1. Gather information
To build and manage a good website you will need the following data:
Target audience demographics: Information about your target audience, customer profiles, audience segments, and other relevant data.
Site functionality goals: The features and capabilities you want and need your site to have, such as traffic monitoring, e-commerce functionality, blog content, surveys, video, and so on.
Brand voice and style guidelines: A set and ready guide to your brand persona, customer experience, and public interaction expectations of staff and company representatives.
Desired website features: Related to functionality goals, this is more of a checklist (or wish list) of features you believe will enhance the customer experience.
Budget to build and manage a website: As with any project, it's a good idea to know how much you are willing or able to spend. Budget limitations should reflect desired features, functions, and the scope of the site.
2. Consider your approach
Different types of websites and different types of business models will do best with an approach that matches their size, their industry, and their needs. Choosing your approach is a big task, and one to be done only after the full scope of website project management is understood. One of the largest aspects to consider when choosing an approach to web design project management is the project management methodology you’ll use. We’ll go into more detail about the different project management methodologies further down.
3. Define the scope of your project
The scope of your project will include the budget, the amount of time you expect to spend on it, the resources, and the personnel you expect it to require.
Time: How long will it take and how much time per day/week do you plan to spend on it?
Budget: How much do you expect to spend on it?
Resources: How big will your team need to be and what tools and resources will they need?
In most cases, it is best to overstate the expectations you have of your requirements. It is better to set aside $1000 and five hours and spend $500 in four hours than the other way around. Moreover, project scope defines what is and what is not a part of your project.
4. Set goals
In the early stages, your website is just an idea or concept. Within that idea or concept are certain hopes and expectations. Those hopes and expectations should eventually translate into tangible goals that you intend and expect to achieve. In website project management, you might consider setting "SMART" goals to start out. Here is how to set SMART goals:
Specific: A goal should be clear and defined.
Measurable: Your goals should be capable of being quantified and measured in an objective way.
Achievable: The goal should be realistic when you consider the project’s budget, timeframe, and the assets and resources on hand.
Relevant: The goal should directly relate to your company’s long-term goals and help you further your organization’s overall mission.
Timely: Goals should come with a deadline so that you can accurately track progress and gauge whether or not you’re on schedule.
The SMART framework may not be perfect for everyone, but it is useful for helping us keep our feet on the ground, even if our heads are in the clouds.
5. Draft a timeline
Timelines are important for many reasons. It may be based on budgetary limitations, quarterly income, the needs of a client or partner, the expectations of an investor, and more. Ideally, you want to give yourself more time than you need, because web development rarely goes as expected the first time.
If possible, it's a good idea to make all concerned parties aware that more time may be needed. And remember that your timeline should always be realistic despite any external pressures or wishful thinking.
6. Begin development
At this point in the process, you should be ready to begin web development. Beginning development means actually beginning work on web development tasks. But keep in mind that plans can and do change, so planning really is part of the process.
7. Track progress
Because a website is in many ways an intangible thing, progress can be tough to track. For this reason, we need defined goals and features, concept diagrams, and visible digital assets. Every part of the project should be recorded and described as they are completed. Consider setting up weekly check-in meetings, reviewing certain metrics, and evaluating short-term milestones to track progress and ensure that things are moving along according to plan.
8. Evaluate results
To manage web development fully requires that the end result be accurately evaluated. Once the project is finished, you will need to evaluate the results and look for areas of potential improvement. Realistically, websites are almost always a work in progress. That is why we placed special emphasis on the management of the site itself, and not just the development project.
For evaluation purposes, professional online marketing software companies like Mailchimp can help with valuable web development tips and more. We make it easy to create, manage, and edit your business website. One of the most important ways we can do this is through metrics. Digital marketing metrics can show you what is and isn't working with your website. Using this information, you can take your existing website and optimize it to suit the needs of your business, the expectations of your audience, and stay on brand.