If you work in a small digital agency or are freelancing, you probably have multiple small projects on your plate at a given time. So how do you handle all of the moving parts? There are tons of software tools to choose from to help you stay organized, on schedule, and under budget. At Organik SEO, we start with the process and then nail down the tools to make the process more efficient. Below is an overview of how we manage our web development projects. Feel free to implement our processes for your projects as well!
#1 – Planning
- Goal: the goal of this phase is to take an inventory of a client’s current website and determine where we wish it to go.
- Questionnaire: We send out a detailed questionnaire to the stakeholders of the company and anyone who is going to be involved in the project. The questions revolve around what the purpose of the website should be, who the audiences are, branding guidelines, and functionality.
- Information Architecture: This is where we collaborate and build out the organizational structure of the new website (navigation and content flow)
#2 – Design
- Goal: the goal of this phase is to create a more detailed visual layout of the web pages.
- Components: we go through various rounds of grayscale wireframes and then design high fidelity mockups until we have an established design for the site
#3 – Development
- Goal: the goal of this phase is bring the design comes to life and we develop the new site using the structure and designs established in the previous stages.
- Components: we custom build our sites on WordPress platform because it has a simple content management system (CMS) that provides admin users ease of access to adding content and updating information on the website.
Ready for Launch
- Testing: Check your site on the various mobile devices and browsers and fix any bugs.
- Redirects: Create any 301 redirects for page URLs that may be changing from the old site to the new site so that you do not lose your link credibility.
- On-Page Optimization: Yoast SEO is a simple WordPress plugin that makes it easy to add Title tags and Meta Descriptions. Adding basic SEO elements will help the site
- Quality Assurance/Pre-Launch Check: Create a checklist to run through all of the front end and back end components of the website for functionality and design.
- CMS Training: Provide basic training for the client on how to use the content management system you built the site on so that they have the ability to update their site’s content.
- Ongoing Maintenace: Inform the client about the need for ongoing maintenance, updating plugins, and implementing security tactics.
- When building out smaller websites on a tighter budget, it’s important to discuss all the goals and determine the deliverables upfront. Use your detailed meeting notes to outline a contract or proposal with specific deliverables.
- Implement terms of service for your work, and if you can, have an attorney review them.
- Google Drive is free with any Gmail account and you can easily share and collaborate on docs, spreadsheets, and forms!
- Make your documents secure and track viewing metrics with Adobe Sign.
- Asana is free and is a great way to track the progress of your projects, set reminders, and it syncs with Google Drive!
- Adobe’s creative cloud for design (there are student and other discounts available).
- Beanstalk for deploying code.
- WP Engine Hosting (for WordPress only)
- Bugherd or Notable for bug tracking, and visual feedback.
- Google Apps or Microsoft Exchange for email.
These are just some examples of the processes and tools we use for managing website projects. We are always improving our processes and evaluating our tools and would love to get your input on what your processes are! We also love building long-lasting and partnerships with other agencies and freelancers when it’s the right fit, so please contact us if you think we could work well together.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “8 Useful Digital Marketing Resources and Tools.“ Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!