We have a defined process for website development and it starts with gathering the requirements from the client, drawing it out on paper and then converting it to static pages.
The full flow and checklist is available at Project Development Life Cycle Checklist.
95% of the time the requirements are one page or two page long and is an attempt by the client to write down what they want, the remaining 5% of the time, we get a one paragraph requirement.
The static screens give a good idea of exactly how the web pages are going to look like and how the navigations work. These pages are then given as the inputs to the web developers by the project leader.