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When designing a website, how do you usually start?

What sequence shall one follow when he is developing a website. For e.g. shall i first finish all the basic structure of the website, then HTML embedded PHP and when the whole thing is working, then add style to it and add interactivity using CSS/Javascript or if i apply all the things at one to a particular page and then move on to the next page development?

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marked as duplicate by paulmorriss, John Conde Nov 14 '11 at 4:22

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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I start with the purpose and the data. What do we collect, what do we output and how do we manipulate and store that in between. Is there user input, customer input or just myself maintaining a static site. That is the basics.

From there I create a set of test data. Some Ipsum Lorum text and imaginary users and design my database.

Once I know what data I have to display, I can begin to design the display. Some people like to photoshop this part. I like to do it natively in HTML with just minimal graphics cause that's just my preference. I will also draw up from HTML forms for the input side, user login and such. They'll be no backend at this stage. I have my database and the front end designs.

Now I take screen shots of the design and present them to the client. They usually have a few small modification to make at this stage. This is to be expected. Usually it's noting difficult to do since your just tweaking html pages. I often make the changes on the fly at the client meeting if they are easy changes.

When the client is happy with the designs, I'll start of the back end. Connecting the forms and display pages to the database. I generally code in php plus javascript so this work can usually be done quite quickly. I will built the site in a progressive way. I start with the main display pages. What the end user sees. And build that first before I do the admin and other pages. If it's a shopping site then I'll build the shopping cart pages first then the product pages. When a set of pages are finished I show screenshot to the client. I only show screenshot cause I don't want them clicking on some part that isn't yet finished and getting an error page.

The last part I do is the admin pages for the customer to control the site. If I'm controlling the site, I might skimp on this and just make to with phpmyadmin to make changes. When everything's finished I let the customer play on the local version of the site. If they are satisfied, I'll upload to the server.

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Older question

very good response to that question there. also definitely worth more than one read.

personally i would favor an "extreme programming" approach to website design, which means start small, add features/designs incrementally. It's fairly easy to change things when you realize you don't like them as much as you thought you would rather than do the whole design up front, write the php, html and css, and then realize you don't like the html stuff. now unfortunately i don't know what kind of website you want to build, but for a content website i would start with the main content part, throw a bit of content up there, see how it looks, change the design, throw a navigation on it, see how that looks, etc. etc.

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Most of my clients can't or wouldn't understand technical stuff like setting up CMS'es or programming some features into it. So I need to come up regularly with something presentational they can see and have an emotion to. So if it's for business, you may start with the layout (not a full HTML-Template but rather an image).

Otherwise (if it's not for business but private/university-projects) I mostly start off by thinking about, what do I want to achieve, what my target group is (well, those question are really important for business too), without thinking about how I do want to present it. Based on such questions I decide first what technology/existing software I should use (a CMS—or start from scratch [maybe using any framework]). If I need to store more than just a few page and comments to them, then I start off by creating a database-structure, where everything else will be build upon (some frameworks even allow the code-creation from SQL-structures). Client-side interactivity and fancy CSS-effects is the least thing I implement, since my websites should also work without using JavaScript and the CSS should degrade gracefully (but as stated above, this is the important thing for my clients).

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i have been seeing this quite often in replies.. what is CMS,or framework.. and what i really need to know is, for example if i have to make facebook(say) then, i started with the databases(MYSQL) and made all the possible things that i have to store in it. then i turned to making the say the index page. which shows a sign up option/login option. now shall i just start with coding PHP for signing up the page. and leave all the logos and images that are there on the page for later? so that my website at the start will look just like a skeleton..and later i add all the colors and image –  Kraken Jul 21 '11 at 10:18
    
so i add all the coding, server side, for al the pages, link them together and afetr that i style my pages. –  Kraken Jul 21 '11 at 10:22
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I don't know what "logos and images" has to do with PHP-programming. Please Google around for getting an understanding of what terms like CMS or framework could mean. Then try to learn the difference between server-side and client-side programming and the difference between programming and markup… You also should have read the answer to the question linked by xyious or paulmorriss. The come again and ask a clear question. –  feeela Jul 21 '11 at 10:37
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