A well-developed website is a necessary element for a successful company. Users can learn a lot about a company based on their website. Within a few minutes of viewing a site, a basic opinion of the company can be developed. Therefore, it is important to correctly deploy your website. Deploying a website is the process of publishing website content to the Internet. Although this seems like a simple task, it can be a detailed process. There are many options for how to go about website deployment.
Table of Contents
Before a site deployment, the site must be properly developed. There are six phases of website development. The first phase, information gathering, consists of understanding the goals and purpose for the website. This is the most time consuming phase, but a very important one. It is necessary to understand the needs of your company.
The second phase, planning, focuses on creating a schedule for all of the tasks needed to be completed for the website. Designing, the third and most creative phase, centers on putting your company’s personal touches on it. You want to ensure the website complements the company’s needs and taste. Development, phase four, is when you create the actual website. All of the work from before will be used to develop the site.
Phase five, testing and delivery, is a crucial phase. It ensures the website works correctly and there are no errors. The last phase is maintenance which focuses on keeping the website design and content up to date. Once all of these steps are taken, the site is ready for deployment.
Static vs Dynamic Website
Before deploying websites, it is necessary to know the difference between a static and dynamic website. Static websites are sites that remain constant to all users. The information on the site stays the same for every user. Unlike static websites, dynamic websites are sites that provide different content to each user. For deploying static websites, the pages are pre-rendered. This means the files for your website must be saved on a server in order to be accessed on the internet. For simplicity’s purposes, the following steps are for static websites.
When deploying websites, domain names are very important. A domain name is a web address. Additionally, they act as a form of branding for companies. Creating a domain name requires a lot of forethought. Before deploying a website, it is necessary to register a domain. The registration process is related to web hosting and domain name system (DNS) handling.
Web hosting is when a hosting provider allows web server space for businesses and people to upload their own websites. When this is purchased, an IP address is provided. This requires subscribing to a web hosting service. By doing this, the service provider will manage the servers and ensure accessibility to the site. Web hosting services require a monthly or annual fee. There are many hosting service providers available. GoDaddy.com, Domain.com,and Bluehost all provide web hosting space.
The IP address provided from the web hosting connects to your DNS record. DNS maps the given IP address to the domain name. This makes it a readable address for the user. If a website is not included in the DNS, an error will appear because the domain is not mapped to an IP address.
Lastly, formal registration paperwork must be completed to own exclusive rights to the domain. This connects the domain name on the DNS to your company, business information, and contact information. Similarly to web hosting, there are many domain registration websites available. Some of these sites provide both domain registration and web hosting services.
The steps of website deployments differ based on the scenario of the website deployment. There are three general scenarios in which a site is deployed. The first scenario is that it is the first website for your company. This means you are starting with a blank slate. The second scenario is your company already has hosting and the site needs to be deployed on their server. Lastly, the third scenario consists of your company already having hosting, but needing to move it to a new server.
The first scenario is the simplest because you are starting new. The second and third scenarios can be a bit more difficult but deploying is still doable.
For scenario one, you need to register your company’s domain name and purchase or provide web hosting. Domain registration sites include Namecheap.com, GoDaddy.com, Domain.com, Bluehost, HostGator and Google Domains.
Scenario two and three require the domain management credentials. If these are unknown, whois.domaintools.com is available to locate them. It simply requires entering the domain or the IP address. Specifically pay attention to the contact information of administrative and technical contact. Additionally, note who the registrar is. For example, SEO Design Chicago’s registrar is GoDaddy.com. Noting this information will help you contact the person who is currently managing the domain name. You can either ask them to allow you to manage the domain name or have them change the DNS records.
Live Testing Site
If the website is hosted on the main server or the domain, the subdomain is used for internal development. The subdomain can be used to test the site on a live server environment before deploying the website. Using a subdomain allows you to choose between giving it the full functionality as the original domain or only partial functionality. A second way to test the site is to develop a URL parsing using the original domain. This allows access to the same directory and permission but it will be in a different environment.
Both processes allow you to test the site before deploying the website. This is a critical step that ensures the functionality of the site.
After testing the site, you want to verify the email accounts are up to date with the hosting site. This is necessary to ensure you are staying informed on your site. If it is scenario three, with pre-existing hosting sites, the emails will need to be updated to match the new hosting site. This step is simple for those who are placed in scenario one, since you are starting new.
The last step before site deployment is backing up all of the code. After you do this, you are ready for website deployment. To do this, change the DNS record with the IP. This process takes about 15 to 20 minutes before going live. It can take up to 72 hours to go live if you are changing the server name.
Site Deployment Services
Deploying a website is not as simple as it seems. It can be time-consuming and meticulous. There are site deployment services available to assist you in the process. Companies that assist with website deployment include Beanstalk, DeployHQ, Buddy and Atlassian. All of these sites offer site deployment services to simply the coding process.
The sites described below all offer services which allow users to create and deploy a website on their site. Majority of them have step-by-step guides on how to deploy a website on their site.
GitHub is a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It allows for easy collaboration and storage on all projects. As soon as one user updates their new code, other users can view and learn from it.
GitHub offers a service called GitHub Pages. GitHub Pages is a free service with an easy setup. It allows you to build your own website. Two steps of editing and pushing result in your changes being live. The new changes to the site will deploy with a couple seconds.
Heroku is a platform as a service (PaaS) that allows users to deploy, scale, and deliver their projects fast and across multiple code languages.
Netlify is a web developer platform working to increase productivity. They focus on creating a quicker development to websites and apps. Netlify provides a guide on how to deploy a website.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud platform that offers over 175 fully featured services from data centers globally. AWS offers many choices for deploying a website. The AWS Amplify Console will develop, deploy, and host static sites. AWS CodeStar allows users to develop, build, and deploy applications on AWS. When it comes to cost for AWS, they offer a pay-as-you-go option. This means you only have to pay for what services you need with no long-term contract involved.
Deploy your Website
Websites are critical for a company. A website says a lot about a company. For a lot of users, it leads to one’s first impression about a company. It provides the information necessary for potential clients and customers to develop an opinion about the company. A well-developed website should result in a good first experience with the company on the potential user. There are many ways to continuously improve your website. Ensuring a correct website deployment, is necessary for a well-developed website.
FAQs about How to Deploy a Website :
- What does it mean to deploy a website?
- How does website development affect its deployment?
- What is the importance of a domain when deploying a website?
- What sites are available to help with website deployment?