We break the build process into 3 phases:
- Phase I: Intake & Assessment
- This phase is conducted within the first few days of payment and extends out to ~2 weeks. Sometimes items are moved to other Phases.
- Phase II: Mockup & Content
- Now we place content and utilize the Blueprint to inform design. Sometimes we use placeholders where content is missing.
- Phase III: Construction & Add-Ons
- We wrap everything up, addressing SEO and other considerations such as 3rd-party software or ADA Compliance. If something can’t be completed during the expected Phase, it gets moved here.
The Phase structure begins after the project has been purchase and a blueprint filled out by the Rep. The Rep is responsible to start the process with a Blueprint Review.
Phase I Tasks
The Key meets with Sales Rep for 30-60 minutes to discuss the details of the Blueprint and address client needs. This is an opportunity for the Sales Rep to share any additional client needs/preferences that may not be communicated sufficiently in the Blueprint, such as a custom design (a logo, graphic,3rd-party plugin, etc.).
Client to Key introduction
Clients should be introduced to the Key via a short email.
- This can be from the Rep or the Key.
- If more than two days have passed the Key must send the introduction.
- Email should be concise and friendly.
- Must have all contact information for the ICHRONstudio, the Key, and the Rep.
- Includes links to schedule a meeting with a rep and a conditional statement for a call.
- (See Chart: sample intro)
Key Client set up Call
This is direct communication with the client and the Key. The goal here is to set review the blueprint with the client and set their expectations. The Key will confirm the calendar and milestones and inform the client of information they will still need. This is also an opportunity to confirm the service package that they have purchase and how many contacts they should expect.
- May include Rep if available
- Should not be more than 30 mins
- Confirm the level of service they are being provided.
Key supplemental Information Email
This immediately proceeds the client Key Client set up call and will review all points made in the call. It will also include a list of items needed and links to upload large files.
See Chart Key supplemental info email
Create cPanel account in WHM
This is the core account for any website and is based on the domain name. It creates a control panel, which will allow the creation of emails, and various web products including the website itself.
- The username should reflect the business name and not be the domain name
- Password should be stored in Blueprint Document
Create wireframe referencing Theme template pages
Every page should have an associated task while referencing the relevant Divi template pages. The Wireframe is a starting point of pages and menu items. It should also include all front-page content, forms, and suggested placement for 3rd party components, and can be simply done with a pencil and paper, or Adobe XD for more complicated flows. The standard build includes 15 total items or less, including menu items and front-page items.
Create a subdomain for Development Site
All new website builds should be on a subdomain of the business name on ichronproof1.com. When purchasing a new domain for a client, we will occasionally start the build on the newly purchased domain instead.
Clone “Template Site” with Installatron
Use Installatron to clone our “Template Site”, making sure to check that it reflects the same credentials of the cPanel account. Ideally, the Template Site will have all themes and plugins pre-installed.
Install Theme and default plug-ins
If the site is not cloned, be sure to install the correct Theme and necessary plug-ins for site functions.
Provide finalized Blueprint to Web Dev
The Admin now has all the necessary details for the Web Dev to start working. The updated Blueprint should include the following (new) information:
- Logins & URL for the Development site
- Additional notes from meeting with Sales Rep
Email Setup via G Suite/MS Exchange (Ideal)
We’ll need to ensure that the proper MX records are listed in cPanel for their email provider. Sometimes, the client has an IT Company that simply needs cPanel access to handle this for us. Check with the Salesperson if unsure.
Email Setup via cPanel (Not Ideal)
It’s never preferred that we host our client’s email, as it takes up storage, bandwidth, and frankly, Webmail isn’t the best solution for business email. Ideally, they get set up with G Suite or Microsoft Exchange, and we have referral partners that can help with that. If not, refer to the below setup instructions.
When setting up a client’s email on CPanel, the first option is an email forward rather than an email account which is simpler and doesn’t take up our storage. Subtasks should be created with each email account/forward desired (up to 5).
- When setting up new accounts, create a temporary password and provide instructions to the client on how to log in & change their password.
- When working with existing emails, we don’t migrate current emails until right before swapping the nameservers (refer to “Email migration” in Phase 3). If we use Liquid Web’s migration, they will help set up and migrate emails upon request and likely transfer email data, however, other migration tools will not automatically transfer the email database.
Phase II Tasks
Keyword competition research
We use SEO Site Checkup or Google Ads Keyword Planner to find keywords matching up to the “Draw & Response” or “Services” sections of the Home Page. This can also help inform the content of the site. Those keywords should be shared on the Blueprint and added to the backend of the site in Phase 3.
Set up the desired Template
Create a new page and select the “Choose from template” option. Locate the name of the template chosen by the client in the Blueprint – this is your starting point.
Transfer previous site content
Sometimes, we are simply migrating a WordPress site, in which case the next step simply involves updating outdated information. In other cases, we are just utilizing some text and photos. In that case, be sure to note the following:
- Download and re-upload images, do not cut and paste
- Remove/re-format any hyperlinks so they don’t point to the previous site.
