Creating a new website can be both fun and overwhelming. Fun because you have a blank slate: you’re free to get as creative you want, with each new page holding the promise of possibility and opportunity.
However, that same blank slate can be equally scary: the amount of work that goes into successfully launching a new website is daunting at first.
Having a thorough project plan is vital for any successful new website, but you should also be using website project management software to keep your project on track start to finish.
Why Is Website Project Management Software Important
Bringing the Pieces Together
When you launch a new website you have to tap into multiple wells of expertise, from web design and programming to SEO, graphic design, and content creation.
There are a lot of moving pieces that also rely on each other to be successfully executed: your visuals are informed by your user interface, your site content is optimized based on your keywords, and so on.
When you use a project management software, you can easily integrate these different elements and tasks into one comprehensive interface.
Avoiding Scope Creep
Web development is a type of project particularly prone to scope creep: when the amount of work “creeps” past the boundaries of the original objectives or resources dedicated to the project. Scope creep can cost you time, money, and stress, especially if you’re dealing with clients. Revisions, additional features, more pages or content are all common types of website scope creep.
A good project management tool will help you avoid scope creep by giving you the ability to…
- Create a schedule and workflow based on the original project plan.
- Quickly see and evaluate the current progress of the entire project.
- Track the project milestones and re-evaluate your timeline based on deadlines met or missed.
- Audit how resources are being spent and stay within your budget.
- Be transparent about work completed for management team or client review.
In this way, you can avoid scope creep in your own projects. Or, you can more accurately negotiate any changes to the project with clients or other third parties so that you’re being correctly compensated when the scope changes.
Executing Your Website Project Plan
Here’s an example workflow for a new website, with suggested project management software to get you started!
1. Establish Your Objectives
The first step of any website is planning. You’ll need to…
- Define the goals and target audience of your site.
- Create your schedule and estimated launch date
- Set your budget for site development.
Communication is the most important element at this stage. You need a way to keep track of conversations across email, live chat, and in-person or conference meetings. Your project management software should not only streamline these communications but also keep a living record of information, so everyone can be on the same page without wasting time.
When it comes to communication tools…
- Slack has emerged as one of the top chat/messaging communication tools for teams of all sizes.
- Video conferencing tool Zoom is a great option, as it allows you to easily via browser or telephone, and doesn’t require a conference code to join. You can share screens, remote access other devices, and even record meetings for later review.
- Google Drive remains one of the most reliable ways to keep information up-to-date with multiple parties. No more sending documents back and forth and wondering who has the latest version. Live editing makes it easy to collaborate and keep your team in sync.
For managing your work, all-in-one tool Gryffin is one of the best project management softwares for launching websites. With full inbox integration, you can create projects and tasks straight from your inbox, or vice versa—you can send an email directly from a project without leaving Gryffin. All emails are attached to your projects, so you can seamlessly track conversations.
Gryffin’s additional integrations include Google Calendar, Drive, and Slack, allowing you to create and track project meetings, or create projects and tasks from your conversations.
2. Mapping Your Website
Once you’ve covered the broad strokes, it’s time to map your website. You need to decide how many pages it will have, and what content to include on those pages.
Mapping your website can many forms. You can use a spreadsheet, create a flowchart, or a mind-mapping tool such as Mindmeister.com.
At this point, you will also be able to determine who will need to be involved in the project and connect with any necessary third-parties: SEOs, graphic artists, copywriters, etc.
Again, Gryffin comes up as a great tool not only because it will help with communication between these parties, but it will allow you to even add them to your production pipeline. Gryffin lets you set user permissions with great flexibility: you can decide what each user can see, read, or edit case by case.
3. Design Your Interface
The next step is your website interface.
If you’re new to web design, you can find an install pre-made themes on sites like ThemeForest.
If you’re a web designer by trade, at this stage you’ll begin work on the custom theme for your client, creating mock-ups and live demos that will align with the company’s visual identity, target audience, and goals as outlined in your project plan. This should also include the backend Content Management System, whether it’s a custom build or an integration of an existing CMS.
Your project management system should include task management to allow you to track the progress of the website’s development.
Tools such as Trello or Wrike are known for simple task management. Gryffin is a little more sophisticated; each project has its own hub where you can track all tasks, details, emails, files, and expenses for that project. You can see your entire scope of work at a glance, decreasing the chances of overlooking something. You can also create automated workflows to execute tasks more efficiently.
4. Begin Keyword Research
If you’re creating a website you want to rank in search engine results, you should start with keyword research and identify target keywords for each page.
However, for most sites, SEO is a project in and of itself. Learn more about creating and executing an SEO project plan.
5. Creating Site Content
Once you’ve determined your target keywords, it’s now time to create written and visual content for each page.
Copywriters and graphic designs will need clear guidelines for the content they’re creating. You’ll need to send them their tasks with instructions, set deadlines, review their content, communicate any edits, and upload their content to the site.
Time again to make the most of your project management tool.
With Gryffin, you can create multiple workspaces and customize each for different types of work.
In a content workspace, you would create a new project for each page, and customize the project template to track data such as the assigned writer, due dates, instructions, keywords and meta-data, and tasks. You can generate Google Docs automatically, so you can create content and edit it in real-time. You can also use the Association feature to connect your site content projects to the larger web design project hub.
By structuring in this way, you can track the progress of all your content and easily scale without stress.
6. Quality Assurance
Finally, you want to ensure that everything is correct before and after your website goes live. To achieve this, you could again implement Gryffin’s automated workflows that will automatically assign tasks to your copywriters, prompt your project managers to review content, and then accept it or send it back for edits.
Some helpful editing tools to review content are Grammarly, a Chrome extension which checks for spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, and the SEMrush Writing Assitant, a Google Docs Add-on that checks for SEO, readability, and more.
Making the Most of Website Project Management
Project management isn’t just necessary, it’s essential to a successful website laugh. Using the right software will keep you and your team on schedule and on budget. And it will ensure the quality of your website is the best it can possibly be.
Gryffin has everything you need to support your website—from early planning to hitting publish. It has all the features you need (and even some you didn’t know you needed!) and will make your life much easier.
Even better, when you sign up you can access the Template Library, and with one click install a Web Design workspace, featuring pre-built project templates and automated workflows.
As if that wasn’t good enough, it’s free! Click here to create your account and hit the ground running!