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Here’s something we can all agree on:

“A successful website does three things: It attracts the right kinds of visitors. Guides them to the main services or product you offer. Collects contact details for future ongoing relations.” ― Mohamed Saad

And to achieve all three, you’ll need the skills of a web developer.

Therefore, we’ve outlined all the tasks that a web developer can undertake for your website to be successful.

Let’s take a look!

Project Preparation & Start

1. Schedule introductory meetings with the client.

2. Get a document defining the project brief from the client. It will include details such as purpose, technology, purpose, target audience, design style, etc.

3. Discuss with the client the project questionnaires to a conclusion. Here are 100 questions you must ask before sending that quote.

4. Research on the client’s company. Know their target audience, brand, communication style, and demographics.

5. Study the client’s industry-specific trends, learn its strengths, weaknesses, and understand the best industry communication style.

6. Get quotations for developing the project. Get insights on how much a website should cost here.

7. Get quotations on design work from graphic designers.

8. Get quotations on content from copywriters.

9. Get quotations on photography and/or video production.

10. Get quotations on hosting and domain. For example, Virtual Private Server (VPS), cloud or special hosting. Check out these hosting facts and be guided.

11. Write up a detailed web design proposal.

12. Get approval from the client on the proposal plus all its features.

13. Create the Project Acceptance Form and set possible timeline milestones. Get it to the client for signing off.

Project Start-Off

14. Create a website sitemap alongside proposed sections and pages.

15. Research and purchase a suitable template for design basis. Here are some templates for inspiration.

16. Create website wireframes (requires custom designs) of specific pages.

17. Brief and task a designer to create the wireframes according to the estimates sent to the client.

18. Schedule copywriters to create content. There are many content types to consider such as listicles, how-to articles, among others.

19. Get good quality stock images (buy, tweak, or get free ones online).

20. Program for photography efforts and (adhere to estimates quoted).

21. Plan for video productions (according to estimates).

22. Decide on the legal texts necessary for the website e.g privacy policy, copyright notice, disclaimers, terms and conditions of use, etc.

23. Give the client designs for approval.

24. Instruct designers to make the necessary design amendments.

25. Have in place: research and development designs and templates plus their amendments. Share with other web developers (if any).

26. Update the client on the specifics and wait for approval.


27. Share the final designs with other developers (if any in the team).

28. Create a development checklist and share with the team developers (if any).

29. Set up an Alpha date (upon between) the developers and the client.

30. Touch base with copywriters to ascertain that they are on track with content.

Set-up Hosting Account

31. Buy or create hosting space for your website.

32. Generate a new database and add the needed users. If working on a CMS or any database website.

33. Transfer source files to the website server.

34. Set up the CMS to use the created database.

35. If the website is already created, move the database from the testing/staging server and to the production server.

36. Change the domain name servers you’ll be using to the name servers of the hosting server.

Set Up Website Content

37. Implement the designed website sitemap and structure (agreed upon with the client). Depends on the technology (framework) or CMS you’ve preferred.

38. Gather content from the writers.

39. Check every content piece and ask for any necessary revisions.

40. Discuss with the client on the website content to be uploaded and proceed to populate the website.

41. Detail a Contact Us page including accurate client details and a map.

42. Add icons and links to social media handles.

43. Include a link to your website on the footer (if client agreed to it).

44. Take note of current iterations, inform the client, and ask for feedback.

45. Implement the suggested amendments and requests made by the client.

46. Get the client to sign off the updates.

Code Quality Assurance

47. Validate HTML code using World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) tools. Because when writing code you may make mistakes such as missing closing tags or missing quotes around attributes. The incorrect or non-standard codes will affect how the web page displays or its functioning with a web browser.

48. Validate Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) using this tool. Wondering what’s CSS? It let’s you control the appearance of your web page. It includes page fonts, page size, bold, italics and so on.

49. Lint your CSS to improve it. This tool helps you point out problems with your CSS code. That includes basic syntax checks, problematic patterns, and code inefficiencies.

50. Polish the JavaScript using JSLint and JSHint.

51. Confirm that the website is internationalization ready.

52. Liaise with other developers to make adjustments based on the above tests.

Page Content Assurance

53. Have the web copy proofread and checked for spelling and grammar mistakes. Use online editing tools such as GrammarlyHemingway Editor, etc.

54. Check for plagiarism using Copyscape. And also generic text such as “lorem ipsum“.

55. Edit the images on all devices. Check that the height, width, and location is correct.

56. Ensure that the audio and video files on all devices are working properly and are in the right place.

57. Make sure that all links linked to content are working properly. That includes eBooks, white papers, case studies, etc.

58. Verify that all internal links to web pages are active and loading well.

Optimise User Experience

59. Check that the website’s forms such as the Contact Us are submitting data accordingly and are stored in the database.

