Planning Effective Milestones in Web Design Projects
Please note that we typically book projects 3-6 weeks in advance. You’ll want to keep this in mind for planning purposes so that we can get your project scheduled as soon as possible. The process generally starts out with an inquiry through the quote request form, after which we put together a detailed proposal for you with several options to choose from. Once you receive the proposal, we can discuss it further in order to address any questions you may have, and to decide on the best plan of action for your site. After deciding that we are a right fit for eachother, a signed contract and 50% deposit secures your spot on our development schedule. The sample milestones on this page are based on that start date.
Preliminary Design: 1 Week
After we have discussed your web site needs and decide on a plan of action, we send you a contract and invoice. A signed contract and 50% deposit reserve your start date on our development schedule.
Once your start date arrives, we begin working on the preliminary design for your web site. This takes 1 week for us to complete. At this point, we give you access to our Client Studio, so that you can review the preliminiary design for your site.
Design Revisions: 2-3 Business Days to 1 Week Per Round (Rinse and Repeat)
Once you’ve had a chance to look over the initial designs, you have the opportunity to provide feedback or request changes. Ideally you’ll get back to us in 1-2 business days, but we’ve had some clients take a week or more to get back to us. This is the type of thing that delays the project completion date. So how long this stage takes is really up to you…
However, once you do get back to us with any revisions, the typical turnaround time for relatively simple changes is 2-3 business days. Major changes to the design or requests for an entirely new design concept will take 1 week. We continue this process of fine tuning the design until we have your approval.
Development of Primary WordPress Theme Files: 1 Week
Once we’ve received your approval on the design, we are able to move onto the development stage. This is where we take the design and create the XHTML, CSS and PHP code that make up the functional WordPress theme files.
There is a core set of PHP files that make up the basic WordPress theme, including (but not limited to) the header, footer, content area, and sidebar, as well as default blog index template, regular page template, and individual blog post template.
We create a demo installation of WordPress in your Client Studio, so that you are able to view and interact with the theme files as they are being developed.
Development of Additional WordPress Page or Category Templates: 1 Week
WordPress gives you the ability to create additional page template styles – for example on a single site, you could have one 2 column template with the sidebar on the left, a 2 column template with the sidebar on the right, and a 1 column template without a sidebar.
If you’ve requested any templates in addition to the base WordPress theme files, we will take this second week to develop those and upload for your review. If not, you can skip this step of the milestone dates and move onto the next one…
Development of Interior Page Content: 1-4 Weeks
This is where estimating a timeframe gets tricky, because the content and number of pages will vary greatly from site to site.
The beauty of WordPress is that as a CMS (Content Management System), you are able to easily create all of the interior content pages yourself, without knowledge of HTML. In most cases, clients will just need a custom WordPress theme that they take and continue to add all of the content pages themselves.
If that is the case with your project, you can skip over this step entirely. However, if you prefer to hand off the entire web site to us, we will gladly add all of the interior pages for you (based on your provided content).
The timeline for this phase varies greatly depending on the number of pages you are having us develop for you, and if you are prompt with providing us all of the content for the site. If you have a 1-10 page site, for example, we can have the interior pages completed within 1 week. On the other hand, a 50 page web site will likely take closer to 3-4 weeks to complete.
Of course, if you are not prompt with providing all content for the pages, or if you frequently make revisions to previously approved content that you had already provided us with, that will slow down this stage as well.
Launch of Web Site (WordPress / Plugin Installation and Setup): 1 Week
Once we have your approval on the WordPress theme files and any content pages we’ve created for you, we will send you a final invoice for the completed work. We do require final payment of the invoice before transferring everything from our Client Studio to your server. Once we receive the balance, however, we immediately get to work installing WordPress, a core set of essential plugins, the custom WordPress theme files, and any content pages that we created for you, over to your own web server.
After the transfer is complete, we run through a final set of tests to be sure that everything is functional, and you are all set! This marks the official launch of your web site, making it “Live” for the viewing public.
Web Site Maintenance: 2-3 Business Days to 1 Week
With a WordPress driven site, you will be able to easily add and update content on your own. However if you want to hire us to make future updates for you, or to perform upgrades as new versions of WordPress and various plugins become available, we are more than happy to continue working with you.
We offer several Maintenance Plans where we will update your web site for you, on a regular basis, at reduced rates. Alternatively, we also offer hourly maintenance if you only anticipate needing infrequent updates on an as-needed basis.
Simple updates to your web site are completed within 2-3 business days. Larger changes can take up to 1 week or more, depending on exactly what you need to have done.