— "Come on already! Can you not just do that 78-page website we need and add a few interactive features this weekend?"
It takes a considerable amount of paperwork even before typing the first code and even a typical small project generally recruits, oftentimes consumes, more than one developer. This is the step-by-step development process with real-life examples. Takes at least 3 to 12 months depending on its size.
Here is how I work.
Create a static image file to show how the layout will look, which is the MOCK-UP of the home page. Takes about 2 weeks to have a fully approved design. It is worked-out as a .psd file, thanks to which layers are preserved, and submitted as a .jpeg file. Should any changes be required, the .psd file is easily edited and then re-submitted as another .jpeg file.
Here is a landing-page study package: The .jpg MOCK-UP The .psd MOCK-UP Its HTML version
Hover the icons to view 2 other mockups
User-agent: * Disallow: /. As the URL of it is not publically announced, no users are expected to peep what is going on. However, all changes are readily accessible by the client at all times. Since nothing takes place on the client's server, the existing website of the client remains untouched by us. We do not even know the client's server credentials until the end of this stage.)