Designing a website goes far beyond aesthetics. You’ve got content strategy, user experience, marketing funnels, and code to think about too. And if you want to launch your website on time and budget without cutting back on quality, your first step should always be a project plan.
We created a free website planning template to help you tackle your next web design project with ease. Use this ready-to-go framework to knock out a successful website project plan efficiently.
It’s easy to jump right into a website build, migration, or redesign project without thinking through the details—especially if you feel pressure to deliver the work quickly. But taking time to create a thoughtful web development plan can make all the difference between stress and success.
You’ve probably heard it said before: Failing to plan is planning to fail. And that’s especially true with website projects that involve multidisciplinary teams and complex scopes of work.
Skipping a website project plan leaves deadlines, dependencies, and scope unclear. And confusion over any of these inevitably leads to delays. Writers, designers, and developers will spin their wheels trying to get it right, meaning more time spent on revisions. And there’s no source of truth to keep scope creep from wrecking your timeline.
No matter how busy your team or eager your stakeholders are to get started, the extra time it takes to put a clear plan in place is absolutely worth it. Everyone will be happier with the end result, and it will be a whole lot easier to finish on time and budget.
Now that you know why planning is so important, let’s break down how to create a project plan for your website design.
Website projects typically include the following phases, which can be adjusted based on the timing and scale of the project.
The initial planning and discovery phase lays a solid groundwork for success. Think of it as your chance to set a clear vision and scope for your site, while learning as much as you can about your users and competitors.
Here are the steps you’ll want to take to start your web design project off right.
Content gives voice to your brand and sets a foundation for building trust with your audience. These steps can help you structure and write content that keeps users engaged so you’ll be on track to meeting your website goals.
While content begins before—and even informs—design, these phases typically overlap. Work in tandem to ensure content and design align closely to deliver a positive user experience.
It’s finally time for your content and design to come together into a functional website. Many web developers use the Agile methodology to get work done. Feel free to build sprints into your gantt chart or set up a Kanban board for your project to ensure your process aligns with their preferred workflow.
All the pieces and parts have come together, and you’re almost ready to launch! The only thing standing between you and going live is final review and QA. Do one last check to clean up copy, test buttons and forms, and ensure your website looks good on multiple devices.
It’s all systems go at this stage! Rally the troops to deploy your new website and promote it across all your marketing channels. Be sure to celebrate this major milestone as a team!
Don’t forget to determine how you’ll measure performance and handle site maintenance and features additions down the road. That way you’ll have a game plan in place to ensure your website keeps up with industry trends and customer needs as they evolve down the road.
Now that you know how the website development process works, let’s take a look at how these basic steps come together in a plan.
A gantt chart enables you to map out a clear timeline for your website project plan so everyone can see how work is progressing and where things are falling behind. Think of it as a bird’s-eye view of all your tasks and milestones.
Here’s an example of a website development gantt chart we created in TeamGantt to schedule and track project tasks on a visual timeline.
Create your own project plan with our free online gantt chart template for web development projects. Using a template cuts down the time spent building your project plan so you can get to work more quickly and easily see what’s been completed and what’s coming down the pipeline.
Need to factor extra steps like photography or videography into your plan? Give our multimedia website project plan template a try!
Ready to put your new website planning template to work for you? Use these simple tips to plan and track your next website project easily in TeamGantt.
Website development tasks typically have to be completed in a particular order. For instance, you can’t efficiently build a website without creating content and design elements first. Dependencies connect dependent tasks on your gantt chart so work gets done in the right order.
Call out key dates, deadlines, approvals, or deliverables in your website project by using milestones. Hit your launch date, or hold that important meeting right on schedule!
TeamGantt makes it easy to invite your team to the project. Once you’ve assigned team members to the website project, remind everyone to update the percent complete as they work through their tasks. That way you don’t have to spend time chasing down updates.
Collaboration is easy with TeamGantt’s discussion feature. Post detailed instructions in the Notes section, or attach key documents, like the creative brief. Upload content drafts or design mockups for review, and capture feedback and approvals in the Comments section. Tag someone in a comment to notify them about important updates.
If some folks aren’t too keen on managing day-to-day tasks in a gantt chart, use Board view to set up a Kanban workflow for your team. This view automatically converts all your gantt chart tasks into project board cards, and vice versa. Set up as many columns as you need, and customize their labels and percent complete to fit your process.
In the website project board example below, we created columns for To Do, Doing, and Done and set the To Do percentage to 0% and the Done percentage to 100%.
List view is helpful for standup meetings or quickly reviewing upcoming deliverables in the project. Simply toggle to the List tab at the top of your gantt chart for a clean and simple view of task start and end dates. You can drag and drop tasks to rearrange the order, update progress, track time, or collaborate on tasks easily in this project view.
Calendar view enables you to turn your gantt chart into a calendar in one click. That makes it easy to see how tasks are stacking up on any particular day, week, or month and resolve bottlenecks ahead of time. Open multiple projects at a time, then switch to Calendar view to see where things get too crunchy for your team.
Ready to get started on your next web design project? We’ve created a free website planning template for you in TeamGantt so you can jump right in!
Customizing the template is quick and easy, thanks to TeamGantt’s drag and drop simplicity. And since everything’s online, your whole team can collaborate on activities in real time.
Sign up for a free TeamGantt account today, and save time on project setup with our free website project plan template!