A website can be a computer program now. You can make an application to do literally anything you want: from word processing, to inventory management, to advertising your brand; the sky is the limit. And, a 'website' does not necessarily have to be online. You can have a local HTML document run on your machine privately, to do things for your business.
This is arguably the most important part of the process: and it is the hardest. You have to look ahead: how much time do you have to produce this site? What is your budget? What goals are you trying to achieve? These are the questions you have to answer.
In the engineering phase, you should plan out what code needs to be produced to create your site, what sections you want in play, and what back end structure needs to be in place. It is also in this phase that you should design you user interface (the way that the user will interact with your website) because the user interface can have a massive affect the way that the design of your site unfolds.
This is the meat and potatoes of this process: this is where you take your engineering plan do actualize your concept, and execute it. There are lots of different tools to do this, or you can choose to produce the site by producing computer code. There are pros and cons all of the approaches, and you should pick the one that you feel is the best for you.
Some advice: everyone thinks that the tool they use is the best. But every tool has its drawbacks, and you should know what the drawbacks are. A website boils down to the code that runs it. Even with tools, you are using the tools to produce code through some sort of interface. The tool will leave its mark on the code, and that produces inefficiencies and limitations.
Also, you should be wary of 'drag and drop' tools. They may make the page look good on the device you're using, but please remember that you want your website to look good on all devices. The 'correct' way to do this is to make good design decisions based on the layout principles laid out in the HTML standard, and then use something called media queries to make the adjustments you desire. This process can be very easy if you have made good design decisions when you produced your website.
After your website is produced, you need to publish it. This is the point where you have to get the domain name for your site, find a server to host it on, and purchase any SSL certificates. After you've acquired those, you can copy your site to the server you've rented. If you have used a tool, your tool may or may not assist you in this process. No special tool is absolutely required, though. It comes down to a copy and paste.
Depending on the tools you used to produce your site, this process may be very easy: but there are more technical steps that you can go through to improve the performance of your site (like compression and server-management) that a tool may glaze over or not address at all. Your server account may or may not let you address these issues. Before you sign up for any account with any service, research, research, research.
This will be the most frustrating and hardest part of the experience. My advice is be patient, and know for a fact that you will come through it. After producing and publishing a website, there are bound to be bugs (unexpected behaviors in the program). The list will be finite (meaning it will have an end). The only way to find them is through testing, and they should be addressed as they arrise. Web Apps Actualized warrants their programs for bugs for 1 year, although any bugs in our programs should be found and address in a week or two.
This is the part where you start to drive traffic to your site; it is not optional; a website that just sits there is going to do just that:sit there. There are three options.
First, you can promote it by going around social media and sharing links to your site. You should do this no matter what, even if you choose to do other promotion. You might not think it would be effective, but you will be building the back links for your site.
Second, you can install a way on your site to publish content that has to do with the key words your are trying to target. This is the long game. As you produce more content (original and varied) you will be building your reputation with the search engines. This is the most effective thing you can do in the long run to help you rank on search engines.
Lastly, there is paid advertisement. There is a lot of perks to doing paid advertisement: It happens with very little extra time investment. It can guarantee traffic to your site. Paid advertisement can even add clout to your brand (when a user sees it, they see you have money enough to advertise). What are the downsides? A: it costs money, and B: when you stop paying for it, the results will stop.
Only you know what is best for your site, and your situation... but the best thing to do would be to do a little of all of it.
After all of the other steps, you get to the management and operation of your website. If it's an e-commerce site, you'll be making money from it. If you are using a site for an advertisement, you'll be gaining leads. If you're using a site to proliferate your message, you'll be proselytizing all over the world! Things can happen, though, so be prepared.
Security is a real issue, that you should analyze. On a long enough time line, if your site is successful, it is bound to get attacked. Be prepared to react, and to take measures to both mitigate your future risk and stop the current attack.
Also, there are bugs that can arise in the operation of a website or web service. Someone needs to be in charge of hunting these bugs down and stopping them.
These are the steps from start to finish for publishing a website. After you have it running, you'll surely want to update your site at some point or another, and the update process will basically go through all of these steps again. You've got this! You can do it! And if you need help, Web Apps Actualized is here.
WebDev Suite (in house) - Microsoft Paint - Microsoft Paint 3d - Apache Open Office Draw - Microsoft Windows - Guitar Pro 6 - Stack Overflow - W3Schools - PHP.net - Web Browsers (Mostly Chrome) - Apache XAMPP - Git - Cmake - Brotli Compression - JShrink Minifier Combined with Rodrigo54 Minifier - cwebp