Keep reading to see what you can expect during the website design and development process. This page describes the full-blown process for a website development project, from concept to completion. If your project needs are simpler, we may not do every step of the process outlined here.
Initial Meeting and Discussion
The process begins when you contact me through my website. Ideally, you’ll review my project request form, and supply some information there. If not, we will be discussing those items when we talk either way.
We will meet over the phone or Zoom to discuss your project and requirements. If your project seems to be a good fit, I’ll follow up with a specifications sheet, or creative brief, and any questions. This will help establish the requirements for your project, and will be the basis of my estimate. We’ll hold any additional meetings as necessary.
Estimate and Proposal
I’m guessing one reason you are here is that you’d like to know what your project will cost! Software projects can be difficult to estimate, especially as specifications and expectations can change during the project. Our initial discussion and the project spec sheet–as well as my past experience–will help guide my estimate.
My goal is to provide a single cost for you rather than a range. In my experience, most clients want to know what the final figure is rather than a wide range. If the project requirements are vague, or there is some other reason why I can’t get you an accurate estimate, I will let you know ahead of time.
Once the project starts, here are the different project phases to expect.
This phase of the project will be ongoing, but it will be the first thing we talk about. I’ll want to know what existing content you have, as well as the content you are working on. We’ll discuss whether we need to hire any copywriters or content writers.
We will start by creating black and white visual wireframes of the website. The wireframes will give us an idea of what content is needed for the site, and a broad outline of the design. Think of the wireframes as an architectural blueprint. They won’t show you exactly how the website will look, but you will get an idea of the website functionality and content placement. For smaller projects, we may skip this step.
From there, we move on to higher-fidelity user interface (UI) design as needed. This represents the actual design of the website before it gets constructed.
UI design is not always necessary, especially for smaller projects. Modern WordPress theme frameworks give us a lot of tools to design within the browser.
However, if we are creating a custom theme, we will definitely need to create some UI designs. If you are hiring me for development only, your internal team will likely be creating the UI designs.
The next phase of the project is the actual web development phase. We take any wireframes and UI designs, and construct them using HTML, CSS, JS, and any content management system or framework such as WordPress.
I will work on my local and development servers, and your team will be able to review the website as it is constructed. If you have your own development servers, I can work that way as well.
Expect this to be the longest phase of the project. We may go back and adjust wireframes and UI designs as needed. We use the original project specifications to drive the development. If new features are requested, at that point we will need to adjust the scope of the project.
Testing and Delivery
The last phase of the project is testing, quality assurance, and delivery or hand-off to you. We make sure the project meets the original specifications and functions correctly. I test everything with a variety of devices and correct any display problems. Note, I support current major browsers. I don’t support old legacy browsers unless you have a specific need.
I will be developing the website on one of the hosting platforms I use, either Pantheon, Kinsta, or my VPS server. If you signed up for hosting with me, the transition will be seamless. Otherwise, I will set up the website on your server, or coordinate with your team to hand-off the project.
After the project is complete, the next step is to keep everything current and up to date. I can take care of that for you with a monthly maintenance agreement, or your team can manage the website moving forward.