t the right word. We realize that there’s a lot of weight on that decision, which is why we’ve outlined exactly what sets us apart to help you decide if we’re the right tech nerds for the job.
Trust is the foundation of a successful partnership. We help to build this trust early on by providing transparency into our process and making sure that you receive the updates you need to feel confident in the progress of your site. Then we continue to build upon this trust by consistently delivering on our promises.
It may sound cliche, but communication truly is key. The dev process can be where clients feel the most “in the dark” if not properly informed. We make sure this doesn’t happen by always keeping you in the loop with important status updates. We’ll give you all the key points without diving too deep into any unnecessary details.
You know those people who love Sudoku puzzles and algebra equations? Well, that’s the type of people we have on our dev team – problem solvers. Computers and the internet are always updating which means that you need a team that’s able to adapt and respond efficiently to those updates. Our team is not only equipped with these necessary skills but they embrace challenges with open arms.
Matchbox helped us tweak and update different sections of the site, making it be the best that it could possibly be. The previous website didn’t show a secure connection when it came to making registrations or donations. Many people told us that they would not be registering or donating because of the security issue. The current website features secured registration and sponsorship areas, completely changing how people communicate with us. Matchbox is always willing to step up to the plate and add value wherever they can.