The Biggest Lesson We’ve Learned in Web Development Efficiency

We’ve created hundreds of WordPress sites for our clients. Repetition and reflection are the keys to improving any process, and our web process is no different. We’re always striving to become more efficient in this process. At a high level, this is our process:

  1. Learn as much about the client as we can
  2. Write copy
  3. Design homepage
  4. Develop homepage
  5. Design subpages
  6. Develop subpages
  7. Syrup test
  8. Client test
  9. Live

It is, of course, way more complex than that, but it works as a model for the purpose of this post. What I’m going to focus on here is the development. Developing the homepage and subpages seems like it might be a 15/85 split of time between the two respectively, but that’s not the case.

In order to get a homepage set, we must first:

  • Set up local site
  • Set up git
  • Set up staging server
  • Connect/automate local to staging server connection (both database and files)
  • Create pages
  • Import posts
  • Set navigation menus
  • Set fonts/sizes/colors
  • Create header and footer navigation
  • Develop homepage

Wow, that’s a lot! The absolute key to having this go smoothly and not have any duplicate work is to have the client sign off on the homepage design completely and unequivocally before development designs. This is the biggest lesson we’ve learned in building hundreds of sites: get client signoff before taking the next step.

Usually, while we are developing the homepage, the subpages are getting designed, refined, and approved by the client so that when the homepage is developed, we can move right into developing the subpages. Depending on the scope of the project, this ends up mostly being smooth sailing, though time-intensive. That supposed 15/85 split ends up being more like 60/40.

Developing sites here at Syrup is a pleasure because of our tight, yet ever-changing process. Every site we do makes us a little smarter. The result is a great experience and product for our clients and an amazing, collaborative project internally.

Lars Miller

Lars is a front-end and WordPress developer.