Website Development Project Plan: Meaning, Steps, and Execution

They say every outstanding website development process begins with a project plan, and we 100% agree. Developing a website is just like constructing a building. You must start with a solid foundation and architectural plans before people begin using it or it won’t live up to its expectations.

A lot of developers are not aware of what goes into a website development project plan. In this article, Techosquare - the leading ecommerce website development firm in India - will tell you about crucial steps to plan and deliver web development projects.

Let’s understand the meaning and importance of web development planning first!

Meaning of ‘plan’ in website development project

We bet most of you are aware of this abbreviation called PLAN. Those who aren’t, plan in a web development project basically stands for:

  1. Prepare: Spot your target visitors, website aspirations, and primary-secondary goals.
  2. Landscape: How do you want the website to perform? To be more precise, what sort of features do you want for your website?
  3. Aesthetics: How do you want your website to look? Select the color palette and imagery that meet your aesthetic goals.
  4. Navigation: Think what will make browsing quick and amazing for your visitors.

Importance of website development plan

According to a report by Cision PR Newswire, more than 60% of small and medium-sized businesses spend their money in designing and developing a website every year, yet many fail to earn profits and generate business value due to poor performance, design issues, and bad functionality. Need more facts? Here you go:

73% of mobile internet users reported that they encountered websites that were either too slow to load or were not responsive at all. 70% of business websites lack the most basic element of website design development called CTA (call to action) on their homepage.

But guess what? Issues like these can be avoided completely with proper website development planning and project management. With the help of a website development project plan, developers are able to build websites that delight visitors and deliver superb experiences.

Website development project plan: Steps involved

Now that we understand the importance of a web development plan for a business website, it’s time to learn about the steps involved in it. But first, make sure to have these three factors in place:

Project manager: Managers act as bridges between team members and make sure that project progresses at the decided pace. For a website development project, you need a person who can lead the development team. Hire a full-time project manager if your business operates on an adequate level. You can also ask someone from your existing team to lead.

Project management platform: A good project management platform will help your project manager and development team lay out a solid foundation for your website while providing tools to scope out the milestones, key deliverables, and roles before executing the website development plan. It will also keep it up to date and let you track progress every once in a while. Evaluate platform characteristics cautiously to estimate their suitability for your web development team.

Project management methodology: For those who don’t know, a project management methodology is a set of principles and practices that help organize a web development project to ensure optimal performance. Some popular project management methodologies for delivering websites are XP and PRINCE2. Train your website development team in chosen management methodology before starting work on planned projects. Explain it within your project management platform!Did you take care of the above aspects? Great! It’s time to execute your website development plan.

Website development plan: Execution

The following are the steps to carry out the process of website programming:

#1 Planning
Phase 1: Client collaboration

Planning with your client will help achieve site goals, and allows for efficient use of time and development resources. Ask your client to define what customers want in the clearest terms possible. Ask questions like:

  1. What type of website is required?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. How many web pages are required?
  4. How often will the content be updated?
  5. Is CMS required (content management system)?
  6. Are there any references worth checking out?
  7. What’s the web development budget?
  8. Which third-party integrations are required?

Once you find answers to these questions, write them down. They will help you formulate goals for your website development project and define its scope.

Phase 2: Team discussion

The next phase involves discussing your client’s website specification with your project team. This phase is important as it will help you translate the client requirements into a fool-proof website project plan.

Address the  following questions with your crew:

  1. What needs to be done for the client?
  2. How does the project break down into tasks?
  3. Which team member will perform which task?
  4. How much of the client’s budget will the web development project require?
  5. Where are the dependencies in the project?

With these primary questions answered, you will be able to lay out a basic project plan, describing when and how the website development project plan will be carried out. Discuss it with your client and wait for the approval.

Once your client gives a green signal, move to the next step!

#2 Building

The building phase is the most crucial phase of any website development project. Why? Because it’s the part where you and your team will create things your client wished existed. It is the part where your client’s site will be brought to reality. From the information gathered to this point, you have to determine the layout, content, look, and functionalities of the site.

Phase 1: Branding, infrastructure, and layout

A good branding, infrastructure, and layout will not only make the website look attractive but will also help the visitors understand the core message and connect with the brand. Long story short, you will be planning and setting up the foundation of your website development project.

