In any field, what works for one person or task won’t necessarily work for others. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, especially when the job requires creativity and innovation. Web development and design are no different.
What Does a Typical Web Development Process Look Like?
Web development starts with understanding what the client needs. Developers and designers assess how they can provide digital solutions and improve the performance of their customers.
Once expectations are set, the team proceeds to conduct research and construct wireframes for initial approval. Web design and programming follow.
During development, it is ideal for programmers to show staging sites or demo versions of web pages and features to get feedback. This is on top of final quality assessments before the launch.
After the website goes live, the dev team sticks around for testing and maintenance.
Although it looks simple, developers and designers are usually on their toes because there’s a lot that can happen between planning and launching a website. Technology updates, changes in consumer behavior, and client feedback often call for unexpected revisions.
Why Use a Web Development Methodology
To minimize surprises, professional developers apply web development methodologies. Whether you’re developing a website yourself or hiring someone to do it, you must be familiar with common frameworks to get optimal results.
A web development methodology adds structure to website creation. It describes the life cycle of the web development process to smoothen the workflow and meet project deadlines every time. Other advantages include:
Using the right web development methodology promotes efficiency as it identifies and prioritizes project goals early on in development. That means no one will be wasting time on irrelevant details, and the whole team works with the same goal in mind.
This is especially important for projects that require a strict sequential delivery of features. With the timeline laid out, developers can proceed smoothly without having to wait on someone else’s work.
Web development methodologies play a vital role in keeping everyone up-to-speed. They’re convenient blueprints referenced to monitor progress.
For developers, it’s also a way to encourage collaboration and accountability. Meanwhile, for clients, it helps in understanding what’s going on without being knowledgeable on the technical aspects of coding and design. The result is a more engaged and satisfied customer.
Improving project visibility and predictability also minimizes risk. Contingency planning is easier because project managers have a better view of the team’s performance and the status of the work in progress.
Faster Turnaround Time
The greater level of transparency and efficiency ultimately makes for faster turnaround times. Developers who adhere to and continuously improve their workflow are more likely to deliver outputs on time—sometimes even before the deadline.
Higher Product Quality
Web development methodologies that are applied appropriately yield higher quality products. The point of any approach is to give the workflow a sense of direction and prevent sloppy craftsmanship. Different methodologies accomplish this in varying ways.
What’s crucial is knowing which methodology to use and how to integrate it properly to maximize its benefits.
Which Web Development Methodology Should You Use?
There are several web development methodologies, each with its own set of pros and cons. Choosing the right one depends on project requirements, the size of your team, your goals, available resources, and your timeline, among others.
Below are some of the most popular web development methodologies.
The Waterfall Model is the most traditional and one of the earliest methodologies devised. It’s called “waterfall” because it requires the completion of preceding phases before developers can move on to the next. In other words, it follows a linear workflow.
There’s a lot of planning and documentation involved to make sure the process won’t stagnate, so it usually takes a lot of time before the project is started. It does, however, make it easier to control product quality since each phase is assessed right after it’s done.
The Waterfall methodology is best for small projects with well-defined requirements and scope. Novice developers adopt this method because it’s straightforward.
The main drawback of the model is it lacks flexibility. If you happen to spot an error in the middle of development, you’re more or less bound to restart the entire process.
Agile web development addresses the shortcomings of the Waterfall methodology. It’s designed to give developers the flexibility to make frequent alterations throughout the project in light of new information.
Instead of the sequential delivery of outputs, Agile development allows the team to accomplish tasks in bits and stages with no particular order. Hence, developers get to focus on deliverables that require urgent attention and accommodate dynamic requests.
This method is popular because it fast-tracks web development and emphasizes the importance of client feedback. The constant communication between developers and customers ensures that the end-product is custom-made to fit their needs.
Agile web development is perfect for website orders that aren’t fully fleshed-out and are targeted for quick release. Its complicated nature means only experienced developers execute this type of development process effectively. Moreover, the method isn’t very keen on documentation.
While Waterfall is great for one-off projects, web development agencies switch to Agile for clients with on-going needs.
Scrum is a specific way of implementing the Agile approach. In this methodology, teams are self-managed and collaborate heavily. It also supports developers to make quick changes in response to variable demands.
Projects are broken down into smaller goals that are worked on in short sprints. Unlike Agile development, it incorporates more traditional principles as it requires frequent meetings for demos, feedback, and progress reports.
Scrum is good for small, fast-moving projects. For it to succeed, you need a sizeable team with skilled members who are capable of working without much supervision.
Extreme Programming (XP) is another subset of the Agile methodology. It relies on adaptive programming, communication, and feedback. Typically, sprints restart within one to three weeks and end with testing.
XP highlights core values like simplicity, consistency, responsibility, and collaboration to improve team efficiency. The main goal is to reduce costs by rolling out products fast and not spending too much time on documentation.
While the model upholds high coding standards, it is critiqued for giving little attention to web design. The lack of documentation also makes bugs more likely to reoccur.
Lean programming is all about efficiency and testing. This methodology is inspired by assembly-line production in manufacturing, where the objective is to reduce waste and save time.
To accelerate web development, it zooms in on key milestones. Developers use these basic features to launch a small version of the website, which is then improved through progressive testing, analysis, and iterations.
The greatest advantage of this methodology is it makes it easy for developers to scale up websites as needed. Unfortunately, it only works with web developers and designers with advanced technical skills.
With a variety of web development methodologies, there are plenty of considerations to make. The nature of your project, your budget, and your objectives are good starting points to come up with the right decision.
You should bear in mind, though, that none of these models are foolproof. The landscape is forever changing, and continuous improvements are required to stay competitive and relevant.
Hire a Professional Team of Web Developers for Your Website
Get the most out of your investment by working with a professional team of web developers and designers. At DevWerkz, we go beyond planning and execution. Contact us today.