Web Development

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How to Buy Your Website: all about web project management

About this guide

I started writing this guide after talking to some people who’d had a bad time with suppliers. They hadn’t got the work they’d expected and been charged more than they thought – and didn’t really know how they could have avoided this, because buying a website had just seemed too complicated. I’d also found, from talking to other developers and designers, and from my own experience, that the briefs we get vary massively in the amount of information and how relevant that information actually is. Potentially great clients really didn’t know the right questions to ask, and didn’t know what to expect from us. What everyone needs is a better understanding of web project management, and that’s the aim of this series of posts.

If you’re thinking of buying a website, start from the first part, read through, and contact us if you have any questions. If you’re a supplier, please join in the discussion – this should be a resource for you and your clients, so let’s try to make it a good one!

Part I – what do you want?
Here we look at the first stage – thinking about what you want from your site, and whether a “flat” or content managed site is best for you.

Part II – how the web works
A bit of a technical one (but not too technical, I hope!) about how the web works and why it’s important to you.

Part III – picking suppliers
Who might be involved in your site build, how they work, and how to decide who you’ll need.

Part IV – from shortlist to supplier
Finding “the one” to do your website if you’ve got several people to pick from.

Part V – briefing your designer
If you’re using a separate designer – or even if you’re just doing the design part of the brief for an agency – this is a vital post.

Part VI – briefing your developer
How to brief a developer and the joys of the functional specification.

Part VII – managing a web project
Tips on managing a web project and why Gantt charts actually are kind of handy.

Part VIII – more managing projects
It’s an important part of the process, so there’s a second part. Tracking time and progress.

Part IX – the big finish
How to launch your website, and the difference between hard and soft launches.

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