Every serious human action must be planned in order to monitor the progress and to be sure that it will end successfully. This is especially important for long-term and complex projects. In simple words planning is a process of defining the goals of the project that need to be realized and activities necessary to achieve those goals. Web design projects are not an exception.
First of all, you need to schedule a meeting with your client. It is good to invite all members of your team (if you are working on a larger project that requires involvement of few web designers) on this meeting. This will give you the opportunity to see what exactly your client needs. In some cases they are looking for completely new website and sometimes they just want to refresh their website. Although this would be the first meeting with your client you can ask him about some details too especially if he knows what he wants (like design, color, multimedia etc.).
Many web design projects end unsuccessfully because of certain financial disagreements. This is why it is important to ask the client about his budget. Of course, in some cases you (as a project manager) won’t be able to tell exactly how much the project will cost but you must make an approximate evaluation of the cost and give that information to the client. Make sure to tell him that this is just an evaluation and that the cost on the end of the project might change.
Once you have signed an agreement with your client, you must assemble your team. Make sure that each team member knows his role, tell them what the objectives are and of course ask them for opinion. It’s good to set smaller objectives or milestones because in this way you can analyze each step that you’ve made and continue with the next stage. Remember that web design is a complex process. If you have a WordPress, please take a look at our custom WordPress Online Contract plugin.
In case you have a large project and you are not sure whether your team is capable of completing all the tasks, make sure to contact some experts outside your company. Outsourcing is a smart option for those who don’t want to risk getting outside the time frame.
Since you can set several milestones in your project, maybe it is a good idea to consult your client once you achieve each of those milestones. Instead of delivering the whole project at once and correcting the mistakes once you are done, it is better to listen to your client while the project is still running. Good communication with your client is a key to success.
When the project is finished and the website is prepared to be introduced on the web, contact the client. Not all clients have the necessary knowledge so be prepared for questions. You might give some small tips and instructions to your client about the website and how it can be maintained or updated.
Finally, if you are satisfied with your work and especially if your client is satisfied with the project, ask them if you can use their website in your portfolio.
About the Author
Director of Website Development
With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.