60. Verify the Thank-you message or the page displayed after the form is submitted.

61. Optimise auto-responders. Proofread the text in the email.

62. Ensure that all external links on the web pages are active and open in a new tab. Fix broken links.

63. Check the social media share icons to confirm whether they are operational. Ensure the image is of high quality and the sharing description is suitable.

64. Make the necessary fixes on metadata. Check that social media sharing is operational.

65. Check for proper Facebook sharing using Facebook linter.

66. Get and test out Twitter cards for functionality.

67. Confirm that the company logo is linked to the homepage.

68. Counter check to optimise the page load time. Use GTMetrix and Pingdom tools.

69. Ensure that the 404 page and 404 redirect pages are in the right place. To check, try a non-existing address.

70. Test all third party integrations and tools including the CRM, eCommerce, among other marketing platforms. Ensure that they are fully operational.

71. Prevent duplicate content penalties by selecting www vs no-www. One should redirect to the other.

72. Examine the website using various browsers by using browserling.

Responsive and Mobile Friendly

73. Use the viewport meta tag: <meta name=”viewport” content=”initial-scale=1″>

74. Confirm that the website is mobile-friendly using MobileOk score of 75 and Google. And fix any issues.

75. Check that the input types for email, phone and URL form fields are interpreted correctly on mobile phones.

76. Get the general overview of the website using emulators e.g screenfly, mobile phone simulator.

77. Test the website on actual devices or use

78. Send the completed website to the client for assessment.

79. Make the necessary changes as advised by the client.

80. Resend the updated website to the client for sign-off.

Launch Analytics

81. Register and verify the website with Google WebMasters aka Google Search Console.

82. Create a new property and implement Google Analytics code.

83. Link Google WebMasters and Google Analytics for enhanced insights from within Google Analytics.

84. Exclude relevant IP addresses (such as office IP) from analytics tracking. (To avoid inflating website hits).

85. Initiate some funnels, goals or tracking events (must be first created in the analytics software).

86. Start visitor tracking software such as HotJarCrazyEgg, or Optimizely.

87. Perform site uptime monitoring using Pingdom.

88. Perform need-based website backup services.

89. Sign-off the deliverables and invoice the client.

Search Engine Optimization

90. Confirm that all page titles are unique.

91. Confirm that all pages have unique meta descriptions and is humanly friendly and not keyword stuffed.

92. Confirm that pages have the desired keywords therein without keyword stuffing.

93. Check that each of the site’s pages has the metadata correctly placed and also without grammar errors.

94. Check that each image has a relevant alt tag.

95. Ensure that a dynamic XML sitemap is created for each post made and is submitted to search engines via Google Webmasters.

96. Check that Google can read the XML sitemap correctly. Submit to Bing and Yandex WebMasters as well.

97. Confirm that all page URLs always shows the site information architecture.

98. Create 301 redirects to redirect old pages to new pages.

99. Place rel=”nofollow” tags on the relevant links and pages.

100. Insert Microdata into the site pages using schema creator.

101. Check the website’s semantics: which is the integration across various content, information applications, and systems.

Speed and performance

102. Work out a PageSpeed score of 90+ –. Check out these useful insights.

103. Minify the javascript. That means removing all unnecessary characters from the source code without changing its functionality.

104. Minify the CSS for a ‘beautified’ version of your code. That means cleaning your CSS code to remove spacing, indentation, newlines, and comments.

105. Add Expires Header to let your browser know whether it should serve a cached version of your page and its components or it should download new versions of the files. In a nutshell, you reduce the server load.

106. Work out a Yslow score of 85+ : that’s web pages analysis on why they are slow.

107. Optimize image sizes using Y! Smush. Replace with optimised images.

108. Specify image dimensions for all images.

109. Qualify gzip compression on the hosting server.

110. Eliminate missing files and images among other bad requests.

111. Integrate images using CSS Sprites.

112. Combine CSS and JS files into the fewest files possible to lower HTTP requests.


113. Confirm HTML5 compatibility. Use, and modernizr.

114. Build a Favicon generator for every platform.

115. Authorise user and search engine friendly URLs.

116. Build up a print stylesheet.

Social Media

117. Link the website to Google+ Brand page.

118. Include humans.txt.

119. Create cover images for LinkedIn company page, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, among others.

120. Give the client the completed website for evaluation and feedback.

121. Amend the website as per the client’s request.

122. Hand over to the client all the created accounts access.

123. Make any pending updates and let the client append the approval signature.

124. Close project.


“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”
― Paul Cookson

We bet you’ve seen what you need to have a successful website.

Photo: nensuria

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Katrina McKinnon

I'm Katrina McKinnon, the author behind Small Revolution. With two decades of hands-on experience in online work, running eCommerce stores, web agency and job boards, I'm now on a mission to empower you to work from home and achieve work-life balance. My passion lies in crafting insightful, education content. I have taught thousands of students and employees how to write, do SEO, manage eCommerce stores and work as Virtual Assistants. Join our most popular course: SEO Article Masterclass

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