Being web developer you want your product to be successful. Following are the areas which is usually ignored or provide poor attention but these areas are major stakeholders in the success of optimized web application.
Identify your audience. Your design should be according to the need of your audience. If IT based company design should be corporate but if it is any musical store then it should be colorful, full with melodies. If website contains financial transaction, then security and session handle must be given extra attention.
Usually, web developers are so into coding that they start coding without thinking how they will proceed. Before start development, try to structure your project in modules. Estimate time and resources and analyze which software development model is suitable for your project. There are a lot of models and pattern for software and web development especially in open source. As web development is subset of software development, so you can software development mode full or partially per need, as often all steps are not applied. Some widely used models are Agile Programming, Prototype, RAD. Be careful with Timelines. It will be yours biggest success if you finish on time with desire product.
Obviously you should have all requirements in your hand. The functional or must-meet requirements should be gathered and compiled in the start but non-functional or good-to-have can be added later. Note that these requirements must be freeze or finalize before start development. Any new requirement must be accommodate in next major version like 2.0 or in a minor version like 1.0.1. Create a UML, ERD, DRD or some initial design that will help you in future for development and testing.
Many people are so eager to move their project to production that they neglect the importance of testing. As soon as development complete, they start SQA team to finish testing and provide sign-off. It’s up to you. You can go as deeper as you want in testing. Test your code in the way that all scenarios should be covered. Create test cases with all possible values and scenarios of dynamic variables. Perform code analysis and code coverage, identify bottlenecks. Analyze execution plan and optimized queries.
One step that is necessary in web development is the promotion of your site. You can promote you site in different blog, forums, community sites, wikis. You can write your own blogs or blog can be a part of your web where people can come and write something. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a technique use for site promotion. Now-a-days the widest used approach is through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
In last you must monitor your site carefully. You can do logging in your site to get possible errors. Watch your web logs daily in the start. Also, you should have a feed-back form on your web as you can get the problems of users and will fix or add in next release. No one is perfect and there is always a room for mistakes and weaknesses so evolution never ends but your product will be maturing gradually.