4 Critical Phases to Build a Better Website


Web development teammates collaborating

Something with your website isn’t right.

It’s likely not doing one of three things as well as you want:

  • Meeting your customers’ needs

  • Helping you reach business goals (e.g., converting more prospects)

  • Supporting critical internal processes

Whatever the case, you need a fix. But solving website woes involves development—a scary term you imagine will quickly spiral out of control with its complexity. Your team can’t afford to waste time or money in an effort that may ultimately prove fruitless.

Relax. Building a better website is easier than you think—if you get four critical development phases right. Your website will:

  • Be high performing and fulfill needs

  • Provide lasting value that increases over time

  • Offer a great user experience

Let’s explore the 4 critical phases to build a better website.

Phase 1: Discovery and Strategy

Why it’s important: Strategy and context are paramount to any website project’s success. By establishing clarity from the beginning, teams are aligned, and work is more efficient.
Desired outcome: The project team gains a deep understanding of audience needs, functional and technical requirements, existing technology systems, and overall goals.

Too often website development projects dart off without considering needs and existing technology first. When you are starting to build a better website, outline:

  • Audience needs (prospects and customers)

  • Functional and technical requirements

  • Integration with existing technology

  • Business objectives

What happens during the discovery and strategy phase?

We host kick-off meetings and stakeholder workshops to align stakeholders on a vision and determine measures for success.

We examine the current standing of your website, looking at both:

  • Existing technical architecture (including integration discovery and planning)

  • Online visibility (SEO and technical audits)

Preliminary exercises important for later phases such as wireframing, site map planning, and buyer journey mapping may also be included.

Phase 2: Branding and Design

Why it’s important: Effective branding and design differentiates your brand in a crowded marketplace and lifts you above competitors.
Desired outcome: Your website has great design and messaging that resonates with your target audience.

Your website is your most important digital real estate. As such, it’s imperative your brand is well represented online.

If your website has engaging, user-friendly design and compelling messaging, that differentiates your brand in the marketplace, effectively showcasing your unique value to customers and prospects.

What happens during the branding and design phase?

During this stage, we’re typically refreshing design found on a website by either adopting existing brand standards or evolving those standards to better meet your target audience’s needs.

Depending on the maturity of your brand development, we commonly help clients with these services:

  • Competitor research

  • Persona research and development

  • Brand identity and messaging

  • Brand design refresh (mood boards, graphic standards, and core assets)

  • Website design (including user interface updates)

Phase 3: Content Marketing and SEO

Why it’s important: Content fuels marketing. Effective content marketing and SEO improves awareness, drives conversions, and positions your brand as a market leader.
Desired outcome: Your website is highly visible to prospects and filled with content that builds and sustains momentum throughout the buyer’s journey.

Content marketing shouldn’t be an afterthought in website development projects. Content serves a prominent role in the health of your website—attracting visitors, improving awareness, and driving sales.

What happens during the content marketing and SEO phase?

In this phase, our senior team of content strategists and copywriters examines existing content and develops new assets based on your goals. To improve online visibility and website traffic, we’ll audit your current SEO standing and craft an improvement strategy.  

Typically, you can expect these services:

See how we optimized SEO for InfinityQS, a leading SaaS brand. Our work increased organic traffic by 60%.

Learn More About This Project

Phase 4: Technical Development

Why it’s important: Your website is only as good as the infrastructure that supports it. Providing great digital experiences for your users requires a thoughtful, needs-based application of technology solutions.
Desired outcome: Your website is high performing and loved by visitors—both internally and externally. Because we follow best practices you get a website that’s scalable, adaptable, secure, and easy to use.

If you establish a strong foundation in the discovery and strategy phase, the technical development phase becomes much easier.

And with Refactored as your partner, you’ll benefit from our deep experience in several leading marketing technology solutions. That includes:

  • Content Management System (CMS): Storyblok, Kentico, WordPress, and more

  • Marketing Automation: HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Association Management Solutions (AMS): Salesforce, Fonteva, Protech, and MemberSuite

  • Website Analytics and Measurement: Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Mouseflow, Hotjar, Microsoft Clarity, and more

What happens during the technical development phase?

Often, we’re building a new website or integrating new best-of-breed marketing technology to meet your needs and usability requirements.

At Refactored, we follow a defined website development process to ensure any work on your website matches expectations and delivers superior results.

Discover how you can take back control of your technology through our award-winning approach to website development.

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What happens if I skip a phase?

Look, we all love shortcuts, even if they seem harmless. But shortcuts come at a cost. For website development, this likely isn’t a cost you’re willing to pay.

So don’t skip—or skimp—on the phases above. We can almost guarantee this will cost you more money, waste more time, and distract you from work that will improve other areas of your business.

There’s also a hidden, yet crucial, benefit to working through these phases. Each project within a major phase can act as a force multiplier, increasing your efficiency and accelerating the time it takes to complete later tasks.

Build a better website with Refactored

Your business has unique needs, and any website project should account for those.

By partnering with Refactored to build a better website, you’ll get the right solutions for current needs, and be in a great position to scale and adapt in the future.

We believe any website development or enhancement should be done with precision and follow best practices.

Your business depends on a high-functioning website, see how we can help you reach your goals—contact us for a free needs assessment.