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5 steps to creating your website

Here are the 5 fundamental steps to creating your website or making changes to an existing one: strategic planning, design, production, launch, operations.

Here are the 5 fundamental steps to either create a new website or make changes to an existing one:

  1. Strategic planning: pinpoint your business's needs
  2. Design: establish concrete parameters on which to base the production book
  3. Production: take care of technical and artistic development
  4. Launch: deploy, launch and promote
  5. Exploitation: measure results, update and optimize

Startegic planning

Strategic planning is when you find answers to all the questions you have regarding your website. Determining your needs and defining your objectives will help you make sure your business is ready to support your project by investing both the time and money needed.

What are your objectives?

  • What is the purpose of your website? Sell? Serve? Inform?
  • How does the website fit in with your business strategy?
  • Do you know who will visit your site? Do you know how to attract them to your site?
  • Is your site relevant to your users? Does it meet their needs? Which ones?
  • What content will you add to the site?
  • What is your budget for the project?
  • What is the expected return on your investment?

The last part of the strategic planning step is writing your website's project specification. It states the needs that must be met by the solutions put forth and helps suppliers establish output assessment. Based on the project specification, the work team will develop and validate your website's concept, look and functions prior to the production phase.


The design phase is a time to brainstorm to determine what needs to be said and how it should be said. The creative input must be in line with the strategy and always be approved by the production team.

  • Structure the tree graph: Create a general tree graph to determine content needs and get a visual overview of the site.
  • Classify contents: Do a content inventory and decide which content goes where.
  • Prepare a synopsis and list required functions: Create a document stating everything the site must do for your visitors.
  • Create functional wireframes: Identify everything that must appear on the main screens from which visitors will navigate your site.
  • Establish norms: Determine graphic norms, structure the database and list selected keywords.
  • Determine a timeline: Schedule important dates and timeframes to monitor the project throughout.


The production step is when the concepts set out in the project specification come to life.

  • Content: Gather all existing multimedia content to be used on the site. Write or adapt that content for web and follow strategic recommendations regarding keywords and their location.
  • Interface design: Create prototypes that will become the site's final interface.
  • Programming: Choose a programming language familiar to most programmers.
  • Quality assurance: List all the problems and test the functions.
  • Timeline: The steps of a web project are interrelated. Any delay at any point throughout the process has a direct impact on the following step.


Make the last verifications before you launch your site to make sure that what you put online complies with what was validated. Keep in mind that minor corrections can always be made after the launch.

Give your site the exposure it deserves. After all, it's your new branch. Besides the more traditional advertising methods (public relations, communications, promotions and marketing), there are countless ways that use the web and that will make your site visible, resulting in more quality traffic:

  • Email newsletter: advertise the launch in your newsletter
  • Online public relations: contact influencers, bloggers, forums, etc.
  • Register in electronic directories and search engines
  • Banner campaigns
  • Purchase of adwords

Site operations

Operating the site is the final step. Unlike a brochure, the finished site has to be updated, and you have to determine who will do that. To properly evaluate the project, the designated person will measure results based on initial objectives.

Let 2 to 6 months pass before you start interpreting statistics. At that point, you'll be able to assess how much traffic each marketing action generated on your site.

You can refer to the guide on the best web practices developed in collaboration with Alliance numérique: Guide des meilleures pratiques Web (in French only, PDF, 2.4 MB).

If one of your objectives is to sell online in order to expand your sales territory, increase your profit margin and remain competitive in your market, Desjardins offers permanent and secure solutions to meet all your e-commerce needs.

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