Development Process for a Web Project

This is an overview of the sequence of events in building an InForm site.

Project Start

Once the client has agreed that they would like to work with then we get the ball rolling which involves:

  • creation of a git version control project to store all the revisions of the project
  • creation of a redmine project to keep track of the project management involved in the build.
  • deployment of an unthemed InForm site to a private development domain on the public server. This also marks the start of the 6 months free hosting.
  • we raise an invoice for £120 to cover the first 4 hours of work.

Build process

The build process is pretty flexible in format depending on how clear the model for the design and the information architecture is at the start of the process.

We are looking to form a pretty early model as to:

  • the rough size and shape of the information architecture
  • roughly how much content will be available about each type of page that the client is planning
  • the ratio of words to images that the client envisages, and how wide their stock of existing images is.

This will help us to propose a visual structure and navigational hierarchy that best fits the information that is going to be put into it.

There will probably be several iterations of the design process, but we prefer to work "in the browser" as much as possible so that all design ideas are presented as functional prototypes with as much of the client's proposed structure included so that the designs can be interacted with as early as possible. We may configure the test build to generate random pages to emulate how the site might behave in 6-12m time based on the expected usage patterns.

Design signoff

Once everyone is happy with the visual state and behavior of the site then we formally sign off the development process.

What this means is:

  • the site is fit for purpose from the perspective of the client. Of course it is possible that further changes might arise, but we endeavor to minimise this and resolve all the issues during the Build stage.
  • the client starts to enter their content for the final launch state of the site. If there are further unexpected changes then we aim to preserve any content entered while making the changes. If these changes are structural db changes then maintaining the content might be time consuming so we aim to resolve everything during the build.
  • we raise an invoice for the build time to date, minus the 4 hours invoiced for at the start of project.

Final population

The client uses the CMS to populate their site until it is fit for launch in their eyes.

It is not impossible that further changes will be required to visual aspects during this process because the way that people interact with a site changes when they start to put larger amounts of content into them.

Site launch

Once the site content has been signed off by the client, then we make the appropriate DNS changes and shortly after that the site becomes available to the world at large to interact with.

We raise a final invoice for any further work requested during the Final Population after Design Signoff.

Annual Hosting Invoice

The site serves pages and is updated by the client and the public interact with it. 6 months after the Project Start (and every 12 months after that), then we raise the first annual hosting invoice.