Navigation Menu+

Website Design Project Plan

Website Design and Development Project Plan and Outline

CI Web Group is a custom design and development agency.  If quality, customization, functionality, visual appearance and performance is important to you…. then CI Web Group is the perfect agency.  We do not promote fast and cheap, we do focus on design, functionality and performance quality.

Below we have outlined the “perfect scenario” for timeline estimates, however, there are only a handfull of projects that fit into perfect clients, perfect content, perfect timing, perfection.  It’s more important to have clear expectations, transparency and become as educated as possible on the complexities involved with custom design, development and performance.

Website Design and Development Project Plans should be divided into the following phases.

  • Entry Level Website: 6 – 10 Weeks
  • Basic Website: 8 – 12 Weeks
  • Standard Website: 10 – 14 Weeks
  • Advanced Website: 14 – 18 Weeks
  • Enterprise Website:  18 – 24 Weeks

Website Project Plan Timeline Estimates are based on:

  • 3 Rounds of Revisions to design
  • Reviews and Revisions are Provided within 3 Business Days from the client
  • Content 100% Complete by Phase 4
  • No additional functionality is added to the project mid project
  • Approvals received within 3 Business Days of Request
  • Project Stays on Initial Timeline (should project move off initial timeline for any reason, resource allocation will be interrupted and your project will be juggled within buffer space, vs. initial resource task and milestone plans)

Phase 1: Planning

  1. Strategy and Project Launch Meeting
  2. Stakeholders Meeting Internally
  3. Specifications Outline
  4. Technology Outline

Phase 2: Project Creation and Resource Leveling

  1. Setting Up Project in Accounting Systems
  2. Setting Up Project in Project Management System (Design, Dev, SEO, Social Media, Mobile App’s, etc – depending on level of services subscribed to)
  3. Establish Tasks, Responsible Parties, Milestones and Deliverables
  4. Setting Up Server and Installing Proper Software – Hosting and Maintenance Begins Here!
  5. Watch the Getting Started Video

Phase 3: Design

  1. A Strategy Session and Design Brief ( 1 – 2 Hours)
  2. Stakeholders Meeting
  3. Home Page Design V1
  4. Home Page Design Reviews and Rounds of Revisions*  V2, V3
  5. Interior Page Design (About Us and Contact Us) V1
  6. Interior Page Design Reviews and Rounds of Revisions*  V2, V3
  7. Blog Roll and Blog Post Design V1
  8. Blog Roll and Blog Post Design Reviews and Rounds of Revisions *  V2, V3

The Timeline for this Phase can take 10 (ten) business days minimum and unlimited time to complete depending on the clients response time, clarity, decisiveness, and the amount of rounds of changes included in their investment plan.  The number one thing that can impact the timeline during the design phase is Not Providing Timely/Clear Revisions.

  • 1 – 3 Versions can be done in 10 business days ,
  • 4 – 6 versions can be done in 11 – 20 business days,
  • 7 – 9 versions can be done in 21- 30 business days,
  • 10 – 12 versions can be done in 31 – 40  business days.

*Your Investment Plan Includes a Specific Number of Design Revisions (Standard is 3).  If you require additional rounds of changes, you can easily add them to your plan for $200 per revision.

Phase 4: Development

Here is an overview of the basic development phase. (IF you have an intermediate or advanced website, this is where the custom coding for advanced functionality would be).

  1. Slice all of your PSD Designs (PSD = Photoshop Designs)
  2. Install Database, WP, Etc.
  3. Designing Global Style Sheets (CSS) Based on agreed to design styling (for one browser – Chrome and desktops)
  4. Home Page Development and Coding
    1. Header, Configurable Nav/Menu, AJax/Jquery Sliders, Widgets, Body, Custom Elements, Footer
  5. Interior Page Development and Coding
    1. Pages, Body, Sidebars, Widgets, Etc.
  6. Blog Pages and Roll Development and Coding
    1. Blog Roll, Category Posts, Archives Posts, Recent Posts, Individual Post View, Sidebars, CTA’s, Widgets, Etc.

The Timeline for this Phase can take 15 (fifteen)  business days minimum and unlimited time to complete depending on the clients response time, clarity, decisiveness, and the amount of custom designed pages or custom functionality included in their investment plan.  The more custom design / custom designed pages and custom functionality you have, the longer the development phases.  The kinds of things that will extent the development time and put you into a intermediate or advanced project timeline would be, ecommerce, membership systems, forums, reservations systems, listing systems, directories, mapping functionality, etc.

*Your Investment Plan Includes a Specific Number of Development Revisions (standard is 3).  If you require additional rounds of changes, you can easily add them to your plan for $200 per revision.

Phase 5: Content Development

This phase can be one of the most difficult to predict time.  When you are planning on a new website design and development project – do not forget to set aside a budget specifically for CONTENT. This is the most underbid part of a web project and one of the most important elements. It can cause the largest delays and if not done correctly, the most missed opportunities with a new website.

