If you are unfamiliar with website development, maybe as this is your first website, then I have tried to outlined the general development process. It is important to note that while not every development is the same, it will usually follow a similar pattern.
The Design Process
Before any design work begins a discussion will take place, where the aims of the site, your target audience, features you want and other requirements will be considered. This could take place during a face to face meeting, by phone or email, depending on the complexity of the site, your preference and any practical considerations. After this initial discussion, and usually after I have seen a draft of the content, a design specification would be produced, which could range from a few lines to a few pages. This will outline what pages you want, any special features you require and any other important points. This will allow me to give a definitive quote, although I will aim to give you an accurate estimate during the initial discussion. The first stage of the design will often be to produce one or more mock-ups of the site for your acceptance, done in standard graphics software, although this is not always necessary. This will be used a basis for the following development work.
Your website will then be developed, usually constructed around a content management system (often seen referred to as CMS). This allows you to easily update and modify your site. Once this has been created, the page content be tweaked and finalised, before the site is launched.