Different segments of Website Design:
Gathering required information: This phase of entire website design seems to be of prime importance, here design from each aspects of business should be considered, even collecting information such as purpose of website, target audience, goal to achieve, and end users browsing habits so on.
Planning: Planning is one of the most important phase of website development. In this phase of website design, all you have to prepare a plan by analyzing data collected under segment one. User navigation, search engine friendly, easy to navigate web design and its compatibility across various platforms to be considered. During this phase a website designers should be consulted to get better idea of what technologies to be implemented. Some of elements such as interactive forms, ecommerce, flash and so on to be considered.
Designing: Once after planning for how a website should look by analyzing various collected information, a website designer will try to provide you with two to three different prototype design for your website in JPG format. Here all you have to do is to select one which better suits you or you can even ask for some minor changes in any of selected prototype design to start with your actual designing process.
Development: It is this stage where actual designing and development process begins. Once after selection of prototype to work on, your website designer will start to create a functional site by first getting your home page ready, even some of elements such as interactive contact forms, flash animations or ecommerce shopping carts are all implemented at this stage. Some of may even involve in writing of XHTML / CSS code that seems to be must nowadays.
Testing: At this stage of website designing, you designer has already designed and developed your website as per your needs. Here they will try to check the functioning of various elements such as contact us form, other scripts, and ecommerce shopping carts. Further W3C validation of codes is also to done to make sure to achieve cross browser compatibility. Even testing in different web browser such as Firefox, chrome, IE and safari is to be done.
At last but not least there comes the stage of maintenance, a web designer should always make sure to regular check the functionality of entire website for utmost performance. Knowing all this will help you to better judge the work done and further will help you to get prepared for possible discussion with your designers.