The entire Content Transfer, Creation and Management process will depend on the level of your SEO investment and goals.  The more aggressive you are about placement, the more products and services you want to be found for and the more locations you want to be found in will DRAMATICALLY increase the time necessary for this phase.

The Content Management Phase consists of the following steps:

  1. Navigation Creation
  2. Navigation Optimization
  3. Content Creation (we will request missing content – you can write and provide or outsource the content creation to our team)
  4. Content Transfer
  5. New Content Uploads
  6. Content Styling (this also includes all of the SEO work that is necessary to make pages perform for SEO)
  7. Image Research, Collecting, Purchasing and Posting
  8. Interior and Home Page Linking
  9. Social Account Integration and Linking
  10. Forms Integration and Testing

WordPress Training:

We will complete a 1 hour WordPress Training with you ensuring you know how to add pages, posts, media files and make basic content changes to your new site.  While your plan allows for CI Web Group to transfer a specific number of pages to your new website, you can add unlimited pages or posts through your content management system before or after go live.

*All content must be received within 5 days of completion of the development phase.  CI Web Group team will transfer all content from  your existing website to your new website.  We will also add any additional content sent within 5 days of the completion of your development phase.  Should you have any additional content additions or changes to your website, you can easily make these change through your new website’s content management system.

Phase 6: Responsive / Mobile and Cross Browser

  1. Redesign the website for all browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, etc.)
  2. Redesign the website for Responsiveness (Mobile Devises, Tablets, etc)

Phase 7: Quality Assurance – Pre Live

  1. Site Review
  2. Test Header
  3. Test Navigation
  4. Test Forms
  5. Test Links
  6. Test Functionality
  7. Test Footer
  8. Review Site Settings
  9. Favicon
  10. Test Social Links

Phase 8: On Page SEO

  1. URL Optimization
  2. On Page SEO (time will vary depending on your plan and what’s included)
    1. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3)
    2. Page Titles
    3. Meta Descriptions
    4. Meta Keywords
    5. Categories / Tags
    6. Interior Linking
  3. Image Optimization

Phase 9: Prep for Go Live

  1. Prep Server for Go Live
  2. Set Up MX Records for Email Hosting
  3. Move Files into Live Server Environment
  4. Change DNS Links
  5. Domain Propagation – Can take 3 Days
  6. Client Training – How to use your CMS (Website Content Management System)

Phase 10: Post Go Live Audit

  1. Once the Site is Live the following Post Live Activities Take Place
  2. Final Site Cross Browser Audit
  3. Mobile Responsive Audit
  4. Forms Testing
  5. Client Training
  6. Promote Site Launch on (Social Media, Blogs, Email Newsletters, etc – Depends on your marketing plan)
  7. Provide Hosting, Support, Upgrades as Needed, Maintenance
  8. Support can be reached at
  9. Full Site Errors Report and Corrections
  10. Webmaster Reviews
  11. Submission of Site to Search Engines
  12. Enhancing Security for Forms as Requested
  13. 1 Hour of Additional WP Training

NOTE: Once the website is live,  your project will be archived in Basecamp and all support will then be provided by our Help Desk Team.  You can access customer support here:

Phase 11: Social Media Promotion

  1. Marketing Images Designed for Social Promotions of the New Website Launch
  2. Social Marketing Promotions

Phase 12: Reporting, Measurements and Analytics – Ongoing

  1. Google Analytics Installation
  2. (SEO Clients) SEO MOZ and Page Rank Reporting
  3. Full Site Errors Report and Corrections
  4. Webmaster Reviews
  5. Submission of Site to Search Engines
  6. Enhancing Security for Forms as Requested
  7. Complete Site Review and Evaluation for Next Phase

Phase 13: Content and Blogging – Ongoing

  1. Content Strategy
  2. Content Creation

Phase 14: Off Page SEO – Ongoing

  1. Building Backlink Strategy
  2. Building Authority Rank
  3. Building Rank for Selected Key Phrases
  4. Measurement
  5. Reporting

Phase 15: Social Media Marketing – Ongoing

  1. Marketing Calendar
  2. Strategy
  3. Content Creation
  4. Graphics Creation
  5. Promotion
  6. Marketing
  7. Reporting



Additional functionality that will require additional time, Investment and resources to be added included, but are not limited to:

  1. Design Changes in the Development Phase
  2. Ecommerce
  3. Membership System
  4. Directory System
  5. Listing System
  6. Custom Coding
  7. Additional Custom Designed and Developed Pages
  8. Custom Landing Page Design and Development
  9. Registration Systems
  10. Scheduling Systems
  11. Additional Security
  12. High Traffic Websites
  13. Media / News Websites with Extended Category Functionality
  14. Wishlist Functionality
  15. Complex Content Transfers and Content Revisions
  16. High Volume Content Transfers and Clean Up
  17. Lengthy Time for Review Feedback, Revisions and Approvals
  18. Agressive SEO Plans


Website Design Project Plan | Project Template

A great website design project plan will improve website design and develoment projects.