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    Planning for each stage of your web project – a small agency guide

    by James Holloway Partnership Director

    It can be said that planning makes perfect but that’s certainly the case when it comes to delivering a successful web project. From the thousands of development projects we’ve worked on over the years those that are well planned out and clear in their objectives are the ones that pass through much more smoothly than those that aren’t.

    For that reason a clearly detailed project timeframe can be really useful to show all the major milestones of the project and the timings of each deliverable. Gooey have put together a handy template that all agencies that work with us can use for their digital projects. This can be found here and includes the following stages of a typical web delivery project, however the template can be adapted to suit your specific needs.

    Stage 1 – Planning

    This stage includes all areas of pre-delivery to aide the briefing process including workshops to spec out the requirements, user persona profiling and any other key requirements that will feed into the project.

    Stage 2 – Strategy

    Once the planning cycle is complete the resulting strategy of the site will be developed including the UX strategy, any technical integration work needed from third party systems and what the main results and objectives will look like once the site is complete.

    Stage 3 – Wireframing

    To ensure the client is clear on what the site will look like once it’s built it is important to show them a framework of how this will look. This is usually a really simple basic design of the core layout for the site and where all functionality is mapped out to walk the client through how it will look. A simple tool such as UX Pin can help with this part of the project to bring this to life in a simple format to show the client.

    Stage 4 – Design

    Once the wireframes are signed off the full designs can be developed to show exactly what the site will look like once created. These designs will be then integrated with whatever CMS system the site is built on be it WordPress or Magento and again will be signed off by the client before being delivered to the developers.

    Stage 5 – Content Production

    Alongside the designs of the site the copy and content that is needed will need to be created. This should be carefully mapped out with your client’s SEO strategy in mind to ensure that all keywords that the site needs to rank for on search engines are covered off and structured in the right way.

    Stage 6 – Development

    Only once all of the above is completed should the site be handed over to an experienced developer to start to build the technical functionality of the site. A developer works to a plan in the same way a builder builds a house so making sure the blueprints and designs are clearly mapped out will ensure the site is built to the correct specification. This is where Gooey can support your agency in delivering this stage in a cost effective and reliable way.

    Stage 7 – User Acceptance Testing & Bug Fixing

    Once the site is built it will be tested for any known bugs or technical issues across all devices and browsers to ensure there is a great experience for all users. Again the better the planning the less work at this stage although there will always be a series of tests to follow through with to ensure the site is performing to a high level.

    Stage 8 – Content & SEO checks

    Once the technical quality of the site is up to speed, the agreed content can be migrated over and all necessary SEO technical checks completed to ensure the site is in good health from this perspective. If the site is being migrated to a new platform all checks to ensure the move is completed seamlessly will be equally important to ensure all search engines see no drop in rankings.

    Stage 9 – Client Sign Off

    This stage ensure the final checks from the client are completed across all stakeholders to make sure they are happy with the final product.

    Stage 10 – Go live

    Making sure all hosting and security checks are complete before setting the site live are the final pieces of the jigsaw before fully signing off on the project and then looking to future opportunities to support the ongoing performance of the site.

    As you can see from all these stages, navigating the complexities of a new website build is not always that straight forward, especially if this is not the core specialism of your agency. Working with an outsourced digital development partner like Gooey can help you navigate these different stages and ensure you’re delivering high quality web projects for your client base.

    For any further information or help needed with your project feel free to get in touch with us on +44 (0)161 398 0303 or email us at [email protected]