Modify Divi Template based on the Blueprint
The Blueprint informs the home page, using the following elements:
- Draw and Response
- Call to Action
- Example websites
- Header image
- Featured Services (up to 4)
- Contact Information
Design interior pages
Every Interior page is based on the Wireframe created in Phase I. Subtasks are created for each relevant page. Depending on how complex each page is, it’s possible they won’t be complete until Phase III (so due dates can be customized). Every page should match up with the associated Divi Template Page unless stated otherwise.
The typical pages utilized in a Standard Website Build can include but are not limited to up to 5 of the following: About, Contact, Services, Blog, Gallery, Directions/Locations, Portfolio, Testimonials, Client Portal
Review 1st Mockup (Sales Rep)
Before sending the mockup to the client, ensure the Sales Rep double-checks it.
Send 1st Mockup
Send the client the mockup link via email. Feel free to call to follow up. Remind the client that the emphasis of the mockups is the overall structure, ordering, and design feel of the page, rather than the content. Obviously, the content should be accurate, but often we’re just using placeholders.
Gather Mockup edits
Allow the client to respond to the email with edits – sometimes they will ask for a call to review edits. Officially, we only provide 1 “design meeting”, but don’t hesitate to call the client for clarification on either end.
Make Mockup edits
Attention to detail is key here (no pun intended). It’s easy to miss small notes, so read thoroughly.
Send 2nd Mockup
Once the changes are complete, send the client another link to view their live website. Ask them for feedback.
Gather & Make 2nd Mockup edits
Allow the client to respond to the email with edits – sometimes they will ask for a call to review edits. Officially, we only provide 1 “design meeting”, but don’t hesitate to call the client for clarification on either end. The move onto Phase III.
Phase III Tasks
Place site meta-description and keywords
A short paragraph that explains to a visitor what the site is about and is placed in the meta-description. Keywords are initially determined by the client and are usually limited to 3 basic keywords that should be in the paragraph. SEO clean sites will have the keywords vetted and this may take more time. Adjust the date if this is the case.
https://www.favicon-generator.org/ is a helpful resource. This assumes the client has a logo.
Place social media links in the footer
These links should be provided on the Blueprint, otherwise, simply Google the business name and locate whatever social media accounts they have (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, YouTube, and BBB being most common).
Install 3rd-party plugins/embeds
These involve HTML embeds or plugins that are not provided by ICHRONstudio. While these installations are usually straightforward, in some cases the client pays extra for plugins that require in-depth setup (multi-employee scheduling, for example). This is also an appropriate time to collect additional information from the client to understand the end goal and communicate any additional fees if applicable.
- May not easily be installed
- May require additional fees to the 3rd party
- May require extra hours added to build to install
- May create conflict with other standard plug-ins, especially in the case of WooCommerce they need to be compatible.
Insert the following link:
Final internal website proof
All major construction should be completed. An internal proof with someone other than the developer (Sales Rep) should go through the site and create a list of final changes before showing the client, such as weird spacing, missing content, etc. Subtasks break down what exactly we are double-checking. Some examples of what we double-check:
- Page Titles, links, and content
- Tablet/mobile view – use your own phone!
- Contact forms – test them all
Final client website proof
This is the client’s final opportunity to share any last revisions to content or design. Any additional changes beyond this phase should be less than an hour or additional fees may incur.
- Last proofing included in the build
- After three hours of proofing in total, additional fees will incur.
- Additional work is charged on an hourly basis.
The Sales Rep should walk the client through any tutorials that they will need to operate the site. Additional services such as Marketing or Ongoing SEO should be presented, and the client should be walked through using various site functions if necessary.
- Schedule a meeting with the client
- Send links on how to log in and create a blog post in WordPress beforehand
- Review use of gallery or any 3rd party plugins
- Activate site cache
- Check Site Title, Site Keywords, Site Description
- (SEO Sync Clients Only) Increase SEO score as high as possible before going live
This should be done as the client begins their project, but it’s always good to double-check. They can have installments or just our Basic Hosting at $35/mo.
Email migration via cPanel (Not Ideal)
Skip this task if they are using external mail (such as G Suite) or forwarding. This is only if we are hosting the client’s email. We need to do the following:
- Provide instructions on accessing their new email BEFORE transferring. This is because they will lose access to their old email, and they’ll need to be able to access the new email
- Once the prior step is confirmed, migration of old emails right before swapping the nameservers
Email migration via G Suite/MS Exchange (Ideal)
Refer to the above task if not using G Suite/MS Exchange. We will need to ensure that the proper MX records are listed in cPanel, or that they are kept with their current domain provider. Sometimes, the client has an IT Company that simply needs cPanel access to handle this for us. Confirm that before migration.
Here are our nameservers: ns1.businessdemon.com, ns2.businessdemon.com
Sometimes, we need to add our IP Address to the domain’s A record as well. The correct IP address is listed in the client’s cPanel account, on the right side. Make sure everything else is checked off before doing this!
Final SEO changes (SEO Sync Only)
Only applies when doing an SEO Sync Add-On. There are a few SEO Changes that are impossible without the site being live. In some cases, we might make a new site “live” before it’s complete to wrap up SEO. For this task to be marked complete, the score should be at least 95/100.
Finalize email to client
Once the site is fully transferred, a final email should be sent with the following included:
- ‘Thank You’ for working with us
- SEO Score PDF
- Hosting information, such as benefits and pricing
- Any additional recommended services, such as Ongoing SEO