Scroll down to see the stages of my development process and some of the tools I use. I like to think I have an open mind and I'm always keen to learn new ways of streamlining this.
Google Docs allows multiple people to work on the same document so it's a great place to gather information, draft a sitemap and start working on content. Establishing the purpose of the website and its target audience should be done at this early stage. Thought should also be given as to whether a CMS will be required.
Pinterest is a great place to discover, bookmark and share images related to your project. Other great sources for royalty free imagery include Unsplash together with Pexels and Pixabay both of which also feature video content. Finding the correct images for your target audience is time consuming but vitaly important if you want to properly engage your customers.
Once the websites purpose, scope and sitemap have been defined we can start with the design. Figma is a collaborative interface design tool which is great for rapid prototyping. It runs in the browser and can be used on any operating system.
Having used Photoshop for most of my career I found it easy to transition to this open source image manipulation software. Image optimisation and compression are vital when designing a fast, responsive website. Adaptive image selection (using srcset) can help reduce bandwidth and vastly improve page load speed on mobile devices.
Often the last step in the development process, it is essential to add analytics to your website in order to guage how well it performs. Google Analytics also provides invaluable data about your visitors age, device, location, gender and even their interests. I've been using Google Analytics to analyse traffic and produce management reports since it launched in 2005.