Planning a website is an incredibly important task. Without at least a skeleton of a plan you jump from task to task and run yourself in circles trying to put together something decent and then later improve on what you have. How do I know? I’ve built multiple sites and my first few were without plans. The lack of planning drove me crazy until I finally build a rudimentary list of tasks. I’ve since graduated from the random task list and have several tools I use to plan the large bulk of a website or rebuild a website or update one because the times have changed.
My project planner is a pretty simple document. It tells me the name of my project, the date I’m starting and gives a brief description of the project’s purpose. From there it lists off main tasks who is responsible and dates.
Project & Goal Planner
Website Plan XYZ Site
An overview of the major and dependent tasks to develop XYZ’s Company website
Gather the whole team to discuss plan including Management, Webmaster, Graphic Design, Writing and Marketing groups. If not in person then using virtual meeting tools.
Develop a detailed plan including colors, features, assets, layout and content
Home/Landing, About, Contact, Services, Samples, Articles
Marketing, Webmaster, Graphic Arts
Hex Values List
Standard & alternate Google Fonts
Images, dimensions, video, audio, text, logo and use rules
Additional functions not provided by WordPress or Theme
Plan updates, ongoing plans for each week
Tasks that do not have to be done all the time
Tasks such as updates, new content writing or social media monitoring
List of topics, outlines, assets needed, schedules
Writers, Marketing, Graphic Arts
Tracking Ad campaigns via Google Analytics or Facebook or Twitter Analytics
Having an overview like this and later drilling down into topics can help keep the right people doing the right tasks. Each of the larger topics can then spin off to their own project plans based on the team and resources needed. With a website most of the plans fall on either a project manager or the web master. This is a nice simple setup for planning. There are many other tools out there to manage the various details including collaborative ones for distributed teams.