Website Project Process
Absolutely doable, from start to finish
Our tried-and-true website project process means you’ll never have to wonder what to do next. And we educate and empower you every step of the way.
Steps of a typical project
When you think about a new website build or a redesign, it may feel huge and overwhelming. But we’ll help you take it a task at a time to keep everything on track for an awesome end project. We collaborate with you — you bring your dreams and knowledge, and we bring our expertise and friendly guidance to each step of the process.
Depending on your project, your team, and your timeline, we generally estimate that the full website project process takes 5–9 months to complete. For much of this, we have weekly team video meetings, as well as “homework” in between.
1. Project kickoff
We start each project with a (logistical) bang! We gather some important information from you, and we get your team members set up with our file sharing and project management tools to keep everybody on track.
2. Content strategy foundations
We meet with your core project team as well as any important stakeholders to vision for the website and to learn about your core values & mission. Together, we’ll determine your site’s foundational content strategy pillars, including site audience, organizational goals, and site visitor needs.
3. Site architecture
Building on our content strategy, we’ll help you identify and organize the new site’s pages into a clear URL structure with parent/child relationships and optimal naming standards. And we’ll assist you in organizing your site’s posts (like blog posts & news updates) into a cohesive organizational framework with useful categories & tags. Finally, we’ll work with you to develop a clear & effective navigation strategy so everyone can find information quickly and never feel lost.
4. Content: Strategize, gather & create
Now that you know what pages & posts your site will need, it’s your time to shine! Our project management setup will guide you through gathering and creating the content for your site. We’ll provide you plenty of guidance, instruction, and resources about how to create content for the web — including best practices for strategizing & writing copy, preparing media for web use, and ensuring everything stays accessible.
5. Website Visual Foundations
Starting from your existing brand elements, we complete a brand extension for web use. Then we build out a full visual site design for all the needed parts of a website. We’ll design everything to be clear, welcoming and usable — always prioritizing inclusion, accessibility, and mobile-friendly elements.
6. Website Development
We build your site on strong, secure, technical foundations. We’ll set you up on a managed WordPress host to make sure all settings are maximized for site speed, uptime, security features, daily backups, and ease of maintenance for administrators. We install the WordPress CMS, and then we develop your site with a structural setup that prioritizes accessibility and SEO in its code, menus, and features. And if your site needs additional functionality, like forms or calendars, we’ll set that up too.
7. Content: Into the site
When your content (including text, images, and other media) is all ready, it needs to be entered into the site. You can do this part yourselves to get familiar with the editing process & save some money. Or you can save time by including a “bucket” of Blustery Day Design time in the project’s scope for us to add your content — it’s up to you. Either way, we’ll empower you to know how to work within your site and have full ownership of what’s there.
8. Pre-launch setup
Once the content is in the site, we complete pre-launch setup. This includes setting up URL redirects from the old site if applicable and ensuring a strong SEO setup for new site content. We work with you to ensure all content is ready to be viewed by the public. Then we double-check the technical setup and plan for launch.
9. Site launch
On launch day, we set up needed DNS records with your domain registrar and configure the website’s hosting settings to accommodate your primary domain. We also set up your domain with an SSL certificate to keep everything super-secure. Then, once the domains are pointed properly and the DNS settings have propagated throughout the internet, we run through some technical site foundation checks to make sure everything is working as expected.
10. A full month of support
We promise not to leave you hanging. We’ll provide for you a comprehensive handover document, including clear information about your new site’s hosting, setup and tools utilized — so you’ll have a full understanding of what’s going on with your site and what costs are involved. And for 30 days after your launch date, we’re available at no additional cost to make sure any bugs have been ironed out and that you are confident using your new site.
11. Post-launch support (optional)
Every healthy, active website needs support from time to time. At the end of our contracted website project with you, you can decide if you’d like to continue a support relationship with Blustery Day Design. You will always have full control of your site and own all of your data — we’ll never lock you into a proprietary system or hold your content hostage. Your site is yours to use and grow with as you wish.
Must-haves to make your project shine
We know that a website project is a big investment of time and resources, and we truly want you to get the best outcome possible. These must-haves will help you make the most of your project with Blustery Day Design.
A good team
For the duration of the website project, Jessica & Christina are on your team! If you’re otherwise flying solo, it can help to seek out some trusted folks to bounce ideas off of or help you proofread. If you’re part of an organization, try to assemble a core project team with a nice mix of folks, from day-to-day staff to leadership.
Time set aside
When you can make time to commit to our project process, your end result will really show it! A typical project takes between 5–9 months and has weekly meetings and/or “homework” tasks. If you’re super swamped with other initiatives, it may be best to postpone your website project to a portion of the year when you’ll really be able to dedicate your efforts to the site.
We are big advocates for the project team members we work with. When “higher-ups,” bosses and leadership folks allow the team to prioritize the website project within their workloads, everybody wins. We’ve consistently seen that website projects with organizational support go more smoothly, have better results, and are more likely to launch on time.
Investing in your future
A website project with Blustery Day Design will pay dividends for years. We focus on building a fiscally responsible site that you will know how to use, that can fill administrative needs, and that will be ready to grow with you. Because of this, many folks find that their new website saves them money and staff time in countless ways going forward.