Web Development Life Cycle: Detailed Guide 2021

Developing a decent-sized website can take approximately 10-14 weeks. That's because the website development process includes many steps. It's important to be familiar with the website development lifecycle if you wish to launch a website that’s free from bugs and achieves business goals.

That’s why we decided to create this post and list out all the steps that are crucial to delivering a solid website. Let’s start by learning about the meaning of web development.

What's web development?

Web development is the process of building, creating, and maintaining a website in a way that achieves business objectives and delivers an optimal experience. While the 'web' represents a website, software, or solution that's powered by the internet, 'development' means building the same using design tools, frameworks, and programming languages.

A regular website is developed by using a handful of development languages and frontend technologies. Web development is generally broken down into:

Frontal end: This encompasses design, layout, interactivity, and everything that a user interacts with.

Back end: This encompasses everything going behind the scenes that make the website or software functional.

Web development life cycle

Below points will help you learn about the web development life cycle:

Initial insights: The process of developing a website starts from gathering intel from the client. It majorly includes:

  1. The purpose of developing the website
  2. Understanding the target audience.
  3. Inquiring about technology preferences
  4. Inquiring about the budget
  5. Core website features

This helps gather insights for the web development blueprint and defining initial guidelines. We will explain the same comprehensively in the next point!

Proposal creation: After gathering the initial insights and confirming feasibility, it's time to delve deeper and create a detailed proposal so that correct estimations can be made in terms of resource allocation, timeline, and project cost. Here are some crucial aspects of the proposal:

  1. Problem overview
  2. Solution overview
  3. Deliverables
  4. Features
  5. Processes
  6. Technology brief
  7. Costing

Once the detailed proposal is ready and the client gives the approval, it's time to commence the work.

Web design: After noting down all the development aspects in the proposal, the next step of the web development life cycle is to kickstart the design process. Creative UI and UX designers work together to create wireframes and design mockups while keeping in mind the target audience, brand identity, and client inputs.


Mockups are shared with the client for feedback and changes are made as per recommendations. On approval, the final designs are created. In case you didn't realize, this is a very important part of the web development lifecycle.

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Development: This phase of web development is all about developing the core structure and mechanics of the website. Client-side and server-side development is accomplished in this stage of the web development life cycle. In complex websites being built from scratch, this phase of the web development life cycle consumes maximum time.

That’s because every capability - reviews, shopping cart, search, etc. - requires a unique module, and building the same using wireframes and custom coding requires both time and effort. The lengthier this phase, the bigger is the overall project cost!

Content creation: All of us know that content is king. If you are unable to communicate with your audience through engaging and fresh content, then, fancy design and cutting-edge features of your website can achieve little in terms of sales, traffic, subscriptions, and profits.

Content creation can be an About Us page, one-liners, product descriptions, policy pages, button labels, and everything else that’s majorly textual in nature. A lot of companies don’t include this step in their web development lifecycle. However, top web design and development firms do support their clients with content.

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Testing and enhancements: After the website is operational, it’s time to test if everything is working as it’s supposed to. In this stage, a variety of manual and automated tests are conducted to identify:

  1. Bugs through the unit and stress testing
  2. Performance errors through functionality testing
  3. Security loopholes
  4. Readability, grammar errors, and typos
  5. Compatibility, UX, and UI glitches 

Some web development firms also check the website for SEO gaps to make sure that the client gains search mileage in the long run.

Once all tests give a green signal, it's time to move on!

Deployment and support: During the initial stages of the web development life cycle, all the files are hosted with the development firm, and the client sees everything either through a guest login or in static files.

In this stage, the website is moved to the client's servers and the site keys (read passwords and files) are handed over. This is critical because a lot of business owners are not tech-savvy enough to make the transition on their own.

Just like homes require regular maintenance, websites also require consistent support to:

Update plugins and resolve new bugs

Integrate new features

Undertake design tweaks

That’s why support is a crucial part of the web development life cycle!

Most web development lifecycles on the internet wrap up after deployment and support but we feel that it’s worth mentioning another aspect that’s crucial for success.

And that’s:

Marketing: If your partner web development firm has done the job right, your amazing website is ready. But the website won’t bring the dollars on its own.

Your next job is to create awareness about your website to bring in traffic. And that’s almost impossible without the right offline and online marketing tactics. Here are a couple of ideas to work with:

  1. Invest in social media to boost visibility on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other popular platforms.
  2. SEO will help boost visibility for your top priority keywords.
  3. Invest in content creation and marketing to attract relevant traffic
  4. Email marketing will help connect with existing customers
  5. Spend on offline advertising options like media coverage and media feature
  6. Spend on online advertising like PPC and Google Ads Network 

Deploying the right marketing strategies will definitely bring out the best from your website design and development endeavors. 

Web development process: Wrapup

Understanding the web development process greatly helps business owners and entrepreneurs make sure that their websites are developed in the right manner. In case your shortlisted development firm is not aware of these steps, then, perhaps it’s time to keep looking!

We hope that our blog helped you learn the critical aspects of the web development lifecycle. Planning to launch a new online business soon? Schedule a free consultation with a senior web developer to discuss your goals.

Have questions in mind about web development lifecycle? Drop them in the comments to get a quick reply from industry experts.