Some popular activities involved within this phase are: 

  1. Define the website name and tagline
  2. Conclude logo, color palette, fonts, and page layouts
  3. Buying a domain name or hosting service
  4. Build a sitemap to display web pages and their relations 

Note: Some of these are already present with client and shared with the team

Phase 2: Content

Imagine going to a painting exhibition and looking at an 11 x 14 painting canvas with absolutely nothing in it. You might feel baffled and angry at the same time. Your client's reaction will be the same if a website with no content gets delivered.

Gather all the content needed for the website. You will be working on the following aspects during this phase of your web development project:

  1. Identify content needed for web pages, testimonials, privacy policy, terms of use, FAQs, etc.
  2. Arrange stock images and graphics
  3. Organize content in a content repository
  4. Proofread and finalize content

Note: Some clients share imagery and text on their own and delegate the task of arranging the same to the web design and development company.

Phase 3: Design and development

Here comes the most important phase of your web development project. After deciding on branding, infrastructure, layout, and content for your client, start planning, designing, and developing the website pages. The following are some important activities that will happen during this phase:

  1. Web pages designing based on layout styles and content
  2. Setting up a sandbox server
  3. Designing page elements such as buttons, CTAs, and testimonials.
  4. HTML, CSS, and Javascript authentication.
  5. Developing functionalities like a blog, ecommerce store, or content management system.
  6. Organizing web pages based on the sitemap
  7. Reviewing design and making changes based on client’s approval.

We suggest you do regular team meetings during the build phase. This will keep your website development and management team on top of all deliberations.

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#3 Optimization

According to Alan Perlis, optimization hinders revolution. Website optimization after the designing and development process is important because it can help visitors feel more fortunate with their visits to your client’s website. In other words, people who come to your client’s site hoping to find the answer to a question will find a solution to their problem using different platforms.

From minifying scripts and CSS to improving cross-browser performance and enabling gzip compression to optimizing images, this is the phase where your website development team will plan and bring the client’s site up to the highest grade.

In case you have no idea of how you can improve the site’s performance, Techoquare suggests checking out different website speed optimization checklists on the internet. Assign optimization tasks to a relevant team member if needed.

#4 Finalization

By the heading, you might have guessed what our next step of the website development project plan is going to be about! During the finalization, crucial steps will be taken from beginning to end in order to complete the client’s web project. Relatively complex, it covers the following phases:

Phase 1: Initial testing

Initial testing is the phase where your web development team will authenticate website functionality and confirm if it matches the client’s demand. On the basis of his requirements, certain tests may be conducted. Some of the known activities performed during this phase are:

  1. Checking if the website matches current web standards
  2. Making sure if the functionality is working as expected
  3. Fixing issues that arise during testing
  4. Check if the website design is responsive and work fine on all devices
  5. Improving the website loading speed
  6. Ensuring accessibility for differently-abled people.
Phase 2: Go live

Done with testing and fixing website problems? Great! Now it’s time to make the client’s website and support systems operational. In simple words, it is time to GO LIVE.

Here are some activities that will be planned and performed during this phase of the website development project:

  1. Uploading site to the client’s hosting server
  2. Removing robots.txt file to allow bots to crawl webpages
  3. Creating and submitting an XML sitemap to search engines
  4. Training client team to create and update website
  5. Writing and passing the website’s documentation to the client.
Phase 3: Staff training

If you read the above point carefully, we mentioned training the client team to create and update the website. Well, this point is all about that. It is obvious that website problems will occur at some point in the future. A staff training and development program will make your team more all-rounded and better skilled to address those weaknesses at every factor of their job.

Train people who are going to manage the website after its launch. This not only includes your staff but also your client and her team members.

#5 Create a project schedule

The last step of creating a website development project plan is to create a project schedule. It involves mapping the activities and phases to specific dates. Remember all the activities we talked about above? During this phase, they will become your project tasks with start and end dates.

Since project management scheduling process may feel a bit foreign to some teams, we have curated a list of steps you can take to build yours:

  1. Define your project goals
  2. Identify all stakeholders
  3. Determine your final deadline
  4. List each step or task to cover all bases
  5. Assign a team member responsible for each task
  6. Work backward to set due dates for each task
  7. Organize your project schedule using a specific tool and share it with your team.

There you go!

We told you about all the crucial steps of the website development project plan. Making a plan for your client’s business website is crucial as it will help you and your team make sure that the end product comes out the right way.

We hope this blog will help developers and business owners learn the critical steps involved in creating a plan for a website project. Thinking of taking your brick-and-mortar business online? Send us an email at to start a discussion.

Check out these blog resources for more web design and development insights:

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